Mayoral candidate: Patrick McCullough
on May 21, 2014
Mayoral candidate Patrick McCullough, an electronic technician and lawyer, asserts he has “the experience from working with people in all levels of society that is essential to bring the change Oaklanders have been wanting for a long time.”
If elected, McCullough, 59, said he would address Oakland’s deficit problems alongside its unfunded liability issue. He proposes restructuring city government by reducing the number of highly-paid managers whose presence he finds undesirable.
He also wants to change the management structure of the Oakland Police Department with a broader span of control for the lower level sergeants and fewer people in the high command structure. If elected, McCullough said he would increase the number of police by 200 to 300 officers, to bring the total up to 900.
A crucial concern for public safety, he said, is that many of the officers are on light duty or injured, while others don’t work on the street. As a result, McCullough said,”On most nights in Oakland, you are not going to be able to find more than 35 police officers who are available to come out and do something—35 for a city of almost 400,000 people.”
“People don’t realize how critical the shortage of police is until a crime happens,” he continued.
Today, McCullough would ask for a parcel tax to support the police, directly focused on putting more officers on the street.
McCullough said he wants to change negative attitudes towards the OPD and get citizens oriented to the fact that “policemen risk their lives everyday for us.”
McCullough drew headlines nearly a decade ago as a neighborhood anti-drug activist who shot and wounded a teen who confronted him at his North Oakland home. No charges were brought.
As part of his argument on public safety, McCullough criticized Occupy Oakland for causing trouble for the city. “You either keep track of your own people effectively, or you must cooperate with the police … [I]t is not an act of free speech to be destructive,” he said.
Regarding the controversial Domain Awareness Center, McCullough said he believes technology should play an important role in ensuring public safety. In fact, he said he would “bring in much more technology,” but added that he also “understands people’s desire for anonymity.”
The problem with the DAC is that “the city council approved a lot of elements that were not directly related to the original goal, which was to keep the port safe,” McCullough said. McCullough, who previously worked with process servers and on the police radio systems, said his experience with technology would enable him to address the problems with the DAC.
To make sure Oaklanders can trust the DAC, he said he wants the city to spell out exactly what it will do with the information collected.
“Data would be filtered and only stored for a certain period of time,” he said. “New policies would be introduced to set what the data can be used for.”
Regarding education, McCullough said he believes regular consultation with school board and ex-school board members is essential to improve the education system in Oakland. He said he also intends to bring in volunteers who could help the students in “tutoring, goal-setting and relating to life.” One of his plans is to upgrade recreation centers into learning centers.
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