City Hires Sean Whent to Lead Police Department

Mayor Quan swore in Sean Whent on Wednesday confirming him as Chief of Police of the Oakland Police Department. Photo by Spencer Whitney.

Mayor Quan swore in Sean Whent on Wednesday confirming him as Chief of Police of the Oakland Police Department. Photo by Spencer Whitney.

Mayor Jean Quan announced Tuesday that interim chief Sean Whent will become the new chief of the Oakland Police Department

Whent has served as the interim chief since Howard Jordan resigned last May for medical reasons.

 

Whent has proven himself to be the leader that both the department and the city need, said Quan.

“He has built a strong leadership team that works together,” she said, calling new chief progressive collaborative.

“You can see and feel the difference in the community,” Quan added.

While he says there still much work to be done, Whent says he is excited to be in the position and hopes to continue the progress the department has made in the last 12 months.

Whent is an 18-year OPD veteran. He has worked in the Patrol Division, Criminal Investigations Division, Support Operations Division, Internal Affairs Division and the Office of Inspector General.

Prior to his appointment as chief, he was a Deputy Chief in charge of the Bureau of Risk Management.

Since Whent became interim chief, Oakland has seen its second-largest decline in homicides in 40 years. Crime rates are continuing to drop, with declines of more than 30 percent in shootings, robberies and home burglaries so far in 2014, according to the City.

In April, the largest graduating class of new officers from the Police Academy joined the force.

“I know it’s only with true partnership between our police and our communities that Oakland is getting safer,” he said.

Whent expressed his confidence that OPD will fully fulfill the tasks associated with the Negotiated Settlement Agreement, which has meant that the department has remained under the supervision of federal Judge Thelton Henderson and court-appointed monitors since 2003.

Oakland has had a difficult time retaining a police chief role in recent years. After the resignation of Wayne Tucker in 2009, the city hired Anthony Batts, former Long Beach Chief of Police.

Batts abruptly resigned in October 2011, citing issues working with the city’s leadership officials. Howard Jordan was named interim police chief and confirmed as chief in February 2012

 

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