SAN JOSE ASST CHIEF REPLACES RETIRING RON ACE; WILL OVERSEE DEPARTMENT IN NEXT PHASE OF GANG INJUNCTIONS
By Steven Tavares
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Diane Urban, Hayward’s first
female police chief
Hayward is joining other Bay Area cities by taking the initiative in opening its traditionally male-dominate police force by adding diversity to its ranks. The hiring Thursday of San Jose Assistant Police Chief Diane Urban will make her the first female police chief in the city’s long history.
Urban, 47, replaces Police Chief Ron Ace, who announced his retirement in April. Neighboring San Leandro named its first female top cop in January with the hiring of former Benicia chief Sandra Spagnoli. Six other Bay Area cities have also tabbed women to lead their police departments.
Urban’s rise through the ranks of law enforcement covers over 25 years, according to the San Jose Police Department. In January, she was named assistant police chief. Her first day in Hayward will be Aug. 8.
Her appointment also brings her career in law enforcement full circle. Urban is a graduate of Cal State East Bay with a degree in criminal justice, in addition, to a degree from Boston University.
“While I applaud Chief Urban’s appointment, I am saddened that SJPD is losing a trailblazing leader,” said Judge LaDoris Cordell, San Jose’s independent police auditor. “Diane broke the glass ceiling at SJPD by virtue of her hard work and determination. I have no doubt that she will bring that same work ethic and determination to her new job as the chief of police in Hayward.”
Keeping Hayward’s streets safe has become a rising issue among residents who feel crime and murder is rising along with more visible signs of unrest such as the growing problem of gangs and graffiti. One of Urban’s first major tasks at the helm of the police department will be overseeing the city’s ambitious plan to mimic Oakland’s controversial “gang injunction” program. Hayward’s city attorney has said the office may be ready to furnish injunctions to a Superior Court judge sometime this fall against over 400 suspected gang members.