Oakland mayor ready to 'declare state of emergency' if police chief isn't selected by year's end

Oakland has been without a police chief ever since the mayor fired him in February. 

And on Tuesday, that same mayor told KTVU that she was poised to "declare a state of emergency" if a new police chief isn't selected by the end of the year. 

"I'm really hopeful that we will," Mayor Sheng Thao said in her regular, monthly interview with KTVU. "And if we don't – and I'll say it right here today -- and if we don't, I will declare a state of emergency to get a police chief, because this process has been held up by the police commission for far too long with all the shenanigans, the internal fighting."

She added: "All of the different infighting has just not been conducive to what we're doing here and running a city. And it's been very frustrating." 

KTVU sent an email to the Oakland Police Commission following Thao's interview but did not immediately hear back, other than to receive their timeline.

And, if all goes according to the commission's plan, there will be no need for a state of emergency.

The commission's schedule shows that they hope to have the mayor interviewing a candidate by late October. 

The previous commission took nine months to hire LeRonne Armstrong, whom Thao fired about a month after taking office. 

Thao terminated him after an independent auditor found that Armstrong neglected his duty in overseeing two botched Internal Affairs investigations. 

The Oakland Police Commission did not agree with Thao's firing Armstrong. 

This is not the first time that Thao has publicly shown her frustration with the Oakland Police Commission, a group of citizens with oversight of the police department. 

In June, Thao first told KTVU that the police commission hadn't even begun the search for a new chief. 

That seemed to light a fire with the commissioners, who picked a consultant to begin the search the following month.

That revelation also led to the ouster of one commissioner and the pending ouster of the current chair, who was not selected for a second term come next month. 

But that chair, Tyfahra Milele, responded to the mayor's comments on KTVU via a public letter she issued on social media. 

Milele noted how Thao would not call a "state of emergency" when community members asked her to over the weekend as they are concerned about the rise in crime, but she is ready to declare that emergency over the police chief search.

"The mayor created this crisis and liability by dismissing the former police chief … without a plan," Milele wrote. "We urge the mayor not to scapegoat the comission for the city's lack of response on public safety concerns….and we urge the mayor to not threaten to usurp the commission's legal authority and responsibility for the hiring process, like she did with the dismissal of the former police chief…" 

EDITOR'S NOTE: This story was updated after the Oakland Police Commission chair issued a statement on social media.