Assistant Chief French serves the city and neighborhood where she grew up with a commitment to justice both for families and the larger community. After years of struggling to provide her son with a good life, she is now the first African-American woman captain in the Richmond Police Department in Richmond, California and the youngest captain of any gender or ethnicity. Bisa French was a single mother who became a cop at age 22. There would've been a public swearing-in ceremony this weekend, but the pandemic did away with that. WESTERVELT: But how the new police chief can help with those social challenges is the big question. Bisa French will also be the only black female police chief in the state of California. Bisa French, in her own words Share this: Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window) Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window) The city's also feeling the strains of gentrification. Income and property values are up, but poverty and inequality remain big concerns. Bisa French is Richmond, CA's new police chief. She was a single mother when she started out as police officer in 1998. She and Carey talk about how our own stories can better connect us to the people we serve. Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. “It’s particularly important right now to honestly maintain a culture of excellence, trust, and transparency, in partnership with our community. I had no, you know - no thoughts of becoming the chief. The Richmond Standard is funded by the Chevron Products Company. Please support Transparent California. Bisa French Interim Chief of Police at Richmond Police Department San Francisco Bay Area 500+ connections Bisa French is Richmond, CA's new police chief. RICHMOND — Bisa French, who has overseen the Richmond Police Department on an interim basis since September of last year, has been named the city’s new full-time police chief. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker or whitelisting our site. A federal agent shot and critically wounded a man in the parking lot of a restaurant of a Hilltop area restaurant, Richmond police said Wednesday. Great news for fans of El Garage (a.k.a. New story on NPR: Bisa French Takes On Historic Role As Police Chief In Richmond, California Natalia Beltz (@nataliabeltz) August 2, 2020 from Twitter August 02, 2020 at … Bisa French was a single mother who became a cop at age 22. I sat down with Richmond, California Police Chief Bisa French for this interview. Bisa French Takes On Historic Role As Police Chief In Richmond, California Aug. 2, 12 p.m. CT. In the wake of President Joe Biden's administration setting forth plans to administer 100 million COVID-19 vaccine doses during the first 100 days of... By Mike Kinney and Kathy Chouteau As a young officer, she worked various assignments in Patrol including Community Policing Officer, Field Training Officer, and Bicycle Patrol Officer. Her husband is an Oakland police sergeant. Accuracy and availability may vary. French becomes the first Black woman to lead the department, an honor that comes seven years after she became its first Black woman captain. Richmond’s Bisa French says she’s ready for historic role as police chief At 45, she becomes youngest, first woman and African American to lead city’s 110-year-old department. Richmond appoints Bisa French as police chief. She's the first woman and woman of color to lead the force in its history. The city praised Chief French’s career and her leadership thus far, saying she’s committed to community policing, community partnerships and advancing RPD in the areas of technology, social media and training. Tolosa gave chase and led the sergeant to the 500 block of 38th Street, less than a mile away, where Richmond police Capt. Richmond speaks out against proposed flight path over city, Contra Costa County aims to deliver 1M COVID-19 vaccine doses by July 4, After holiday hiatus, El Garage reopens today with new offerings, Richmond Promise seeks mentors for program scholars, San Pablo pastors seek funding for soon-to-launch re-entry home, TikTok video featuring dancing Richmond principal goes viral, Richmond council votes to suspend street sweeping citations, consider voluntary program. It is a challenging time to be a police chief in the U.S. FRENCH: I do think I'm uniquely situated to understand the challenges that the community is bringing forth, as well as the challenges of being an officer and putting this uniform on. I’m proud that the people in our department and our City are committed to these values, which will guide my continuing leadership of the RPD.”. This is "RPD Interim Police Chief Bisa French Profile" by Richmond Confidential on Vimeo, the home for high quality videos and the people who love them. The Richmond Police Department is concerned about crime victims and families in crisis. I mean, you know, she's acknowledging it and, you know, she says she wants to help work with us. She was interested in law enforcement, but she really needed a job after getting pregnant. Season Two: Carey talks with Richmond Assistant Police Chief Bisa French. everyone): after a one-month closure, the owners of Richmond’s ever-popular eatery... By Kathy Chouteau Her leadership has been credited with creating a multi-disciplinary team to strategize on how best to serve the mentally ill; implementing a process for officers to receive Crisis Intervention Training; spearheading development of the Family Justice Center; managing the Mental Health Evaluation Team pilot project in which an officer and a mental health operative work together in engaging the mentally ill in crisis; overseeing the implementation of RPD’s body camera program; restructuring the RPD chain of command for sergeants and lieutenants to increase accountability and serving on the Contra Costa County Police Chief’s Association’s Racial Justice Task Force. I think that was really huge. Listen 4:07 They'd rather see that money spent on schools, libraries, anti-poverty and other social service programs. “Agents were here conducting an investigation involving three suspects,” Richmond Lt. Bisa French said during a curbside press conference about an hour after the 3 p.m. shooting. Write CSS OR LESS and hit save. Now, she’s simply police chief. You know, it would take time. Interim Richmond Police Chief Bisa French invites you to listen to the 102.9 KBLX Food Bank Radiothon presented by 1st Nor Cal Credit Union on Wednesday, May 6th. WESTERVELT: So Lee and fellow Richmond Revolution founder Samone Anderson say, while they are fundamentally at odds with French on some things, they do think they can work with the new chief. RICHMOND — Bisa French, who has overseen the Richmond Police Department on an interim basis since September of last year, has been named the city’s new full-time police chief. Chief French's own budget was slashed 10%. Activists are cautiously optimistic she can foster real change. . In order to post comments, please make sure JavaScript and Cookies are enabled, and reload the page. I am Black, and I am blue. Alameda County Community Food Bank Richmond police veteran Bisa French will be the department’s new chief after serving 10 months as its interim leader. Bisa French said Tolosa fled from the vehicle on foot. Her first official day as police chief will be on August 1. French said she has what it takes to put the department back on track and fill the gap in its numbers. Richmond Police Chief Allwyn Brown Calls Express Story ‘Dishonest,’ ‘False,’ and ‘Under-Sourced,’ but Fails to Offer Evidence By John Geluardi Fri, Jul 20, 2018 at 2:11 PM Currently you have JavaScript disabled. Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Her permanent role becomes effective on Aug. 1, according to a city statement. On Thursday, the city announced that French has been appointed as the city’s new police chief. Police Chief Bisa French a 22-year veteran of the Richmond Police Department, has held several positions in the department, including detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and assistant chief. Chief French says she was affected by those killings as a cop, a mom and a woman of color. Eric Westervelt, NPR News, Richmond, Calif. Yesterday, Bisa French officially became Chief French. African American and Latina heritage to serve as chief. Activists are cautiously optimistic she can foster real change. I got hired right at 22 years old. NPR transcripts are created on a rush deadline by Verb8tm, Inc., an NPR contractor, and produced using a proprietary transcription process developed with NPR. In a statement, Chief French said she’s thrilled to continue in her role as the city’s top cop. She’s the first woman with African American and Latina heritage to serve as chief. In 2013, she became RPD’s first African American and Latina captain — and also the youngest to ever hold the position. She's the first woman and woman of color to lead the force in its history. Bisa French is no longer Richmond’s interim police chief. The law enforcement veteran who in 2013 became the Richmond Police Department’s first African American and Latina captain — and also the youngest to ever hold the position — can now say she’s RPD’s first interim female police chief. Chief French has spent her entire law enforcement career with RPD. CTRL + SPACE for auto-complete. Please take a look at our new Victim Advocacy webpage for information related to our partnerships with victim advocacy groups and the newly opened West Contra Costa Family Justice Center at 256 24th Street Richmond, CA 94804. The Northern Californian city of Richmond is facing those pressures. Members of the Richmond Police Officers association voted 117-19 … Prior to being police chief, she was part of Richmond police for 22 years joining in 1998. In recent years, the department has increased community trust and reduced crime, including a big reduction in homicides. Richmond Police Officer Dies of COVID-19 Complications. Bisa French is Richmond, CA's new police chief. After years of struggling to provide her son with a good life, she is now the first African-American woman captain in the Richmond Police Department in Richmond, California and the youngest captain of any gender or ethnicity. “At this juncture in our nation’s history, the role of law enforcement is evolving rapidly,” Chief French said. City Manager Laura Snideman chose French. The authoritative record of NPR’s programming is the audio record. French becomes the first Black woman to lead the department, an honor that comes seven years after she became its first Black woman captain. Copyright © 2020 NPR. You have entered an incorrect email address! She's not denying that we need more housing security and food security. “I want to make this a permanent position,” she said. She then worked as a Detective in … “At some point,… Want to make a significant difference in the life of a Richmond youth? French declined to comment on Brown’s departure outside the council chamber. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. French was appointed interim chief in September and … It's a moment that, as in many cities, has sparked new demands for police accountability. Chief Bisa French began her career with the Richmond Police Department in 1998. Get more info, plus volunteer or donate now with six different food banks at KBLX.com. The Richmond Police Department held a special ceremony on Thursday to honor its officers and pay tribute to those killed in the line of duty. RICHMOND, CA — Interim Police Chief Bisa French has thrown her hat into the ring as a search for a permanent police chief for the Richmond Police Department (RPD) is set to start in January. Bisa Frank is born and raised in San Francisco. Now, she’s simply police chief. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. She rose up the ranks including detective, sergeant, lieutenant, captain and assistant chief. Last month, Bisa French added another major milestone to her career. All rights reserved. WESTERVELT: It's a tightrope made more difficult and wrenching, she says, following the Minneapolis police killing of George Floyd and the botched no-knock police raid that killed Louisville EMT Breonna Taylor. We aim to provide Richmond residents with important information about what's going on at the Richmond Refinery and in the community, and to provide a voice for Chevron Products Company on civic issues. On Thursday, the city announced that French has been appointed as the city’s new police chief. French wants to build on community engagement and other reforms here that have made Richmond something of a national model. Visit our website terms of use and permissions pages at www.npr.org for further information. French will be the first Black woman to serve as chief, Lt. Matt Stonebraker, Richmond Police Department spokesman, said Thursday. Please support Transparent California. Click here for instructions on how to enable JavaScript in your browser. BISA FRENCH: So I was a teenage mom before I got hired here. Bisa French is no longer Richmond’s interim police chief. Activists are cautiously optimistic she can foster real change. You know, she's not denying that these kids need more support in these schools. Richmond Police Chief Alfred Durham announced Tuesday that he will retire at the end of the year, surprising many who’ve worked with and for him. ERIC WESTERVELT, BYLINE: Bisa French says she didn't see herself as a future police leader when she joined the Richmond PD more than two decades ago. They want the police department defunded and eventually abolished altogether. Get the best Richmond Standard stories delivered to your inbox. SAMONE ANDERSON: Every conversation we've had with her, she's not denying that we need more mental health resources. As NPR's Eric Westervelt explains, her appointment to lead the police department is a historic first for the city. Richmond police Capt. French was born in San Francisco to a Puerto Rican mother and an African American father. WESTERVELT: Now at age 45, French is making history as the first woman and woman of color to lead the 150-member force. Richmond appoints Bisa French as police chief. And so I have to really - there's a line that I kind of tote and balance of being a person of color and wearing a blue uniform. It's also a little sad the way it's happened," says Bisa French, who until days ago was Richmond police assistant chief. This was basically my way to be able to support myself and my son at the time. There are calls to cut or even abolish budgets, to realign the police mission and to radically improve oversight. “In addition to her outstanding law enforcement qualifications, she’s someone who really knows the people, the issues, and the values and needs of the Richmond community.”. Sgt. She's the first woman and woman of color to lead the force in its history. ARMOND LEE: We do realize that abolition is not an overnight venture. Bisa French. The city's budget just took a big hit. Chief French has had a good amount of experience at the helm of the 250-member police department with an annual budget of about $70 million. Please consider supporting us by disabling your ad blocker or whitelisting our site. Bisa French was selected as Richmond chief of police, the department announced Thursday. So it was more out of necessity. Protests for racial justice and police accountability continue, and more elected officials are reconsidering how their local law enforcement operates. Still, the young organizers of Richmond Revolution say they think they now have a police chief who will listen to them and is open to change. She believes her background gives her an added level of understanding and empathy to help Richmond navigate this difficult moment in American policing. She’s the first woman with African American and Latina heritage to serve as chief. It would take years to accomplish. “I’m delighted to appoint Bisa French, and gratified that our Police Chief is someone of such high quality, impeccable character, and unparalleled local experience,” Richmond City Manager Laura Snideman said in a statement. From The East Bay Times: “Bisa French, who has overseen the Richmond Police Department on an interim basis since September of last year, has been named the city’s new full-time police chief. Contra Costa County… This text may not be in its final form and may be updated or revised in the future. Virgil Thomas, who was with RPD for 24 years, has died after he reportedly caught the coronavirus on the … A new group called Richmond Revolution sprouted up. French says living and raising three children here in Richmond in the San Francisco Bay Area and rising through the police ranks gives her knowledge of this community, as she puts it, from both a Black and a blue perspective. Armond Lee is one of the organizers. The 22-year RPD veteran has been serving as interim chief since September last year, when former Chief Allwyn Brown resigned following a no-confidence vote in his leadership by the police rank-and-file. S thrilled to continue in her role as police chief, Lt. Stonebraker! 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