What Will It Take To Restore The Oakland Police Department?

As we explained last month, all four City Council members elected in the most recent election have adopted the MOBN! position that rebuilding the City’s police department is the City’s highest priority.  Last month, City Council Members Larry Reid and Libby Schaaf proposed three public safety measures, including one that Council confirm a police academy conditionally budgeted for June, 2013.

MOBN! supports all three measures, including the academy confirmation, the use of Alameda County Sherriff’s deputies and the hiring of civilian technicians.  But even if these proposals are adopted, the City’s current course will not restore the department in the near future.  Here’s why:


Oakland Project Ceasefire Update

Members of the MOBN! board recently met with Oakland’s Project Ceasefire team for a progress update. While the project is moving slowly, it is moving in the right direction.  We are pleased with the team’s care, thought and implementation, with one reservation:  the project still needs a full-time manager to devote his or her full attention to this important project.  Team members also see this need.  At the City Council Public Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, December 11 at 5:30, they will be asking for an allocation of Measure Y reserve funds for a full-time manager.   MOBN! will be attending the meeting to urge that the committee recommend, and Council ultimately approve, the dedicated management everyone in the Cease Fire process agrees is essential.  We’ve also expressed our views in this letter to the Committee.

MOBN! members know that we and other community groups have been advocating for an effective Ceasefire program for a number of years now.  The evidence from across the country is that when implemented carefully and properly, Cease Fire is one of the few strategies proven to reduce homicides in violent cities.  Point 4 of the MOBN! Public Safety Plan provides:

The City must fully implement long-term Cease Fire programs for gun violence reduction and open-air drug market elimination, based on the Cincinnati /Boston model. The City must regularly report to the citizens on the extent to which these programs are reducing gun violence and eliminating open-air drug markets.

More information is available here, here, here and here.  Scott Johnson’s recent post on the City’s current efforts is available at Oakland Effect here.


Oakland and Plaintiffs Settle Receivership Issue in Riders Case

Oaklanders who follow MOBN!’s posts know that Federal Judge Thelton Henderson  had a hearing scheduled  next week on the question of whether the Oakland Police Department should be placed in receivership.  Yesterday the plaintiffs and the city jointly filed a proposed settlement of the plaintiffs’ receivership motion.   The proposed settlement is available here.

More information about the case of Delphine Allen et al. v. City of Oakland (“the Riders Case”) and the Consent Judgment (the “negotiated settlement agreement,” or “NSA”) are available herehere, here and  here.  Discussions about what the settlement means for Oakland, who won and who lost, will occur in the days to come.  But today, we will briefly summarize what the parties agreed to and what the Court will order if Judge Henderson agrees with them.