Just as his city was granted the dubious honor of being the nation's robbery capital, Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan announced that he is stepping down, citing medical reasons for his departure.
He's the second chief in as many years to abandon the troubled police department, which he took over on an interim basis when former chief Anthony Batts resigned in 2011. Jordan's appointment became permanent in February 2012.
During his tenure as chief of police, he oversaw the violent mishandling of the Occupy Oakland encampment that nudged the department closer to federal receivership. His predecessor, Batts, criticized the evictions of the encampment, stating, ""You can never conquer issues through force. It always has to be with diplomacy, and I think the first thing we have to do is to be diplomatic."
Jordan's brief declaration of departure was posted to OPD's website this morning; it is included in full below:
This morning I advised City Administrator Deanna Santana that, effective immediately, I am on medical leave and taking steps toward medical retirement. This decision has been difficult, but necessary. Through my 24 years of wearing an OPD badge and uniform, I have emulated the Department's core values: Honesty, Respect, and Integrity - values I observed in the men and women who worked with me and for me. I know that the members and civilian staff of the Department will carry on these values to generations to come.
It has been an honor to serve the City of Oakland.
Howard A. Jordan
Chief of Police
Oakland Police Department
His announcement comes the same day Oakland planned to unveil new crime stats, with recommendations on how to combat the enormous spike in robberies.