Chief of Police to Step Down

Alameda Police Department (APD) Chief of Police Paul Rolleri announced his retirement from the department Wednesday, July 22.

“Being the Chief of Police here has been the honor and opportunity of a lifetime,” said Police Chief Rolleri in a press release published on the City of Alameda website. “After 31 years and family and friend discussions, I had made the personal decision to retire back in January.”

Rolleri has been with APD since April 1992. He was named interim chief of police on June 1, 2013 and was appointed the position permanently on Nov. 17, 2013.

During his time with APD, the Alameda native held several different positions in many different departments. He worked as a patrolman, on the Violent Crimes Unit and the Youth Services Section. He was also a Field Training Officer and member of the Crisis Negotiation Team. Rolleri was promoted to sergeant in 2002, spending additional time in patrol and supervising the APD Jail, Identification Section, and Property and Evidence. Rolleri was promoted to lieutenant in 2009 and then to Captain in 2011. In 1997 he was awarded the Department Medal of Merit for his actions following a violent bank robbery in March of that year.

“I am proud of the progress and many accomplishments that APD has enjoyed over the past seven years, but the time is right for me to move on to the next chapter of my personal and professional life,” said Rolleri.

Before joining APD, Rolleri was an Investigator for the State of California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control from 1989 to 1992.

Rolleri’s retirement comes while the department is being investigated for the detainment of Alameda resident Mali Watkins on May 23. Watkins was dancing in front of his home when he was approached by officers and during the encounter was taken to the ground by several officers. The well-publicized incident has drawn media attention nationwide and criticism locally. The incident, along with the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis, sparked several protests in Alameda. Following unrest by residents, Rolleri called for APD officers to stop responding to calls concerning people with mental health issues. However, city officials stopped that plan. Rolleri did ask for and was granted an outside investigation into the incident.

City officials praised Rolleri’s tenure as chief of police and his dedication to the department and the city.

“I appreciate the dedication that Chief Rolleri has shown towards both the community and the Alameda Police Department during his tenure,” said City Manager Eric Levitt.

Rolleri’s last day with APD is scheduled for Aug. 28. There is no timetable for when his successor will be announced.