Dellums announces switch to geographic policing
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellus.
Photo by Luke
By Jeff Shuttleworth
November 28, 2007
Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums announced yesterday he's restructuring
his city's Police Department so it has a "geographic accountability
model," replacing the current citywide deployment model.
Speaking at a news conference at Oakland's emergency operations
center, Dellums said the change is "significant" and
"important" in the city's ongoing effort to fight crime.
He said the new system was made possible when an arbitrator recently
ruled that Oakland can deploy its patrol officers on 12-hour shifts
three days a week instead of the current system of deploying officers
on 10-hour shifts four days a week.
Dellums and Oakland Police Chief Wayne Tucker are in favor of
12-hour shifts, which also allow officers to have three-day weekends
every other weekend, but the move was opposed by the police officers'
Dellums' restructuring also comes in the wake of Oakland being
named the fourth most dangerous city in the U.S. in a survey released
by CQ Press, a unit of Congressional Quarterly Inc., last week.
Dellums said the new system, which will take effect Jan. 19,
is in alignment with "true community policing and best practices"
and is aimed at being more efficient.
He said the commitment assigns officers to specific neighborhoods
and keeps those officers in that community to ensure they get
to know those areas and make a long-term difference in their patrol
Dellums said, "By reorganizing our police department to
a geographic policing model, we are empowering our communities
with the resources they need to effectively bring peace to our
Joining Dellums at the news conference, Assistant Police Chief
Howard Jordan said, "This represents a change in the way
we do business" and is based on a model that's worked well
in Los Angeles, Richmond and several cities on the East Coast.
However, Jordan added, "We recognize that there will be
challenges" in implementing the new system and said police
"ask the public to be patient and supportive" while
all the wrinkles are ironed out.
Jordan said police officials will discuss the changes at a series
of community meetings, including at a Dec. 11 Oakland City Council
meeting, and also announce them in emails to community members.
Jordan said the current six police service areas commanded by
police lieutenants will be consolidated into three larger areas,
each commanded by a captain with a staff of five lieutenants.
In addition, a support operations division will be created to
deploy citywide resources at the request of area commanders.
Jordan said Area 1 will include North and West Oakland, Area
2 will include the Lake Merritt area down to High Street and Area
3 will run from High Street south to Oakland's border with San
Jordan said the larger areas will eliminate the artificial barriers
created by the current police service areas system.
He said the new system also will allow some neighborhoods such
as the Glenview and Dimond or the Elmhurst neighborhood, which
are currently divided, to work more closely together with the
Police Department on common issues.
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