City Council Candidate Kerry Hamill Public Safety Plan
1. Hire more police officers.
Oakland has too few police officers for a city of our size and demographics. We need greater visibility in business districts’ across the city and more officers during the graveyard shift – when most of the city’s violent crimes and homicides occur.
No new taxes for more police. An additional 50 officers over our 803 current target (which city officials promise to have hired by year’s end) could be hired with no additional costs to the taxpayers by:
• Controlling overtime pay.
• Reforming the city’s Partial Disability Policy, to allow officers with partial disabilities to be assigned to desk jobs, thus relieving the able-bodied officers for street work.
• Shifting approximately 20 general funded positions from other city agencies into the police department.
• Freeing the Police Department from the Riders case Federal Settlement Agreement which requires outside oversight of the department – at a cost to the taxpayers of approximately $11M annually. Approximately 17 months remain on the agreement – which has forced many very constructive changes within the department. A coalition, including the Oakland NAACP, Oakland ministers, members of the Police Review Commission, the City Attorney and District Attorney and others should discuss a process to expedite the program’s timeline and reinvest the dollars spent to Oakland public safety efforts. The savings should be redirected into ongoing training, additional officers and other safety initiatives.
2. Reassign uniformed police officers from clerical jobs to community crime reduction assignments in neighborhoods and business districts.
Initiate a conversation with the Police Chief, police officers and Neighborhood Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) leaders to discuss police redeployment options, including:
• Replacing police officers with civilians in the city’s animal shelter, internal affairs division, and traffic report writing division.
3. Equip police and emergency vehicles with GPS. This allows police commanders to know the location of emergency vehicles and more efficiently deploy police officers to the closest emergency situation.
4. Fully Implement Community Policing by strengthening and fully supporting our network of Neighborhood Crime Prevention Councils (NCPC’s) with resources to foster collaboration among all NCPC networks, the police and the neighborhoods.
5. Offer incentives to more experienced officers willing to work the graveyard shifts with rookies (particularly on weekends and in summer months) to put more experienced officers on the street during the most difficult shifts to mentor, train and support new police officers.