VALLEJO – Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams has another vacancy to fill after Brittany K. Jackson resigned from her position as the department’s civilian spokesperson.
Williams didn’t respond to questions about why Jackson left the city after more than two years as non-sworn public information officer for the Vallejo Police Department. A page on the department’s website containing a message from Jackson has since been taken down.
A message sent to Jackson’s LinkedIn profile wasn’t returned. She has since blocked this reporter from sending any additional questions.
City spokesperson Christina Lee told the Vallejo Sun that “the communications team will be handling all of the inquiries for the police department,” in the meantime.
Jackson had served as a top advisor to Williams, who is attempting to reform the department since arriving in Vallejo during the end of 2019. She led virtual community events during the worst parts of the pandemic and was tasked with overseeing department communications following the Vallejo police killing of Sean Monterrosa on June 2, 2020.
But Jackson was also repeatedly out of the office, didn’t respond to routine questions from reporters, and launched her own lifestyle and beauty brand, Brittany & Co., LLC.
Jackson’s appointment as Vallejo police’s PIO served as one reason for a deepening rift between the department and Vallejo Police Officers’ Association (VPOA), which filed an unfair labor complaint in June 2020 alleging Vallejo unlawfully hired a civilian to act as the department spokesperson. Sworn officers have historically been the department’s official spokespeople.
Attorney Charles Sakai responded on the city’s behalf in August 2020 stating that “for [the state Public Employees Relations Board] to mandate bargaining over who the City chooses as its spokesperson and how it makes its hiring decisions would significantly impede the City’s managerial discretion and forestall any meaningful ability to change the culture and direction of the City,” according to the position letter obtained by the Vallejo Sun.
Sakai said the Vallejo City Council pushed for the new PIO position to connect with the community following several high-profile incidents involving officers.
“The PIO position acts as a bridge to the public and as the public face of the Department, and the PIO assignment was made to further the City’s overall message and connection with the community,” Sakai wrote.
Reached for comment, VPOA President Michael Nichelini said the association “wished her well in her future endeavors.”
“We were looking forward to working with her in the future and thank her for her contribution to the Department,” Nichelini added.
Nichelini didn’t respond to questions about the status of the unfair practice charge.
Jackson served as one of Williams’ remaining allies as the chief is facing increasing pressure over the recent departures of officers and members of his command staff.
Williams tapped Lt. Drew Ramsay to serve as acting captain, following the recent departures of captains Jason Potts and Todd Tribble over the past months. Potts, a Vallejo native, left the city in June to oversee the Department of Public Safety for the city of Las Vegas.
Weeks later, Tribble retired on July 1 after nearly 19 years with Vallejo police. His retirement came months after his brother, former Lt. Michael Kent Tribble, testified during a criminal case in Solano County Superior Court that he and another Concord police officer devised the idea for officers to bend the tips of their star-shaped badges following a shooting. Another former Vallejo officer testified the Tribble brothers were the ones who brought the practice over form Concord.
Late last month, VPOA and their attorneys held a press conference calling out Williams’ alleged failed leadership and so-called unethical behavior. Attorney Mike Rains, who represents union members, said that 73 out of 75 VPOA members voted they had no confidence in Williams last December. Rains said two members didn’t vote.
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THE VALLEJO SUN NEWSLETTER
Investigative reporting, regular updates, events and more
- Brittany Jackson
- Shawny Williams
- Michael Nichelini
- Christina Lee
- Vallejo Police Department
- Sean Monterrosa
- Vallejo Police Officers Association
- Charles Sakai
- Drew Ramsay
- Jason Potts
- Michael Rains
- Kent Tribble
John Glidden worked as a journalist covering the city of Vallejo for more than 10 years. He left journalism in 2023 and currently works in the office of Solano County Supervisor Monica Brown.
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