By Post Staff
Mayor Ron Dellums this week urged local voters to pass Measure NN, a property tax that would increase the size of the Oakland Police Department by 35 officers and 25 technicians a year for the next three years.
“I think this community does want more police officers,” Dellums said at a press briefing Wednesday, explaining that the 105 officers and 75 technicians are what OPD says it needs. “At some point you’ve got to pay for it. Nothing comes for free.”
Pointing out that the Oakland police force is smaller than most cities of similar size, he said that increased staffing would put more officers on the streets, increase the number of homicide and robbery investigators and hire additional technicians to takeover civilian functions that are now must be handled by covered by sworn officers.Dellums said that on his watch, OPD by Nov. 14 will reach 803 officers, the size mandated by Oakland voters and the largest the department has been in more than two decades. He also said that he has hired the full complement of 63 problem-solving officers required under Measure Y.
However, he indicated these successes would be difficult to maintain in coming years if Measure NN does not pass.
A single-family residence, which will be billed at the highest rate, would pay $113.42 next year, or 31 cents a day, he said. Over a period of several years that rate would rate to $275.56, or 75 cents a day.
“That is not breaking the bank – what’s the price of safety?” Dellums asked.
The Oakland Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce is backing Measure NN, according to chamber Chief Executive Officer Joe Haraburda.
“The chamber has been a vocal and consistent advocate for improving public safety,” he said. “Getting more cops on the street will help reduce crime, increase incident response time and change the perception of Oakland to support new business attraction.”