The year-plus search for a new Oakland Police Chief has finally concluded, as Mayor Sheng Thao has named Floyd Mitchell as the new chief, who’d previously held that role in Lubbock and Temple, Texas.

It’s been a full 13 months since then-Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong was fired over alleged mishandling of an internal investigation, and Oakland has been without a permanent police chief since. And a big reason for that lengthy delay has been the politics of the Oakland Police Commission, which almost seemed determined to make Mayor Sheng Thao’s political headaches continue. Meanwhile, crime has soared across the board in Oakland during this time.


But on Friday morning, Mayor Thao announced that Floyd Mitchell is the new Oakland Police Chief. Mitchell was previously the first Black police chief of Lubbock, Texas, and served in that role from 2019 to 2023. Before that, he was police chief in Temple, Texas from 2015-2019, and prior to that was with the Kansas City Police Department for 25 years.

“Chief Mitchell is a strong leader and a smart crimefighter who delivers results,” Thao told the Chronicle. “He has a commitment to proven crime reduction strategies, including proactive policing, and strong officer community engagement.”

According to KPIX, Mitchell is expected to start on the job in “late April or early May.”

"As Oakland’s police chief I look forward to working together with our residents, businesses owners, city leadership, and members of the police commission to build a stronger and safer Oakland," Mitchell said in a statement to KPIX. "I am excited about the opportunity to meet the members of the police department, interact with all the people who call this beautiful city home, and become an integral part of this special place."

That said, Mitchell faces the fact that the Oakland Police Department has been under federal oversight for 20 years, while rampant crime, carjackings, and homicides are spiking in Oakland.

And Mitchell’s tenure in Lubbock, Texas was not without controversy. The local station KCBD reported that 30,000 911 calls were abandoned on Mitchell’s watch in 2022. Slow 911 response times have been a problem in Oakland too, so that will be a challenge for Mitchell right off the bat.

“I learned from that situation, and I will definitely take what I learned when I come into Oakland,” Mitchell told the Chronicle.

Mitchell resigned from his role in Lubbock last September, two months after the 911 call scandal broke in the news.

Related: Oakland Police Chief Search Down to Three Candidates, Still Mired in Controversy [SFNews]

Image: Lubbock Police Department