It’s been a pleasure for us to work with San Leandro City Manager Fran Robustelli and her team on their search for the community’s next chief of police. And today, it’s a pleasure to add our voice to the chorus of congratulations to Abdul Pridgen, current chief in Seaside, Calif., who will take over the top cop job in San Leandro on Sept. 13.
“Chief Pridgen is a well-respected law enforcement veteran, who is an advocate for diversity and inclusion, as well as a community builder,” Robustelli said in the city’s media release. “He will provide immediate attention to pressing needs, such as transparency, investment into personnel, and implementing police oversight for the department.”
Pridgen has been chief in Seaside since 2018, and before that, spent 26 years with the City of Fort Worth, Texas, Police Department, ending his stint there as assistant chief of police
In response to his appointment, Chief Pridgen said, “It is an honor to be gifted the chance to serve the dedicated men and women of the San Leandro Police Department and the rich, diverse group of San Leandrans. Our profession faces many challenges, but we have a tremendous opportunity to set an example for progressive, procedurally just, transparent, accountable, and community-focused policing. I look forward to working closely with all of our internal and external stakeholders to make the San Leandro Police Department a pioneering model of contemporary policing for others to emulate.”
Pridgen’s current boss, Seaside City Manager Craig Malin, agrees that he is up to the task. “Chief Pridgen is a progressive and inclusive chief, who intrepidly addresses the meaningful issues in contemporary law enforcement. He has an exceptional capacity to connect with all members of the community and will be missed in Seaside.”
Chief Pridgen received his Bachelor of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from Dallas Baptist University and his Master of Public Administration from Tarleton State University. In addition, he received training from the Southern Police Institute, FBI National Academy, FBI National Executive Institute, and Harvard University Kennedy School of Government. Chief Pridgen serves as the president of the California Police Chiefs Association.
One of his colleagues at the CPCA, Los Alamitos Chief Eric Nuñez, called Pridgen a “tested leader, with vision, character and the wisdom to understand the complexities of our profession and how to better serve the public safety needs of our communities. He also possesses the emotional intelligence necessary to maintain and improve on the quality-of-life issues for San Leandro and the State of California as it relates to community and public safety.
“Chief Pridgen has already demonstrated his commitment to transparency and accountability in our profession to our legislative leaders and has a tremendous amount of willingness to work with our lawmakers to produce meaningful and reasonable police reform legislation.”
We are thrilled for San Leandro and its residents, who we are certain will benefit from Pridgen’s capable and visionary leadership. We also join City Manager Robustelli in thanking interim Chief Susan Manheimer for her work on behalf of San Leandro during the recruitment process.