Emeryville Police Chief Jennifer Tejada Announces Retirement

Published On May 21, 2020 | By Rob Arias | Crime & Public Safety, News & Commentary

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).

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.


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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

Tejada retirement notice from E’ville Eye

About The Author

is a third generation Californian and East Bay native who moved to Emeryville in 2003. A new parent in the community, he can often be seen walking his French Bulldog rescue "Fiona" around his Park Avenue District neighborhood, traversing the greenway on his bike or enjoying his favorite Emeryville small businesses. Rob's "day job" is as a creative professional.

5 Responses to Emeryville Police Chief Jennifer Tejada Announces Retirement

  1. Joan Strasser says:

    “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.”
    “We find some evidence that Proposition 47 affected property crime. State-wide, property crime increased after 2014. While the reform had no apparent impact on burglaries or auto thefts, it may have contributed to a rise in larceny thefts, which increased by roughly 9 percent (about 135 more thefts per 100,000 residents) compared to other states. Crime data show that thefts from motor vehicles account for about three-quarters of this increase. ƒDespite recent upticks, California’s crime rates remain comparable to the low rates observed in the 1960s—even with the dramatic reductions in incarceration ushered in by recent criminal justice reforms.
    Compare the statement in this article with information provided in cited source.

    • Rob Arias says:

      You might be conflating auto thefts (as in the theft of the entire automobile which have not risen dramatically) and “thefts from motor vehicles” AKA auto burglaries or “smash & grabs” which have risen dramatically. The point is that I don’t think the EPD nor the Chief are entirely to blame for the surge in these types of crimes. Policy matters.

      • Anonymous says:

        If by policy you mean Prop 47, which you have cited, statewide the increase was 9%, which is not “dramatic”, especially as they state the rate is “comparable to the low rates in the 1960’s.” They also specify that this is “even with the dramatic reductions in incarceration”, while your statement, contrary to your own source, attributes the rise to these policies. You state “local”, as opposed I guess to California? Are these local laws those of Alameda County? Emeryville?

      • Rob Arias says:

        Joan, I’ll let you google “auto burglaries, prop 47” and you can read the source of your liking. Here’s the Chronicle who I personally trust.
        https://www.sfchronicle.com/crime/article/Prop-47-is-linked-to-increase-in-auto-thefts-12989137.php
        Emeryville’s Auto Burglaries have gone up 136% since 2014 (“dramatic” by most people’s standards I’d argue). Here’s the data:
        https://evilleeye.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/05/Emeryville-Auto-Burglaries-2013-2019.png

        Anyway, I hate seeing this post about the chief retiring getting hijacked by a crime discussion. Feel free to email me if you have any follow up questions.

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