Mayor Quan appoints permanent police chief


Sean Whent

Ending a long search process, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan today appointed Interim Police Chief Sean Whent to be the city’s permanent police chief.

Whent, 39, was named interim chief on May 10, 2013, at the end of a chaotic week in which former chief Howard Jordan retired for health reasons and then-Assistant Chief Anthony Toribio took over the helm for only two days.

No one has lasted long as Oakland’s police chief in recent history.

Jordan had only been permanent chief for 15 months, since February 2012, before he stepped down. He previously had been appointed interim chief in October 2011 when former Chief Anthony Batts suddenly resigned after only two years on the job.

Oakland’s previous chief, Wayne Tucker, lasted less than four years when he announced his retirement in January 2009 after clashing with the City Council.

The search for a new chief was delayed because the first recruiting firm hired by the city quit in December after it accused Quan’s office of interfering in the selection process and the second recruiting firm the city planned to hire was disqualified for denying equal benefits to gay employees.

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