Top cops in Echo Park and Silver Lake to retire

Bobby Hill (left) and Al Polehonki

Bobby Hill (left) and Al Polehonki/Photo from Positive Energy Group

Echo Park and Silver Lake will start the new year with a shakeup in law enforcement as two long-time senior lead officers take retirement.  Senior Lead Officers Bobby Hill, who covers Echo Park and Elysian Valley, will retire in January after nearly 30 years with the department, while Al Polehonki, who covers Silver Lake and Franklin Hills, will follow suit in February after working more than 30 years with the LAPD , said Capt. Will Murphy with the Northeast Division.  Other officers will fill in for Hill and Polehonki while the process of finding permanent replacements begins for positions that Murphy considers “critical”  for neighborhood policing.

The LAPD’s Senior Lead Officers act as the neighborhood cop, keeping an eye on very local crime trends and serving as the main contact between residents and the department.

There is always a chance that Murphy’s request to find permanent replacements for the two senior lead positions won’t be approved by the department, leaving him down two officers. But Murphy said he is counting on the popularity of senior lead officers among residents and city council staff to help him get the go ahead and start the competitive selection process to fill the two positions.

However, that process could take several months to complete. In the meantime, temporary senior lead officers will be assigned to Echo Park and Silver Lake. “The positions won’t remain vacant,” said Murphy. “They will be filled by others with similar experience.”

In addition to neighborhood crime fighting,  Hill, the Echo Park senior lead officer,  also made a name for himself  last year after the city agreed to pay him $4 million to settle a harassment lawsuit against the LAPD.


  1. Bobby Hill the do nothing Senior Lead Officer…But a good patrol cop.

  2. Thank You for your service.
    Its a thankless job i’m sure, but most of us appreciate you.
    You cant please everyone.
    Happy retirement .

  3. Officer Al Polehonki has been a tremendous asset to the LAPD and to Silver Lake. Before I became a community activist and got to know Al, I admit I did not have a lot of respect for the work LAPD does every day.

    As an old punk rock girl, I remember sitting safely inside a in a bar on Sunset, watching through the window as the the Darryl Gates LAPD, in riot gear, marched outside the Paladium on Black Flag fans after a concert in the 1980’s. I also watched officers on horseback raise billy clubs on confused and cornered concert goers at the old Downtown Street Scene, including a friend’s 50-something year-old, pearl-wearing mother. I did not count LAPD officers among my friends then.

    It took the 1992 Riots to force change at the LAPD. One of the positive changes was the community policing and Senior Lead Officer program. It really gave people who care enough to be involved in their communities, a routine contact with the LAPD.

    The SLOs know who has active networks to get word out quickly within neighborhoods. Heck, they know the neighborhoods. Which in hillside neighborhoods is so important when you consider how many times I’ve given directions to officers responding to calls who are not from Northeast and are lost in Silver Lake.

    Thank you Al for all your help through the years.

  4. Al Polehanki will be greatly missed by the Silver Lake community. Replacing his knowledge and his genuine concern of the community will be impossible. He was always willing to follow up, to attend meetings, to advise, to chat and to mentor other LAPD officers on how SLO work should be done. I hope they were listening and watching and will carry on.

    When community based policing was on the chopping block by former police chief Bernard Parks, all who had benefited by our go-to guy in Silver Lake, Al Polehanki, objected and made their feelings known …..well you know what former mayor Jim Hahn did.

    May Al enjoy his retirement and smile knowing he made a difference in our community and to many of us personally. Thank you, Al.

  5. Thank you Officer Polehonki! Without you we wouldn’t have had the quick response to our neighborhood squatters and meth house issues. You’ve helped make our neighborhood better and I couldn’t imagine it without you. Hopefully we’ll get another SLO as good as you. (please!)

    Have a happy retirement!

  6. Thank you Bobby Hill good luck hope to see you around Echo Park in the future.

  7. I have to say Senior Lead Officer Al Polehonki is simply the best. Good luck to both and enjoy your retirement.

  8. I had the great honor of working with SLO Hill and SLO Polehonki for several years, in Echo Park, Elysian Valley, and Silver Lake. I cannot say enough about each of them. They are so effective at their jobs and have been great to work with! Each will be leave very big shoes to fill and will be missed. We are fortunate to have benefitted from their great work and determination to bring increased safety and security to our communities.

  9. Wow big statement! (For Hill, who said the retaliation against him included being followed by other officers, falsely accused of misconduct)

    Falsely Accused and Misconduct is what Office Hill has done to my Family and I since 2009 I’ve been to Inspector Generals Office, Internal Affairs, Lawyers you name it, But it seems you have to be seriously injured to get peoples attention. The Harassment Officer Bobby Hill has created will not go in silence I’ll make sure the truth comes out about him and his group of lying posse (she knows who she is) he is a Thug behind a badge.

  10. We’ve had the pleasure of working with SLO Polehonki over the years. He’s been effective in assisting our Silver Lake neighborhood deal with big city problems while helping us achieve a small town feel. He’s made a difference by knowing who lives on our street and knowing what our concerns are. Al’s been available to follow-up, advise, problem solve, attend meetings and educate us on the process. He’s helped us get to know the faces of the hardworking NE officers making us proud of who serves us and glad that we are in this Division. Just can’t imagine not being able to email/call him on any given situation to get his sage advice. Replacing his knowledge and genuine concern of the community will be big shoes to fill. It has been easy to be involved meaningfully when Al has had our back.

    Al – may you have the retirement you’ve dreamed of. You have made a difference and we are grateful. Thank you.

  11. Officer Polhonki ,our senior lead officer, put an end to a long era of neighborhood frustration, dissatisfaction and confusion with the LAPD when dealing with problems in our pockety hillside area. He was fabulous–no need to reacquaint a revolving door of officers with our particular ongoing issues (or even directing unfamiliar officers on how to reach crime scenes!) He was always there for us, a familiar face, a familiar voice, our first line when something bad happened. Thank you Officer Polhonki for improving our sense of safety and support these years, you deserve a rest!!

  12. Thank you Officer Al for all your support and help you have provided over the last 20 years (can you believe it has been that long?!). You are truly the epitome of L.A.’s finest. Enjoy your well deserved retirement, and come back and visit us in the ‘hood sometime!
    Best Wishes,
    Carolyn & Michael

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