On Wednesday I announced with
Chief Susan Manheimer
a proposal to ban the use of chokeholds in Oakland. Chief Manheimer will present the Special Order to the Citizen Police Commission on Thursday night.
Oakland has committed to the
8 Can’t Wait
use of force policy changes (OPD has completed six and is committed to finalizing the remaining two) and I also signed President Barack Obama’s
to actionable police reforms.
Additionally, our position on ‘defunding the police’ starts here: We want to move toward a society where police are not needed.
We want a society where everyone feels safe without state intervention or armed response.
We agree that investments in education, health, housing security and economic well-being are the most powerful ways to advance safety in Oakland.
We recognize a growing group of people — especially people of color — experience policing as violent, racist and oppressive, and not as protective or creating a sense of safety.
We honor this reality, particularly in the wake of horrific killings of Black and Brown people by police across our nation. We will continue working to eradicate racism, violence and abuse in policing.
We will continue to invest in non-law enforcement responses to community safety needs.
In just the last few years Oakland has made those investments by creating strong departments of Race & Equity and Violence Prevention, as well as the most powerful and independent Citizen Police Commission in America. And we are in the process of adding a mobile crisis response, based on the Cahoots model in Oregon, because so many 911 calls really just need crisis intervention and care — not a badge and a gun.
We also recognize that Oaklanders make more than 100,000 911 calls each year in their most traumatic moments of fear and crisis — relying on our police to respond to their safety needs. We know that Oakland Police prevent crime and suffering, save lives, and bring resolution and justice to those who’ve been harmed. To ensure our police are trained and held accountable to the safest, most unbiased, culturally competent and progressive practices requires investment — not divestment.
Comparatively, Oakland can ill afford to further defund its police department, as we already have the lowest officer-per-crime staffing levels of any police department in America. Oakland’s police department comprises 19-20% of the City’s budget – just below comparative cities’ average – and is roughly 1/5
of Alameda County’s total budget for Public Health and Social Services. It’s critical to look beyond the City’s budget to fully capture all public spending investments in Oakland.
The Administration’s current
was forced to cut $122 million due to COVID-19 revenue losses. The Administration’s budget proposes the largest departmental cut directly at OPD, while managing to
funding for homeless services, affordable housing, park maintenance and illegal dumping.
The City Council will be adopting the final budget within the next few weeks. If you want to find and contact your Councilmember to advocate for your priorities, please visit this site
by clicking here