Frustrated Oakland Police Chief Resigns Citing Lack Of Resources

OAKLAND (CBS 5 / KCBS) — Oakland’s police chief told city officials Tuesday it was with “great regret” that he planned to resign next month to take on other opportunities, expressing frustration at a lack of support given the police department during his two-year tenure as chief.

Word of Chief Anthony Batts’ resignation came in a letter from Oakland’s city administrator sent to City Council members and staff. The letter said the 50-year-old Batts planned to depart in early to mid-November.

Batts was hired in 2009 by Oakland after leading Long Beach’s police department for seven years.

In a statement from Batts that accompanied the administrator’s letter, he said he had answered Oakland’s call for a “reform-minded chief” two years ago, but has instead found himself managing a police force trying to reduce violent crime amid officer layoffs and cutbacks.

“Rather than a chief managing a diverse department of law enforcement professionals making the strees of Oakland safe, I found myself with limited control, but full accountability,” he said.

KCBS, CBS 5 and Chronicle Insider Phil Matier Reports:

Batts also spoke of the “tremendous work ethic” of OPD’s officers and told them, “You are not thanked nor praised enough for what you do with such little resources and equipment.”

In a separate open letter from Batts to Oakland’s residents, the chief wrote this explanation about his planned departure: “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.”

City officials did not immediately respond to the chief’s criticisms.

Matier & KCBS’ Chris Filippi on search for new chief:

Matier said the Batts’ resignation comes during the same week that the city of Oakland will be hosting a summit on crime prevention.

“Mayor Jean Quan had hoped to use it as a way to lay out her plan that she has been working on for the last couple of months. And now it’s going to be completely overshadowed by the exit of Chief Batts,” Matier said. “This (the resignation) is a statement on her, a statement on the city and he made it clear that Oakland does not seem to have a plan or a consensus about what to do.”

Batts’ dissatisfaction initially surfaced back in January, when he applied to be San Jose’s top cop. At that time, he first cited concerns with Oakland’s commitment to providing support and resources to its police force.

The city administrator’s office indicated that it was currently exploring options on the leadership structure for OPD once the chief steps down, but no further details were provided.

Batts did not indicate precisely what his future holds, but the city administrator’s letter referred to Batts taking on “new and presitgious opportunities.”

(Copyright 2011 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)

  • kennis

    Where is the actual reporting on this story? After a whopping 2 years on the job just how much $$$$ is Batts walking away with? He was job hunting over a year ago (SJPD) and after losing out on that job has now accepted a new po$ition. Batts is just another example of a man looking out for #1, he’s already “retired” from LBPD, now leaving OPD after 2 years, moving on to his next pot of gold. Doesn’t anyone (and I mean ANYONE) get what a complete farce this all is, and why doesn’t anyone in Oakland care about the fact they’ve been ripped off?

    • Big G

      They were ripped off by the Last Mayor, get it right. Didn’t see you write & complain about Dellums. Now you got another Mayor who won by ranked voting & what has she done. Ignored everything the Chief wanted! Your City is run by inept officials who you helped elect!! So blame yourself too!!

  • auntynay

    At least Chief Batts knows a losing battle when he sees one. There is massive political corruption in Oakland going back many years and the only thing that would help would be a federal oversight to be sure that nepotism and bribery are curbed. Get out while you can people! Oakland’s politicals only care about their own pockets.

  • dbarco

    AUNTYNAY has it right!! Oakland, like San Francisco, is run by a bunch of corrupt officials who are all marrionets for the real power brockers. If an
    African American cannot get a grip on things in Oakland, then I don’t know who can. The “don’t snitch” populace isn’t much better and until someone has the
    balls to tackle the real problems head on, it will only deteriorate into another

  • Beverly Hills

    Chief Batts seems to hop around quite a bit. He didn’t stay that long in Long Beach. The crime is about the same in San Jose as Oakland. It sounds as though he comes in town, sets up shop, stays long enough to put the city on his resume’ and then leaves. Yes, crime is on the rise. I get that. But it’s that way everywhere. I say so-long and don’t let the door hit ‘ya.

    • Reality Check

      Crime in San Jo is way different from what happens in Oaktown! Actually crime is down. There are fewer reports being taken which means that since it has not been report, statistically crime has dropped. So, if we get rid of police entirely there will be no crime because no one is reporting it. See, problem solved.

    • crazy

      Didn’t stay long in Long Beach? What are you talking about. He began his career there and rose through the ranks, serving as the Chief for over 7 years.. Dellums pleaded for him to come to Oakland, and he said no more then once. Poor guy should have staid in LB..

  • tn

    In Oakland, the smoke has cleared and the mirror is cracked.



    • Reality Check

      Exactly. Let her be the one who is accountable!

  • dbarco

    I think by pointing out that the Oakland Cops are doing a thankless job was telling enough. With a Mayor who hates cops and isn’t shy about it, what do you expect from a professional?

  • Dissatisfied

    Bad news for OPD and the City of Oakland. I wish Chief Batts would have gotten the Chief of Police job here in San Jose. Moral is the worst that I’ve ever seen it here and with more violent crimes that are being committed in San Jose, it will just be a matter of time before this ship sinks.

  • WASPy

    Whites don’t need huge, bloated police forces to keep order. Why do blacks?

  • Big G

    Attention Oakland you residents were the ones that elected these inept Mayors, Dellums, now Quan. Do you really care about your City or do you just like to whine about it!! Get involved listen to what these candiates are offering & make informed decisions. Instead of having Mayors like Dellums or Quan, maybe get someone in there who actually wants to help the city grow, instead of there personal wallets!!!

  • will

    good for batts…he was being played for a chump…the mayor over there seems delighted on ham-stringing the cops…she in criminal in her duties to protect innocents (btw-she has 24/7 bodyguards and might even carry)

  • i am that sucka

    Citzens of Oakland, time to arm ourselves!

  • Clint

    Jean Quan sucks! She cast the deciding vote (5-4) against Chief Batt’s recommendations to curb violence on the streets that included gang injunctions and curfews. Sounds good to me. I would hve left to. Jean Quan should resign!

  • Anne H.

    I place the blame for Chief Batts’ imminent departure squarely on the shoulders of the so-called mayor, Jean Quan. The woman is nothing but a self-serving, narcissistic, and disingenuous bureaucrat. Under her pathetic “leadership”, Oakland is continuing on its downward spiral, albeit at a highly accelerated rate. What kind of clueless moron would push referendums designed to protect children, families, and neighborhoods (aka the gang injunctions) to the bottom of the agenda? Apparently the same moron that Oaklanders have chosen as their mayor.

    Jean Quan is a sanctimonious phony who should be recalled immediately. I am purposely avoiding addressing her as one would normally address a mayor; she doesn’t deserve that respect from me or anyone else who has been affected by her policies or lack thereof. Unless this woman (and I use THAT term loosely) gets the point that actions and not rhetoric produce real change, Oakland is doomed.

    I wish we could get rid of her and keep Chief Batts instead. His departure is going to devastate the morale of the rank and file of the OPD. I absolutely rue the day that this idiotic female took the oath of office.

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  • Fred

    How about starting a recall effort to get rid of Quan, Kaplan, etc. Hercules did it. It is possible. If you live in Oakland and care about Oakland. Whaddya think?

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