Sgt. Barry Donelan, the president of the union is not in support of a proposal that would pay for Alameda County Sheriff deputies who will be brought over to help police the city of Oakland. Greg Ahern, Alameda County's Sheriff said he "was obligated by law to make the city pay the full cost of the deputies".
Donelan has announced that he does not believe Oakland's crime problem will be solved by bringing in the extra help and feels the proposed funds would be better spent "in-house".
But considering the fact that the Oakland police department is staffed at its lowest in the past decade, with a mere 613 officers to police a city that has seen a rise in violent crimes, it would seem that any extra help from trained officers would be welcome.
Donelan, however has a different perspective. "Instead of investing city resources to build up the Police Department, we get this little Band-Aid that's being put over a huge crime problem in the city of Oakland," Donelan said.
The contract with the Alameda County Sheriff's Office was proposed by city council members Libby Schaaf and Larry Reid, who also proposed removing conditions in order to fund Oakland's third police academy.
The proposal includes hiring a crime lab specialist and 20 police technicians for the purpose of freeing up officers so they could concentrate on fighting crime. If the proposal obtain the approval of the City Council approval, it would be funded through "higher-than-anticipated" revenue growth.
Last year, Gov. Jerry Brown authorized the California Highway Patrol to assist the Oakland police particularly in the high-crime areas of the city. According to Donelan, "the union has no problem with the CHP helping out in Oakland because the city isn't paying for the service".
While it is understandable to be concerned with the funding of this proposal, the city of Oakland is in a state of crisis right now, and as long as the police department is the city's primary source of dealing with the numerous public safety issues, Oakland's leaders must do whatever needs to be done to make sure this proposal is pushed through.