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By Traci Moore                    Follow East Palo Alto Today on
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October 27, 2013                        
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 Chief Ron Davis speaks at East Palo Alto ity Council meeting
Photo shows East Palo Alto Police Chief,
Ron Davis, speaking at the Oct.1, 2013
East Palo City Council meeting.

 

East Palo Alto will soon be looking for another chief of police. It was announced on Friday that the city’s Police Chief, Ron Davis, resigned his position and will be leaving the city as of November 8 to start a new job as the Director of the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS).

According to the COPS website, the agency is "the office of the U.S. Department of Justice that advances the practice of community policing in America’s state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies. COPS does its work principally by sharing information and making grants to police departments around the United States."

East Palo Alto's City Manager, Magda González said, "An interim police chief is expected to be announced next week, after which decisions will be made regarding a permanent replacement."

In the release announcing his resignation as East Palo Alto's Police Chief and his new position, Davis said, “Being selected to serve in this position and in the Obama administration is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, yet leaving East Palo Alto is bittersweet.”

“It’s been an honor serving the residents of this great City, and a privilege to have worked with the outstanding professionals in the police department and throughout the City," Davis said. "I’m proud of the partnerships we’ve forged, and the innovative community policing strategies we’ve implemented that have reduced crime and violence and strengthened our community. I leave knowing that the future is bright for East Palo Alto.”

Davis has served as East Palo Alto's police chief since 2005 and, according to González, he is credited with implementing such innovative and progressive community policing programs as Prisoner Reentry, FIT Zone, Graffiti Arts Project (GAP), Beat Meetings, and Chats with the Chief.

Davis also lists among his accomplishments his efforts to enhance the capacity of the police department with the use of such technology as ShotSpotter, license plate readers, in-car video cameras and crime analysis software.

Before serving in East Palo Alto, Davis worked for 20 years with the Oakland Police Department in various positions including captain, police academy director, criminal investigations commander and inspector general.

During Davis' tenure with the East Palo Alto Police Department, he has stressed ongoing training and employee development, has revamped the Department’s organizational structure and processes to improve efficiency, and has garnered over $10 million in grants to enhance police services.

González said that Davis’ key accomplishment in East Palo Alto was his role in strengthening positive relations between the police and the public, which has dramatically reduced crime and violence.

“Chief Davis has accomplished so much for East Palo Alto during his time here, and he’ll be greatly missed,” González said. “His leadership, innovation, and genuine affection for this community have made the East Palo Alto Police Department one of the most progressive police agencies in the United States."

In a September 27, 2014 press release, the COPS office announced that it had given $8.5 million in grants to sponsor projects to promote community policing, innovative probem solving and stronger partnerships. Such projects ranged from homeland security training, work in communities of color, to homicide reduction and the protection of drug-endangered children.

COPS Acting Director Joshua Ederheimer said, “…the grantees selected have an opportunity to shape their local success story into a national model that assists public safety on the broadest level.”

 

Traci Moore, the author of this article, can be reached by email at epatoday@epatoday.org.