The Van Nuys Community Police Station provides police services to the Sherman Oaks and Van Nuys neighborhoods, an area of 30 square miles with over 325,000 residents, and is under the jurisdiction of Valley Bureau.

Van Nuys Community Police Station
6240 Sylmar Avenue Van Nuys, CA 91401

818-756-8343 Voice   /   818-785-6619 TDD/TTY

Meet Your LAPD Station Captains

Captain Alex Vargas was born and raised in the city of Los Angeles. He is a 30-year veteran of the Los Angeles Police Department and is the Commanding Officer of Communications Division. Alex has prior commanding officer experience at Special Operations Division, Central and Olympic Patrol Divisions. Within these assignments, Alex encouraged increased community involvement and engagement, as well as sought ways to improve relationships among the Department, other law enforcement agencies, community-based organizations and the many diverse cultures and socio-economic groups.

As a police officer, he has worked many different assignments, including patrol in Central, Van Nuys, Hollywood, 77th Street, Hollenbeck and Newton Patrol Divisions. Specialized unit assignments in Van Nuys Vice, 77th Street Special Problems Unit, Hollenbeck Gang Enforcement Detail, Newton Community Law Enforcement And Recovery and Southwest Gang Impact Team. He was a geographic detective in Southeast and Southwest Detective Divisions and an investigator in Internal Affairs at Valley and Central Administrative Sections.

Alex graduated from California State University, Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Science with a minor in World Politics. He is currently pursuing a Master of Arts degree from the University of Southern California.

Alex has been a member of the Hispanic American Police Command Officers Association for the past ten years and has previously held the titles of Sergeant-At-Arms, Secretary, Treasurer and Vice President. He is also active in the Training, Special Events and Scholarship Committees. Alex has a passion for mentoring and has been active in California State University, Los Angeles Mentoring Program for the past ten years. He has also mentored hundreds of police officers, detectives, sergeants and lieutenants and successfully guided them through the promotional process. He is an avid runner and hiker and has run in numerous 5 and 10 K’s with his family.

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.