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Fourth chief in 10 days to head embattled Oakland Police Department, reports to city administrator

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Oakland Police Department is looking for yet another Chief of police, tallying the fourth person to step down in a 10 day span.

An Oakland Police Department spokesperson has confirmed that Deputy Chief David Downing has been made the acting Assistant Chief until more permanent decisions can be made.

According to CBS SF Bay Area, the latest stand-down occurred after state officials said that Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf cannot have the agency function without a Chief, as doing so violates California law.

Spokesman for the Peace Officers Standards and Training Agency Ralph Brown said state government code (Section 38630) and an opinion by the California Attorney General’s Office specify that police departments must be under the control of a police chief and that having a city administration official serve double duty is illegal.

The Mayor released a statement on Monday that the “leadership arrangement of the Oakland Police Department announced on Friday is proper, complies with POST regulations and remains in effect.”

“Confusion was caused today when a POST Public Information Officer cited government code section 38630(a) in a statement to The San Francisco Chronicle,” the Mayor’s statement read. “This section applies only to general law cities and not to charter cities. In a charter city like Oakland it is the City Charter that provides the legal structure of governance and assigns functional oversight of all City departments, including the police department, to the City Administrator.”

Schaaf went on to say that she felt it was the “appropriate time” to place civilian oversight over the police department, announcing that police commanders will report to City Administrator Sabrina Landreth.

The shuffle of command was initiated after a dispatcher’s underage daughter -Celeste Guap- claimed she had a revolving sex life with dozens of police officers, including several from the department.

“I want to assure the citizens of Oakland that we are hell-bent on rooting out this disgusting culture and holding those responsible accountable for their misdeeds,” Schaaf said.

Schaff would not reveal further details about the investigation and officers involved.

“At this time, I don’t want to share any information that would impede my ability to achieve the strongest discipline possible against the officers involved,” she replied.

 

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