Oct. 11, 2011 | During a contentious and often raucous council meeting in Oakland last week, an angry resident mocked Anthony Batts, the city's chief of police. "I'm Chief Batts," he said. "I don't want to be here. I wanted to go to San Jose!" The catcall now seems prescient.
Batts announced his resignation from the force Tuesday afternoon, effective next month. Oakland's city attorney also announced news earlier today of Batts' departure.
"I found myself with limited control, but full accountability," Batts said in his resignation letter to employees. "The landscape has changed radically over the past two years and with new and different challenges."
Earlier this year, it was revealed the slick and sometimes combative Batts was a candidate for the same position in San Jose. Ultimately, he was passed over for another candidate, but the perception he was attempting to jump ship rankled many residents and city leaders. No information regarding Batts' future was given.
Numerous reports detailed a strained relationship with Mayor Jean Quan, which he denied last March. Last Tuesday's six-hour marathon council meeting where councilmembers pushed hot-bottom public safety proposals further into the future may have been the breaking point for Batts. Council support for instituting youth curfews in addition to gang injunctions and loitering laws appeared to wane last week. All three issues were tabled until next week.