On Monday, Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe announced during a press conference he will be calling for a special meeting on Friday to appoint a permanent city manager and police chief.
Thorpe called interim city manager Cornelius Johnson “the perfect fit” for the City of Antioch. Once Johnson is officially city manager, they will move to appoint Dr. Steve Ford as police chief.
The mayor explained that the city was working on a process of how they hire the police chief, but given the circumstances of the day they couldn’t wait for the process as the Antioch Police Department needed stability.
“Antioch residents expect to see a government which everyday, every department is held accountable for their actions. With Mr. Johnson and Dr. Ford at the helm, that is exactly what they will get.”
Dr. Steve Ford offered a few remarks.
“I sincerely apologize to the professionals, the City of Antioch, and the general public that we are in this situation,” said Ford who said the department was committed to providing a high level of services. “We will be purposeful to restoring trust, respect and legitimacy from our citizens.”
Ford stated that in the near future they will be undergoing leadership training and they would also have new leadership within promoted ranks—but did not elaborate further. He also stated they would have new policies, procedures and best practices.
FBI Investigation into Antioch Police
Thorpe said the current FBI investigation involving Antioch Police Department officers. Of the 57 patrol officers, 8 are under investigation by the FBI and Contra Costa County District Attorneys Office—15% of patrol officers within the department. He said the number of officers under investigation could increase.
“When I ran for Mayor, I did so knowing that I was inheriting years of insufficient oversight of the Antioch Police Department at all levels of government,” said Thorpe. “That is why when I took office two years police reform was and continues to be my top priority in the interest of public safety.
He said he was in full support of the work being done by the FBI and District Attorney’s office.
“If this process reveals any criminal wrongdoing, The sooner we can root out officers who should not be wearing the badge, it will be better for the city as we work towards building relationships built on trust with our community,” said Thorpe. “Equally, this is about protecting those police officers who serve with honor on a daily basis. We want to make sure they are respected.”
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Shortly after Antioch Mayor Lamar Thorpe announced they would be pushing through the hiring of City Manager Con Johnson and Chief of Police Dr. Steve Ford, the Antioch Police Officers Association issued the following statement:
Antioch Police Officers Association Issues Statement on Leadership Change
As is customary when a change of leadership occurs within the Antioch Police Officer’s Association, the new President (Sergeant Rick Hoffman) and Vice President (Corporal Loren Bledsoe) met with the Mayor and other city leaders to discuss the state of the police department and city going forward.
The APOA leaders spoke with the Mayor about various topics including transparency, reform, ongoing training and interim Chief Ford. The APOA has had the pleasure of working with interim Chief Ford and appreciate his vision and his leadership. The APOA has enjoyed great working relationships with our Chiefs through the years, most recently with Chief Tammany Brooks, Interim Chief Morefield and now Interim Chief Ford.
Should there be a process to fill our department’s permanent Chief position, the APOA will support and respect the process and will be prepared to have a good working relationship with the Chief who is ultimately selected.
Should interim Chief Ford be selected to fill the permanent Chief position, we will fully support him and will be eager to continue the work we have started together.
APOA President Rick Hoffman
City Manager Background:
- May 2017: City of Antioch Names Ron Bernal New City Manager
- Sept. 7, 2021: Antioch City Manager to Retire at End of 2021
- Nov 5, 2021: Antioch Set to Hire Former San Francisco Police Captain as Interim City Manager
- Nov. 10, 2021: Antioch City Council Agrees to Hire Cornelius Johnson as Interim City Manager in 3-2 Vote
- Dec. 16, 2021: Antioch Mayor Announces Hiring of Interim City Manager
Police Chief Background
- May 2017: Tammany Brooks Sworn in as Antioch Police Chief
- Aug. 26, 2021: Antioch Police Chief Hired as Next Deputy Chief of Boise Police Department
- Sept. 9, 2021: Antioch Announces Retirement of Tammany Brooks as Police Chief
- Oct. 2021 – Captain Tony Morefield named interim chief of police
- Oct. 9, 2021: Last Day for Chief Brooks
- Oct. 28, 2021: Antioch City Council Seeks to Have Final Say in Police Chief Hiring
- February 24, 2022 – Emails Show Antioch Interim City Manager Fires Police Chief, Then Retracts Hour Later
- April 27, 2022 – Steve Ford appointed Interim Police Chief
The special meeting will be held Friday according to Thorpe.