Oakland Chief Rides Into Town Without a White Horse

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Long Beach Police Department
    This is the man who took over the police department in Oakland Monday.

    On the heels of a deadly weekend, Oakland's new police chief Anthony Batts reported for duty Monday. He spent the day in meetings, including one with the mayor.   Tuesday he will be officially sworn in as Oakland chief.

    "Busy, busy busy," is how Batts described his first day on the job. The president of the Oakland Police Officer's Association Dom Arotzarena says Batts has his work cut out for him.

    Arotzarena says Batts inherits a department that's been hit hard financially, has low morale, and is faced with some of the worst violence in the country.

    "No one's expecting him to come in on a white horse, a knight and shining armor to make everything better but I think the hope is he can steer this department in the right direction," said Arotzarena.

    Batts says he's up for the task. He  says he plans to roll out a strategic plan, including some "short range" plans soon.

    Batts says he's aware of the sideshow problem the city's experiencing right now.

    "We look to respond to these things and address them but also at the same time it's not just the police that are responding. I'm going to need some assistance from the community too and we're going to work hand in hand to solve these things," said Batts.

    People who live near the sideshow accident that claimed three young lives this weekend say they hope the new chief can deliver. 

    "We need help, we do we really do," said Oakland resident Dorothy Green.

     Batts has served as police chief in Long Beach for seven  years and has worked in that city's Police Department for nearly 30 years.

    In a statement, Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums said, "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.  I am confident that our residents, Police Department staff and city officials  alike will find Chief Batts to be an accomplished leader and a great police  chief for Oakland," said Mayor Dellums.

     According to Dellums, under Batts' leadership, the crime rate in Long Beach has fallen to its lowest level since 1975