Oakland Mayor Quan, Councilmember Reid React to News Chief Batts May Bolt for San Jose

Boy, first San Jose tries to make off with Oakland's baseball team, now they're going after the city's police chief.

KQED's Rachel Dornhelm reports that Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts received a standing ovation as the keynote speaker at the 19th Annual Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Multicultural Rally in Oakland Monday. But how many more rounds of applause the city has left in it may depend on whether Batts gets the top cop job in San Jose. As reported this weekend and confirmed by Batts and the OPD, the chief -- just a year into his three-year contract with Oakland -- is one of two finalists for that position.

The other candidate, according to the Bay Area News Group, is San Jose Acting Chief Chris Moore.

At a press gaggle today, Batts said he wouldn’t say much on the matter until a selection is made. But other Oakland officials did comment. From Rachel Dornhelm:

Jean Quan said she wasn’t happy about the news but that it wasn’t the “end of the world.” She said she often saw superintendents recruited away while she worked on the school board, and that Oakland is often a stepping stone for public officials looking to work in larger cities. But she also said she was surprised Batts only told her the news of the job possibility Friday. Soon after her election, she said, she asked him if he planned to stay and he had said yes.

City Councilmember Larry Reid was more strident about trying to get Batts to stay. He said he’ll try to convince Batts that Oakland needs him, although he knows Batts is frustrated with the decline in officers and “micromanagement.” Reid said when Batts came there were about 800 on the force, now it’s a little over 600. Reid said morale is low, and Batts’ leaving would probably make it lower.

Meanwhile, the East Bay Express reports that Quan said Batts told her San Jose "sought him out" in October.