Chico City Manager Mark Orme announced at a press conference today (Aug. 19) that Interim Police Chief Matt Madden has been hired as permanent chief.
Madden has served in an interim role since former chief Mike O’Brien retired on June 5.
In his introduction of the new chief, Orme announced that a pool of six candidates from what he called and “amazingly diverse and professional” group of applicants was whittled down to a final three. After interviews with community and professional panels, city council members, department directors and a concluding one-on-one with the city manager, Orme said, “one candidate came out on top with the highest average score compared to the rest, by far.”
Madden steps into the role officially just as Chico, like much of the nation in the wake of the killing of George Floyd, is engaging in conversations on use of force and systemic racism in the country’s police departments. The city’s Ad Hoc Policing Committee—of which Madden is a member—is discussing some of these these issues in a series of meetings and is scheduled to report to the Chico City Council in October.
In his speech at the press conference, the new chief appeared to speak to that work with a message to the citizens of Chico: “The power of the job title—the trust and the responsibility—comes from you. I will not lose sight of that, and I will continue to be transparent. I will not shy away from those tough conversations and I will stay engaged, even when it’s difficult to do so.”