News Release, Police Department

Mark Koller Appointed City of Hayward’s 14th Chief of Police

Move follows a national search, career Hayward officer’s 11-months at department helm as acting, interim chief

July 17, 2017

Hayward, Calif., July 17, 2017—City Manager Kelly McAdoo announced today the appointment of Mark Koller as Chief of Police, a position he has held on an acting and interim basis since last August and through a period in which the Hayward 

Police Department earned reaccreditation with “excellence” from the nation’s leading law enforcement accreditation body. 

The selection of Koller, a second-generation Hayward police officer, as the 14th chief of the Hayward Police Department (HPD) caps a national search and competitive application process that included finalist interviews with panels of Hayward community members, police command staff, sworn officers and Police Department professional staff, and Hayward municipal government department heads. 

City Manager McAdoo, whose authority includes the hiring of the city’s chiefs of police and fire and other department heads, said Koller has demonstrated the vision, demeanor, and respect for the public necessary of a Police Chief in a diverse city that values community-oriented policing and in a period of heightened expectations of accountability on the part of local law enforcement. 

“Mark has earned the confidence and admiration of his colleagues within HPD, across city government and in the community at large by being approachable, forthright and honest, being adaptable, open to change and ready to confront new challenges,” McAdoo said. 

“I want to express my gratitude to the members of the Hayward community, HPD and city government who participated in this recruitment and selection process,” McAdoo added.  “I believe whole-heartedly that we have, in Chief Koller, the best possible person for the job and the best person to lead the department for years to come.” 

Koller, who is 54, called the appointment an honor of a lifetime—noting both he and his father, retired Inspector David Koller, have been career Hayward police officers.  “This is the highest honor to have an opportunity to give back to this community, a city that is so much a part of me, and to lead a department which my father has also served and which I have served throughout my entire adult career,” he said. 

Chief Koller pledged to keep HPD on the “cutting edge” of progress and community trust-building, citing, as an example, the department’s early embrace of body cameras.  “It wasn’t something that was mandated or forced on us,” Koller said of body cameras.  “It was a way we saw to create more transparency in how we do our jobs.” 

Born in Hayward, Koller knew early he wanted to become a cop.  At age 14, after the Koller family had moved to Newark, Mark Koller became an Explorer with that city’s police department.  At age 18, he became a Newark police Cadet. His Hayward career began in 1981 when he was hired by HPD as a Police Assistant (currently known as a Community Service Officer).  Koller was assigned to work as a jailer and later selected as a crime scene technician.  In 1984, he was promoted to police officer, serving as a patrol officer, narcotics investigator, and child abuse investigator, as well as a team member on the Police Department’s Special Response Unit (SWAT team). 

In 1995, Koller was promoted to Inspector, where he served as a general crimes, burglary, and homicide investigator.  In 1998, he was promoted to Sergeant and supervised patrol squads, Internal Affairs and SWAT.  In 2002, Koller was elevated to Lieutenant overseeing the day-to-day patrol operations as a Watch Commander and also served as the department’s SWAT Commander, Personnel and Training Manager, and as the Northern District Commander.  In 2013, he was made a 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, overseeing the District Stations, Personnel and Training, Traffic, Canine, and Special Response Units. 

In August of 2016, Koller was appointed as the Acting Chief of Police, and on Dec. 15, 2016, to Interim Chief of Police. 

Koller obtained a Bachelor of Science Degree from California State University, Long Beach.  He is a graduate of the 238th session of FBI National Academy, the Los Angeles Leadership Program (formerly West Point Leadership), the 64th session of the Police Executive Research Forum Senior Management Institute for Police (SMIP), as well as the 2014 Local Government Leadership Academy of Alameda County.

Download the full Press Release.