OAKLAND (KCBS) – At a news conference on Wednesday, Oakland city leaders  announced interim police chief Sean Whent as the new permanent leader of the department.

Whent has led the department since May 2013, following in the steps of acting chief Anthony Toribio, who stepped down only days after being appointed. Toribio took over for former Chief Howard Jordan, who announced his medical retirement last May as well.

The 39-year-old Whent is a longtime veteran of the Oakland Police Department, serving as Deputy Chief and commander of the Bureau of Risk Management before taking the interim position. He had previously served as commander of the Office of Inspector General, which is responsible for conducting audits of Department functions primarily related to compliance with the Negotiated Settlement.

Whent’s appointment is not seen as a major surprise, as he has received praise recently from Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Robert Warshaw, the federal overseer for the department.

During Whent’s first year on the job, the crime rate has fallen in Oakland, with major crimes down 13 percent.