Oakland – At a rally Sunday afternoon Nine members of the Minneapolis City Council announced their support for defunding the Minneapolis Police Department and replacing it with a community-based public safety model. The councilmembers and some community activists committed to ending the Minneapolis Police Department through the budget process. The group also announced its intention to engage every willing community member to ask what safety means to them and create a “new transformative model for cultivating safety.”
The recent call to defund the Oakland Police Department, or end the force as we know it builds momentum with the cries of Minneapolis, political winds, and the political calculus of the moment.
There is a serious consequence to mis-steps in this arena as we have a history in Oakland of politicians prone to knee jerk tinkering without detailed planning as elections approach.
A municipal police department is fundamental to the very existence of the municipal corporation, in a charter city like Oakland. This begs the questions and then do what?, when?, and how?
The Mission of the Oakland Police Department (OPD) is to provide the people of Oakland an environment where they can live, work, play, and thrive free from crime and fear of crime.
a) The consent decree now 17 years old
b) Revolving door of Police Chief’s scapegoated by Mayors, past and present.
c) Voter mandated Police Commission formed
d) A power struggle ensues – with the associated, division, rancor, and confusion
e) Problems persist
Any solution would likely need to address:
a) Disposition of the existing police commission
b) A Restated mission for OPD
c) Revised Chain of command
d) Existing employee rights, pensions
e) Transition of services
f) Clarification of core services
Does regionalization or consolidation with the Alameda County Sherriff’s Department make sense?
Judge Robert Rolf in the case of Winterbottom v Wright in 1842
“This is one of those unfortunate cases…in which, it is, no doubt, a hardship upon the plaintiff to be without a remedy but by that consideration we ought not to be influenced. Hard cases, it has frequently been observed, are apt to introduce bad law.”
From the Phil Tagami Facebook profile page.
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