Oakland could lose mutual aid over 'Occupy'

Occupy protesters sit in a building they've occupied in Oakland, Calif., Thursday, Nov. 3, 2011. (AP Photo/Jeff Chiu)
November 11, 2011 5:35:33 PM PST
Oakland is in danger of losing mutual police aid at a time when it needs it the most.

Surrounded by local ministers Thursday morning, Oakland Mayor Jean Quan once again issued a plea for campers to pull up their stakes and immediately leave Frank Ogawa Plaza. Quan is looking to faith leaders to assist her in dealing with Occupy Oakland.

"May we be strong enough to find peace in our city," Quan said on Thursday while releasing a dove into the air.

Pace may now come at a price for Oakland as several of the 16 original police agencies who backed the city in removing protesters only to have Quan slam their officers along with the Oakland police for their tactics.

Those agencies are now reconsidering use of their mutual aid agreements.

"Mutual aid is designed for emergencies, and this is no longer a mutual aid emergency because you've allowed people to camp out," said J. D. Nelson with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department.

Nelson says indecisiveness on Quan's part is a waste of resources.

"Why should the county be on the hook to pay for everybody's salary to come in and fix a problem that should have been solved in the first place?" questioned Nelson.

The sheriff's department may now charge Oakland up to $1,000 per deputy when it comes to issues related to the tent city.

Dom Arotzarena with the Oakland Police Officer's Association (OPOA) says he doesn't blame them. At the same time, Arotzarena said the department can't handle the situation at Occupy Oakland alone.

"We definitely need to have more than just the OPD in there," Arotzarena said. "We are going to need to utilize other people for sure."

Quan refused to give any reaction.

"I don't have anything else to say," Quan said to reporters at Friday's event. "I don't have anything new to say."

The Oakland City Council is frustrated.

"She needs to step up and act like a mayor, and do what is necessary to stop this," said Oakland Vice Mayor Desley Brooks.

Legally, the council's hands are tied in ordering an end to the encampment. Brooks is putting forth a resolution to prohibit Quan from using any more of the city's money to support the occupation.

"If she doesn't have money, she won't be able to do some things," Brooks said. "I think that's what we need to pull the purse strings at this point."

Brooks is particularly upset that Quan placed three Oakland police officers on a 24-hour duty at the encampment after the shooting death of a young man on Thursday. Brooks says there have been numerous homicides throughout the city that didn't receive the same kind of response and over $1 million in city money has already been spent on the movement.


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