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Oakland mayor says police chief search moving along

The lengthy process for selecting a new permanent chief for the Oakland Police Department is continuing to move along slowly and reached a
milestone last Friday when the period for candidates to submit their applications closed, Mayor Libby Schaaf said today.

The city will begin conducting interviews with select candidates in December. Schaaf didn’t say when she hopes to hire a new chief, but the city’s police chief recruitment page lists January as a possible selection date.

Oakland hasn’t had a permanent chief since former police Chief Sean Whent suddenly resigned on June 9 amid a widespread sexual misconduct scandal in the department.

City Administrator Sabrina Landreth has been in charge of the Police Department since June 15, with Acting Assistant Police Chief David Downing in charge of tactical and operations matters.

Schaaf said two community members will serve on a panel that will advise her on selecting a new chief.

She said her selection of those community members will be informed by the results of a community-wide survey that ran from early September through October as well as the 10 community forums the city held with adults and youths from across Oakland.

Schaaf said residents who would still like to offer feedback or suggestions for the selection of the two community members for the hiring
panel may email or call (510) 238-3600 by

In a statement, Schaff said:

“To ensure that this recruitment process is successful, we have a responsibility to move forward in a manner that is both transparent and community-driven. It is essential that the public has a genuine opportunity to develop the road map for how they expect the Police Department to move forward under new leadership and that they are kept abreast of the process at each key step.”

Schaaf said general community input will be considered throughout the process, right up to the appointment of the new permanent chief.

She said the city will continue to update residents at key milestones in the process. Oakland residents who want to learn more about the process can
visit the city’s police chief recruitment page at


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