Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick out after commission votes unanimously to fire her

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Friday, February 21, 2020
Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick out after commission votes unanimously to fire her
The Oakland Police Commission decided to fire Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick in a closed session Thursday night, according to Police Commission Chair Regina Jackson.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Oakland Police Commission voted unanimously in a closed session Thursday night to fire Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick.

Commission Chair Regina Jackson explained the termination was made without cause and while there have been notable successes under Kirkpatrick's leadership, the commission felt she was still lacking.

"There are a lot of improvements, but the disparities continue to exist. And there are a series of other issues that have just contributed to losing the confidence, we didn't think that she was going to be the most effective chief in Oakland," said Jackson.

Just three years ago, Mayor Libby Schaaf hired Kirkpatrick.

The first female police chief in the city's history.

Thursday, Schaaf was the one to inform Kirkpatrick, immediately after the decision was made.

RELATED: Anne Kirkpatrick sworn in as Oakland's new police chief

"If this commission unanimously does not continue to have confidence in this chief, I believe that it is my duty to heed their request," said Schaaf.

Kirkpatrick's firing was part of a weeklong conversation.

Commission Chair Jackson says Kirkpatrick is entitled to one-year salary as severance, that's around $273,000.

She says now, it's time for a new leader.

"We want a new chief to build community trust, to address the disparities that still exist, to diversify and grow the department to the level of respect to the level our officers and our community deserve," said Jackson.

"I do not regret choosing Chief Kirkpatrick, and I believe there are many examples of ways that she served our city extremely well over these three years," said Schaaf.

Read Mayor Schaaf's full statement here:

"The Police Commission is the community's voice in our system of checks and balances, and I respect its authority and its role. In 2016, Oakland voters created the strongest and most independent Police Commission in America. Tonight, the commissioners exercised their power. As Mayor, it is my duty to determine when the trust between The Police Commission and the Police Chief has become irrevocably lost and prevents Oakland from moving forward. I remain grateful to Chief Kirkpatrick for coming to serve Oakland in the wake of a shameful episode in the department's history and bringing a steady leadership that stabilized the department. Under her leadership, Oakland saw one of its lowest periods of gun violence and officer-involved shootings, as well as new anti-racial profiling policies that significantly reduced discretionary stops of African Americans. I am grateful for Chief Kirkpatrick's service to our city for the past three years."

Read Commissioner Jackson's full statement here:

"Since the Commission's inception, the Commissioners, along with the rest of the citizens of the City of Oakland, observed the Oakland Police Department's failure to increase compliance with the court-ordered reforms required under the Negotiated Settlement Agreement (NSA). The Commission's vote reflects our desire to see the City of Oakland move ahead under new leadership. The Commission looks forward to working with Mayor Schaaf to identify a Chief of Police who will build trust in the community and address racial and gender disparities that continue to exist in the Department and in our City. Our new Chief must address use of force issues and end the need for a court-appointed monitor. The Commission demands a leader who will diversify and grow the Department to the level of respect that our officers and community deserve. The Department must be a model of constitutional policing and justice, and the Commission is committed to working with the Mayor to find the right next leader."

Here's a statement from the Oakland Police Officer's Association on the firing of Chief Kirkpatrick:

Oakland Police Officers have the most challenging job in law enforcement. The Oakland Police Chief is the most difficult Chiefs' job in the nation. Those difficulties in doing and keeping the job were illustrated today with the termination of Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick by the Mayor and Police Commission.

Oakland Police Officers' Association President Barry Donelan explained "Chief Anne Kirkpatrick was a well-respected leader of the Oakland Police Department (OPD) and was making significant progress in bringing stability to OPD. But, fighting for Oakland's residents and Police Officers alike does not endear you to Oakland's unelected Police Commissioners and our Mayor. Oakland Police Officers are disappointed in the actions of the Police Commission and the Mayor. These events don't bode well for public safety in Oakland. Oakland's robbery epidemic continues, we face sideshows every weekend, Oakland Police Officer numbers are attriting downward, and crime in every category was up in 2019."

The Oakland Police Officers' Association stands ready to work with whomever is our next Chief of Police. Despite the changes at the top of the department, Oakland Police Officers continue to come to work every day and serve our residents in California's most crime challenged city.