Tagged Oakland Police Department

Deanna Santana

PUEBLO: Santana Hinders Reform of Police Complaint Intake

“The mayor is (also) culpable,” said Grinage.
By Ken A. Epstein

 

Deanna Santana

Deanna Santana

There is growing frustration between local advocates of police accountability and City Administrator Deanna Santana, who they say is foot-dragging and purposely confusing the issues involved in implementing a City Council decision to turn over intake of complaints against police to civilians.
Approved by the City Council, the handover of the intake of complaints from police to civilians was supposed to begin in January.  But Santana said she could not make the transfer until October, citing insufficient staff, need to confer with the Oakland Police Officers Association (OPOA) and other issues.
Santana further angered community activists this week at a City Council committee meeting when she raised new complications and modifications of the civilian intake plan, which they say are contrary to what the council has told her to do.
“Ms. Santana uses as many words as possible as to be confusing as humanly possible. This is a deliberate strategy, but it isn’t going over well, and it won’t work,” said Rashidah Grinage, executive director of PUEBLO, which has been working for years to increase police accountability to the community.

Rashidah Grinage

Rashidah Grinage

Santana said at Tuesday’s Community and Economic Development (CED) committee that one of the issues was the need to develop a form for civilian intake workers to use that was in line with the form currently used by OPD’s Internal Affairs.
“The Civilian Police Review Board (CPRB) and Internal Affairs have used the same form for 10 years,” said Grinage. “She says she needs time to develop the same form, but the form already exists and is on the city’s website to download.
“The fact that she can make such startlingly inaccurate statements is shocking.”
Defending herself Tuesday a Special Public Safety committee meeting Santana said, “I feel compelled to represent myself professionally and to ensure the accuracy of the record.”
She said the process of implementing the civilianization of complaint intake was slowed down because the federal compliance director who oversees the police department was supposed to begin in January but was not appointed until March.
“We did receive his approval of no objections as of April 30,” she said.
Further, Santana said at the Public Safety Committee meeting that, based on her talks with the compliance director, it would take about 18 months to hire and train civilian intake workers, who would be trained in-house by Internal Affairs staff.
In addition, she said, after training they might be housed at Internal Affairs. The positions will be “based initially in OPD,” and eventually it will be decided “where these positions will transfer or whether they will stay in the (police department),” Santana said.
“We strongly object to the training of intake workers by Internal Affairs,” said Grinage in an interview with the Post. “Why would the city hire people to be trained by people who have been proven deficient? The whole idea is to improve the intake process.”
“And why would you house civilian intake workers at Internal Affairs? That’s not what the council voted for.
There are a numbers of reports that when residents tried to file complaints with Internal Affairs in the past, they were actively discouraged – contacted and pressured to withdraw their complaints.
The problem, said Grinage, is that Santana is protecting the OPOA. “They are fearful of losing control of the complaint process.”
“They’re trying to avoid losing the ability to discourage people who file complaints,” she said.  “God knows how many complaints will be filed if they lose control of the process – all this is designed to keep control of the process.”
Grinage added that Mayor Jean Quan has to accept responsibility for Santana’s actions.
“The mayor is culpable here,” she said. “The mayor knows full well what’s going on and has refused to do anything about it. She is the supervisor of the city administrator, and she’s complicit, either intentionally or otherwise.”

Budget Cuts Are Cutting Into Police Department

By Daryle
Allums Jr.

The Oakland budget cuts will be in affect this weekend. There will 106 less officers patrolling the streets of Oakland. This removal of officers will also include the entire motorcycle unit, which means that street officers that drive cars will now have to handle traffic problems.
This has to make you wonder what will happen when dangerous crimes are committed and there are not enough officers to respond. Chief Anthony Batts says, “The unfortunate part is we don’t have the capacity to deal with the demand that we have in the city of Oakland.”
With the large amount of officers being cut due to the budget crisis, Oakland is left shorthanded and does not have enough officers to handle the needs of the city. Batts formulated a plan to try to eliminate some of the problems caused by the budget cuts. He plans to train Officers whom Read more

Police Credit Faith Community For Helping to Reduce Violence

By Chief Chris Magnus
Richmond Police Department

Left to right: Chief Chris Magnus, Deputy Chief Allwyn Brown, Mrs. Sabrina Saunders, Community Organizer and Captain Mark Gagan. Photo by Joe L. Fisher, BAPAC.

On Saturday, February 19th, I had the privilege of meeting with close to 50 leaders from Richmond’s faith community at the Richmond Police Department.  A diverse group of clergy, faith-based community organizations, community organizers, and civic leaders was assembled to discuss some of the many activities and projects underway to reduce violence in our city.
This meeting was an opportunity for those in attendance to hear about various faith-based endeavors and City government initiatives related to crime and violence reduction.  Violent crime was down 10% last year in Richmond and is down 30% so far this year.   Based on these successes, I felt now was the time to redouble our efforts towards partnering with the faith-based community.
I spoke to the group about the Police Department’s COMPSTAT program, which uses daily crime data to track where and what kind of crime is taking place in the City.  COMPSTAT allows us to focus on specific crime trends and locations that merit extra attention or resources.  To best use COMPSTAT data, the Department assigns a Captain, several other command staff, and a group of officers to each of the City’s three geographic districts (North, Central, and South).  These personnel are responsible for using this data to problem-solve with residents and provide the best possible Read more