Thursday news that the next San Jose police chief will come from within the San Jose ranks could have brought an end to an issue surrounding the potential exit of Oakland's police chief, but it did not.
Batts is in the second year of a three-year contract with the Oakland Police Department. He didn't tell Oakland officials that he was up for the job until recently.
But, when asked Thursday, Batts would not commit to staying with the city of Oakland in the long term.
"I have not made a final decision as to my future with this agency. It still needs to be determined if I am a fit for the City of Oakland’s vision of the future. The demands on the Oakland Police Department are great, youth violence is of great concern, and we have experienced a recent spike in violent crime. In order to make significant improvements to the quality of life for the residents, collective coordination and cooperation must be a priority for ensuring public safety," Batts said in a released statement.
The statement could be seen as a bargaining tool. Batts has not made it a secret that he thinks he needs more officers on the streets.
Batts has been a popular chief in Oakland and by all accounts losing him would be a blow to a city where crime is a No. 1 concern for many of its residents.