Anne Kirkpatrick — a high-ranking Chicago Police Department administrator and at one time a candidate for CPD’s top job — said Wednesday she has a “heart” for Oakland, California, as she was unveiled as that city’s new police chief.
“I was honored to be in Chicago,” Kirkpatrick said at a press conference in Oakland on Wednesday afternoon. “I am not leaving Chicago for any reason other than the fact that I’ve had a heart for Oakland for many years. . . . I wanted to go where my heart was.”
Kirkpatrick becomes Oakland’s first woman chief, said Karen Boyd, a spokeswoman for the city.
Kirkpatrick, the former police chief of Spokane, Washington, was picked by Chicago Police Supt. Eddie Johnson to head the department’s new Bureau of Professional Standards last year. Before that, she had been one of the finalists to become Chicago Police superintendent in a selection process that resulted in Mayor Rahm Emanuel hiring Johnson.
In that role, Kirkpatrick’s job was to carry out the recommendations of Emanuel’s handpicked Police Accountability Task Force that he created in the aftermath of the Laquan McDonald scandal.
Kirkpatrick was among three finalists to replace Garry McCarthy, the former police superintendent, who was fired on Dec. 1, 2015, by the mayor. McCarthy was dumped because of the public furor over the November 2015 release of a video showing Officer Jason Van Dyke fatally shooting 17-year-old McDonald in 2014. Van Dyke has been charged with murder.
Emanuel chose not to hire any of the finalists recommended by the Chicago Police Board and instead chose Johnson, a department insider.
Kirkpatrick, a Memphis native and a lawyer, was chief of the Spokane department from 2006 to 2011.
Contributing: Frank Main