New candidates for Oakland police chief to be released during public forum this week

ByRyan Curry KGO logo
Tuesday, February 27, 2024
New candidates for Oakland police chief to be released this week
The new candidates for Oakland's chief of police are expected to be revealed on Thursday before a community forum.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The Oakland Police Commission this week will reveal new candidates for the chief of police. The new candidates are expected to be revealed on Thursday before a community forum.

Mayor Sheng Thao already rejected the first pool of candidates suggested by the commission. This comes as Oakland residents and business owners continue to ask for better public safety.

Ali Mohammed owns a market he says is being frequently targeted for robberies.

MORE: Chaos erupts at Oakland news conference as Mayor Thao announces new grant

"I think a week ago we had two break-ins within a period of three days," Mohammed said. "Cars are getting broken into, people are getting robbed, stores are getting broken into - and this has been going on for the past two years."

It has now been more than a year since Mayor Thao fired LeRonne Armstrong from his job. Armstrong is suing the city for wrongful termination, but the search continues. Community leaders are calling for a new chief to be appointed as soon as possible.

"People are afraid, and businesses are closing," said Carl Chan, president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, "We need to have the chief, the potential chief, have a basic understanding of the diverse cultures and to build the working relationship with all communities."

The forum will be open to the public, and it will start at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday at City Hall.

MORE: Former Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong files wrongful termination lawsuit against city, mayor

Large chains like In-N-Out and Denny's announced they are closing because crime is bad. Councilmember Noel Gallo says hiring a new chief is the most important thing the city can do right now.

"We are not responding to 911 calls," Gallo said, "We are not responding to 311 calls regarding the stolen vehicles, the abandon vehicles you know - breaking into your car, or your house."

Mohammed says he has thought about leaving. He says he often feels the city is not caring for people like him.

"I love this city but this crime is just pushing me out," he said, "We just want to be like a normal city. We just want to be like everybody else but unfortunately it is chaos around here."

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