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Oakland Police Commission Interviews 4 Finalists for Police Chief

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The Oakland Police Commission and Mayor Libby Schaaf held a virtual candidates’ forum last week to allow the public to meet the four finalists for Chief of Police.

To view the November 5 forum, go to www.facebook.com/MayorLibbySchaaf/videos/3697975826934982

Under the city’s procedures, Schaaf will make the final selection of the next chief. She can pick one of the four current applicants or reject them all and ask for new candidates. The current slate submitted applications in response to a job posting that was written by the Police Commission seeking leaders who want to “dismantle mechanisms of discrimination.

The four candidates are: LeRonne Armstrong, who presently serves as deputy chief at the Oakland Police Dept., is a native of West Oakland. A graduate of Castlemont High School, he has longstanding ties to the city’s Black community.

Armstrong started at OPD in 1999 as a patrol officer after working for four years in the Alameda County Probation Dept. He was been involved in the department’s efforts to reduce racial profiling and has worked in the problem-solving unit, the criminal investigation division, and commanded the Youth and School Safety Section of the department.

Interim Deputy Chief Drennon Lindsey, who is married to Armstrong, graduated from St. Mary’s College in Moraga. She joined the department in 1998 and has worked in the personnel, resource and training division, the criminal investigation division, and the crime lab.

Jason Lando has worked as a police commander in Pittsburgh, Pa., for 20 years. He is a former paramedic and has worked as a crisis negotiator and police lieutenant.

According to LinkedIn, he serves as one of three lead trainers in the Police Bureau’s Procedural Justice Unit, providing training in procedural justice, de-escalation, and implicit bias to both police officers and community groups. He is currently commander of Pittsburgh’s Narcotics and Vice unit, overseeing teams of detectives working to seize illegal firearms and narcotics in an effort to reduce violence in Pittsburgh neighborhoods.

Abdul Pridgen is the police chief of Seaside in Monterey County. This year, he testified at the California Legislature about changing state law to make it easier for a police chief to fire officers for egregious behavior.

Pridgen joined the Seaside Police Dept. in 2018. He was born and raised in the Bronx, N.Y., and moved to Los Angeles before his senior year of high school, joining the Navy after he graduated so he could experience travel and life overseas.

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