Dennis Murata, deputy director of the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health, has retired after 35 years at the end of August.
He began his county career as a psychiatric social worker in 1984 after graduating from the UCLA School of Social Work, where he would later be honored as the Social Work Alumnus of the Year in 2007.
Murata held various management and executive positions, including acting chief deputy director, and served in a leadership role in many of the department’s major initiatives, such as the implementation and oversight of the Mental Health Services Act.
Throughout his career he was an advocate for underserved communities and groups and for cultural and ethnic diversity and inclusion. He received several honors from the department as well as from community agencies and groups for his work.
Born and raised in Boyle Heights, he graduated from Roosevelt High School and later CSU Northridge and UCLA. He is the son of the late Robert and Miyoko Murata and son-in-law of Ann Togioka. He resides in the South Bay with his wife Jan Murata and has two sons, Dean and Tyler.