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With chief’s departure, stakes get higher for Jean Quan

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

imageAnthony Batts’ resignation as Oakland’s police chief couldn’t have come at a worse time for Mayor Jean Quan, who is widely viewed as having done little to battle violent crime. She’s scheduled to unveil her public safety strategy at a crime summit this weekend. Batts was to have co-hosted, but now . . .

Add: Shoshana Walter at The Bay Citizen has a backgrounder on Batts’ quitting, noting that when he came aboard in 2009 Oakland had 830 officers and he didn’t think it was enough. It has 651 cops now.

Also: Not much doubt that there’s little love lost between Batts and Quan. Note this excerpt from Chip Johnson’s Chronicle column today:

The upshot is that Oakland has now gone through three police chiefs in the last seven years largely because the city's elected officials think they understand law enforcement strategies better than the law enforcement professionals they hire to do police work. If Oakland's crime statistics are a result of those efforts, then clearly our leadership is collectively clueless.

So, from this day forward, Oakland's crime-prevention strategies will most likely be the product of whatever activist group screams the loudest at this weekend's crime summit, a gathering organized by Quan.

"That will be the driving force for what the department does in the future," Batts said.

Image: Oakland North

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