Hayward reached across the bay to San Francisco to tap San Francisco assistant police chief Toney Chaplin to lead its police department.
Chaplin becomes the city’s fifteenth police chief and replaces Mark Koller, who
announced his retirement last May. Chaplin is also a Hayward resident since 2006, according to the city.
The arrival of Chaplin is a high-profile hire by the city. He was named interim San Francisco Police Chief by then-Mayor Ed Lee in 2016 following the resignation of then- chief Greg Suhr. Chaplin served for seven months before a permanent was named.
Chaplin comes to Hayward with 29 years of experience at the SFPD, and inherits a police department that has come under fire for its handling of the fatal shooting last November of Agustin Gonsalez.
For the better part of this year, the Gonsalez family, friends, and police accountability activists have been forceful in their criticism of Hayward Police for shooting Agustin Gonsalez, a man later known to police for having a history of mental illness. Police officers believed Gonsalez was brandishing a knife when they opened fire. After an investigation by the Alameda County District Attorney’s office, it is unclear if Gonsalez was holding anything at the time of shooting.
Chaplin also has history involving an officer-involved shooting in San Francisco. As a sergeant in 2012, Chaplin shot a man who was allegedly running away from police. The incident triggered protests. But the San Francisco District Attorney’s office determined Chaplin acted in self-defense. The same man was shot again by San Francisco Police in 2018.
Since he already lives in Hayward, he doesn’t have to buy a fake house here and use that address on record, while maintaining a real home in a wealthier, more prosperous city. The city doesn’t have to give him a loan because he can’t afford to buy a home here, pay off a lease and front moving expenses. Unless he chooses to upgrade to one of the many new million dollar homes in the Hills.
Mrs. Sparkman and I were disappointed to see Mark Koller retire. He was a is good ol’ boy who done Hayward proud. Chaplin will no doubt be more of a resemblance to Charlie Chaplin–only good in shows and Keystone Kops shorts. As ones who don’t discriminate, the shooting of anyone, regardless of citizenship status, is o.k. if necessary. We don’t confine ourselves to ‘citizenship.’ Plenty of bad hombres out there, both citizens and not.
The Blue Line is certainly headed in the right direction with the appointment of Toney Chaplin. Chief Koller supported shooting to kill those citizens who did not follow the Hayward Police Department’s direction. Chief Chaplin is a better shot and perhaps will have fewer dead citizens on his watch than Koller and the HPD has so far.