OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Mayor Libby Schaaf announced Friday that Deputy Chief LeRonne Armstrong, an Oakland native and 20-year veteran of the department, will become the Oakland’s next Chief of Police.

“This department is looking for a mentor, looking for a leader,” Schaaf said in a video posted on social media where she offered the position to Armstrong.

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Armstrong said in the video, “And that’s what I plan to bring to this position, a plan to bring a leader that is grounded in Oakland. It’s centered around safety, the saving of lives. To understand how important it is that young people in this city grow up in a place that feel safe.”

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“I’m one of those young people that didn’t feel safe. And so it’s my job now, to do everything I can to make sure that we as a police department do our job, but also recognize the important role that community plays in the solutions to violence,” the new chief went on to say.

Oakland Police Chief Leronne Armstrong

Born in West Oakland and a graduate of McClymonds High School, Armstrong joined Oakland Police in 1999 after four years with the Alameda Community Probation Department. Armstrong also previously served as president of the Oakland Black Officers Association.

Armstrong replaces interim chief Susan Manheimer, who was brought on after the Oakland Police Commission fired former chief Anne Kirkpatrick nearly a year ago. The former chief filed a whistleblower complaint against the city, alleging she was removed in retaliation for exposing misconduct among members of the commission.

The new chief takes the reins amid a rise in violent crime. Fifteen homicides were reported in January, a 1,400% increase from a year ago and the deadliest January in 20 years. Oakland recorded 102 murders in 2020, the highest total since 2012.

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Armstrong will be sworn-in on Monday.