VALLEJO – The turnover within the Vallejo Police Department continues as city officials confirmed Kevin Williams, a candidate for deputy police chief, decided against accepting the position.
Vallejo spokeswoman Christina Lee told the Vallejo Sun on Tuesday that Williams “ultimately decided to accept another career opportunity that he felt was a better fit for him and his family.”
Williams, a former interim Middle Tennessee State University police chief, was expected to fill one of two vacant deputy chief positions after former Deputy Police Chief Michael Kihmm was fired in October 2021 and Deputy Chief Jason Ta was elevated to the interim chief position following the resignation of former police Chief Shawny Williams.
Kevin Williams couldn’t be immediately reached about his decision. His law enforcement career also included spending 20 years with the Los Angeles Police Department where he retired at the rank of lieutenant, according to his biography for D. Stafford & Associates, a consulting firm where Kevin Williams also works as an associate.
The city released a hiring brochure seeking to fill the deputy police chief position about three weeks ago. Lee also confirmed that the city hopes to fill the position as soon as possible and that an interim has not been named to fill the position.
Kevin Williams' decision comes as the department has lost top command staff, as Shawny Williams suddenly resigned from the position on Nov. 4.
About the same time Shawny Williams left Vallejo, city leaders turned to former Sacramento Police Chief Daniel Hahn to act as an advisor to City Manager Mike Malone, according to a consulting agreement obtained by the Vallejo Sun.
Hahn will receive up to $100,000 to advise Malone “on critical changes in the field of law enforcement and public safety,” the contract states. Malone signed the contract on Nov. 1, three days before Williams resigned as chief.
Shawny Williams handpicked Ta, who came to the city in September 2021 after being hired away from San Jose police. Shawny Williams, Ta, and Kihmm all served together in San Jose.
Shawny Williams provided no explanation for Kihmm’s sudden dismissal but records obtained by the Vallejo Sun show that Kihmm called the two reasons for his termination “false” and “unfounded” in a letter he wrote requesting that a notice of termination written by Williams be removed from his personnel file.
Following Shawny Williams’ departure, the city announced that Drew Ramsay, who was serving as an acting captain, was promoted to the full position, while Lt. Robert "Bobby" Knight was tapped to serve as a provisional captain. Additional changes include Sgt. Jeremy Huff being promoted to lieutenant.
Ramsay was originally made an acting captain following the departures of captains Jason Potts and Todd Tribble. Potts, a Vallejo native, left the city in June to oversee the Department of Public Safety for the city of Las Vegas.
Weeks later, Capt. Todd 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.
Both Tribble brothers came to Vallejo police from Concord in 2003 and another former Vallejo police officer testified it was the Tribble brothers who brought badge-bending to Vallejo.
A third captain position was frozen by the Vallejo City Council in February as a way to redirect funding toward other positions within the police department.
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THE VALLEJO SUN NEWSLETTER
Investigative reporting, regular updates, events and more
- Vallejo Police Department
- Kevin Williams
- Shawny Williams
- Christina Lee
- Michael Kihmm
- Jason Ta
- Daniel Hahn
- Drew Ramsay
- Robert "Bobby" Knight
- Jeremy Huff
- Jason Potts
- Todd 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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