WHAT WE'VE BEEN UP TO
MACRO: A plan for a non-police response to 911 calls
When our unhoused neighbors testified to the Oakland Police Commission during a hearing on policing in their communities in February 2019,. the key concern was that many of their interactions with police officers were negative and often resulted in involvement with the justice system. “There are situations when we need to call someone, but we need an alternative.” Similar issues were raised in the extensive surveys and discussions leading to the establishment of the Oakland Department of Violence Prevention.
In June, the mobile intervention crisis team that is integrated into the public safety system in Eugene and Springfield, Oregon made a presentation in Oakland on their 30-year program, in which a mental health counselor and an EMT respond to 17% of all 911 calls -- instead of police and fire.
In July, the Oakland City Council provided resources to Urban Strategies to research and draft an implementation report on creating a pilot project in Oakland beginning in July 2020.
Urban Strategies, community leaders, mental health and unhoused providers, and the Coalition for Police Accountability are working to design a pilot that reflects the unique communities, resources, and needs of Oakland. The pilot will seek to respond to a broad range of non-criminal crises, including homelessness, intoxication, disorientation, substance abuse, mental illness problems, dispute resolution, non-emergency medical care, first aid, and transportation to services.
Through December 2019, there will be interviews, resource reviews, data collection and analysis, and surveys in over-policed communities.
We can create a program that saves the city money, redirects police and fire resources to public safety priorities, and provides more appropriate assistance for people in non-criminal, non-violent situations.
If you would like to get more information, support the MACRO pilots, or have a speaker come to your organization’s meeting, contact us through this website.
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2018 IN REVIEW
Monitor and Judge
Attended court hearing on Federal monitoring, engaged issues highlighted by monitor reports and developed strategies to further engage on use of force reporting and use of body cameras.
Publicity/Community education on Police Commission, rights, issues.
Distributed 2,500 flyers on how to file complaint. (At a cost of $400,000 the city created an on-line complaint program but did nothing to publicize it.)
Helped foster ongoing media attention on administration efforts to undermine accountability.
Organized a successful "Meet and Greet" the Commissioners event in June at St. Elizabeth's Elementary School. Attended by over 70 community members.
Convinced the Police Commission to hold a public hearing on the Police and Homelessness which we will organize. Organized a group of coalition members and homeless activists to organize the hearing.
Thwarted City administration’s efforts to stymie and undermine the Police Commission’s independence.
Provided legal analysis countering the City Attorney’s position which upheld the City Administration’s attack on the Commission.
Promoted regular attendance at Police Commission meetings and organized supporters to attend City Council and Police Commission meetings in support of crucial actions or policies.
Succeeded in getting the Ordinance passed that ensured that the legal counsels to the Commission and CPRA and the Inspector General will report to and be supervised by the Police Commission, not the City Attorney's Office or the City Administrator.
Succeeded in ensuring that the Police Commission can inspect and review the CPRA investigations of complaints of Level 1 complaints against OPD officers and send back if the Commission does not support the findings.
Pressured the Mayor to expedite the long-overdue hiring of an Administrative Analyst to staff the Commission.
Policy and Research
Introduced a new policy on appearance to support diversity in OPD recruiting for consideration of Commission.
Succeeded in blocking the OPD "Stop and Search" revision of the Police Commission's preferred policy by the City Council. First time OPD/City Council were rebuffed in their policy proposal.
Established ongoing relationships with the Alameda County Public Defender and Policy Link to assist in research, data collection, and policy development.
Participated with the ACLU and other organizations statewide in advocating for the passage of AB 931 to create stricter policy on when officers are entitled to use deadly force and SB 1421 which promotes police transparency. with the Police Commissioners and established collaborative relationships with several of the commissioners. Offer assistance, resources, and policy and research input.