Richmond police chief resigns after no confidence vote

Bay Area

RICHMOND (KRON) — Allwyn Brown is out and Bisa French is in as interim chief of the Richmond Police Department.

Brown was appointed chief back in 2016 and spent 35 years with the department, but he had lost the confidence of his staff.

A vote held by the Richmond Police Officers Association over Labor Day weekend revealed 86-percent of the department’s rank and file officers disapproved of Brown’s leadership.

Tuesday during the city council meeting, Interim City Manager Steven Falk announced Brown had submitted his resignation and that moving forward, french would lead the department.

 “And I pledged to her all of my support and I also pledged that it is not my intention to initiate a recruitment for a new police chief during my tenure here, which runs through January 15,” Falk said. 

Despite the difficult circumstances surrounding her promotion, French says she believes she can improve the police department’s morale.

“I’m good at communicating what my vision is and communicating what I would like to see moving forward,” she said. “And I think the communication part, especially between the rank and file and management is key, and that’s how we’re all going to get on the same page and move in the same direction.”

The richmond Police Officers Association is also optimistic this change in leadership is for the best.

The organization’s president believes the department can do better in recruiting and retaining good officers and also fix the disconnect between management and officers.

“At the end of the day, some of these issues may not have been chief Brown’s responsibility specifically, but leadership starts at the top, and any issues that are in his management team, they fall back on him,” said Ben Therriault with the police officers association.

French is the first woman in the department to serve as interim chief.

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