Stockton’s newly-minted police chief Stanley McFadden wants everyone in the city, no matter who they are, to know one thing:

“I am your chief.”

Though he technically started his new gig the previous day, McFadden was officially sworn in Thursday as Stockton’s 50th police chief. 

New Stockton Police Chief Stanley McFadden speaks after taking the oath of office at Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium. (DUANE SANDERS/CONTRIBUTOR)

“When you first start in law enforcement I don’t think anyone thinks this is where they’re going to end up,” McFadden said. “It’s been a long journey. And I think that’s what law enforcement is, it’s a long journey.”

Hundreds of community members and public officials gathered Thursday afternoon at Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium to watch history being made as the city’s first Black police chief officially took his oath.

Those in attendance included the Stockton City Council, Stockton Mayor Kevin Lincoln, City Manager Harry Black, San Joaquin County Supervisor Miguel Villapudua and District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar. Also present at the ceremony were McFadden’s wife and children.

San Jose Police Department officers salute during the presentation of the colors at the swearing-in ceremony of Police Chief Stanley McFadden. (DUANE SANDERS/CONTRIBUTOR)

Lincoln welcomed the chief and said they were excited for the journey ahead.

“The city of Stockton is looking forward to your leadership, the insight and how you will lead this department to help protect and serve the citizens of our community,” Lincoln said. 

Stockton Police Capt. Antonio “Tony” Sajor Jr. also received his badge, acknowledging promotion to the department’s deputy chief. Born in French Camp and Stockton raised, Sajor has served with the Stockton Police Department since 1997.

McFadden was chosen for the job after a nationwide search that started in January following Stockton Police Chief Eric Jones’ retirement at the end of last year.

According to city officials, McFadden started with the San Jose Police Department in 1993, rising through the ranks to become the department’s deputy police chief. In his new position he will oversee a department with an authorized staffing level of 485 sworn officers, 228 civilian employees and a $158 million budget. 

The three-decade San Jose Police Department veteran and Bay Area native has also lived in San Joaquin County for 20 years.

Police Chief Stanley McFadden pauses while speaking during his swearing-in ceremony at Stockton Memorial Civic Auditorium. (DUANE SANDERS/CONTRIBUTOR)

Black told the crowd that the city had recruited a pool of top notch candidates and McFadden just “rose to the top.”

“I’m a firm believer that if you’ve got a good process and if you follow that process, you’re going to likely end up successful,” Black said. “And I believe in this case we have.” 

Among other focuses during his tenure, McFadden says he will lead the Stockton Police Department by example through ethical management. He will also work to retain the department’s current workforce while also intentionally recruiting to diversify that same workforce. 

McFadden also said the department would focus on supporting the Stockton community.

“My mission is to become the newest member of the team, in partnership with all communities to build, sustain and foster new relationships that are founded on trust and mutual respect,” McFadden said, “while reducing violent crime and improving the quality of life for everyone”

“I am deeply humbled to be your chief. I’ll be everyone’s chief.”


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