Oakland Police Say the City is ‘Too Liberal’ and they Hate Working Here

photo by Jay Finneburgh

photo by Jay Finneburgh

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

Comments

  1. In all of these cities that have poor relationships with their police departments, there seems to be one common thread: The police don’t live in the city. You basically have a bunch of people from out of town, usually middle to upper-middle class areas, taking these jobs for the nice salary and benefits. Why aren’t these jobs going to people that live in the city? The Oakland Police Dept has 637 sworn officers. There are just over 400,000 people living in Oakland. Out of a population of 400,000 people, there aren’t 637 people amongst them that would like a job being a police officer for a starting salary of 60k/year, benefits and pension? This should be deeply scrutinized by Oakland’s elected leaders. It’s time for Oakland police to take some accountability for their relationship with the city, and transfer to a law enforcement agency where they live, or closer to where they live. where they’ll be more happy to serve the citizens they’re sworn to serve, and so that people who love Oakland can police their own city.

  2. Eric Fuentes says:

    I don’t think that “black and brown people” are being purposely being displaced. It has more to do with money than anything. I am certain that if you had a black individual with lots of money he would be able to displace any white individual without money. I can also imagine that when Oakland officers feel unappreciated, it’s because a large proportion of the citizenry does not appreciate nor understand what they do. They are often shot at, cursed at, attacked by the very same citizens they are entrusted to protect. How would you feel if you had a child that you worked hard to raise, feed, discipline, and care for only to have him complain that you’re not giving him enough money, candy, or toys? Or he complains to the social services because you sent him to bed without dinner because he hit his little brother or sister? When you try to attack or shoot your fellow man and violently try to resist arrest, you can expect a beat-down. Some people respond to nothing but violence. Some people can’t be reasoned with. They put the OPD in a very precarious situation. I don’t misbehave, and I’ve never been beat down by the police. And I’m not white, by the way. I’m a person of color. But because I carry myself in a professional and dignified manner, I don’t get in trouble. The problem is that too few people realize that. One of the biggest oppressors of black people is black people themselves. Those who break through that oppression and do well for themselves are called sellouts. I know this because I’ve seen it and lived it myself. But if you remain “true to your roots” and don’t “sellout”, will these people be around to help you when you need it? No, they won’t be. Because these people are so selfish that they would rather you be miserable so that they can feel better about themselves; furthermore, misery loves company.

    • Police are often shot at? Hmm. Is that why survey after survey has shown that most police officers go their entire career without ever being fired upon, or ever having to fire their pistol? Your superhero worship of the police is clearly not based in reality, Eric.

      • Eric Fuentes says:

        Maybe not in the Mayberry Police Department, but in Oakland, it’s a different story. I know Oakland Police officers personally and some parts of it are a war zone. I don’t have superhero worship of the police by any means, but when you live a life of crime, have disrespect for life, and constantly threaten fellow human beings with violence as many people in Oakland constantly do, don’t come crying to me when you get smacked down by the police. I’d rather have such an individual smacked down and be incapacitated than be healthy and able to attack and victimize more innocent people. Because if you don’t do that, he will. Like I said…some people cannot be reasoned with. They only respond to force. It’s a sad fact of life. Yes, sometimes police make mistakes. But most of the time, they are here to protect you and they do a pretty good job. However, I’m not in disagreement with some that integrity and honesty needs to be emphasized more in the police department, as it is in the military.

        • Eric Fuentes, I’d be more than happy to see your statistics demonstrating that most Oakland police officers have taken fire. You said they “often” do, which to me implies that it happens to most of them. You do realize police have to report when they are shot at, and when they use their gun, don’t you? You do realize all of these instances go in front of a review. You do realize all of these incidents and the results of the ensuing reviews are public information, don’t you? It’s really not that bad out there, Eric. Police, like everybody else, like to exaggerate about how tough they have it. In many ways, it’s leverage for contract negotiations. Most police officers, even in cities like Oakland, never have a gun fired at them. I’m not attacking you for your belief that minorities bring police brutality on themselves, or whatever. You can believe whatever you want. I’m only addressing a point of yours which clearly lacks perspective, or any factual data, for that matter.

          • Yeh ERIC! YOU ARE STUPID! RTF may not attack you personally for beliefs, BUT I WILL! You are a RACIST SEXIST HOMOPHOBIC TEA BAGGER! But I know why you are this way and I feel sorry for you because you are a Mexican and you are all dirty people.

  3. Tony gaar says:

    @Eric fuentes, great post, stay real.

  4. Eric, YOU STUPID!! Police kill thousand and thousand of black peple EVERY YEAR!!! In Oakland, over 100000 innicent peple were kill last year! YOU are a racist and hate BLACK PEPLE! I know why, tho, becase you are a MEXICAN and you are all DIRTY DIRTY PEPLE!

    • @Kanye your comment personally sent the progress of back people back 50 years! You are an idiot! You call someone racist and then the following sentence is a racist rant of your own! Look I get, you were selling crack on the corner and the big bag mean cop arrested you. But in your victim mind, he arrested you not or selling crack but because you’re black! You’re right though Kanye, it’s not your fault you’re a convicted felon. It was the racist cops who arrested you for murder. They arrested you because your black not because they had DNA evidence, your gun, and 40 witnesses who personally saw you do. Damn racists! Wow you sure know how to play the victim, right?

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