Felicia Alvarez

Oakland police lieutenant on leave along with police chief wife, amid criminal allegations

Oakland Police Lt. Lee French and his wife, Richmond Police Chief Bisa French, are on leave and under investigation, after a domestic violence restraining order was filed against them by a relative who claims they pinned her down and threatened her boyfriend and his family. The Oakland Police Department Thursday confirmed that Lee French was put on leave and said an internal investigation is underway into “criminal allegations.” In court documents, 18-year-old relative accused the Frenches of attacking her and…

Oakland council reverses course, votes to add police academy

Oakland City Council on Tuesday voted to add a fifth police academy in the next two years to recruit more officers and increase staffing, reversing a decision from three months earlier. The council approved the resolution a day after Oakland recorded its 100th homicide this year. It passed by a 6-2 vote, with Nikki Fortunato Bas and Carroll Fife voting no.  In June, the council rejected the mayor’s request for six police academies over the next two years and budgeted…

Oakland shifting some police calls to new civilian team

Oakland is preparing to launch an 18-month pilot program that will direct some 911 calls to a team of trained civilian responders rather than to the Police Department.  Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland will be run by the Fire Department on a limited basis, beginning later this year or early next year, depending on how quickly personnel can be hired and trained.  MACRO will respond to calls regarding such things as mental health crises and public intoxication, according to…