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Oakland's New Police Chief Committed To Making His Hometown Safe

OAKLAND (KPIX) - Oakland's new police chief began his second day on the job after being sworn in Monday.

"If you shoot a gun in our community there is going to be a response," said Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong.

One of the major concerns in Oakland recently has been the uptick in homicides to start the year. There have been 15 homicides in January alone. The city has shuffled through nine chiefs in the last 10 years.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaff called it the "hardest job" in America.

"You have an Oaklander in the building that cares about his community. My commitment is for Oakland to be safe," said Armstrong.

WATCH: Raw Video Interview with New Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong

Armstrong joined the OPD in 1999, and has witnessed the force embarrassed by a horrifying sex abuse scandal, and by former and current officers being internally investigated for racist and politically motivated social media posts.

"If you engaged in that type of behavior or support white supremacist ideology or sexist homophobic ideology, you will not be welcomed in the OPD," said Armstrong.

The McClymonds High School alumnus faces a City Council pushing to slash the department's budget in half.

"When you make cuts there are going to be impacts, less services, less officers on the streets, and slower responses to crime," said Armstrong.

The controversial killing of Joshua Pawlik, shot 22 times in 2018, led to the dismissal of Anne Kirkpatrick and a scathing report by Robert Warshaw, the monitor overseeing federally mandated reforms, who has said the force "has repeatedly fallen short in its supervision of officers."

"I don't believe we're that far off from full compliance," said Armstrong.

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