Supporting Public Safety in Oakland: A Conversation with Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and Public Safety Director Venus Johnson

Make Oakland Better Now! and SPUR are proud to present Supporting Public Safety in Oakland, a special conversation with new Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick and Public Safety Director Venus Johnson March 29 at 6 p.m!

2017 has brought two major additions in the realm of public safety to Oakland: in January, Oakland-native Venus Johnson was named as the city’s new director of public safety, and in February, Anne Kirkpatrick was sworn in as the city’s new chief of police. In a city where turnover at the top of the police department has been high and in a department over which federal monitors, the Mayor, the City Manager and the police commission all have oversight, these new hires are faced with tough jobs. Join them both for an evening of conversation about the current state, and the future, of safety and the OPD.

This event is free and open to the public. Please join us! You can RSVP here and also share our Facebook event.

When:  March 29,  6 – 8 p.m.
Where: SPUR, 1544 Broadway, Oakland



Anne Kirkpatrick
Born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Chief Anne E. Kirkpatrick is a 34-year veteran law enforcement leader. In her words, she comes to Oakland because her goal is “to lead an agency that wants to be transformed, and OPD meets that profile.”

Chief Kirkpatrick began her career in law enforcement with the Memphis Police Department in 1982. She went on to earn the rank of sergeant with the Redmond (Washington) Police Department, where she also served as Assistant Commander for the State Law Enforcement Academy and was a criminal procedure instructor and tactical officer. Concurrently, she attended and completed night law school.

Chief Kirkpatrick served as Chief of Police for the Washington cities of Spokane, Federal Way and Ellensburg over 15 years of her career. She also held the post of Chief Deputy (Undersheriff) in King County, Washington. Most recently, she joined the Chicago Police Department as Chief of the Bureau of Organizational Development. Kirkpatrick was responsible for the Chicago Police Academy and all police training, Policy and Research Development, and the Integrity and Stop Data sections.

Chief Kirkpatrick holds a BA in business administration, a master’s degree in counseling psychology, and a Juris Doctorate from Seattle University Law School. She is a graduate of the three top leadership schools of the FBI: The FBI National Academy, The FBI National Executive Institute, and the FBI’s Law Enforcement Executive Development School. She has conducted trainings nationally on the topics of Procedural Justice, Implicit Bias and Executive Leadership.

Venus Johnson
Venus Johnson is Director of Public Safety for the City of Oakland. Johnson served as a senior legal and policy advisor to former California Attorney General Kamala D. Harris in her role as the Associate Attorney General in the California Department of Justice. She joined that office in 2014 as a Deputy Attorney General and California State Legislative Advocate, representing the Department of Justice on legislative matters before the State Legislature. Johnson was appointed by former Attorney General Harris in 2013 as a member of the California Commission on Access to Justice, which is tasked with developing solutions to improve access to civil justice for low and moderate income Californians.

Johnson, a California native, was born and raised in Oakland, CA. She attended Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles earning her Bachelors Degree in Political Science and Philosophy. During her time at Loyola, she was accepted into the Oxford University Scholars Program, and studied at Queens College during the summer of 1999. After graduating from Loyola in 2001, she went on to earn her juris doctorate in 2005, graduating with distinction, from the University of the Pacific, McGeorge School of Law in Sacramento.

Make Oakland Better Now!

OakTalk Here is the blog of Make Oakland Better Now!, an Oakland community grassroots group of a grass-roots group of voters, volunteers, and policy advocates committed to improving the City of Oakland by focusing on public safety, public works, and responsible budgets. Founded in 2003, we’ve researched, lobbied, and successfully campaigned for a number of new, impactful policies, including the city’s Rainy Day Fund, Measure Z and Operation Ceasefire.

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