OPOA president Barry Donelan (left) looks at former president Dom Arotzarena at a press conference last year.

The Oakland Police Officer’s Association — the police union, a nonprofit organization representing the city’s police officers — has for years dabbled in the political scene, endorsing candidates and spending thousands of dollars each election cycle advocating for candidates OPOA leaders believe will best address public safety and police concerns.

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When voters passed Measure BB in November, Oakland residents may have thought they were helping resolve the Oakland Police Department’s funding and staffing woes. But with the new year around the corner and a city budget still in crisis, Oakland officials and residents warn that the effects of the measure’s passage are more complex than that—and could end up causing more harm than good to a city recently ranked the fifth most dangerous in the nation.

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