Oakland, California will swear in a new acting police chief next week. Deputy Chief Sean Whent was chosen just two days after it was announced that Anthony Toribio would take on the interim role, in the wake of the decision of chief Howard Jordan to leave his position.
“Although my appointment is interim, I pledge to own the role and assignment as if it were not...,” Whent told reporters. “I have been part of the team that has worked with national experts in the fields of crime reduction and enforcement strategies to develop a hot-off-the press plan for tackling robberies, burglaries, and shootings. I am confident that we can implement the recommendations in that plan in short order.”
City Councilman Noel Gallo, who serves on the city's public safety committee, criticized the department's troubles. "It appears as though gangs and thugs are more organized than we are," Gallo told ABC News.
Whent served as deputy chief and commander of the department's Bureau of Risk Management, which oversees training, the Internal Affairs division, the Office of Inspector General, and other units. A 17-year veteran, Whent earned a BS degree in criminal justice administration from CSU East Bay, and is currently pursuing a master's degree in criminology, law, and society from the University of California at Irvine.
Toribio said he was turning down the interim role for “personal” reasons, and no additional explanation was offered. The previous chief, Jordan, announced his resignation Wednesday after a 19-month tenure, citing medical reasons.
Jordan's departure came one week after the department's federal overseer issued a report critical of Jordan for not reigning in rogue officers. The overseer plans to reopen several internal affairs cases in which officers were cleared of wrongdoing.