Oakland hires third police chief in three days
The Oakland Police Department installed its third chief in three days on Friday, as members of the City Council complained they were being kept out of the loop on the tumult in the department.
KNTV-TV reported that Deputy Chief Sean Whent, head of the department’s Risk Management bureau, was sworn in to replace interim chief Anthony Toribio. Toribio only lasted 48 hours helming the department following chief Howard Jordan’s surprise announcement on May 8 that he was stepping down, citing health concerns.
“I have been part of the team that has worked with national experts in the fields of crime reduction and enforcement strategies to develop a hot-off-the press plan for tackling robberies, burglaries, and shootings,” said Whent after being sworn in. “I am confident that we can implement the recommendations in that plan in short order.”
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, Mayor Jean Quan and City Administrator Deanna Santana selected Whent as part of an overall reshuffling of department leadership, following meetings with Thomas Frazier and Robert Warshaw, the two officials appointed by a federal court to monitor the department as part of the 2003 settlement of the “Riders” police misconduct case involving officer attacks on suspects.
The department was raked over the coals in recent reports by both Frazier, who found that supervisors often covered up for officers’ misdeeds and found evidence of misconduct during the Occupy Oakland protests and a consulting group that included former Los Angeles Police Chief Bill Bratton, which determined that it wasn’t doing enough to handle the city’s burgeoning burglary problem, with one part-time investigator in charge of handling 10,000 reported burglaries in 2012.
Meanwhile, Oakland City Council member Noel Gallo expressed concern over the recent flurry of changes, saying the council was not apprised of the moves.
“We can’t keep changing quarterbacks, coaches every other week or year or every two years,” Gallo told the station. “We’re gonna be just like the Oakland Raiders, in last place.”
Watch KNTV’s report on Oakland’s police shake-up, aired Friday, below.
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