The Oakland City Council has an important meeting scheduled for next Tuesday at 6 p.m. where four crime measures will be voted on and it is crucial that as many community members as possible attend this meeting.
Councilman Larry Reid and Councilwoman Libby Schaaf have co-authored three of the four crime proposals that are on the council agenda, which include hiring 11 Alameda County sheriff's deputies for an initial 90-day period, funding a second police academy in September, and authorizing the hiring of 20 police technicians to assist patrol officers on the streets as well as one technician for the OPD crime lab.
The fourth proposal, which is perhaps the most at issue, is the hiring of William Bratton, an expert in law enforcement, as part of a consulting team under a $250,000 contract with the Strategic Policy Partnership.
Bratton is a former New York police commissioner who advocated for the use of the "stop and frisk" tactic, a practice that allows officers to search anyone that they have "reasonable suspicion" of having committed or being about to commit a crime.
Opponents of the "stop and frisk" practice claim he would bring stop and frisk to Oakland, leading to more racial profiling of blacks and Latinos. But the reality is the city is in a state of emergency due to the rash of shootings and violent crime sprees and something must be done.
It appears that the city's leaders are finally becoming serious about dealing with this cycle of violence Oakland has been stuck in for far too long and is calling for its residents to support the long awaited crime strategy.
Schaaf believes that it's crucial that people come to the council meeting, so much so that she sent a mailer to her 5,000 constituents and made a call urging them to come out and support the four measures.
In an email to her constituents, City Council Pat Kernighan said, "We are calling on you, the people we represent, to come in large numbers to this City Council meeting, fill the seats and set the tone."
On another note, the residents of Oakland, those who care about the city, those who have been living in fear and those who remain hopeful that our city is not a lost cause have been setting the tone for quite some time now; I believe it is time for the city's leadership to set the tone and do what needs to be done.