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Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts announces resignation

on October 11, 2011

Oakland Chief of Police Anthony Batts announced his resignation Tuesday afternoon. Batts was appointed to lead the Oakland police department in 2009 and came close to leaving early this year when he was a finalist for the San Jose police chief job. Mayor Jean Quan, City Administrator Deanna Santana and Batts have scheduled a press conference for 3 p.m. at at City Hall.

Here is the letter released Tuesday by Oakland city officials:


Dear Oakland Residents,

It is with great regret that I tender this official notice of my intent to resign as Chief of Police for the City of Oakland.

In 2009, I answered the call for a reform-minded chief; a leader with a focus on community policing and high professional standards. I was told Oakland residents were looking for a strong, visible leader to engage the community and reduce violent crime. My goal was to help rebuild a once proud, professional department, geared toward crime reduction and community services

With this goal in mind, rather than a chief managing a diverse department of law enforcement professionals making the streets of Oakland safe, I found myself with limited control, but full accountability. The landscape has changed radically over the past two years with new and different challenges.

I am pleased with the fact that over the past two years, we have implemented positive changes, endeavoring to make Oakland a safer place, including:

– Reducing violent crime by 27% in 2010;
– Ending the 25-year public safety problem of street racing and cruising
– Securing a 25 officer grant to enhance community policing, school
safety and to offset officer layoffs;
– Establishing a lapel camera program to impact compliance with consent
decree requirements;
– Improving department relations with our diverse community;
– Securing a $1 million grant from The Kaiser Foundation for the OK
police mentoring program;
– Completing a major reorganization of the police department to reflect
reduced staffing levels and better meet the policing needs of the Oakland
– Creating a five-year strategic plan;
– Re-establishing the Police Foundation and;
– Reducing some level of compliance on all 51 tasks of the NSA, with only
12 remaining to move into full compliance.

I have great respect for the citizens of Oakland and the good men and women of the Oakland Police Department.  However, with a heavy heart, I have recognized that the conditions, under which I was hired as Chief, have changed and do not allow me to fulfill the primary mission – to provide an environment where one can live, work, play, and thrive free from crime and the fear of crime.  To the men and women of the Oakland Police Department, and the residents of this city, it has been an honor and privilege to serve
with you.


Anthony W. Batts

Chief of Police


  1. Seth Warren on October 11, 2011 at 2:53 pm

    You’ll be missed, sir.

  2. Neils on October 11, 2011 at 5:00 pm


  3. […] said he was stepping down because of a lack of resources, and wrote a very telling letter posted here (thanks to Oakland North) in its entirety that reads in part: It is with great regret that I tender […]

  4. Jacqueli2000 on October 11, 2011 at 11:24 pm

    `Chief Batts is departing the Oakland, Ca community far too soon; he needs at least five years to have a favorable impact; his premature departure after only two years on the job leads me to believe that Chief Batts was disingenuine when he accepted the position of Oakland’s Top Cop.

    • themacinator on October 20, 2011 at 9:10 pm

      i think you’re exactly right. none of the reasons he’s given hold any water. too many bosses? they were there to begin with. not enough cops? did he honestly think he was going to get more? no money? come on, dude.

      i think this is about ego. he wasn’t getting what he wanted, which was the spotlight, and that wasn’t going to change any time soon.

  5. fred on October 12, 2011 at 4:17 am

    This has been another edition of “don’t blame me, I voted for Perata.”

    Thanks Jean!

  6. […] became the new head of the OPD two days after former Chief Anthony Batts announced his resignation. Batts said one of the reasons he decided to leave the OPD was because of the “layers of […]

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