Emeryville Police Chief Jennifer Tejada formally announced her retirement from the EPD last week. In a letter to City Manager Christine Daniel, Tejada set her final day with the force as June 12.
Tejada was recruited from the Sausalito PD in 2015 to take over for long time Emeryville Police Chief Ken James. Tejada became interested in policing after graduating from UC Berkeley and witnessing the destruction of her city as an employee of a property management company she noted in a 2015 interview.
Tejada was immediately put to the test as Chief as the city was forced to confront an activist-led insurgence in the wake of an officer-involved shooting of an armed civilian using an AR-15 rifle. She successfully staved off chatter of Emeryville forming a Police Commission to oversee her force.
Tejada was able to implement her progressive leadership policies to her squad that included the use of mindful policing practices to combat stress and burnout. She also took a leadership role in equipping her officers with NARCAN used to counter the effects of an opioid overdose.
Property Crime data rose sharply under Tejada’s tenure as hers and neighboring cities battled to contain rampant auto burglaries and petty theft. Much of this can be attributed to policies pushed by some local officials that reduced punishment for so-called “non-violent” offenses.
Policing in the East Bay continued to come under intense scrutiny with Tejada at the helm and she was outspoken on the dismissal of OPD Chief Anne Kirkpatrick. Tejada regularly expressed her strong views and support for her profession via her Twitter account (as well as the occasional levity).
Can this be our new uniform? #NewNormal #StayAtHome @EmeryvillePD getting it done. Conducting candidate interviews via ZOOM today #EssentialWorkers #COVID19Response #flatteningthecurve pic.twitter.com/gk0R36KsoP
— Jennifer Tejada (@ChiefTejada) April 23, 2020
No interim has been named to replace Tejada although City Manager Christine Daniel noted that they are working to identify potential candidates.
Her entire resignation letter is embedded below.
This memorandum serves as my official notice that I plan to retire on June 12, 2020. This decision was not an easy one, but after twenty -five years of public service, I am excited about retiring and I am ready to venture on to the next chapter in my life.
Serving as the Chief of Police for Emeryville has been one of the greatest honors of my career, and as I tender this resignation, I also tender my gratitude.
I am grateful to have worked under your leadership, and for the exceptional knowledge and wisdom you have shared during that time.
I am grateful to have served with such a progressive and engaged management team. I am grateful to our elected officials who have always demonstrated support and concern for our police department staff.
I am grateful for the support we have from the Emeryville community, and for the many friendships I have developed during my time here.
Lastly, I am grateful for each one of the members of the Emeryville Police Department. They are as extraordinary as people can be. They serve with humility and with determination to do what’s right. It is impossible to quantify the many acts of bravery, heroism, kindness, and compassion that our personnel perform each day with professionalism of duty as they deliver outstanding service to our community.
It has been my absolute honor and privilege to serve as your Chief of Police.
In gratitude and with respect,
Jennifer G Tejada
Chief of Police