Peralta Community College District's Only Student-Run Publication
Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Peralta Community College District's only student-run publication.

The Citizen

Breaking: PCCD appoints former San Leandro police chief to Interim Executive Director of Public Safety
Breaking: PCCD appoints former San Leandro police chief to Interim Executive Director of Public Safety
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Li Khan, Editor in Chief • June 21, 2024
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Archives

Breaking: PCCD appoints former San Leandro police chief to Interim Executive Director of Public Safety

Abdul Pridgen will lead the district’s community-based safety program
Abdul Pridgen. (Source: City of San Leandro via Wayback Machine)

Former San Leandro Police Chief Abdul Pridgen, who left his role following an investigation into allegations that he violated department policies, has been selected to lead the Peralta Community College District (PCCD) public safety department for a two-year interim appointment. 

In an email announcement to the PCCD community, Chancellor Tammeil Gilkerson cited Pridgen’s experience in “progressive leadership roles,” as reasons for his selection. In his role as Interim Executive Director of Public Safety, Pridgen will be responsible for leading the district’s community-based safety and security operations.

“Abdul brings a wealth of expertise in community engagement and proactive public safety strategies,” Gilkerson stated in the email. “Throughout his distinguished career, Abdul has prioritized building trust and fostering positive relationships with historically underserved and marginalized communities.” 

Pridgen was appointed San Leandro Police Chief in 2021. He was placed on paid leave effective Sep. 11, 2023, while an outside firm conducted the investigation, according to a press release from the City of San Leandro.

He departed the role on Feb. 20 of this year, another San Leandro press release states.

The City of San Leandro did not disclose further details about the investigation. San Leandro City Manager Fran Robustelli explained in the press release that the city was barred from disclosing certain details.

“The City is prohibited by law from releasing any information about public safety personnel, the length of time needed to address these matters, reasons for Mr. Pridgen’s departure, and the full results of the investigation,” Robustelli stated in the release.  

Pridgen was named one of four finalists for Oakland’s police chief earlier this year. Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao ultimately selected Floyd Mitchell for the seat. 

In a March 1 Oaklandside article profiling the candidates, Pridgen put an emphasis on police accountability as well as addressing “the root cause that gives rise to criminality.” 

“I’m a person of unimpeachable integrity, with strong principles and I always do the right thing,” Pridgen told The Oaklandside. “I’m fair, I’m honest, and I’m just.”

PCCD’s former Executive Director of Public Safety, Tim Thomas, was placed on administrative leave earlier this year by Gilkerson. 

At the time, Thomas was facing two criminal cases against him. One case, which he received probation for, involved charges of misdemeanor battery and elder abuse related an altercation with an RV resident parked near district offices that occurred just six months into his tenure.

Thomas’ resignation was ratified by the PCCD Board of Trustees at last week’s meeting.

The PCCD Board of Trustees is set to vote on Pridgen’s appointment Tuesday night.

If approved, Pridgen would step into the position on July 1. He will receive an annual salary of $196,060. 

As part of his role, Pridgen would work with the district’s security contractor, Marina Security Services, which is slated to receive an extra ​​$430,693.51 in the sixth amendment to the firm’s original contract.

Read more: Peralta Security

About the Contributor
Li Khan
Li Khan, Editor in Chief
Li Khan is the Editor in Chief of The Citizen, and a member of the CalMatters College Journalism Network. She believes in the power of student media to hold local institutions accountable. She's particularly interested in analyzing how changes to higher education policy trickle down from the Capitol to colleges and their constituents. Li holds a degree in Computer Science from The University of Texas at Dallas and hopes to incorporate that knowledge into data-centered reporting projects. 
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