Sunday, March 25, 2012

Newsflash: Quan's "100 Block Initiative" Doesn't Exist

In response to my most recent public records request, the City produced no documents that actually constituted the infamous "100 Block Initiative." However, I was able to find this document on-line. Lots of pretty pictures of people holding signs and captions reading "job fairs" and "outreach," but nothing substantive about how the City is supposed to concentrate resources on the 100 most dangerous blocks in Oakland. More revealing, the City produced not a single document that discussed how police resources will be allocated to address crime in these 100 blocks. That's right, not a single document. Which to me, pretty much says that the "100 Block Initiative" doesn't exist.

While the City did produce numerous emails from last year about how the City was reducing the number of "community policing beats" from 57 to 35, which deprived many neighborhoods of their dedicated "problem solving officer," this reshuffling of staffing started long before Quan announced her "plan" in approximately October. Notably, not a single email from the police department referenced the words "100 blocks" or anything remotely resembling the "100 Block Initiative" or how it was going to be staffed.

Sunday's Chronicle story, reported the following: " Quan, a longtime hills resident, was blunt when asked if her plan had changed officer staffing: 'No.' The additional officers working in the 100-block areas are new hires - either through budget negotiations or a federal grant, she said." Really? So why didn't the City produce any documents indicating that these were the parameters for staffing the "plan?" Probably because this is pure fabrication. In fact, Chief Jordan issued a memo on March 2, 2012 (which the City failed to produce!) confirming that, to the extent the plan actually did exist, it was being staffed by the 22 PSOs taken away from their regular beats. The Bay Citizen has written two stories confirming that this is the case, including the vehement opposition by many residents. See also If these reports were erroneous, surely Ms. Quan would have demanded a retraction or correction?

But maybe not, since doing so would only heighten scrutiny about the details of this so-called "plan." And that scrutiny would lead to public records requests like the one I already submitted. The response I've received so far appears to confirm that the "100 Block Initiatve" doesn't exist; at a minimum, nobody has put anything together on how to staff the "plan" with real police officers. Members of the City Council have confirmed they've never seen a "plan." and Matier and Ross reported last week that the "plan appears to be more "talk" than "walk." At this stage, it appears that it is nothing but talk, and poor cover for the ongoing violations of Measure Y.

1 comment:

  1. Hi Marleen, I actually believe this is not the Mayor's plan at all but Chief Batt's plan as a stop gap measure, given that it was announced in October the same month Chief Batts left. The Mayor simply either couldn't come up with a good plan in such a short time, or it has to be half baked.

    But this whole issue brings us back to understaffing of OPD, and how to pay for it. (A subset of which is that OPD has too few Investigators working on solving crime against citizens). The Mayor is using her supposed plan as a way to ignore these central problems that are potentially an even bigger problem for her.

    Of course we already know this but as further proof to the broader public: A reporter on Oakland North reveals (in response to my question) that OPD only cleared 23 of 103 murders last year. So your average murderer has an approximately 80% chance at getting away scott free with killing somebody here.

    Criminals know this and are building on it.

    Here's the Public Records search I would like to know: what is the Investigators rate of Clearance (solving) for other Part 1 and violent crimes?

    I think the Public would be very interested in knowing how poor at this the City of Oakland truly is...