Chief Derrick Abell

  • Chief of Police, Manhattan Beach
  • The City of Manhattan Beach

Chief Abell was born in Los Angeles and grew up in a single parent household with his mother in Inglewood, California. During an early period of his youth, Chief Abell was relocated to Dhahran Saudi Arabia with his family for two years. He experienced new and interesting cultures that have contributed to his ability to interact with people from all walks of life.  Chief Abell earned an athletic football scholarship to attend Montana State University. Chief Abell went on to earn a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Speech Communications and serve as a member of the school’s 1984 National Championship Football Team.

Prior to his law enforcement career, Chief Abell worked for the Los Angeles Times Newspaper in Chatsworth, California as a mailroom operator.  During his lunch break one evening at work (graveyard), Chief Abell was reading the newspaper and learned that the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was hiring.  That was the spark that led to his desire to become a police officer. Chief Abell began his law enforcement career with the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department in December of 1988, and after completion of training worked the Inmate Reception Center at Men’s Central Jail, and eventually was assigned to train new Deputies.

In January of 1991, Chief Abell selected the Manhattan Beach Police Department to continue his career in law enforcement.  Over the course of his 28 years with the Manhattan Beach Police Department, Chief Abell worked the following assignments:

  • D.A.R.E. Officer 1992-1993
  • Narcotics Detective 1993-1995
  • SWAT Team member and (Commander) 1991- 2008
  • Police Sergeant 1995-1999
  • Human Resource & Training Sergeant 1996-1999
  • Police Lieutenant 1999- 2008
  • Administrative (Budget) Lieutenant 2001-2003
  • Traffic Lieutenant 2004-2007
  • Administrative Division Commander 2010-2015
  • Field Operations Division Commander 2008-2010, 2016–2018
  • Chief of Police 2018

Chief Abell was selected by his peers and subordinates as the “Officer of the Year” in 1999 for his hard work, dedication and accomplishments.  He is also a graduate of Leadership Manhattan Beach Class 2010. Chief Abell has a M.S. Degree in Emergency Services Management from Trident University International and is a graduate of the FBI National Academy.