News Release, Police Department

Police Chief Mark Koller announces July retirement from Hayward Police Department

February 27, 2019

HAYWARD, Calif., Feb. 27, 2019—Chief of Police Mark Koller announced today that he will retire in July after a 38-year career at the Hayward Police Department.

A second-generation career Hayward police officer, Koller, 55, has led the 197-officer HPD force since August 2016.

“Serving the Hayward community as its Chief of Police has been the greatest honor of my career,” Koller said, adding that his decision to retire was a family one based on a desire to spend more time together.

“After nearly four decades of service, it is time to pass the torch and devote my time to my wife and family, who have been patiently waiting and supporting me all along the way,” he said.

City Manager Kelly McAdoo noted Koller’s appointment to lead HPD was among the first major decisions of her tenure as the City’s chief executive and one she is glad she made.

“Mark Koller brought stability to the department when it was needed and moved it forward in ways that are increasingly important in society today,” McAdoo said.

Koller’s legacy will include formation of a new Community Advisory Panel to the Chief of Police, a body to be appointed by the Mayor, City Manager and Police Chief to improve trust and strengthen understanding between HPD and community members.

McAdoo said she would announce plans for identifying and appointing a new Police Chief in the days ahead.

Koller, who was born in Hayward, never imagined one day leading HPD until late in his career.  He started in law enforcement at age 14 when he became a police Explorer and then a Cadet in nearby Newark.  In 1981, he joined HPD as a Police Assistant, now called a Community Service Officer.  He was assigned to work as a jailer and later as a crime scene technician.

In 1984, he was promoted to police officer, serving as a patrolman, narcotics investigator and child abuse investigator, as well as member of the Police Department’s Special Response Unit, commonly referred to as the SWAT Team.

In 2002, Koller became Lieutenant and oversaw day-to-day patrol operations as a Watch Commander and later served as Special Response Unit Commander, Personnel and Training Manager and as Northern District Commander.

In 2013, he made the rank of Captain, and was assigned to the Field Operations Division.

In 2014, the Field Operations Division was divided, and Koller took command of the newly created Special Operations Division and oversaw district stations, personnel and training, traffic, canine and the Special Response units, until assuming the Chief’s role in August of 2016.

On Tuesday, in announcing his decision to retire with his colleagues, Koller said he sees his final assignment as supporting the transition of the department to new leadership and laying the groundwork for a successful start for Hayward’s next Chief of Police.

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