Captain Karen Leong is a 27-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department. Born in Inglewood, California, she grew up appreciating many cultures in Los Angeles County and in Hawaii, where she spent her summers with extended family. In 1992, she received a Bachelor of Arts from San Diego State University in Communications Studies and moved to Japan to teach English in three public schools. Soon after her return to Southern California in November of 1996 she found her calling and began her career with the Los Angeles Police Department.
As a police officer, Karen worked various assignments including patrol, narcotics, recruitment and several specialized units. In 2002, she promoted to a rank of Sergeant to serve as a field supervisor in Van Nuys and later Hollywood Area. Subsequently, she was selected as an Assistant Officer-in-Charge of the Community Relations Section, Office of the Chief of Police, where she served under Chief William J. Bratton and Chief Charlie Beck. In this assignment, Karen found her passion and commitment for serving diverse communities to improve their quality of life. In 2011, she completed her Master of Advanced Study from University of California, Irvine in Criminology, Law and Society.
In 2016, Karen promoted to Lieutenant and served for over five years as a Watch Commander at Hollywood Division, followed by her assignment to Audit Division and Information Technology Bureau. In September of 2023, she promoted to Captain and returned to Van Nuys Area as the Patrol Commanding Officer.
Karen resides with her teenage son, enjoys traveling. and exploring the world whenever she can.