The City of Oakland has a new police chief.

Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums announced on Wednesday that Anthony Batts, the former Police Chief of Long Beach, will become Oakland’s new Chief of Police.

Batts spent 30 years as a member of the Long Beach Police Department and the past seven years as the city’s Police Chief.

In Long Beach, Batts was responsible for a 1,500-employee department and a $200 million budget. Under Batts, the Long Beach crime rate dropped to its lowest level since 1975.

“Chief Batts is an extraordinarily capable police chief whose professional expertise, outstanding leadership skills and brilliant operational savvy make him the right choice for Oakland,” Dellums said. “Coming from a similar-sized port city with one of the most diverse populations in the country, Chief Batts understands the complexity of running an urban police department and implementing change to improve the quality of life in Oakland and engage the community to enhance public safety.”

According to an Oakland press release, the decision was made in consultation with a panel of police chiefs, members of city council, criminologists and other community members. The decision was based off the criteria of finding a chief with extensive experience, one who is committed to reform and someone “unwaveringly committed to community policing.”
“Chief Batts is not only respected by the residents of Long Beach, but he is considered one of the real stars in the country,” Dellums said. 

Batts was quoted in the release: “Safety, service and hope are the building blocks we provide to a community rich in diversity, opportunity and promise. Our job is to turn citizen concerns into our service imperatives.”

Current acting Police Chief Howard Jordan – the city’s Assistant Police Chief – will remain Acting Police Chief until Batts officially starts his new role in September.