Oakland residents have a lot to say about the new Oakland Police Department crime consultant group.
The group of six law enforcement experts, which includes former Los Angeles and New York top cop William Bratton, were contracted to start work in Oakland in mid-February. The consultants are tasked with making recommendations on how to improve public safety in Oakland, by developing a short-term crime reduction plan and soliciting community input for a review of the proposed strategies. The price tag for this effort is $250,000.
Reactions to the hiring of this consultant group have been mixed. Many leaders from Oakland’s faith community came out to a January 22 City Council meeting in support of the consultants’ contract. But others have expressed concerns about Bratton’s track record. In his career, Bratton has encouraged the use of “stop-and-frisk,” a policing tactic that allows an officer to stop someone suspected of being involved with a crime, and frisk them if the officer feels there is reasonable fear of injury. Critics fear this could lead to racial profiling and the use of unconstitutional policing tactics in Oakland.
For the last of a four-part series on the coming changes, published over the course of two weeks on Oakland North, we talked to Oakland residents from various neighborhoods about the advice they would give the consultant group on improving public safety.
Click each photo above to hear audio clips from Oakland residents.