Over the last year Oaklanders, like people in most other American cities, have been heatedly debating the size and cost of their police force. This debate began with the brutal…
MOBN! has just donated to the Oakland Fund for Public Innovation, which operates The Oakland COVID-19 Relief Fund. This fund was launched recently by Mayor Schaaf and Councilmembers Kalb, Bas and McElhaney as an emergency fund to serve Oakland’s most vulnerable residents and first responders during the pandemic.
At the June 20th joint Rockridge Community Planning Council/Greater Rockridge Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council meeting, Mayor Jean Quan was asked how many police she thought Oakland needs.
First, she said that it is not a matter of what we need, but what we can afford, given that California policemen cost more than East Coast policemen, and she quoted that CA officers cost $200,000 per officer vs $100,000 on the East Coast. She then stated that her goal was to return Oakland to 800 officers that we had “before the recession.” Although the current budget only gets us to 700, she said she is confident that as the economy continues to improve Oakland will be able to afford more police in the long term.
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.