Exploring the background of Oakland's new police chief

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Oakland Mayor Libbie Schaaf announced Anne Kirkpatrick as Oakland's new police chief Wednesday. (KGO-TV)

Anne Kirkpatrick will have to deal with several scandals that hit the Oakland Police department in recent years. She appears to be suited for the job with a background as a police reformer, but she has her critics.

RELATED: Anne Kilpatrick introduced as Oakland's new police chief

The Chicago Police Board chose 57-year-old Kirkpatrick as one of three finalists for the Top Cop position in 2016. When she didn't get it, the mayor picked Kirkpatrick to head the police reform efforts after the shooting of a 17-year-old boy-a case that sparked national outrage.

"I'm confident that she'll be very successful in Oakland," said President of the Chicago Police Board Lori Lightfoot.

Lightfoot was impressed by Kirkpatrick, calling her a natural leader.

"Oakland has a lot of the same challenges in its police department and with the violence that Chicago has, she's got a lot of experience that she'll bring to bear in the job that lies ahead," Lightfoot said.

For the job in Chicago, Kirkpatrick wrote that officers should have the mindset of "guardians first and warriors when they have to be."

At Wednesday's news conference she sought to reassure officers who may be concerned about an outsider becoming chief. "I have the courage to stand by you," Kirkpatrick said. "And I will."

She started as a police officer in Memphis 34 years ago and rose through the ranks of small departments in Washington State. Then she served as Chief Deputy for the King County Sheriff and taught leadership to law enforcement executives at the FBI academy.

About a month before Kirkpatrick left Spokane a jury ruled she wrongfully fired a detective accused of threatening his wife and awarded him $7,000 in damages.

Click here for Kirkpatrick's essay responses for the Chicago police.

Click here to read Kirkpatrick's resume.

FULL VIDEO: Oakland mayor introduces Anne Kirkpatrick
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