(KRON) — Five months after former Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong was fired, Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said she’s become frustrated with the process of trying to replace him. Armstrong was fired by Mayor Thao earlier this year after being placed on administrative leave.
According to a city charter, the Oakland Police Commission needs to make its recommendations before the mayor can hire a new police chief. On Thursday, Mayor Thao called out the commission for drawing out the process of identifying candidates to replace Armstrong.
“I’m frustrated. I’m frustrated that the process is taking very long. If this doesn’t actually come to fruition, so that we can get our chief, then I will be forced to activate my executive powers around a state of emergency to ensure that we do get a chief in a timely manner, if the police commission cannot do its job,” said Mayor Thao, speaking to KRON4’s Justine Waldman.
“However, I do want to make sure that they get an opportunity to follow the rule of the charter, but this is taking way too long,” she added.
Armstrong was fired in February after a report was released by a law firm working for the Oakland Police Department’s federal monitor, accusing him of mishandling two misconduct incidents within the department. There was outcry in the community over Armstrong’s dismissal with the Oakland branch of the NAACP among the community groups that asked for him to be reinstated.
Oakland has seen a spike in violent and property crime in recent months. While there is no proven direct correlation, some have tied the rise in crime to the chief’s dismissal.