Routinely criticized Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan announced his retirement today. Effective immediately, his he is on medical leave.

In a statement sent to OPD, Jordan writes:

"To the members and civilian staff of the Oakland Police Department:

I wanted you to be the first to know that this morning I advised city Administrator Deanna Santana that, effective immediately I am on medical leave and taking steps toward medical retirement. This decision has been difficult but necessary. Through my 24 years of wearing an OPD badge and uniform I have emulated the department's core values: Honesty, Respect and Integrity - values I have observed in all of you. I know that you and the department will carry on these values to generations to come."

"It has been an honor to serve the city of Oakland with you."

Jordan's departure comes suspiciously before a city consultant (former Los Angeles Police Chief William Bratton) plans to announce plans on how to reduce crime in Oakland. The Chronicle notes:

Jordan's departure comes at a critical time for the city, which has been plagued by plunging tax revenue, escalating employee retirement costs, layoffs and concerns over crime. The Police Department has also been struggling with tensions from an escalating crime rate, Occupy protests and criticism by U.S. District Judge Thelton Henderson, who believes the department is moving too slowly to implement the reforms he is overseeing in the wake of a decade-old police scandal.

Jordan was a 24-year veteran of the Police Department. Assistant Chief Anthony Toribio will take over until a replacement is officially announced.

[Oakland Tribune]