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.