It has been six weeks since the court hearing, and still no final ruling from the Court. Of course I’m frustrated, but the wheels of justice turn slowly.…The Court still has another six weeks, and I’ll post the ruling as soon as I get it.
In the meantime, I thought I’d share with you some of my most recent thoughts on how I think the City might be plotting its end run around the anticipated ruling. After the tentative decision was released, Mayor Dellums issued a statement, in response, justifying the City’s raid on Measure Y by proclaiming that every officer in the Oakland Police Department is a "community policing officer."
I then sent an e-mail to City officials critiquing this assertion, noting that the Mayor might want to read Resolution 72727, adopted by the City in 1996, and Resolution 79235, adopted in 2005. These resolutions provide a very specific definition of "community police officers." Subsection 7.2 provides: "Police officers assigned to each community policing beat shall be known as Community Police Officers. Community Police Officers shall focus their efforts on problem solving and quality of life improvement on their community policing beat, and shall not be routinely reassigned to 911 patrol or other non-community policing duties."
Ever since the adoption of Resolution 72727, each beat in Oakland was supposed to have its own “community police officer,” but that didn’t happen. One of the purposes of Measure Y was to implement real community policing in Oakland, but that didn’t happen either. When the Augmented Recruiting program was introduced to the City Council in March, 2008, then Chief Tucker asserted that all of the officers to be recruited, trained and hired, would be Measure Y officers. Of course, that wasn’t true. And when the City realized it was losing the game, it began the process of moving the goalposts. First, an argument was made, contrary to common sense and OPD policy, that rookie cops should start being assigned to PSO positions. And now, I believe there may be a concerted effort to redefine community policing, all of the purpose of creating an end run around the likely result of this litigation.
Last week, I received notice of a meeting scheduled for this week, the purpose of which was to review the definition of “community policing” in Oakland. One of the documents, attached to the agenda for the meeting, is the Mayor’s Public Safety Task Force report, which recommends: “As an essential part of the community policing strategy, we recommend Mayor Dellums declare ‘Every police officer is a community policing officer.‘’” Given that City has had resolutions, statements, policies, and a Community Policing Advisory Board for over 10 years, I would venture to say that the definition is fairly clear, and hardly needs a huge convention to discuss it. When I asked Measure Y Administrator Jeff Baker what prompted the meeting, he told me it was at the suggestion of former Chief Tucker. What, the guy who wants to pretend all the new officers hired are “Measure Y officers” in order to get his hands on Measure Y money? After I call him on it? After it looks like the City is going to lose a big, embarrassing lawsuit? And right after I point them to the specific resolutions that conflict with their agenda? A coincidence? I suspect not.
But maybe its just my cynical mind. If anybody has any information to disabuse me of my crazy notions, I’d love to hear from you.