By Erik Sarni and Kris Rivera
After serving as Captain of the Los Angeles Police Department Hollenbeck Division for nearly four and a half years, Anita Ortega is moving on to a new assignment.
Ortega executed her final duties last week, and will now transfer to her new position in the department’s recruitment and employment division.
Ortega was appointed to the Los Angeles Police Department in March 1984. Before heading the Hollenbeck division, she served as Commanding Officer of the Communications Division, Juvenile Division, Devonshire and Hollenbeck Patrol Divisions and Hollenbeck Operations Support Divisions. She has also worked a variety of patrol, investigative and staff assignments.
In 2011, Ortega was honored as the UCLA Latina Alumna of the Year, and in 2012 she was selected by the Speaker of the California Assembly Speaker as the Woman of the Year.
Captain Martin Baeza, who has been with the LAPD since 1989, and a Commanding officer of Operations of the West Bureau since 2008, will replace Ortega. Baeza will continue to work with Commanding Officer Gina Sanders, who recently transferred from the Rampart Division.
Boyle Heights Beat talked to Ortega about her experience at Hollenbeck, her accomplishments, and what she would miss about Boyle Heights:
BHB: How was it serving as Captain at Hollenbeck Police Station?
AO: This experience is just going to be something I’m going to remember for the rest of my life. It’s probably the highlight of my career and I am just completely happy.
BHB: What has been your proudest moment at Hollenbeck?
AO: My proudest is probably opening up the new station, and bringing a beautiful station to the community of Boyle Heights.
BHB: How has the Boyle Heights community changed over the years?
AO: In the 4 ½ years that I’ve been here the relationship between the police and the community has strengthened”¦ it’s stronger. There’s collaboration with more non-profits. Crime has gone down tremendously. It’s just a better place to live.
BHB: What will you miss most here at Hollenbeck?
AO: I’m going to miss all the relationships I’ve had in the community. I’m going to miss the officers, the detectives, and the civilians. This is a great place to work. It’s a great place to raise a family. It’s a great community. I’m going to miss all of Hollenbeck.
BHB: Is there anything else you’d like to add about your time at Hollenbeck?
AO: I wish I could stay forever. Four and a half years went by fast. There are a lot of things I would have liked to have done but I’m happy with the success that I’ve had here at Hollenbeck.