A community news source for residents of the HarriOak neighborhood in Oakland, CA.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

New Police Chief Announced

Here is the press release from the City Administrator's Office:


OAKLAND – Marking an important milestone in the implementation of Oakland ’s comprehensive public safety strategy, Mayor Ron Dellums today announced Anthony Batts as Oakland ’s new Chief of Police. Batts brings nearly 30 years of experience as a member of the City of Long Beach Police Department, where he has served as Chief for the past seven years. Under his leadership, the crime rate in Long Beach fell to its lowest level since 1975, and officer-involved shootings have decreased by 70 percent.

“Chief Batts is an extraordinarily capable police chief whose professional expertise, outstanding leadership skills and brilliant operational savvy make him the right choice for Oakland . Coming from a similar-sized port city with one of the most diverse populations in the country, Chief Batts understands the complexity of running an urban police department and implementing change to improve the quality of life in Oakland and engage the community to enhance public safety. I am confident that our residents, police department staff and city officials alike will find Chief Batts to be an accomplished leader and a great police chief for Oakland ,” said Mayor Dellums.

At the outset of the selection process, Mayor Dellums established rigorous criteria for evaluating candidates for the new chief. He wanted a reform-minded chief who understands that public safety requires a multi-pronged approach (prevention, intervention, enforcement and sustainability) , who would fully implement community policing and whose commitment to achieving full compliance with the Negotiated Settlement Agreement overseen by Judge Thelton Henderson would serve to complete the reforms now underway in the Oakland Police Department.

The decision was made in consultation with well recognized policing experts, including a panel of leading police chiefs (such as Los Angeles Police Chief William J. Bratton and San Francisco Police Chief George Gascón). In conjunction with members of the city council, criminologists and other community members, requirements for Oakland ’s next police chief were identified: (1) Oakland needs a police chief with extensive experience as a police chief; (2) Oakland needs a chief who is committed to reform; and (3) the chief must be unwaveringly committed to community policing. Mayor Dellums said: “Chief Batts personifies these characteristics. I want to applaud and thank members of the City Council, members of the community and the expert panel for their valuable assistance.”

“Chief Batts is not only respected by the residents of Long Beach , but he is considered one of the real stars in the country,” Mayor Dellums continued. “With his leadership, we will continue to build upon the successful efforts now underway in the city of Oakland such as reorganized public safety districts, geographic accountability, innovative public-private partnerships, public safety coordination and our commitment to community policing, all of which have contributed to double-digit decrease in crime during the last year.”

Chief Batts said: “Safety, service and hope are the building blocks we provide to a community rich in diversity, opportunity and promise. Our job is to turn citizen concerns into our service imperatives.”

Mayor Dellums thanked Chief Howard Jordan for an exemplary job as Acting Police Chief. “He is a stalwart public servant and a champion for his staff and this city. I know that he will work diligently with Chief Batts as we move forward with the necessary reforms to implement change and improve the quality of life for all of our residents.”

Chief Jordan will remain Acting Police Chief until Chief Batts officially starts his new role in September.

Mayor Dellums and Chief Batts will sit down with media on Monday, August 17 at 1 pm at City Hall


In 1982, Chief Batts started out on street patrol and worked his way up to Long Beach ’s Chief of Police in 2002. Chief Batts has been responsible for a department consisting of 1,500 employees and a $200 million budget. Chief Batts served as a recognized agent of change throughout his nearly 30 year career with the Department. His innovative style has been utilized numerous times during his career to transform low-performing units into high performers. For more information regarding Chief Batts’ thoughts on protecting a city, please read “Community Oriented Public Safety: The Long Beach Experience”: http://findarticles .com/p/articles/ mi_m2194/ is_1_75/ai_ n16114607/

Chief Batts received a B.S. degree in Law Enforcement Administration from California State University, Long Beach; a Masters in Business Management from the University of Redlands; and a Doctorate in Public Administration from the University of La Verne. He is a graduate of the following executive programs: Harvard University Executive Development Course, FBI National Executive Institute, Police Executive Training Course, University of Southern California Delinquency Control Institute, FBI National Academy , Leadership Long Beach, Law Enforcement Command College , and International Association of Chiefs of Police S.W.A.T. Commander School. He is an active member of the Boy Scouts of America, California Police Chiefs Association, International Association of Chiefs of Police, Major Cities Association, and the Police Executive Research Forum.

Chief Batts has received numerous awards and commendations for heroism, crime reduction, community activism, and innovative programs at the local, state, and national level, including: California State University Alumni of the Year, Boy Scouts Distinguished Citizen Award, Leadership Long Beach Alumnus of the Year and recently honored by the Anti-Defamation League for his community outreach in an effort to erase anti-Semitism, bigotry and intolerance.

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