At City Hall this week (April 2012), Oakland Police Department presented an update to their Strategic Plan. As usual, they played deep into a fear-mongering campaign about serious violence and long-standing crime in Oakland. They claim that frequent violent assaults stop them from being able to “proactively problem solve,” something that the OPD has never demonstrated they can do. Since we know that the choices OPD makes greatly impact our communities, we’re providing this summary in hopes of continuing to resist the violence of policing together.
Download it here: STIC summary of OPD strategic plan, April 2012
– The city is establishing a “Mayor’s Gang Prevention Task Force” (MGPTF). MGPTF is a collaboration between the OPD and state and federal policing agencies (federal agencies, for example: Drug Enforcement Agency/DEA; Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms/ATF; Federal Bureau of Investigation/FBI) and other city agencies.
– The MGPTF (including the DEA, ATF, and FBI) will meet weekly to look at arrests, crime data and share information (this process is called CompStat and is a massive law enforcement data analysis network which shares information across local, state, regional, and national jurisdictions).
– The MGPTF will target specific geographic areas “to identify, investigate, and dismantle the criminal street gangs and crews.” Think: gang injunctions by another name.
– The MGPTF will target “gang involved youth and their families” in specific areas, beginning in July 2012.
– The city will be going after increasing federal grants to support their “geographic” approach to policing. Gang injunctions are an example of geographic approaches to policing; entire neighborhoods will feel the burden of policing funded by big government money that measures success with high arrest rates.
– OPD will collaborate with federal law enforcement agencies (ICE, FBI, DEA, etc) in the target areas.
– OPD will re-start the call-in process with the assistance of federal law enforcement agencies (FBI, DEA, ATF, and the US Attorney’s office—federal lawyers!). The call-in process is intended to “scare people straight” by threatening them with the police and federal agents present. The call-in process will include “home visits by partnering agencies and key community members in advance of the actual call-in.”
– The OPD will be making arrests in so-called hotspot areas to “develop criminal informants,” i.e. snitches.
– The OPD also plans to arrest people who will lead them to more targeted people. The OPD alleges that arresting a string of people in this way will “usually result in messaging to other  offenders that their activity will not be tolerated.”
– The OPD then suggests that these arrests will “drive criminal activity indoors and to other areas,” and then they will deploy more officers to those areas. This is not prevention at all. This is a strategy designed to lock people up in numbers. We fail to see any real solutions or constructive messaging in strings of arrests that “map” trails of activities. These arrests are stressful and damage communities and opportunities.
– OPD will continue to conduct surveillance against people in hotspot areas and people they have been tracking.
– OPD will be using plenty of technology, including Personal Digital Recorder Devices, Vehicle License Plate Readers, and social media such as Facebook (“to reach out to potential witnesses”).
– OPD will be requiring more “overtime to deploy officers on violence suppression operations.” In 2005, the OPD’s alleged misuse of overtime was investigated, revealing “massive expense overruns”.” In 2007, the OPD cost the City $26 million in overtime. Read: feed://informant.kalwnews.org/tag/jeff-israel/feed/
– OPD received a grant with OUSD for a Cops In Schools program, which puts two full-time enforcement officers and two full time mentoring officers in six middle schools in Oakland, beginning in summer 2012.
– The OPD is partnering with the Oakland Unified School District (OUSD), Oakland Housing Authority and BART Police to share “intelligence.”
– OPD’s Youth and Family Services Division will “assist in identification of juvenile gang members.”
– Oakland Housing Authority and OPD will conduct joint operations and target people at or in the vicinity of OHA properties.
– BART Police will deploy walking officers at BART stations, most recently at West Oakland and Fruitvale BART.
– Measure Y funding will put Oakland Street Outreach (OSO) workers into “hotspot” zones. Through a federal grant, OSO workers will be trained as conflict mediators to collaborate with OPD.
– Alameda County Probation is tracking youth who they have identified as “violent offenders.”
– California Department of Corrections (CDC) and OPD will partner to conduct “compliance checks on high risk offenders in the target areas.” No mention of any social service support to youth or adults labeled as high risk or violent offenders.
– OPD plans to continue Code 33 youth programming to address community mistrust of police, while still failing to be accountable to its long history of violence in Oakland, the source of pending of federal receivership. Read: http://www.eastbayexpress.com/ebx/will-opd-end-up-in-receivership/Content?oid=3108756
The police budget is 40 percent of the city’s budget. In the presentation of both the OPD plan and the 100-block plans at the Public Safety Committee meeting on Tuesday, it was explicit that the city will not make community investments until they feel Oakland is safe for outside corporate interests—continuing a trend we have seen from this committee. With nearly half our interests going to pave the way for corporate comfort, the writing is on the wall for what our communities can expect. STIC will continue to push Oakland to be a place where our neighbors come first.
Please join us. Ask us to table at your event, get on the mic to speak with your people, do a workshop, provide flyers or posters. Email to get involved or sign up as an organizational ally.