Sacramento's first black police chief aims to heal embattled department
It’s official: Daniel Hahn will become the first African American police chief in Sacramento’s history. City Manager Howard Chan announced late Friday that Hahn had cleared all pre-employment background checks. He will be sworn in as chief at an Aug. 11 ceremony on the campus of his alma mater, Sacramento State.
“I’m thrilled that the appointment is now official, and I’m looking forward to Daniel coming home to Sacramento,” Chan said.
Hahn, 49, had been the Roseville chief since 2011. But he had spent most of his career climbing the ranks at the Sacramento Police Department. Personable and telegenic, Hahn had served as public information officer for the Sacramento Police Department before climbing to the rank of captain.
He is the first Sacramento chief in recent memory who did not follow his father’s footsteps into the Sacramento Police Department, was not a military veteran and had not worked his entire career at the department before being named as chief. He succeeds interim Chief Brian Louie, who had replaced Sam Somers Jr. amid strong criticism that the department had concealed videos of police shooting and killing a mentally ill man in North Sacramento.
Mayor Darrell Steinberg, Chan and other city leaders favored Hahn because of his deep community ties and his communication skills.