"I won't be hidden. I'll definitely be accessible to everybody."
That's what Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown said when he took the help of the East Bay city's police department three and a half years ago.
Brown is no longer with Richmond as its top cop.
"I'll be the first to say he had some problems," Richmond Mayor Tom Butt said.
Butt said Richmond's new interim city manager e-mailed city staff on Friday stating Brown is out of the office and Assistant Chief Bisa French has been appointed acting chief.
"We're not talking about the bottom dropping out," Butt said. "We are talking about a crisis in leadership that needs to be resolved."
The shakeup comes on the heels of a report that found a serious disconnect between management and staff, low morale and a lack of compelling vision. Then last week the rank-and-file issued a vote of no confidence in the chief, calling for his resignation.
"This is the most serious atomic button we can hit that says we have a problem here," Richmond Police Officers Association President Ben Therriault said.
Therriault said officers have become so frustrated with the chief, they are leaving in alarming numbers.
"The majority of men and women who work in this police department clearly stated we're going in the wrong direction," Therriault said. "We need change."
While nobody is certain if Brown is out for good, Acting Chief French said she will work to continue the trend of reducing crime.
"My hope is to bring some stability to our department, communicate the message to our department," French said. "We will remain faithful in our duty to serve the community."