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Police Chief Batts to Remain in Oakland

| February 4, 2011
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Photo: Oakland Police Dept

The Oakland Police Department sent out a press release today announcing Chief Anthony Batts is staying on.

On February 4, 2011, after engaging in numerous conversations with the Mayor and other City Officials, Chief Batts announced he will remain Chief of Police in the City of Oakland. “I want to thank the Mayor, City Administrator, and other City officials; they have said they understand the needs of the police officers who work diligently for the residents of Oakland, and are willing to work with me to address those needs.”

Since the announcement of his candidacy for the position of Chief of Police in San Jose, Chief Batts has received an outpouring of support through emails, phone calls, approaches by people on the street, and conversations in hallways. “The support I received was overwhelming. I know the residents and employees of Oakland care about this City and its Police Department. Thank you for your support. Especially Ms. Mary Miles of the Family Day Care Center whose students posed with posters with a message reading Chief Batts Please Don’t Leave.” The Chief also stated that he is “ready to roll up his sleeves and get back to work.”

After finishing second in the competition to head the San Jose Police Department, some question existed as to whether Batts would remain in Oakland. Last Thursday, the Oakland Tribune reported:

(Batts) hasn’t applied anywhere else, he said, but he refused to commit to Oakland for the long haul unless he sees the city do the same.

“This police department is underfunded and is in need of the very basics to get the job done,” Batts said. He had not spoken up until now, he said, because “the decisions were being made by my bosses.”

Asking to be quoted as Anthony Batts — rather than as the chief of police — Batts said the July layoffs of 80 officers were “a horrendous decision,” adding, “The police department cannot be seen as a pariah, with no support, sitting out there by itself.”

…As to his future, Batts said in a news release, “I have not made a final decision as to my future with this agency. It still needs to be determined if I am a fit for the city of Oakland’s vision for the future.” In an interview, he added, “I work my butt off. Unless there’s support on all sides, there’s no need for me to be here.”

Last week, Mayor Quan announced she was rehiring 10 of 80 police officers laid off last year. Oakland North reported that Quan said “the city is trying to listen to the police officers’ needs and promised that, despite what she called a ‘tough budget year,’ there would be other positive things in store for the department in the coming months.

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Category: Law Enforcement, Oakland

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