Last night local news outlet KTVU did a report about an internal poll obtained by the East Bay Express newspaper about Oakland’s police department. Apparently a majority of officers who patrol the city feel Oakland city leaders are ‘too liberal’. They also noted they feel demoralized and under appreciated. It was a pretty high % of officers at 65% who expressed these troubling sentiments. Over 55% said they do not feel appreciated by the citizens of Oakland and they are basically miserable on the job….You can read that East Bay Express article HERE
People should sit back and think about this for a minute as this poll reveals a serious rifts between the community and those who are entrusted to protect and serve. We have a city that goes out and votes for reps who they feel would do right by them.. These leaders in theory should reflect the general political values of the population. Yet we have an institution (the local police department) that gets more than 50% of the city’s budget, yields tremendous influence on Oakland’s political landscape while more than 75% of those within the institution don’t even live in Oakland. These individuals who don’t live in Oakland are complaining the city is too liberal? What does that mean at the end of the day for the average person who lives in Oakland?
Are Oaklanders having to deal with disgruntled employees who are patrolling their neighborhoods thinking they are too liberal and thus need to be taught a lesson? Do Oakland police officers feel their hands are tied and they wanna employ more aggressive policing tactics? Do they hate the activism of the city that attempts to hold them and other public officials accountable?
Do these disgruntled employees patrolling Oakland neighborhoods soaking up more than half the city’s budget slack off on the job because they feel ‘demoralized’? Does that manifest itself in tense, explosive interactions with the public where minor situations are escalated vs de-escalated? Does it manifest with unhappy officers showing up late or not showing up at all to a call?
Oakland is a pretty diverse city, one of the most diverse in the country with high accolades for its charm, activism, burgeoning art scene and nightlife. A couple of years ago the NY Times noted that Oakland was the 5th most sought out destination in the world.. So the question remains, what exactly do Oakland police not like about the city?
Do these officers not like the gentrification going on in Oakland that have caused rents to skyrocket? Oakland police are the second highest paid in the country with an average starting salary at 69K, can actually afford to live in Oakland under the new economy as opposed to many of Oakland’s teachers whose wages are far behind as they start off with 39k. Do Oakland police not like the new coffee shops and art galleries sprouting up everywhere or do they not like the Black and Brown folks who been here for decades and are being displaced?
Can Oakland city leaders not find officers who love the city, share similar values and are willing to do engage the community in a way that leaves folks feeling ‘served, protected and empowered’ vs the current strain that many are feeling which is now reflected in the polling?
It sounds like Oakland is just a stepping stone to something more attractive and in the case of these officers who want to be around more conservatives.. As for the citizens, perhaps they need to slap on a Fox News or Tea Party bumper sticker on their ride to avoid being hassled by a police force that that perceives them as ‘too liberal’
Again here’s Eastbay Express article..—-> http://bit.ly/1fCnNfL