Considering The Idea Of Defunding The Oakland Police Department – Phil Tagami Files

Oakland Police Department
(Last Updated On: June 8, 2020)

– 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.”

Oakland-Police-Patrol-Car
Police Department Patrol Car

The recent call to defund the 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 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 . This begs the questions and then do what?, when?, and how?

The Mission of the Police Department (OPD) is to provide the people of 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.”

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Phil Tagami

By Phil Tagami

Phillip Tagami is the Managing Partner of California Capital Investments Group (CCIG)

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