Abdul Pridgen, Chief, Seaside Police Department & CPCA President
Abdul Pridgen is Chief of the Seaside Police Department, sworn-in on March 1st, 2018. In Seaside, he has made accountability, transparency, and winning the community’s trust a department priority. In just over three years in Seaside, a working-class majority-minority community next to Monterey, Abdul has put systems in place to increase the public’s confidence in police and assure that policing for safety, not incarceration is each officer’s focus. Even in a time when the country is gaining greater awareness of policing’s role in perpetuating historical inequities through the Movement for Black Lives, Abdul’s tenure in Seaside has seen Black community members’ trust in their policeincrease.
Before coming to Seaside, Abdul honorably retired from the Fort Worth Police Department after almost twenty-six years of dedicated service. He joined the department as a new recruit and promoted to detective, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain. Abdul was appointed to second-in-command in 2009 and ultimately became the first, and only, Black Assistant Chief. He was known for his effectiveness at employing evidence to drive organizational change and his principled approach to policing, promoting ethical policing, and fostering a culture ofaccountability.
Abdul is also a collaborative, creative community leader, and has long insisted that communities can solve problems in ways that include but also reach well beyond police services. Abdul created Project Cool Breeze in Fort Worth, a program where residents—including officers—repair or replace inoperable air conditioning units for persons and families who cannot afford a new unit. It’s part of his commitment to addressing problems with both a practical eye and through the lens of social justice. In Seaside, Abdul also collaborated with stakeholders to create the Seaside Nutrition, Academic & Athletics for Cops & Kids (SNAACK) Van. Officers drive through Seaside neighborhoods and deliver free healthy snacks, school supplies, and sports equipment to community youth.
Abdul is passionate about police accountability and transparency. He founded and is CEO of the Institute for Transparent and Accountable Policing (ITAP), a nonprofit consortium of current and former law enforcement officers, community leaders, recruiting firms, attorneys, and academics who are dedicated to improving police-community relations by infusing greater transparency and accountability into policing through a LAT™ score. As a police chief, Abdul works every day to earn the trust of those his officers serve and find new ways to transform his department into an ethical andtransparent organization.
Prior to entering law enforcement, Abdul was a Sailor in the armed forces and served in Desert Storm. He was honorably discharged after his six-year active duty commitment and retired from the U.S. Navy Reserve as a Chief PettyOfficer.
Abdul holds a Master of Arts in Public Administration and a Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice. He is a graduate of the Southern Police Institute, FBI National Academy, FBI National Executive Institute, and Harvard Kennedy School, where he received an Executive Certificate in Public Leadership. Abdul is also a Senior Advisor for Measures for Justice, President of the California Police Chiefs Association, President of the Institute for Transparent and Accountable Policing, President of the Peninsula Regional Violence and Narcotics Team, Chair of the Blue Ribbon Task Force for the Reduction of Youth Violence, and Past President of the Monterey County Chief Law Enforcement OfficersAssociation.
Abdul, who grew up in The Bronx, New York, is a proud husband and father. He has always had a servant’s heart and, from an early age, served all comers on the streets of The Bronx who wanted an electric boogie showdown. Though today he’s put his dancing shoes aside, in what little spare time he has, Abdul enjoys volunteering and spending quality time with hisfamily.