Hayward police chief apologizes for saying city council is ignorant

Hayward Police Chief Toney Chaplin apologized last week for saying Hayward City Council members were ignorant of the department’s day-to-day activities. Chaplin, a former San Francisco interim police chief, who was tapped to lead the Hayward Police Department in July 2019, made the initial comment during a City Council budget and finance committee meeting on July 29.

“The danger associated with the path we’re currently on, is quite frankly, the city council members are ignorant of what their department is doing,” Chaplin said.

In response to Chaplin’s comment, Hayward Mayor Barbara Halliday nodded her head in approval.

Chaplin added that most members of the council have not visited the police department over the past year. “It’s four minutes from City Hall,” he added.

A week later, Chaplin prefaced his comments at a joint Hayward City Council and Hayward school board special meeting on Aug. 4  to issue an apology.

Referencing his 30 years at the San Francisco Police Department, Chaplin said, “If you asked anyone that I have ever engaged with there, they will tell you that I have a reputation for being direct. It can also mean I can be blunt.”

“The comments I made on July 29 may have come across as blunt or insensitive, and to each and every one of you, I offer an apology. I will seek better dialogue with those advocating for change going forward.”

Calls for reforming the Hayward Police Department, along with defunding a portion of its budget, predate Chaplin’s tenure. The city’s political and public discourse shifted dramatically following outrage over the shooting of Agustin Gonsalez by Hayward Police in November 2018.

Several council meetings were interrupted in 2019, including one, in which Halliday moved the proceeding behind closed doors. After the killing of George Floyd by Minneapolis Police in late May, the drumbeat for police accountability in Hayward increased.

The Hayward Collective, a local advocacy group issued a seven-point list of demands to the city to extricate the police from handling residents with mental health issues and defunding the police department, among other requests.

The context for Chaplin’s comments on July 29 was partly about his concerns that public comments and emails opposing the Hayward Collective’s demands were being given short shrift by some councilmembers.

“I have not heard those discussed one time and that is a concern for me as a police chief in this city,” Chaplin told the budget and finance committee, which is made up of Councilmembers Aisha Wahab and Sara Lamnin, along with Mayor Halliday.

Wahab told Chaplin that she had received roughly one dozen emails from residents opposing the defunding of the Hayward police force. Wahab acknowledged others may have received additional emails in opposition of the plan. But she added, “We have had hundred upon hundreds of emails regarding defunding the police.”

In late June, the Hayward City Council voted to decrease the police department’s budget by $4.1 million, a roughly five percent cut to its overall budget. The reduction, however, stems mostly from a decision not to fill 12 vacant police officer positions during the next fiscal year.



Categories: Hayward, Hayward City Council, Uncategorized

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15 replies

  1. Let us not be so quick to ride the band wagon to “defund the police” because it is currently fashionable to voice this sentiment. Let chief Chaplain do his work and lead the men and women in blue in serving our community.

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  2. Is that what he was apologizing for? I took it as him apologizing to community members after saying that they’re hearing from the “same 30 people” when this was in fact not true, as Wahab has stated there have been hundreds of people petitioning for police reform.

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  3. Don’t defund the police,it seems the ones who wants to is the ones that will have their hands out. We need more police.18 July the people next door had a very very loud party , they had 150 -200 there , a lot greeting kissing , hugging, hand shaking in a very small area , no one had a mask on. The police could not get there until 11:30. If you defund the police , that money should be refunded to the tax payers. There are a lot of us that are not cell phone and computer savvy. I think we are the silent majority. If we new how and was informed ahead of time we could have some input, instead of reading about it after the fact and it’s all done. I hope Hayward has leaders and don’t just get on the bandwagon , because I think the wheels are going to fall off.

    N

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    • If council visits the police department and does a ride along, it will just be superficial and staged to make a good impression that things are being handled. Council and the City Manager should be making surprise visits to the police department instead, so that they can see what really goes on there. Drop in on Friday afternoon, or Holiday Eve’s when Command Staff leaves early or takes long lunches. Maybe council should hang around the lobby and hear customer complaints. Chief Toney Chaplain needs to concentrate on doing his job and keep the crime rates down in Hayward instead of getting pissy and political with his bosses. Hayward chooses Chief’s like HUSD chooses School Superintendents.

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    • You only think they could not get there. They could if they wanted to. The attitude of this chief shows the problem. Hayward is spending more on police than anything else. Where is the performance?
      Example, there was a homeless guy building his own encampment on Winton and Santa Clara for well over a month. Every single police officer, the chief, and staff member passed that at least twice a day without taking action to get the person help.

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  4. Defund the police and you will have more tax payers leaving Hayward. All of Hayward will be done like it was done to Southland Mall and stores that are still boarded up. Elections are coming.

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  5. Vote them out! We are having so many issues in our neighborhood, mail theft to car break-ins, yet without open discussion the city consul is planning defunding the police department. Shame.

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  6. Maybe , or most luckily the Chief is correct , those who normally ride white horses tend to look down on just about anyone else
    I’m sure we do have more than our share of White Horse Riders at the City Hall
    Those are the very first ones that when something , anything that makes the news are the ones that jump off their chairs and talk laud and point to anyone as the guilty of something by not doing the right thing , when they themselves should look to the mirror and take a look at who’s the person that did nothing to prevent it from happening

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  7. There are two evil forces at work: 1.) America hating communists that are actively de-stabilizing urban areas with intimidation, violence and riots. Defunding police is a communist tactic to further stabilize cities by increasing crime. Any money diverted from police will be stolen, leftists steal most government money. 2.) Evil government unions that care only about the continuance of their fat wages and fat pensions on the backs of the people. The Hayward city council is incompetent and has been running major deficits for over 10 years. The only reason Hayward is functioning is because of increasing leftist taxes and federal grant money (most of which is stolen). Now with the pandemic, tax revenue has been cut; defunding the police is just another rotten evil leftist scam, a way to fill the greedy money hole.

    Just because Wahab received a bunch of emails, that does not constitute the will of the people or a vote. Just because a small group of America hating loud-mouth evil communists wants “this or that” does not make it so. Most people I talk to despise leftists and think defunding the police is pure insanity.

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  8. Defund the teachers union, and there will be less crime.

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  9. 1900 drivers at AC Transit do not obtain a commercial license nor p endorsement your Hayward courthouse system refuse to do that job when I was in your court house and a person had a warrant they let them free that same person I’m talkin about vandalized the mayor home you have a lot of work to do they refused to give me my retirement money and I’m fighting AC Transit right now to this day in court

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  10. He told the truth.. I hate he felt like he needed to apologize. Hayward City Council ineffectiveness has long been a problem. Even if you don’t attend a regular meeting you haven’t missed much. I vote and will continue to try to drain the swamp. It horrible to call City Hall and get a concrete answer. The run around needs to stop!!!

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  11. I am totally in from taking funds from Hayward PD, I have been a victim of this police department and until this day I have not received a copy of a supposed investigation of misconduct by Hayward pd. Take their funds and apply it to badly needed school upgrades,roads,community based policing works lots better, most of the officers who work at the Hayward pd commute from places such as Tracy,Modesto, etc, local accountable police it’s what we need

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  12. This chief had nothing to apologize for. I would want to see these hundred of emails council member Wahab claims she received and also wonder where all those keyboard warriors reside (probably not hayward). The fact is that this council (all included) have jumped on national bandwagon and have failed to recognize the good work police does in the community. How about some citizen responsibility as well? We have a bunch of criminals running wild in the city and homelessness rising (if not just visit city hall any given evening) but that doesn’t capture their attention. What a circus they have become.

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  13. The progressive and liberal ideology of defunding the police will result in a huge increase of gun purchases. Maybe they are working for the gun stores on the under.

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