Oakland city leaders are launching a nationwide search for a new police chief following the surprise announcement by Chief Howard Jordan
that he is stepping down for medical reasons.
In a statement posted on the department's website, Jordan said, "This morning I advised City Administrator Deanna Santana that, effective immediately, I am on medical leave and taking steps toward medical retirement."
He called the decision "difficult but necessary."
Santana confirmed at a news conference Wednesday afternoon that Jordan alerted her that he was stepping down only Wednesday.
Assistant Chief Anthony Toribio will take the helm as acting chief as city leaders launch a nationwide search to find a permanent replacement
"Chief Jordan's announcement was unexpected," Toribio said. "The suddenness may cause uncertainty inside and outside the department but there will be no change in the department's mission, progress or focus."
Toribio said it would be "presumptive of me to make comment" on whether he would be a candidate for permanent chief.
Jordan was appointed police chief on Feb. 1, 2012, by Mayor Jean Quan. He had served as interim chief since October 2011 after former police Chief Anthony Batts abruptly resigned.
"I'm personally very saddened and surprised about the chief's announcement," Quan said Wednesday. She said she first met Jordan many years ago while serving on Oakland's school board, when he was chief of Oakland Unified School District police.
"He had a great career. He came up from the ranks and served the city well," Quan said.
In his statement, Jordan said, "Through my 24 years of wearing an OPD badge and uniform, I have emulated the department's core values: honesty,
respect, and integrity -- values I observed in the men and women who worked with me and for me.
"I know that the members and civilian staff of the department will carry on these values to generations to come," he said.