John W. Tompkins was the first police chief for the City of Oakland, California. The 1889 enactment of the new charter was approved by the legislature changing the title of the department head from captain to chief.

At that time the Oakland Police Department was quite small, with only 23 patrolmen, two sergeants, two captains and Chief Tompkins at the helm. Rounding out the department were two jailers (one during the day shift and one at night), and eleven special officers.

In 1887, Tompkins was the Marshal and Tax Collector.

Links and References