ANTIOCH, Calif. (KRON) — An acting chief has been named for the embattled Antioch Police Department. This is happening as the department’s current chief; Dr. Steven Ford is set to retire Friday while dozens of officers remain under federal investigation.

Acting Antioch Police Captain Joseph Vigil has been named the new acting police chief.
He was among four internal candidates interviewed by Acting City Manager Kwame Reed for the job, who ultimately made the decision.

“There was not an application process,” Reed said. “It was looking at our highest-ranking officers over there that I know of and that’s what we did.”

“I think Joe Vigil, given where we’re at, is the right choice for the city,” said Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe.

Reed will be tasked with hiring an interim chief, but he could not provide a timeline for that. As for determining the next permanent chief, Reed intends to hire a consulting firm and solicit input from the community.

Ultimately, Mayor Thorpe says the city council may choose to take that responsibility from the city manager’s office which has been discussed before Reed was appointed acting city manager.

“There’ll be legislation coming at the next council meeting that would presumably change the reporting structure, if that happens, if we move in that direction, then it’ll be council’s decision as to what direction they’ll take in terms of hiring a permanent chief of police,” Thorpe said.

With current chief, Dr. Steven Ford’s last day on the force coming up Friday, Acting Captain Vigil will take over as acting chief Saturday. If he is not retained as interim chief, Reed says he will return to his previous role overseeing patrol teams, investigations and training new officers.

“I’ve worked with both of them in some of these meetings and this week will be used as a way of making sure that that transition is as smooth as possible. But I have full confidence in not just only in Acting Chief Vigil but the rest of the wonderful Antioch command staff that’s over there — the folks that are still coming to work and doing their best,” said Reed. “I’m very excited about what the future looks like, once as you said, once we can get that cloud from over their head and they can start doing the great policing that they were hired to do.”

Vigil has previously worked for the Sacramento and Richmond police departments. Reed says he is not among the dozens of officers under investigation by the FBI and Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office for alleged police misconduct and sending or receiving racist and homophobic text messages.