New fire chief selected in Laguna Beach, public invited to ceremony

LAGUNA BEACH, Calif. — The Laguna Beach Fire Department has a new fire chief who will bring approximately three decades of firefighting experience to the position, the city announced Wednesday.

Niko King will be sworn in as the city’s new fire chief on July 5, taking over from outgoing fire chief Mike Garcia. He is the city’s 20th fire chief and will be paid $225,000 a year, the city said.

King’s firefighting experience includes 28 years with the Sacramento Fire Department, where he served six years as Deputy Fire Chief most recently. According to the city, he has extensive supervisory and management experience, and his background includes expertise in the following areas: fire operations, administration, fire prevention, emergency preparedness, training and development, and emergency medical services.

“Chief King is recognized as a professional, dedicated and fair leader with high integrity, who motivates others and has a great passion for the fire service,” said Laguna Beach City Manager Shohreh Dupuis. , in a press release. “We are thrilled that Chief King will continue the success of the fire department by providing exceptional services to our community in fire prevention, fire protection and emergency management.”

Prior to serving as deputy fire chief, King worked for more than five years as the deputy fire chief of Sacramento. While serving, he oversaw the Training Division to include a new recruit academy.

He holds a master’s degree in homeland security studies from the Naval Postgraduate School; a Master of Science in Emergency Services Administration from California State University Long Beach; and a bachelor’s degree in applied science, business administration, and organizational communication from California State University Sacramento.

King is moving to Southern California and says he’s always enjoyed visiting Laguna Beach.

“I am thrilled and honored to be selected to serve as the next Laguna Beach Fire Department Chief,” King said. “I look forward to working with the wonderful men and women of the Fire Department, the City’s leadership team, local residents and business owners to continue to ensure the Department fulfills its mission at the highest level.”

Laguna Beach residents are invited to meet Chief King at a badge presentation and swearing-in ceremony from 4-6 p.m. July 5 at the City Council Chambers, 505 Forest Ave.

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