Why | Current Status | In the News | Search Process | Timeline | References

Why this is happening: 

See 3 police Chiefs in 3 days for background on the background. Mayor Jean Quan announced in August, 2013 that she would be looking for a permanent Chief to replace interim Chief Sean Whent.

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Current Status

UPDATE: On Wednesday, May 14th, 2014, Quan named Chief Whent as the permanent Chief of Police. See Press Release.

UPDATE: During the Public Safety Mayoral Debate, Quan said that she and current (and departing) City Administrator Fred Blackwell would be hiring a Chief within the month- so during April. However, when contacted by the Tribune, her staff said the first or second week of May. Quan's comments during the debate were very positive about Interim Chief Whent.6

UPDATE: In March, 2014, the city hired Ralph Anderson and Associates for  $49,500 to finish the search. The application process has been reopened and will be open through April. The city will also consider applicants that have already applied. The city says that they will name a new chief by June.5

UPDATE: After Bob Murray quit, Oakland hired the International Association of Chiefs of Police to work with the list that Murray had started. In March, 2014, the city announced that they were ending negotiations with the group: the Association does not give benefits to same sex couples. Now the search is stalled again.4

UPDATE: On December 30th, 2013, SFGate reported that the head hunter, Bob Murray. hired by the city at $100,000 had withdrawn from the position. He stated that city officials were meddling in the process. Sean Maher, Mayor Jean Quan's spokesperson said staffers had talked to "a couple" of individuals who were interested in applying, before the position was officially closed.

In a twist, Murray was the same headhunter who recommended city administrator Deanna Santana for the City Manager position in Dallas. Question: does anyone know which came first: the recommendation of Santana for Dallas or the recommendation by Santana for this headhunter?

UPDATE: As of December 12, 2013, 32 people have applied for the position including interim Police Chief Sean Whent.

Next Steps:

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In the News:

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This was the search process. It was meant to be engage citizens.

On October 7, 2013, the City updated the website with the following announcement: 

"The City of Oakland is embarking on a several-month process to conduct a national search for a permanent Police Chief of the Oakland Police Department (OPD). Our goal is to ensure that the best and brightest candidates emerge from a nationwide recruitment process within the required timeline. The City will engage the community and the Police Department workforce early on to maximize stakeholder input. This input will be used to develop a position profile for the professional recruiter to identify qualified candidates and to guide the Administration on the best candidates. Your input will help make this recruitment a success."

The following memo was sent to City Council to explain the process. oak043311.pdf

Schedule of events:


Tentative Schedule

Community and Stakeholder Outreach Meetings


Release of Position Profile Brochure/Advertise Position

November 1

Open Application Period

November 1 - 29

Screening of Candidates


Selection Process

January-March 2014

Take the Police Chief Recruitment Community Survey!

Email: [email protected]

Phone: 510-238-3600

Address: Office of the City Administrator
              Attn: Police Chief Recruitment
              1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 3rd Floor
              Oakland, CA 94612

Community Meetings:

Date Time Location
Monday, October 21 6:30 p.m. Measure Y Oversight Committee Meeting
City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room #1
Tuesday, October 22 6:00 p.m. Public Safety Committee – McClymonds High School (Special Location)
2607 Myrtle Street
Thursday, October 24 6:15 p.m. CPRB Meeting 
City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, City Council Chambers
Monday, October 28 6:00 p.m. Citywide Community Meeting – Castlemont High School 
8601 MacArthur Blvd.
Wednesday, October 30 6:00 p.m. Citywide Community Meeting – Garden Center
666 Bellevue Ave.
Monday, November 4 5:00 p.m. Youth Commission Meeting
City Hall, 150 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, 4th Floor, Conference Room #1
Wednesday, November 6 6:00 p.m. CPAB Meeting
City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, Hearing Room #3
Thursday, November 7 6:00 p.m. Citywide Community Meeting - Downtown 
City Hall, 1 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza, City Council Chambers
Thursday, October 3 - 
Thursday, November 7

Various Various NCPC Meetings – Opportunities to collect input. 
Click here to view the schedule of upcoming NCPC meetings.

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On Aug 18, 2013 the Chronicle reported that Mayor Jean Quan is searching for a new Police Chief.

At a meeting on August 7, 2013 Area 3 Captain Orozco said that there were no plans to search for a police chief as Compliance Director Thomas Frazier was very content with Chief Sean Whent. Recent reports from the Compliance Director also indicate that Frazier is content with Whent.

According to the Chronicle report, a headhunter will be hired by the end of August at the cost of $100,000 and there will be a nationwide search. The new Chief will be approved by the City Council.

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  1. Kane, Will. "Hurdles, expectations for next Oakland police chief." San Francisco Chronicle: Aug 18, 2013.
  2. Johnson, Chip. "Oakland police chief makes headway on crime." SFGate.com: Dec 12, 2013.
  3. Kane, Will. "Hired to find new Oakland police chief, consultant quits." SFGate.com: Dec 30, 2013.
  4. Artz, Matthew. "Oakland police chief search delayed again." Oakland Tribune: Mar 12, 2014.
  5. Artz, Matthew. "Oakland resumes police chief search." Oakland Tribune: Mar 28, 2014.
  6. Artz, Matthew. "Citywise: Quan lauds interim police chief; blames former chief for 100 Blocks gaffe." Oakland Tribune: Apr 4, 2014.

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