Listen 4:07 Bisa French is no longer Richmond’s interim police chief. “I’m delighted to appoint Bisa French, and gratified that our Police Chief is someone of such high quality, impeccable character, and unparalleled local experience,” Richmond City Manager Laura Snideman said in a statement. It is a challenging time to be a police chief in the U.S. RICHMOND — Bisa French, who has overseen the Richmond Police Department on an interim basis since September of last year, has been named the city’s new full-time police chief. It would take years to accomplish. She's the first woman and woman of color to lead the force in its history. We aim to provide Richmond residents with important information about what's going on at the Richmond Refinery and in the community, and to provide a voice for Chevron Products Company on civic issues. Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown Calls Express Story ‘Dishonest,’ ‘False,’ and ‘Under-Sourced,’ but Fails to Offer Evidence By John Geluardi Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 2:11 PM French will be the first Black woman to serve as chief, Lt. Matt Stonebraker, Richmond Police Department spokesman, said Thursday. Chief French's own budget was slashed 10%. In a statement, Chief French said she’s thrilled to continue in her role as the city’s top cop. Richmond’s Bisa French says she’s ready for historic role as police chief At 45, she becomes youngest, first woman and African American to lead city’s 110-year-old department. ERIC WESTERVELT, BYLINE: Bisa French says she didn't see herself as a future police leader when she joined the Richmond PD more than two decades ago. They want the police department defunded and eventually abolished altogether. This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. French wants to build on community engagement and other reforms here that have made Richmond something of a national model. Members of the Richmond Police Officers association voted 117-19 … You know, it would take time. From The East Bay Times: “Bisa French, who has overseen the Richmond Police Department on an interim basis since September of last year, has been named the city’s new full-time police chief. Chief French says she was affected by those killings as a cop, a mom and a woman of color. The city's budget just took a big hit. Bisa French. “Agents were here conducting an investigation involving three suspects,” Richmond Lt. Bisa French said during a curbside press conference about an hour after the 3 p.m. shooting. BISA FRENCH: So I was a teenage mom before I got hired here. In the wake of President Joe Biden's administration setting forth plans to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses during the first 100 days of... By Mike Kinney and Kathy Chouteau WESTERVELT: Now at age 45, French is making history as the first woman and woman of color to lead the 150-member force. Bisa French was selected as Richmond chief of police, the department announced Thursday. The Richmond Standard is funded by the Chevron Products Company. Copyright © 2020 NPR. Now, she’s simply police chief. French declined to comment on Brown’s departure outside the council chamber. Please support Transparent California. After years of struggling to provide her son with a good life, she is now the first African-American woman captain in the Richmond Police Department in Richmond, California and the youngest captain of any gender or ethnicity. WESTERVELT: It's a tightrope made more difficult and wrenching, she says, following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd and the botched no-knock police raid that killed Louisville EMT Breonna Taylor. Chief French has had a good amount of experience at the helm of the 250-member police department with an annual budget of about $70 million. “I want to make this a permanent position,” she said. Chief French has spent her entire law enforcement career with RPD. Bisa French is Richmond, CA's new police chief. City Manager Laura Snideman chose French. Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of the year, surprising many who’ve worked with and for him. Richmond speaks out against proposed flight path over city, Contra Costa County aims to deliver 1M COVID-19 vaccine doses by July 4, After holiday hiatus, El Garage reopens today with new offerings, Richmond Promise seeks mentors for program scholars, San Pablo pastors seek funding for soon-to-launch re-entry home, TikTok video featuring dancing Richmond principal goes viral, Richmond council votes to suspend street sweeping citations, consider voluntary program. Sgt. French was born in San Francisco to a Puerto Rican mother and an African American father. The city's also feeling the strains of gentrification. She then worked as a Detective in … Bisa French is Richmond, CA's new police chief. Richmond appoints Bisa French as police chief. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. The city praised Chief French’s career and her leadership thus far, saying she’s committed to community policing, community partnerships and advancing RPD in the areas of technology, social media and training. I mean, you know, she's acknowledging it and, you know, she says she wants to help work with us. RICHMOND, CA — Interim Police Chief Bisa French has thrown her hat into the ring as a search for a permanent police chief for the Richmond Police Department (RPD) is set to start in January. She rose up the ranks including detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and assistant chief. I’m proud that the people in our department and our City are committed to these values, which will guide my continuing leadership of the RPD.”. It's a moment that, as in many cities, has sparked new demands for police accountability. She’s the first woman with African American and Latina heritage to serve as chief. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. Assistant Chief French serves the city and neighborhood where she grew up with a commitment to justice both for families and the larger community. New story on NPR: Bisa French Takes On Historic Role As Police Chief In Richmond, California Natalia Beltz (@nataliabeltz) August 2, 2020 from Twitter August 02, 2020 at … Season Two: Carey talks with Richmond Assistant Police Chief Bisa French. African American and Latina heritage to serve as chief. SAMONE ANDERSON: Every conversation we've had with her, she's not denying that we need more mental health resources. She’s the first woman with African American and Latina heritage to serve as chief. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record. “It’s particularly important right now to honestly maintain a culture of excellence, trust, and transparency, in partnership with our community. Get the best Richmond Standard stories delivered to your inbox. Richmond police veteran Bisa French will be the department’s new chief after serving 10 months as its interim leader. Please support Transparent California. WESTERVELT: So Lee and fellow Richmond Revolution founder Samone Anderson say, while they are fundamentally at odds with French on some things, they do think they can work with the new chief. Bisa French is no longer Richmond’s interim police chief. There are calls to cut or even abolish budgets, to realign the police mission and to radically improve oversight. Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Activists are cautiously optimistic she can foster real change. Last month, Bisa French added another major milestone to her career. Great news for fans of El Garage (a.k.a. Income and property values are up, but poverty and inequality remain big concerns. Want to make a significant difference in the life of a Richmond youth? I got hired right at 22 years old. Bisa French will also be the only black female police chief in the state of California. . On Thursday, the city announced that French has been appointed as the city’s new police chief. Armond Lee is one of the organizers. You know, she's not denying that these kids need more support in these schools. “In addition to her outstanding law enforcement qualifications, she’s someone who really knows the people, the issues, and the values and needs of the Richmond community.”. I think that was really huge. The Richmond Police Department held a special ceremony on Thursday to honor its officers and pay tribute to those killed in the line of duty. A new group called Richmond Revolution sprouted up. Yesterday, Bisa French officially became Chief French. The Richmond Police Department is concerned about crime victims and families in crisis. Virgil Thomas, who was with RPD for 24 years, has died after he reportedly caught the coronavirus on the … Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker or whitelisting our site. I am Black, and I am blue. The 22-year RPD veteran has been serving as interim chief since September last year, when former Chief Allwyn Brown resigned following a no-confidence vote in his leadership by the police rank-and-file. Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. She's the first woman and woman of color to lead the force in its history. Bisa French Interim Chief of Police at Richmond Police Department San Francisco Bay Area 500+ connections Please take a look at our new Victim Advocacy webpage for information related to our partnerships with victim advocacy groups and the newly opened West Contra Costa Family Justice Center at 256 24th Street Richmond, CA 94804. You have entered an incorrect email address! Bisa French was a single mother who became a cop at age 22. She's the first woman and woman of color to lead the force in its history. In recent years, the department has increased community trust and reduced crime, including a big reduction in homicides. There would've been a public swearing-in ceremony this weekend, but the pandemic did away with that. I had no, you know - no thoughts of becoming the chief. FRENCH: I do think I'm uniquely situated to understand the challenges that the community is bringing forth, as well as the challenges of being an officer and putting this uniform on. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. French was appointed interim chief in September and … After years of struggling to provide her son with a good life, she is now the first African-American woman captain in the Richmond Police Department in Richmond, California and the youngest captain of any gender or ethnicity. French said she has what it takes to put the department back on track and fill the gap in its numbers. As NPR's Eric Westervelt explains, her appointment to lead the police department is a historic first for the city. She was interested in law enforcement, but she really needed a job after getting pregnant. In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. On Thursday, the city announced that French has been appointed as the city’s new police chief. They'd rather see that money spent on schools, libraries, anti-poverty and other social service programs. Chief Bisa French began her career with the Richmond Police Department in 1998. She and Carey talk about how our own stories can better connect us to the people we serve. A federal agent shot and critically wounded a man in the parking lot of a restaurant of a Hilltop area restaurant, Richmond police said Wednesday. Richmond police Capt. Bisa French Takes On Historic Role As Police Chief In Richmond, California Aug. 2, 12 p.m. CT. She was a single mother when she started out as police officer in 1998. WESTERVELT: But how the new police chief can help with those social challenges is the big question. Activists are cautiously optimistic she can foster real change. French says living and raising three children here in Richmond in the San Francisco Bay Area and rising through the police ranks gives her knowledge of this community, as she puts it, from both a Black and a blue perspective. Eric Westervelt, NPR News, Richmond, Calif. Protests for racial justice and police accountability continue, and more elected officials are reconsidering how their local law enforcement operates. Activists are cautiously optimistic she can foster real change. Now, she’s simply police chief. She's not denying that we need more housing security and food security. Her leadership has been credited with creating a multi-disciplinary team to strategize on how best to serve the mentally ill; implementing a process for officers to receive Crisis Intervention Training; spearheading development of the Family Justice Center; managing the Mental Health Evaluation Team pilot project in which an officer and a mental health operative work together in engaging the mentally ill in crisis; overseeing the implementation of RPD’s body camera program; restructuring the RPD chain of command for sergeants and lieutenants to increase accountability and serving on the Contra Costa County Police Chief’s Association’s Racial Justice Task Force. Currently you have JavaScript disabled. She believes her background gives her an added level of understanding and empathy to help Richmond navigate this difficult moment in American policing. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information. Accuracy and availability may vary. ARMOND LEE: We do realize that abolition is not an overnight venture. So it was more out of necessity. In 2013, she became RPD’s first African American and Latina captain — and also the youngest to ever hold the position. everyone): after a one-month closure, the owners of Richmond’s ever-popular eatery... By Kathy Chouteau I sat down with Richmond, California Police Chief Bisa French for this interview. And so I have to really - there's a line that I kind of tote and balance of being a person of color and wearing a blue uniform. Get more info, plus volunteer or donate now with six different food banks at KBLX.com. The law enforcement veteran who in 2013 became the Richmond Police Department’s first African American and Latina captain — and also the youngest to ever hold the position — can now say she’s RPD’s first interim female police chief. Tolosa gave chase and led the sergeant to the 500 block of 38th Street, less than a mile away, where Richmond police Capt. Richmond appoints Bisa French as police chief. Bisa French said Tolosa fled from the vehicle on foot. Her husband is an Oakland police sergeant. Her first official day as police chief will be on August 1. “At this juncture in our nation’s history, the role of law enforcement is evolving rapidly,” Chief French said. French becomes the first Black woman to lead the department, an honor that comes seven years after she became its first Black woman captain. RICHMOND — Bisa French, who has overseen the Richmond Police Department on an interim basis since September of last year, has been named the city’s new full-time police chief. Interim Richmond Police Chief Bisa French invites you to listen to the 102.9 KBLX Food Bank Radiothon presented by 1st Nor Cal Credit Union on Wednesday, May 6th. Bisa French, in her own words Share this: Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) This is "RPD Interim Police Chief Bisa French Profile" by Richmond Confidential on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. “At some point,… Prior to being police chief, she was part of Richmond police for 22 years joining in 1998. It's also a little sad the way it's happened," says Bisa French, who until days ago was Richmond police assistant chief. Bisa Frank is born and raised in San Francisco. As a young officer, she worked various assignments in Patrol including Community Policing Officer, Field Training Officer, and Bicycle Patrol Officer. Contra Costa County… Bisa French is Richmond, CA's new police chief. The Northern Californian city of Richmond is facing those pressures. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker or whitelisting our site. Alameda County Community Food Bank Bisa French was a single mother who became a cop at age 22. French becomes the first Black woman to lead the department, an honor that comes seven years after she became its first Black woman captain. All rights reserved. Richmond Police Officer Dies of COVID-19 Complications. Still, the young organizers of Richmond Revolution say they think they now have a police chief who will listen to them and is open to change. NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. Police Chief Bisa French a 22-year veteran of the Richmond Police Department, has held several positions in the department, including detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and assistant chief. This was basically my way to be able to support myself and my son at the time. Her permanent role becomes effective on Aug. 1, according to a city statement. 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