VALLEJO – The city of Vallejo and the Vallejo Police Officers Association have reached an agreement regarding an unfair labor complaint the union filed in June 2020 alleging the police department unlawfully hired a civilian to act as department spokesperson, when the position is typically filled by a sworn officer.
The agreement resets that arrangement as the department will now have two spokespersons: a sworn public information officer and a civilian public relations manager.
The Vallejo Times-Herald reported last week that Sgt. Rashad Hollis has been tapped to serve as the new sworn PIO. Civilian PIO Brittany K. Jackson abruptly resigned from the department last month about the same time the settlement was signed by the city and the Vallejo Police Officers’ Association.
Jackson, who has declined to answer questions about her departure, reported directly to Chief Shawny Williams.
The settlement terms stipulate that the sworn PIO will “be the default sworn officer to make press appearances concerning criminal investigations, arrests, emergency conditions, and enforcement activity.” The public relations manager will be tasked with “be listed first on releases of all other information as the PRM and as the contact for police public relations inquiries.”
City spokesperson Christina Lee said the city doesn’t expect to fill the civilian position “for at least another 6-12 months.”
“Until that time, myself and one other City Hall Analyst will be supporting the police department's PIO,” Lee added.
The Vallejo Police Officers’ Association has previously declined to answer questions about the settlement.
The agreement is the latest setback for Williams who has been tasked with reforming the beleaguered department that has killed 19 people since 2010. Jackson served as a top advisor to Williams while being the public face at the department’s community events.
Williams continues to be backed by City Manager Mike Malone and a majority of the Vallejo City Council. Williams is facing increasing pressure over the recent departures of officers and members of his command staff. The chief named Lt. Drew Ramsay as acting captain, following the 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.
Tribble retired weeks later on July 1 after nearly 19 years with Vallejo police.
Also in July, longtime Vallejo police Lt. Herman Robinson filed a wrongful termination lawsuit alleging that he has been a target of age discrimination and harassment by Williams.
An arbitrator ordered Robinson be reinstated with back pay with 10% interest after Williams fired him on April 1, 2021. Williams accused Robinson of allegedly sending out confidential information.
Following his reinstatement, Robinson was congratulated by a group of about 50 people, including some uniformed Vallejo officers, on the steps in front of the department.
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THE VALLEJO SUN NEWSLETTER
Investigative reporting, regular updates, events and more
- Vallejo Police Department
- Vallejo Police Officers Association
- Shawny Williams
- Brittany Jackson
- Christina Lee
- Jason Potts
- Vallejo City Council
- Herman Robinson
- Mike Malone
- Todd Tribble
- Drew Ramsay
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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