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Oakland City Council to passthru $279k for 8 paddy wagons & approve $127k for 121 shotguns

Tuesday, November 03, 2015
5:30 PM - 8:30 PM
Event Type:
Location Details:
Oakland City Hall
1 Oscar Grant Plaza
Oakland, CA


7.13 Subject: Purchase of Remington Shotguns and Accessories
From: Finance Department
Recommendation: Adopt A Resolution Authorizing The City Administrator To Award A Contract To LC Action Police Supply, The Lowest Responsible, Responsive Bidder, A Corporation, To Provide Remington Shotguns And Accessories, In An Amount Not To Exceed One Hundred Twenty-Seven Thousand One Hundred Ninety-Five Dollars And Twenty Cents ($127,195.20) Per Request For Quotation (RFQ) No. 5608, Specification No. 15-680-52 And The General Conditions Therefor On File In The Purchasing Section According To Its Bid Filed With The City On June 29, 2015

OPD wants to purchase 121 REMINGTON 870 18" barrel shotguns at roughly $300 per gun. The add-ons push the price to over $1,000 per shotgun. These include: and Vang Comp Ghost Ring Sights Notice the following quote: "Vang Comp Ghost Ring Sights turn your basic shotgun into an effective combat tool. By having these sights installed on your shotgun you increase the range at which you can effectively send slugs downrange. It's not just the slugs that receive a performance boost but the Ghost Ring sight picture offers the perfect balance between speedy target acquisition and pinpoint accuracy."

From the resolution ... "WHEREAS, funds are available in the General Purpose Fund (1010), District Command Administration Organization (108010), Supplies Technical and Scientific Account (52913), Undetermined Project (0000000), Community Oriented Policing Services Program (COPS) ..." COPS?! Is that what residents considered community-oriented policing? Or would they consider proper rubber-soled walking shoes to be community-oriented policing?

There is a good chance that the only reason this is even appearing before the council is that the sum is more than $100,000 otherwise the citizens would not have known of this. One might wonder if this purchase came out of the recent Urban Shield vendor weapons display. The Oakland Police Dept will say the shotguns they already have are old and overused – which is a tired argument. Municipal police departments are not supposed to be firing weapons aside from on the firing range and these weapons – if maintained – will last for a very long time.

This is about priorities and stockpiling weapons for the upcoming repression. When combined with the OPD request of $279,000 for 8 “paddy wagons” to be heard later in this council meeting, OPD will be consuming over $400,000. Funds that this supposed cash-strapped city could easily direct elsewhere.

At last Tuesday’s Finance & Management Committee Fred Halliburton of the City’s Finance Dept had to admit he really didn’t have a clue about this item. Tim Burch of OPD’s Research & Planning admits to not preparing for this item and yet stated that OPD had conducted an inventory and found they were "woefully short on shotguns”. The committee members had been contacted and made aware of a lot of egregious issues. Two of the four at least felt a little compelled to attempt some questions but they did not want to show any real resistance to OPD. Aside from mailed-in comments and calls, there was only one speaker at this 9:30am meeting. NO one wanted to be the councilmember to move the item so the chair had to. They all sat mute so the chair then declared it moved unanimously.

13 Subject: Appropriate Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Funds
From: Oakland Police Department
Recommendation: Adopt A Resolution Authorizing The City Administrator, Or Designee, To Accept And Appropriate The Fiscal Year 2015 Edward Byrne Memorial Justice Assistance Grant (JAG) Funds In The Amount Of Five Hundred Fifty-Six Thousand, Seven Hundred Eighty-Nine Dollars ($556,789) For October 1, 2014 Through September 30, 2018

... OPD will use funding from the JAG allocations to purchase equipment, software and vehicles to strengthen and enhance law enforcement efforts throughout the City of Oakland. OPD will rely heavily on technology and specialized equipment in order to make efficient and effective use of law enforcement resources. A portion of the JAG funds ($146,716) will be used to install and implement a property and evidence barcode system and a video camera system for the Bureau of Investigations. OPD will also utilize funds ($4,380) to purchase a dispatch training simulator to assist with training newly hired dispatchers and operators. Funds ($20,000) will be used to upgrade software for the Communications Division and Crime Analysis Section. OPD will also use a portion of the funds ($77,855) to purchase specialized microscopes for the Crime Laboratory to ensure staff has access to the latest tools in order to reduce processing times and potential errors. The remaining funds ($278,998) will be used to purchase eight vans to provide officers with the ability to respond to large crowd events, such as protests. OPD is currently required to rent vans in order to respond to protests. This is a very costly practice and it does not allow immediate response to spontaneous events.

The council thru their Rules & Legislative Committee had this changed from a committee hearing directly to the full council "Pursuant to Rule 28(a) of Resolution 82580 C.M.S." and they placed it at the very end of the agenda. OPD items are not to be contested and the council will place as many obstacles as possible in the way.

Item 13 includes funds for 8 vans to “provide officers with the ability to respond to large crowd events, such as protests.” Civil disobedience and crowd intimidation at sporting events are some of OPD’s main roles outside of the normal Stop & Frisk “broken windows” minor infraction-to-prison pipeline stuff they do. Their staff has stated as such. If a professional sporting event is occurring and there is a demonstration, OPD has to move “forces” around within the city as necessary depending on their intelligence from helicopters, on-the-ground officers and telecommunication interceptions.

Aside from the aforementioned item, this large grant from the federales also includes funds for crime lab microscopes that were to be enhanced with city funds to provide $300,000 in hardware and almost $800,000 in wages to specialists. Equipment and specialists that should have been there for years. At roughly $200k in wages and benefits per officer, OPD already has some of the most expensive police in the state. Officers who don’t even live in the city they repress and who are directed to address issues that can be ticketed or charged without involving much or any investigation. Real investigation has been lessened for decades. Poorer people can be caught and charged with other issues much quicker. It is doubtful these purchases will change that policy though it will allow the OPD to meet state and federal requirements for receiving further grants for further goodies.

The referenced additional item was supposed to be on last week’s cancelled Public Safety committee meeting and has not been placed adjacent to this item. The council probably figured it would be easier to pass it at a separate meeting so that even fewer residents will be aware of the relationship.

If you can’t speak at the council meeting, contact your elected council representatives and say NO to further militarization. Call, write, or email: dkalb [at]; aguillen [at]; lmcelhaney [at]; ACampbell-Washington [at]; ngallo [at]; dbrooks [at]; lreid [at]; atlarge [at]
Added to the calendar on Mon, Nov 2, 2015 11:09AM
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