LeRonne Armstrong sworn in as new Oakland police chief

Monday, February 8, 2021
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A ceremony took place in Oakland to swear in LeRonne Armstrong as the city's new police chief.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- LaRonne Armstrong was sworn in as Oakland's Police Chief Monday morning. Mayor Libby Schaaf administered his oath outside in the courtyard of McClymonds High School, Armstrong's alma mater.

He is a 22-year-veteran of the police department. He was surrounded by family and friends as he took his oath.

Mayor Schaaf spoke to his loved ones during her speech, saying they will need to hold him close as he faces the challenges of leading this department, calling it the "toughest job in the country."

Armstrong was a bit choked up during his speech, saying he is grateful to have been chosen. He thanked his mother for believing in him during the ceremony.

"She had two jobs and walked us to school with no car. She told me when I was young 'boy there is something special about you,'" Armstrong said.

Armstrong replaces interim chief Susan Manheimer, who came over from San Mateo's police department in March and whose contract as interim chief just expired.

Armstrong lost his brother to gun violence. City leaders say that will make him uniquely qualified to take this job as gun violence is surging here in Oakland.

Armstrong is described as well respected and a straight shooter who shined during the selection process. He just found out Friday that he got the job and is now officially sworn in.

Armstrong will face rising crime in Oakland, deep budget cuts, and an ongoing process of re-imagining police services in a way that will divert some duties away from sworn officers.