Long Beach officially has its first police oversight director after the City Council approved the appointment of Francine Kerridge Tuesday night.

Kerridge had most recently served in a similar role as the inspector general for the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department. In Long Beach, she’ll be tasked with auditing trends within the Long Beach Police Department and potentially investigating high-profile use-of-force incidents if authorized by the city manager.

Francine Kerridge. Photo courtesy city of Long Beach.

The new Police Oversight Commission, to which Kerridge will report, is expected to be appointed by the end of the year. Commissioners can make recommendations to Kerridge about what LBPD areas or practices they’d like to see audited. An annual report is expected to be delivered to the commission once it’s up and running, something that the city has said should happen by early 2024 at the latest.

Mayor Rex Richardson lauded Kerridge for the professionalism and drive he said she demonstrated during the months-long search the city conducted to find its new director.

“Tonight we’re taking an important step in our city’s history toward more accountability and transparency,” Richardson said.

Kerridge is expected to start in her new role at the end of September, and after the council’s vote Tuesday to approve her salary, she’s set to make $209,860 annually with a monthly transportation allowance of $450, according to a staff report.

The Police Oversight Commission will replace the Citizens Police Complaint Commission, which was formed in the 1990s and is still meeting to work through old complaints. New complaints about police misconduct are being directed to the LBPD, which will investigate the claims through internal affairs and will be audited by Kerridge’s office.

Creating the new commission was authorized by voters in November when about 60% approved a charter amendment to replace the CPCC, which had long been lambasted as ineffective and opaque.

Jason Ruiz covers City Hall and politics for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or @JasonRuiz_LB on Twitter.