The Oakland Police Department has a new leader.
Oakland native LeRonne Armstrong took the oath of office Monday morning at his alma mater McClymonds High School. Jodi Hernandez reports.
“She told me when I was a young boy ‘there is something special about you,’” he said, giving thanks to his mother Charlotte Armstrong, who raised three children in West Oakland as a single mom.
Armstrong pledged to usher in a cultural change as Oakland’s new chief of police.
“OPD will treat members of our community with dignity and respect under all circumstances,” he said.
Born and raised in Oakland, Armstrong brings a unique sensitivity to the job. He lost his own brother to gun violence.
“I knew then at the age of 13 whatever I decided to do with center around safety in Oakland,” said Armstrong. “I didn’t want another family to experience what my family had experienced.”
With the murder rate once again skyrocketing, Armstrong says he’s committed to turning that around, saying he will personally respond to each and every fatal shooting.
“I will be getting up no matter what time it is to let families know it matters to me when somebody’s life is taken,” he said.
Armstrong also promised to crack down on any hint of racist or sexist behavior from the force. He says officers will be held accountable for their actions both on duty and off, even on social media.
“Anybody in OPD moving forward found to be involved in this type of behavior will not be welcome,” he said.
Armstrong takes over a department facing a huge spike in crime and a dwindling budget. But he says with the community’s help - he’s up to the challenge.
“Words cannot express how happy and proud I am,” said his mother.