NewsOakland Mayor Sheng Thao Appoints New Police Chief

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao Appoints New Police Chief

On March 22, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao announced the hiring of Floyd Mitchell, the former police chief of Lubbock, Texas, to the same position in the Bay Area city. 

Good Morning, Oakland. Today, I am honored to announce the next Chief of the Oakland Police Department.Watch the video to learn more. pic.twitter.com/nbRVHFVGPG— Mayor Sheng Thao 盛桃 (@MayorShengThao) March 22, 2024

“I know that he’s a strong leader, and I know that he’s a smart crime fighter who delivers results,” Thao told KQED in an interview. “His commitment to proven crime-reduction strategies include proactive policing, and the most important part is the strong officer community engagement.”

Mitchell’s record of effective crime reduction in Texas, where he was the City of Lubbock’s first Black police chief, made him an attractive hire for Thao.

In Temple, a smaller Texas town, the mayor’s office said that crime fell each year Mitchell was police chief. 

Others are concerned about other aspects of Mitchell’s record, such as former Alameda County Superior Court Judge Brenda Harbin-Forte, who told KQED she was concerned about 911 response times.

“I am troubled by some of what he brings, particularly as it relates to 911 response times. He left his old job because of concerns with that. Oakland, as you know, has for months been trying to fix our 911 response time,” Harbin-Forte said. “I hope he will be able to get up to speed and get Oakland up to speed on this.”

Thao, as Mercury News reported, believes that Mitchell can implement one of the department’s key violence interruption initiatives, similar to others being employed around the country. 

As The Guardian reported, Operation Ceasefire, as Oakland’s initiative is known, was shifted by the pandemic and never returned to its pre-pandemic focus on people as opposed to another version of “broken-windows” policing. 

Thao conceded that Mitchell is going to have to answer the questions swirling about his resignation around the 911 response time. Thao admitted that despite stating that Mitchell was candid in his interview with her.

“There were no excuses from him,” Thao told the outlet. “He talked about what he learned from the situation that makes him a better police officer, a better chief.”

However, as an outsider, that is someone not familiar with Oakland, Mitchell is going to have to get the department to buy into his program, as former Police Chief of Oakland Anne Kirkpatrick told Mercury News.

Cat Brooks, the co-founder of Oakland’s Anti Police-Terror Project, told KQED of her concerns. “I’m concerned that might be a move he makes to quell the more conservative, carceral voices that have gotten louder in Oakland.”

Mitchell, as Oaklandside reports, released a balanced initial statement to the City of Oakland.

“As Oakland’s police chief I look forward to working together with our residents, business owners, city leadership, and members of the police commission to build a stronger and safer Oakland,” Mitchell said. “I am excited about the opportunity to meet the members of the police department, interact with all the people who call this beautiful city home, and become an integral part of this special place.”

RELATED CONTENT: Former Oakland Police Chief Files Lawsuit Alleging Wrongful Termination And First Amendment Violation


Source: Black Enterprise

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