VALLEJO - The Vallejo Police Department has found the newest member of its command staff. The department announced Tuesday that Jason Ta will serve as the deputy police chief, joining Michael Kihmm who serves as Vallejo’s other deputy police chief.
Ta is the latest to be plucked from the San Jose Police Department by Chief Shawny Williams, who came to Vallejo from SJPD in late 2019. Kihmm was lured away from SJPD late last year.
In a statement Vallejo police released Tuesday, Williams calls Ta “a humble servant leader who brings a breadth of experience” and “a problem solver who creates environments that engage the hearts and minds of all employees, community stakeholders and our youth.
“I am excited to have him on our team,” Williams said in the statement.
The release goes on to say Ta has been in law enforcement for 25 years In that time, Ta has served on the San Jose Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force while also serving as unit commander for the Sexual Assaults Investigations Unit during his assignment with the Bureau of Investigations.
Ta was one of seven finalists for the chief position at SJPD earlier this year. Then-Deputy Chief of Police Anthony Mata was ultimately hired as chief.
Ta replaces Joseph Kreins, who served as interim deputy police chief from December 2020 to this last May.
Facing a depleted command structure, the department successfully lobbied the city council to create another deputy police chief position in November 2020. The department already had a relatively new assistant police chief position which was simply renamed as a deputy police chief position.
At the time, two of the department’s three police captains were out on leave, creating a vacuum at the top. In addition, the move to create the deputy police chiefs positions came as the city’s police union publicly sparred with Williams.
The Vallejo Police Officers’ Association represents all police officials from officers to captains. The new deputy police chief positions, like Williams, are not represented by the union. A request for comment sent to the VPOA wasn’t immediately returned. VPOA’s current president, Michael Nichelini, was a lieutenant before Williams fired him. Nichelini is suing Williams and the city for $10 million and his job back.
It wasn’t immediately known how much Ta will make as deputy police chief. Vallejo police spokeswoman Brittany K. Jackson directed questions about Ta’s salary to the city’s human resources department. A representative in that department couldn’t be immediately reached.
Kihmm earns an annual base salary of $222,000, making him one of the highest paid city of Vallejo employees, according to his employment contract. Meanwhile, Police Chief Shawny Williams is the highest paid city employee, earning $261,000 in base salary per year, according to his contract with the city.
The city said Ta will start with Vallejo on Oct. 4.
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- Vallejo Police Department
- Jason Ta
- Michael Kihmm
- Shawny Williams
- San Jose Police Department
- Joseph Kreins
- Anthony Mata
- Michael Nichelini
- Brittany Jackson
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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