Oakland Police Chief resigns under pressure from city leaders

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Sources say Oakland police Chief Sean Whent has resigned Friday from the Oakland Police Department. (KGO-TV)

Sources say Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent has resigned from the Oakland Police Department under pressure from city leaders.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf confirmed Thursday that Whent has resigned.

RELATED: Fourth Oakland police officer put on leave in sexual misconduct investigation

"Chief Whent's decision to resign was a personal choice which we respect," Schaaf said in a news release. "Under his leadership Oakland has gotten safer, experiencing a 39 percent decrease in shootings and murders since 2013, and a 46 percent year-to-date reduction in homicides. Chief Whent has also done the critical work of driving sustainable, principled policing in Oakland."

The police department has come under pressure under Whent's watch, criticized for its handling of an underage sex scandal.

Whent is a 19-year veteran of the force. He's been chief since May 2014.

RELATED: Mayor Schaaf says police misconduct allegations are 'very disturbing'

Schaaf and city administrator Sabrina Landreth announced that Ben Fairow, Deputy Chief of BART's Police Department, will become the Interim Chief of Police, while the city conducts a national recruitment for a new police chief.

Whent issued a statement Thursday night: "I am so proud to have served Oakland over the course of my two decade-long career," Whent said. "When I took this job three years ago as interim chief, I vowed to help move the department forward and make Oakland safer by forging a stronger relationship with members of this diverse community. I am proud to have done that.

Schaaf, Landreth and Fairow will hold a news conference Friday at 9 a.m. at City Hall.
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