This is just a starting page for what community policing is here in Oakland. Currently, we have an ordinance in the city that directs our police force and city to implement community policing . There is some infrastructure that has been built to accomplish this. We have neighborhood watch groups that have a representative board at the city level. For neighborhoods (which are equivalent to Oakland Police Department beats), there are neighborhood crime prevention councils (NCPC). Currently, there are 53 of these NCPCs which are open to community members to attend and have a designated police officer that attends them (check out the full list of officers designated for every NCPC). At the city level, there is an advisory board, the community policing advisory board (CPAB) that mediates between the community and our government as well as monitors the implementation of community policing in the city.

It is impossible to discuss community policing without mentioning Measure Y which funds our problem solving officers and funds many of the violence prevention services that give community groups a seat when working on issues of crime.

 

Timeline for Community Policing in Oakland

On June 11, 1996 Oakland adopted Resolution 72727 (scroll down about half way) that implemented community policing in the Oakland Police Department. The resolution cites numerous reasons for implementing community policing such as its success in other jurisdictions and the idea of a partnership between the community and the department. Community Policing was "reaffirmed as the public safety policy and philosophy of the City of Oakland." The city was broken up into beats that approximated neighborhoods and were to contain between 5-7000 people. Neighborhood Councils (NCPCs) were established for each beat, and the means of establishing and running NCPCs were spelled out. NCPCs were encouraged to cooperate with police and other government agencies. The resolution further established the position of Neighborhood Service Coordinator, which are non-sworn employees of the police department assigned to each beat. They were basically to serve as liasons to each beat and NCPC. The resolution set up staffing guidelines for the police department: officers were to be trained in community policing. Officers were supposed to be assigned to a beat for at least 2 years, and there was always supposed to be an officer on a beat. Further, there were to be specialized officers trained for community policing functions. The City Manager (now the City Administrator) was in charge of implementation. The resolution passed unanimously, with the following officers voting for it: Bayton, Chang, Ignacio de la Fuente, Jordan, Miley, John Russo, Spees, Woods-Jones, and Harris.1

On December 17, 1996 the resolution was further amended to expand the Community Policing Task Force from 9 to 15 members.  

On November 4, 1997 the resolution was further amended (Resolution 73916) to create the Community Policing Advisory Board (CPAB).

In 2004, Oakland voters approved Measure Y, he Violence Prevention and Public Safety Act which influenced how Oakland handled community policing and violence suppression.

On April 13, 2005 Oakland adopted Resolution 79235. This resolution reiterated Resolution 72727 and updated/changed a few things. The program was to be known as "The Community Policing Program of the City of Oakland." Four principles were outlined:

"1.2.1 Its purpose is to reduce crime, enhance public safety, and to improve quality of life.

1.2.2 It is a peer level partnership between the community, the Police Department, and other city agencies.

1.2.3 In contrast to the 911 emergency response system, it addresses long term, chronic problems, using proactive, collaborative problem solving methods.

1.2.4 It fosters a geographically based crime prevention effort on three levels: at the block level, the neighborhood level, and at the citywide level." 

Block levels were divided into "Home Alert" groups with a captain, and another non-sworn position was created: the Neighborhood Services Manager. The city hoped that people at each address would participate. Citywide, the CPAB continued and the Home Alert Steering Committee (HASC) was spelled out- an advisory board sponsored by the police department regarding issues of the Home Alert groups The CPAB was to be given proper funding, and the City Administrator or the Chief was to attend each meeting. The following power was given to the CPAB:

To facilitate the Community Policing Advisory Board in carrying out its duties, the Oakland Police Department will consult the Board before implementing policy, operational or organizational changes that will affect the functioning and operation of Community Policing as described in the provisions of Resolution 72727 C.M.S.

The resolution further discussed the role of the Neighborhood Service Coordinator, including that the position should be filled by Oakland residents as much as was legally allowable. The police staffing portion of the previous resolution was reiterated and officers assigned to beats were now named "Community Police Officers" and assigned to work on problem solving issues. They were encouraged to work for terms of two to six years on their beats. The city administrator was responsible for implementation. 

The resolution passed unanimously with the following people voting yes: Desley Brooks, Jane Brunner, Chang, Nancy Nadel, Jean Quan, Larry Reid and Ignacio de la Fuente.2

Further Reading

References

1. Summarized from the original resolution.

2. Summarized from the original resolution.