After over a year of analysis, in April the Oakley City Council voted to discontinue the City’s police services contract with Contra Costa County. While the City will continue to contract with the County for various services including dispatch and forensics, all sworn police officers will eventually become City employees.
To help lead the transition team now and the Department after the transition date of May 6, 2016, the City solicited applications for the position of Chief of Police. After thoroughly reviewing ten of the candidates, the City has provided a preliminary offer of employment to Chris Thorsen, who is currently serving as the Chief of Police in Clayton.
Prior to his service in Clayton, Chief Thorsen was a Captain in the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office. One of his assignments at the Sheriff’s Office was to serve as the Chief of Police in Oakley and he did so from 2005 to 2010.
During his previous five-year tenure in Oakley, Thorsen led the development of the Police offices at the then new City Hall – moving from the Sheriff’s substation located on O’Hara Ave. He can also be credited with helping to attract a quality and aggressive team of deputies from the Sheriff’s Office to staff the department, and distinguished himself as an involved leader in the community. “Chris is an experienced and charismatic law enforcement professional that did an outstanding job previously and we look for great things from him again as he leads the newly-formed Oakley municipal police department,” stated City Manager Bryan Montgomery.
Mayor Doug Hardcastle echoed those thoughts, “the City Council unanimously welcomes Chief Thorsen back to Team Oakley as the leader of our new Oakley Police Department. He is a man with great integrity and solid leadership skills.”
“I am honored to return to the Oakley community. I loved serving here before and am grateful for this opportunity. I look forward to helping reinforce the highly professional, service-oriented team that is centered on serving our community,” explained Thorsen.
Chief Thorsen is expected to begin his employment with Oakley on early August.