Oakland Assistant Police Chief Howard Jordan was once again tapped to be the city's interim police chief Thursday, stepping in to replace Police Chief Anthony Batts who resigned suddenly on Tuesday.
Leaving the Batts era in the dust, Mayor Jean Quan swore in Jordan as interim police chief, effective immediately. The quick ceremony took place after a press conference in front of a large audience that included a plethora of rank and file Oakland police officers.
"The city of Oakland has always been committed to me in terms of my career and I thought this was an opportunity ... for me to give back something to the city of Oakland and the Oakland police department," Jordan said. "As interim chief, I plan to make solid decisions. The term 'interim' will not apply to my decisions."
After Batts announced his resignation, Jordan was seen by many as Quan's logical choice by City Hall watchers. Jordan previously served as interim police chief after Wayne Tucker resigned in 2009 as police chief.
Batts' last day as chief has been moved up - previously, the city said he would step aside around mid-to-late November - and will now be November 5.
Jordan is a long-time officer at OPD where he worked for 23 years, nearly half of those years as a patrol officer. Jordan also served as chief of the Oakland School Police from 2001 until 2004. He has served as OPD assistant chief for the past four years. He has a Master's in public administration from California State University Hayward.
In 2008, Jordan was criticized for his handling of the Chauncey Bailey murder investigation, specifically how investigators under his supervision dealt with the interrogation of Yusuf Ali Bey IV.
"I bring to you a well-rounded, balanced career, which has seen challenges, but also has been very fruitful for me in terms of my dedication to the men and women of the police department," Jordan said.
City Administrator Deanna Santana, who directly oversees OPD, said the main reason for the quick action is because of the looming deadline for the Negotiated Settlement Agreement under the federal court. Oakland has until January 2012 to come into full compliance with the court order. In fact Jordan has led the department's reform efforts for the last four years, city officials said.
In January 2003, the city of Oakland entered into the federal agreement to resolve allegations of police misconduct raised in the 'Riders' case lawsuit.
At Thursday's press conference, Batts was there, all smiles as he shook hands and joked with reporters. Batts has cited the city's bureaucracy as the main reason he is stepping down.
Santana said that during the transition period she will continue to work closely with Batts.
"I see Chief Batts' role as providing me with intense briefings on all that he's accomplished and all of the efforts and initiatives he's put under way; learning from Chief Batts and his staff and utilizing his time well," she said.
Batts stayed after the press conference and voiced his support for Jordan as the new interim chief.
"I think the world of him," Batts said. "He's a good friend, he's solid, he's intelligent and I think he'll do great work for Oakland."
Quan said she's worked with Jordan for more than 20 years.
"We're lucky to have him ... I'm very proud to be swearing him in as chief," she said.
The Oakland Police Officers' Association President Dom Arotzarena also was at the event saying he was there to "support a friend." Arotzarena said the OPOA approves of Jordan as interim chief.
During the press conference, Santana also announced the hiring of a special adviser, Thomas C. Frazier, to help lead the city in it's Negotiated Settlement Agreement compliance efforts.