Police Chief Jordan, in-between two graduates of The 166th Police Academy. ( Photo by HiMY SYeD )

Howard A. Jordan was the Chief of the Oakland Police Department. He served the department for 24 years.  He currently lives in Pleasant Hill, CA.


image modified by greenkozi from CC BY 2.0 photo by mlinksvaHoward Jordan was born in the West Indies and raised in New York. Jordan has a Master's in Public Administration from Cal State East Bay (then Cal State Hayward). He has certificates from the FBI National Academy and the Police Executive Research Forum’s Senior Management Institute in Policing.2  Within the department, Jordan has also held the positions of assistant chief, assistant chief, SWAT team commander, head of internal affairs and Oakland Schools police chief.3

Jordan is married with two children.

Jordan served as interim Chief after Chief Wayne Tucker retired/resigned and before Chief Anthony Batts was hired. During this time, four police offers were shot on March 21st, 2009. Leadership was heavily criticized for the handling of that incident, but according to Jordan's official OPD page, "his leadership during that traumatic time served the City and the Department well."4

Jordan was again named Interim Chief after Batts left the department, and was appointed Chief officially on February 1, 2012 by Mayor Jean Quan.5

Per Matthai Kuruvila of SFGate, as of March, 2013, Jordan makes $293,948 (incl $35,975 in longevity, uniform & education pay)/year.1


Crime Stats Mistake

On January 14, 2013, Howard Jordan claimed that two gangs were responsible for 90% of the shootings, murders and homicides since the previous summer.  The next day he retracted that claim, saying "I got confused."   [Oakland Local Article]



In Feb. 2013, Howard Jordan waded into the foray over Tech Liminal's Workshop Weekend lockpicking workshop controversy, Lockpickgate, with what can only be called magnificent chutzpah: ""Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan was not pleased. "I'm in shock that people would provide a class to teach people a skill to violate the law," Jordan said. "It's unconscionable.""[San Francisco Chronicle]


Van Chau incident

The OPD under Chief Jordan allegedly put an innocent man on a "Most Wanted List" for six months.  When he turned himself in to clear his name, he was imprisoned for 72 hours.  In a statement on February 14, Chief Jordan congratulated himself on making the streets safer by imprisoning this innocent man.  The Oakland Tribune released an editorial6 on March 15, 2013 saying that Police Chief Jordan should immediately apologize.  On March 15, 2013, Jordan released a statement explaining the incident, and others.


Jordan's Statement via Nixle

On March 15, 2013, Howard Jordan released a statement with the following introduction:

"Recent news accounts and events may have caused community concern regarding the adequacy of investigations conducted by the Oakland Police Department (OPD). As Chief of Police, I am responsible for the effective, professional, and lawful delivery of police services under my command. These understandable community concerns require my attention to ensure accountability and community trust is maintained or strengthened."

His statement covered the allegations made by Van Chau and the arrest of Johnny Williams who was freed from jail after DNA testing proved his innocence. He quoted the Director of the DNA Project, Cathy Dreyfuss, as saying, “This was not a case of misconduct or mistakes; nobody did anything wrong.” He apologized for himself and the police department in a final case, that of Ronald Ross, for a wrongful conviction. He also stated that the "entire criminal justice system" was part of the mistake. "Where mistakes are discovered," Jordan wrote, "the community can expect follow through and action."7



On May 8, 2013, Howard Jordan issued a statement to Oakland Police Department employees saying that he would be on medical leave and seeking medical retirement: 

"To the members and civilian staff of the Oakland Police Department:

"I wanted you to be the first to know that this morning I advised city Administrator Deanna Santana that, effective immediately I am on medical leave and taking steps toward medical retirement.

"This decision has been difficult but necessary. Through my 24 years of wearing an OPD badge and uniform I have emulated the department's core values: Honesty, Respect and Integrity - values I have observed in all of you. I know that you and the department will carry on these values to generations to come.

"It has been an honor to serve the city of Oakland with you."8

This caused a chain of chaotic events that led to the department having 3 police chiefs in 3 days. Inside Bay Area has published an article that says that Jordan, Mayor Jean Quan and City Administrator Santana all knew that Compliance Director Frazier was about to remove Jordan which is why he resigned. The East Bay Express published an article on May 15th saying that HoJo was never the right choice for Oakland.

On September 5, 2013, the Oakland Tribune said that Jordan had been officially approved for disability retirement. This entitles him to 50% of his salary, tax free.9


Official Bio on City of Oakland site

Interview on XM Radio: Inside the Issues with Wilmer Leon

  1. See twitter feed.
  2. "Executive Profile," City of Oakland Website.
  3. Lee, Henry. "Howard Jordan named Oakland police chief." SFGate: Feb 2, 2012. 
  4. Executive Profile.
  5. Lee, Henry.
  6.  "Oakland Chief Jordan should apologize immediately: Oakland Tribune editorial"  March 13, 2013
  7. "A Message from Chief Howard Jordan." Nixle Alert, March 15, 2013. 
  8. Harris, Harry and Matthew Artz. "Oakland: Police Chief Howard Jordan announces medical retirement." Oakland Tribune: May 8, 2013.
  9. Artz, Matthew. "Former Oakland police chief receives disability retirement." Oakland Tribune: Sep 5, 2013.