Hayward police chief to retire

Hayward Police Chief Mark Koller is retiring from the force in July, the city announced Wednesdayy. Koller was hired as chief in August 2016. The Hayward native has served 38 years at the department.

“Serving the Hayward community as its Chief of Police has been the greatest honor of my career,” Koller, 55, said in a statement.

“After nearly four decades of service, it is time to pass the torch and devote my time to my wife and family, who have been patiently waiting and supporting me all along the way,” he said.

Hayward City Manager Kelly McAdoo said she will appoint an interim police chief in the next few days.

Prior to Koller replacing police chief Diane Urban in 2016, served as captain.

“Mark Koller brought stability to the department when it was needed and moved it forward in ways that are increasingly important in society today,” said McAdoo.

Under Koller’s watch he created the Community Advisory Panel to the Chief of Police, a yet to be formed group appointed by the mayor and city council to foster trust and understanding between residents and the police department.

His retirement comes at perhaps the most difficult time of his brief tenure. After the shooting last November of 29-year-old Agustin Gonsalez by Hayward, pressure has been building on the department.

Family and supporters of Gonsalez claim the shooting was unjustified and have been highly critical of the police department’s handling of the aftermath and the city council’s perceived intransigence in providing them answers.

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