Come to Tonight’s City Council Meeting – But Then Keep Coming Back

Oaklanders who follow City Hall know that four public safety proposals are coming before the City Council tonight at its 5:30 meeting, as Council decides whether to:



Why The Bratton / Wasserman Proposal Should Be Adopted By Oakland’s City Council

Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. at City Hall, Oakland City Council’s Public Safety Committee will vote on whether to forward to Council a proposal to add $250,000 to the City’s public safety consulting contract with Strategic Policy Partnership.  This is the Robert Wasserman, Chief William Bratton proposal that we discussed here.  We strongly encourage Oaklanders to come and support this proposal.

The proposal is starting to run into opposition based on two arguments that either misstate or misunderstand what the proposal is:  The first argument goes something like this:  Oakland has already spent, is already spending or going to spend millions on outside Occupy investigators, on a a Federal Court monitor, on a Compliance Director, why do we have to spend money on this as well?


Learn More About The Upcoming Public Safety Proposals — Then Come Out And Support Them

Just about everyone in Oakland and in Oakland City Government says “public safety is our number one priority.” If  we mean it, we are going to have to take big steps and bring big change. Among other things, this means finding cost-effective ways to grow the Oakland Police Department to a sworn staffing level of 900.  And it means having a comprehensive public safety program.

But while we are getting there, we also need to support the smaller measures that can make a difference. Three of those are the proposals by Council Members Schaff (D4) and Reid (D7) to borrow Sheriff’s Department officers, hire civilian technicians and lock in a second police academy for Calendar year 2013.



Is Chief Bratton The Answer For Oakland?

Oakland is bringing in William Bratton as a public safety consultant.  Bratton made his name nationally as New York City police commissioner. During and after his tenure, New York significantly increased police staffing and experienced an unprecedented—and continuing—reduction in violent crime. After New York, Bratton came to Los Angeles, first as part of the federal monitoring team for its consent judgment (similar to Oakland’s NSA), and then as chief. In his 8 ½ years with LAPD, Los Angeles reduced homicides 41%, reduced violent crime 45,% and came out from under Federal Court supervision.

MOBN! representatives recently joined community leaders in a meeting with Oakland’s policing consultant Robert Wasserman, during which he announced the plan for Bratton’s involvement, described Oakland’s public safety situation as “the most difficult and complex policing challenge in the United States” and discussed long and short term strategies. Here’s MOBN!’s take:

Oakland’s violent crime rate has now gone beyond crisis and reached emergency levels. Oaklanders cannot expect that any one individual or quick solution is going to turn things around.