Maintaining a career in any field for 33 years is an accomplishment to say the least, but it could be argued that it is an even more impressive feat in the field of law enforcement. One could even go a step further and say that a 30-plus year career in law enforcement is worthy of recognition particularly if all of those years are spent fighting crime on the mean streets of a city like Los Angeles. But that is exactly what LAPD homicide detective Sal LaBarbera has managed to do and his fellow officers and detectives will be sending him off into the sunset of retirement on January 31st after 33 years.
LaBarbera has spent those years maintaining a stellar career in law enforcement with the Los Angeles Police Department, first as a patrol officer and then moving up to homicide detective. According to LAPD Chief of Police Charlie Beck, who incidentally has been a fellow officer of LaBarbera’s for the entirety of his career, the “legendary” detective will “leave a legacy as one of the best homicide cops in the history of LAPD, meaning one of the best anywhere – built on a foundation of loyalty to his peers but, even more, to the victims and their families.” Chief Beck also described LaBarbera as having a level of commitment and compassion that “are unsurpassed by any detective.” He says that LeBarbera will be sorely missed by everyone at the LAPD and in the Los Angeles community, “not just because he’s a great detective but because he’s a great friend.”
One of the things that LaBarbera has become famous for throughout the LAPD ranks is his penchant for tweeting about his work. He has logged more than 10,000 Twitter entries about the cases he has worked and the victims and families he has helped. His boss, Lieutenant Jeff Nolte, says, however, that “Tweets or no Tweets, Sal Labarbera is one detective that is going to be impossible to replace.”