City hires new chief

Interim police chief Matt Madden is promoted to top cop

New Chico Police Chief Matt Madden give a speech during online press conference announcing his appointment.

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.”


  1. For various reasons I have serious reservations concerning the hiring of Matt Madden as Chico PD chief. The presence of the DA on the selection committee is a conflict of interest in my POV. I doubt the “nationwide search” was objective.

    • Like OhNoJoe’s pithy campaign motto “Nothing Will Fundamentally Change,” so too the Chico PD especially as aided and abetted by DA.

    • Well said Scott Rushing…you have very good reason to oppose doomed appointment. He is not transparent at all. After his officers allowed a dumpster diver to attack me with a steak knife, and I had to kick the knife out of his hand, I’m 69 at this time, he ignored my complaint and didn’t bother to sign off on a fake response to my objections to setting this attacker free despite admitting it was his knife and the officers receiving proof he was at my residence and admitting that I had only asked him to leave the property. Neither he, Madden nor Officer Love choose to talk directly with me , We were not given given even a response from Orme or the Mayor, Schwab. after they were sent documentation. Not a word of response. Not transparent at all. O’Brien trained officer…claim transparency but don’t be transparent. Your situation was much worse. Sorry about what happened to you and yours. KEEP FIGHTING THE GOOD FIGHT>>WE all need you!!!!

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