Former OPD chief LeRonne Armstrong's new role taps into athletic roots

Former Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong opened up about his life after his controversial termination as the department's top cop nine months ago.

He also spoke candidly about the current state of the city where he was born and raised as it goes through a rough patch.

The former chief expressed an unwavering love for the city of Oakland, the only city he has called home while talking to KTVU anchor Dave Clark for the latest Talk of the Town installment. However, he also lamented that he's no longer in law enforcement at a time when crime has surged.

"It's difficult to hear people talk about how afraid they are to be in the city. It's difficult to hear people feeling like their vehicles or their property isn't safe in the city," he said. "That's challenging for me, because I feel like I have so much to offer, and I'm not actually able to help solve the problem."

Optimistic about the city's ability to address crime, Armstrong said, "It's a city that I love. A city that I care about and I know Oakland will work its way through this."

While no longer responsible for community safety and leading a police force, Armstrong remains committed to serving Oakland in some capacity.

He has taken on the role of a volunteer assistant basketball coach for the boys' team at Bishop O'Dowd High School.

"It really is something that I have a passion for. Most people know that I started off in West Oakland playing basketball at McClymonds High School," Armstrong said. "Basketball is central to who I am. This is my opportunity to give back to young student-athletes who I think have a great opportunity to not only win on the court, but also win in the classroom."


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The opportunity arose when Lou Richie, the head coach of the boys' basketball team at O'Dowd and a longtime acquaintance of Armstrong, reached out. Even during his tenure as police chief, Richie had expressed interest in Armstrong sharing his knowledge and expertise with the team.

However, the sudden change in his job status, allowed him to serve in a bigger capacity, joining O'Dowd as an assistant coach.

Armstrong, who filed a wrongful termination suit against the City of Oakland earlier this year, remains uncertain about his future outside his his current volunteer role.

"I don't know what the future holds, but it's going to be something in Oakland," he said.

Armstrong's termination, stemming from a probe into the alleged cover-up of an officer's misconduct, faced intense scrutiny. An appeal later cleared him of any wrongdoing.