In the past several months, leaders within the Oakland Police Department have either resigned from or have been removed from their positions. A new command staff has been put into place, and elected officials are hoping this will help bring about much-needed change within the ranks.
The newly named acting Chief of Police is Sean Whent, who has spent more than 17 years with the department. Whent replaces Anthony Toribio, who resigned from the post after just two days. Toribio replaced Howard Jordan, who said he was leaving the position due to medical reasons.
Three new deputy chiefs were also named. This decision may be directly linked to a recent report by the Oakland Police Department’s federal overseer. That report criticized the department for not implementing practices and policies that protect the rights of citizens. The brass is not holding officers accountable for misconduct, he said. Leadership has allowed bad-behavior to go unpunished. The culture of the department needs to change, racial profiling needs to be cut down, and police shootings need to be reduced.
A second outside consultant has also recommended making changes within the OPD, but these are reportedly related to increasing efficiencies in dealing with the city’s high crime rate. Today, the Oakland PD has approximately 25% fewer officers on the street than it did five years ago. Local elected officials say they will continue to work with the federal overseer and the outside consulting group to ensure that residents are safe and that the department is in compliance with federal mandates.