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Sean Whent named as permanent Oakland Police Chief

on May 14, 2014

After serving for a year as interim police chief, Sean Whent, an 18-year veteran of the force, was named permanent chief of Oakland Police Department by Mayor Jean Quan at Oakland City Hall Wednesday.

“As a no-nonsense chief, he has led the Department’s reorganization, built a strong leadership team and strengthened police collaboration with neighborhood leaders,” Quan said in making the appointment. “We’ve made significant progress in the last year, reducing crime and completing mandated federal reforms. We have much more work to do, but Chief Whent has demonstrated he is the right person for the job.”

During his tenure as interim chief, Whent’s achievements included overseeing the second largest decline in homicides in 40 years in 2013, strengthening OPD’s work with Ceasefire and other community-police partnerships, and having the largest-ever graduating class of new officers join the force, according to the Mayor’s Office.

“I’m honored and humbled to accept the job, and I know it’s only with true partnership between our police and our communities that Oakland is getting safer,” Whent said.

“Every day I am inspired by the dedication and hard work of our officers, our community members, our command staff and our partners throughout the City,” he added.  “I am determined and confident that with this spirit of teamwork we will build on our successes and continue making Oakland safer.”

Asked by a member of the audience how the new Chief would support rank-and-file officers who may not be “100 percent excited” about his appointment, Whent promised to involve them and expressed his full support of them. Whent added that he has been able to establish good working relationships with members of the City Council and administrative staff.

“Chief Whent’s work over the last year has proven that effective policing and community policing go hand in hand,” City Administrator Fred Blackwell asserted.

After Whent took the oath of office in front of his three daughters, the standing-room-only crowd cheered the new Police Chief, the fourth person to hold the position in the last four years.


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