OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) — Tuesday’s Oakland City Council meeting lasted nearly 12 hours. There was public outcry that the city lost millions of dollars in public funding because city staff missed the grant deadline.
The city also adopted a resolution aimed at public safety.
“It takes a comprehensive approach to fighting crime, reducing crime and making our neighborhoods safer for everyone,” said Oakland City Council member Dan Kalb, who represents District 1.
Kalb says his resolution passed Tuesday night is a new, more comprehensive strategy to increase public safety, one that “moves the city forward, pushes OPD to do more, and directs the city administrator to go further forward on a series of things.
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The resolution aims to address staffing issues at the Oakland 911 dispatch center by finding ways to recruit and retain staff. He asks for help from the FBI to investigate the crimes. He’s also considering lateral police academies, which means bringing in police officers from other jurisdictions. And install high-tech cameras on highway on-ramps and in business corridors.
The city would create a grant program allowing trade associations to purchase the cameras and install them on private properties. Kalb says the Oakland Police Department would have access to these cameras.
The resolution also establishes permanent neighborhood screening officers, expands the ceasefire program, and funds reentry services.
“Vital re-entry services that are crucial to reducing crime and helping people throughout Alameda County,” Kalb said.
RELATED: Oakland loses millions in retail crime-fighting grants due to missed application deadline
But some of the proposals worry community groups.
“There has been an emphasis on investing in responding to what we call crime,” says James Burch of the Anti-Police Counterterrorism Organization. “What we need to do is invest in our youth, invest in Oaklanders, to ensure that these thefts don’t happen in the first place.”
Burch commends the city for taking a more comprehensive approach to public safety. But he is concerned about the resolution passed.
“Lateral academies are known as ‘bad cop academies.’ This is an opportunity for police officers who fail or fail, or who commit misconduct in other municipalities, other counties, other districts, to find new employment. So you’re basically recruiting the worst of the worst,” Burch said, however, Kalb says the proposal calls for an investigation into an officer’s background.
MORE: Oakland leaders announce $2.5 million in funding to improve 911 response times
Burch also points out that the Oakland Police Department is still under federal oversight and that there is still distrust of the police within the community.
“How can we expect them to respect the privacy rights of civilians with an even larger and more extensive network of cameras?” » Burch said.
Councilor Kalb says city staff has until December to submit a progress report on each proposal.
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