Interim Hayward top cop named permanent police chief

HAYWARD — The police department’s interim chief has been named as its permanent chief, the city manager said Monday.

Mark Koller, 54, will serve as the city’s 14th police chief, and has shown the qualities necessary to lead the department forward, city manager Kelly McAdoo said in a statement.

“Mark has earned the confidence and admiration of his colleagues within HPD, across city government and in the community at large by being approachable, forthright and honest, being adaptable, open to change and ready to confront new challenges,” McAdoo said, thanking city officials and residents and police staff who participated in the nationwide search.

“I believe whole-heartedly that we have, in Chief Koller, the best possible person for the job and the best person to lead the department for years to come.”

Born in Hayward, Koller became a Newark police Exploer at 14 and cadet at 18, and joined the Hayward department in 1981. After serving as a jailer and earning selection as a crime scene technician, he became an officer in 1984, working as a narcotics and child-abuse investigator and a member of the department’s special-response SWAT team.

In 1995, Koller earned promotion to inspector, serving as a general crimes, burglary and homicide investigator, and continued to rise through department ranks.

Koller, whose father David is a retired Hayward police inspector, said he looked forward to continuing a tradition of community service.

“This is the highest honor to have an opportunity to give back to this community, a city that is so much a part of me, and to lead a department which my father has also served and which I have served throughout my entire adult career,” he said.

Koller holds a bachelor’s degree from California State University, Long Beach, and graduated from the FBI National Academy, the Los Angeles Leadership Program,the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP) and the Local Government Leadership Academy of Alameda County.

He was appointed acting chief in the wake of Chief Diane Stuart’s August 2016 retirement, and named interim chief last December.

Contact George Kelly at 408-859-5180.

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