Story By: Anna Bauman

Richmond police veteran Bisa French will be the department’s new chief after serving 10 months as its interim leader.

French will be the first Black woman to serve as chief, Lt. Matt Stonebraker, Richmond Police Department spokesman, said Thursday. City Manager Laura Snideman chose French.

French, who has worked in the department since 1998, was appointed interim police chief in September. Her predecessor, former Chief Allwyn Brown, left after an overwhelming vote of no confidence from the Richmond Police Officers Association.

French, who was not immediately available for comment, officially assumes the job on Aug. 1.

“Help us with Congratulating Chief French!” the department tweeted.

Before assuming the interim chief position, French had served as assistant chief since 2016. Three years before that, she had become the youngest and first Black and Latina captain on the force.

Her career began with assignments in community policing, field training and bicycle patrol, according to the city’s website. As she rose through the ranks, she took on leadership roles in the Domestic and Sexual Violence Unit and Family Justice Center.

The appointment comes soon after the country and region erupted in massive protests against police brutality following the in-custody death of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Black Lives Matter marches filled Bay Area streets for weeks.

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