OPD Chief Thinks He Smells Like Rotten Fish - NBC Bay Area

OPD Chief Thinks He Smells Like Rotten Fish

Tucker says he leaves OPD in good shape despite criticism

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    OPD Chief Thinks He Smells Like Rotten Fish
    OPD Chief Tucker reflects on his four years as Oakland's top cop.

    Outgoing Oakland Police Chief Wayne Tucker says, despite criticism from the Oakland City Council, OPD is the healthiest it's been in four years.

    Tucker sat down with reporters on the eve of his departure.

    "I think we're a very different department than we were four years ago," he said.  "I think I've been able to create policies and procedures in the department that I hope will be my legacy of excellence."

    Under Tucker's leadership, the department has increased the number of officers from 700 to 830.  It's also shifted to a geographic-based form of policing which many believe will help reduce crime.

    But while Tucker believes the department is moving in the right direction, he says it's still severely understaffed.

    "If we got 100 more officers and a minimum of 75 police service technicians...we'd be in very good shape in the city," he said. 

    Tucker says he regrets not being able to stick around to make that happen.  But he says his relationship with the city council reached a breaking point.

    The Chief had come under fire in recent months for the city's spiraling crime rate and a slew of bad publicity.  Chief Tucker resigned just hours before members of the city council announced they planned to issue a no-confidence vote.

    "I do think I'm beginning to smell like rotten fish to some council members," said Tucker, adding he and the council will not miss each other.

    Council member Desley Brooks says while Tucker made some "significant accomplishments", she believes it's time for change. 

    "There was a leadership void and I believe that needs to be closed," said Brooks.

    Come Sunday, that change will happen.  Assistant Chief Howard Jordan will take the helm as interim chief while the mayor conducts a nationwide search for a permanent replacement.

    While Tucker says he regrets retiring while there's still "unfinished business", he says he feels good about his career, especially the last four years.