My Interview With Richmond Police Chief Bisa French 

I sat down with Richmond, California Police Chief Bisa French for this interview.

Richmond Police Chief Bisa French Interview

My On Camera Interview With Richmond, California Police Chief Bisa French

Bisa French – Richmond Police Department

My wanting to talk to the Chief Bisa French was a two fold.

With all that is goin on right now it seemed a great time to sit down with the Chief and have an open discussion about race, policing, building community and her thoughts on the direction she is taking her department.

First and foremost I reached out to Chief because I’m truly so inspired by Chief Bisa French who as a minority woman rose to the ranks of chief. That’s inspiring in and of itself. And the fact that she is from Richmond, California – has roots there, stayed there and now is running the force there – that’s remarkable.

There’s something to be said for this. Most department heads move locations and are not necessarily in their hometown.

And there is a great level of understanding of a place where you grew up, have friends, family, history. That level of understanding of the community where you head the department and protect the people can only come by truly knowing the lay of the land on all those deeper fronts.

She brings so much to the department and I had to know more.

Her story is inspiring. Working her way up to the very top from a young officer to heading the department. She had moved into the role of interim chief before putting her hat into the ring for permanent status. I had a hunch she’d be affirmed and sure enough she was.

And I personally see even more for Chief French as do many others in the community and beyond.

Her perspective is invaluable, immeasurable beyond words. The perspective of not only a woman, but a minority. That’s gives her insights and wisdom that is hard pressed these days it seems with all that has been going.

I also found it timely considering our time and place in history. And Chief French could not agree more. There is need for discussion. There is need for open and honest conversation. And leveling up with that. True authentic exchanges about race that have never really happened in this way.

She was a delight to talk to. She’s enigmatic, charismatic and has great presence and awareness of who she is, where she came from. For now she says the next step is Chief, but I think she’s got more ahead beyond the Richmond Police Department.

But for the time being the community and the department are beyond grateful for her leadership, wisdom and insights into and her vision to light a new path ahead for her department and her city.


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Sue Dhillon is an Indian American writer, journalist, and trainer.

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