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Cory Palka, Captain III

Cory Palka

Captain III
77th Street Area

email Captain III Cory Palka is an accomplished, twenty-eight year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department arriving in 77th Street Area as the Area Commanding Officer from Hollywood where he served as the Patrol Commanding Officer.  In June of 2013, Cory Palka was promoted to the rank of police captain, an assignment perfectly suited for a man with a passion and talent for cultivating strong relationships within both the community and the organization.  Captain Palka’s relationship-based policing style, combined with his solid rapport with community groups and government leaders, has created an environment where community members and businesses feel safe to naturally thrive to their fullest potential.  He brings to the table energy, engagement and experience.

Captain Palka’s roots in Los Angeles began in 1966, when he and his family settled into the Mar Vista Gardens community located in Pacific Area.  Captain Palka fondly recalls that decade in his youth as the “framing years” of his life.  He attributes his father’s positive and profound influence as the incentive to engage in community service, volunteerism, civic responsibility, selfless sacrifice and hard work. 

A bright student athlete, Captain Palka graduated from Venice High School in 1981 and attended West Los Angeles Community College followed by California State University, Sacramento where he received a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice.  With promising life experience and education supporting him, Captain Palka began his career as a Los Angeles Police Officer in July 1986.  In a fortuitous twist of fate, Captain Palka returned to the Mar Vista Gardens community as a determined foot-beat officer in the early 1990’s and was resolved to making a difference in the very same community where he lived during his formative years.  He quickly gained community praise for his work, and with the resulting optimism and conviction of a young police officer, Captain Palka decided to further his education, earning a fellowship grant to the University of Southern California (USC) as part of a City of Los Angeles-USC Fellowship Program.  In May of 1992, he proudly received his Master’s Degree in Public Administration from USC.

Captain Palka eventually promoted to sergeant in the LAPD and was recognized as supervisor of the year in West Valley Area.  Later, after promoting to the rank of lieutenant, he was recognized again as supervisor of the year in Rampart Area where he worked both as a watch commander and as the Officer in Charge of the Rampart Area Gang Impact Team.  He has held assignments in a wide range of field operations and has worked at police stations in the LAPD’s West, Central and Valley Bureaus spanning over two decades.  In 2011, Captain Palka participated in LAPD’s response to the Occupy Los Angeles movement at City Hall while assigned to Central Area.   He also spent three years at Internal Affairs Group as an investigator in the Workplace Investigations Unit and was a major-case investigator.  Prior to achieving his current rank, Captain Palka spent 18 months as an Adjutant to the Commanding Officer, Operations-Valley Bureau (OVB).  Palka largely credits that experience for accelerating and refining his leadership skill-set which is dependent on strong internal and external relationships.  Through his various assignments all over the City, and his requisite relationship-based policing style, Captain Palka has helped facilitate organizational development, economic improvement, enhanced quality of life, and reduction of crime in all the areas and communities he has worked.

Adding to his formal institutional and organizational education, Captain Cory Palka has attended several prestigious schools in police leadership; the most notable being the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) National Academy (Class No. 246).  Captain Palka is also a graduate of USC’s Delinquency Control Institute (94th Class), and LAPD’s West Point Leadership Development Program.  He has also been an adjunct instructor at College of Canyons in Valencia, and has taught in LAPD’s DARE Program. 

Captain Palka’s participation in professional organizations includes membership in the FBI National Academy Associates, the International Association of Chief of Police, the Latin American Law Enforcement Association and the LAPD’s Command Officers Association.  He can be reached at