Thursday, October 13, 2011

Howard Jordan sworn in as Interim Oakland Police Chief

Howard Jordan was sworn in today as the Interim Police Chief of the Oakland Police Department at a press conference at City Hall. Jordan is a 23 year veteran of the Oakland Police Department and served in the role of Interim Chief for 9 months in 2009 before Chief Batts came to Oakland.  City Administrator Deanna Santana, Mayor Quan and Chief Jordan spoke at the press conference and all said achieving full compliance with the Federal Courts’ Negotiated Settlement Agreement (NSA) by January 2012 is a top priority.

Santana said the appointment of Jordan will stand until the January NSA deadline.  At that time she will either conduct a formal national search for a new Chief as she did in San Jose, conduct a more informal search or simply appoint Jordan to the role permanently.

Jordan was asked how he would handle the difficult bureaucracy and lack of authority cited by departing Chief Batts.  Jordan said he would work collaboratively with Ms. Santana.  When asked about the need for the crime fighting tools of gang injunctions, curfews and anti-loitering laws, Jordan said they were only tools and that he would work with the Council and City Administrator.

Mayor Quan said she would be announcing a Public Safety Strategy at her Neighborhood Safety Summit this Saturday, October 15, from 8 am to 1:30 pm at Laney College.  This may disappoint some groups who said at a recent Council meeting that they hoped there would be community input into any Public Safety Plan.

It was also announced that Tom Frazier has been retained by the City to help achieve compliance with the NSA.  Frazier served for 10 years as Executive Director of the Major Cities Police Chiefs Association and has been a Federal Monitor of U.S. Dept. of Justice Consent decrees in Los Angeles and Detroit.

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