OAKLAND -- Sixteen Oakland police officers, who together have more than 200 years of experience in the department, were promoted Wednesday, including the first permanent female captain in more than a decade.
Facing a shortage of officers and the possibility of being placed under federal receivership, the department is experiencing one of its most challenging times. Police Chief Howard Jordan emphasized to the audience of more than 200 at police headquarters that those being promoted "can face these challenges."
"These new leaders were selected because they have demonstrated to me personally that they reflect the values I demand of myself and of this department," Jordan said. "When leadership of all types and ranks exhibits the values of honesty, integrity, courage and respect, the respect and value received from the community it serves is maintained and strengthened."
Promoted to captain was Sharon Williams, a 23-year veteran, and the first woman to attain the rank on a permanent basis since the late 1990s. Williams, a highly respected commander, has worked in every division of the department, among them vice and narcotics, criminal investigation, patrol and traffic. She credited her successful career to her mentors, BART Deputy Chief of Police Jan Glenn-Davis, a former Oakland lieutenant who recruited her, and Bruce Brock, a retired Oakland police sergeant now an Alameda County District Attorney inspector.
"This is a great day," she said.
Promoted to lieutenant were Robert Chan and Eric Lewis.
Promoted to sergeant were William Griffin, John Haney, whose father is retired Oakland police Sgt. Ian Haney, Wilson Lau, Angelica Mendoza, whose brother, Frank, is an Oakland police officer, Seth Neri, Hamann Nguyen, Charles O'Connor, Mildred Oliver, Byron Reed, Mark Rhoden, Frederick Shavies, Tyman Small and Jeffrey Tom.
Nine civilians were also promoted, among them Yolanda Morris, who is now Jordan's executive assistant. Cee Belue and Antone' Hicks were promoted in the personnel division; Waliana Dieu and Dr. Sandra Sachs in the criminalistics division; Kiona Suttle and Jo Ann Rivers in the records section; and Yvette Crowell and Lea Rubio as administrative analysts.
Jordan said the civilians "work equally as hard as anyone in our department."