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Oakland Needs a Police Commission - Sign the Petition
Oakland is ten years into a Negotiated Settlement Agreement over police reforms meant to be concluded in five years. The delay in compliance threatens to place the Oakland Police Department into Federal receivership. This will be the first time in U.S. history that any police department has been taken over by the Feds.
The conclusion is inescapable: the City lacks adequate oversight of its police department. In fact, It is the lack of robust oversight which gave rise to the serious police misconduct that resulted in the criminal trials of the infamous ‘Riders’ and the subsequent multi-million dollar class action civil law suit that generated the NSA. Already cash strapped, Oakland has paid over $58 million in civil law suits in the past ten years – more than San Francisco and San Jose, combined – and millions more in Federal monitoring fees and plaintiffs’ attorneys’ fees.
The authority to oversee and impose discipline on the Police Department which the Charter confers to the City Manager (Administrator) is impractical and insufficient. The City Administrator supervises every department head in the City and cannot closely monitor and audit the Police Department effectively. There have been no fewer than five City Administrators during the course of the NSA, yet OPD is still not in compliance with its terms despite successive promises to the Federal Judge from each of them.
Oakland residents should be able to vote on establishing a Police Commission, appointed by the Mayor and the City Council whose mandate would be to oversee, monitor, audit and influence policy and practices of the Oakland Police Department, won’t you sign this petition!
If you agree that such a measure should appear on the November 2012 ballot, won’t you sign this petition?