Vallejo Police Chief Shawny Williams has abruptly resigned, a spokesperson for the city said on Friday.

Williams joined the force as chief in the fall of 2019 and was instrumental in furthering accountability in the department in the wake of bad press surrounding the so-called “Gone Girl” kidnapping case, high officer-involved shootings and the badge-bending scandal where officers bent the tips of their badges to mark the shooting of suspects.

Use of force and officer involved shootings declined during his leadership, though the killing of Sean Monterrosa happened under his watch. Monterrosa was shot and killed by Officer Jarrett Tonn in June of 2020 during the George Floyd protests. Williams fired Tonn last month.

Deputy Chief Jason Ta has been appointed interim chief of the Vallejo Police Department. (Photo courtesy of VPD)

Williams was frequently attacked by the Vallejo Police Officers Association, the officer’s union headed by another person Williams fired, Michael Nichelini. The union gave a vote of “no confidence” against the chief and blamed him for low morale, attrition and the rise of crime due to an understaffed force.

“My time with the City of Vallejo has been rewarding both professionally and personally,” said Williams in a statement about his departure. “I arrived at the City during a challenging and controversial period in the City’s history. It was my goal as Police Chief to build collaborative partnerships between the Department and the community. While the Department still has strides to make toward its ultimate goals, together we have accomplished many tasks that I feel have put VPD on the right path to success and I wish the City and Department all the best.”

City Manager Mike Malone has appointed Deputy Chief Jason Ta to serve as interim chief, according to the city.

Katy St. Clair got her start in journalism by working in the classifieds department at the East Bay Express during the height of alt weeklies, then sweet talked her way into becoming staff writer, submissions editor, and music editor. She has been a columnist in the East Bay Express, SF Weekly, and the San Francisco Examiner. Starting in 2015, she begrudgingly scaled the inverted pyramid at dailies such as the Vallejo Times-Herald, The Vacaville Reporter, and the Daily Republic. She has her own independent news site and blog that covers the delightfully dysfunctional town of Vallejo, California, where she also collaborates with the investigative team at Open Vallejo. A passionate advocate for people with developmental disabilities, she serves on both the Board of the Arc of Solano and the Arc of California. She lives in Vallejo.