Oakland hires former LA police chief as consultant

December 27, 2012 8:03:43 PM PST
Oakland has signed one of the country's most prominent crime fighters to help reverse the spiral of violence in the city. William J. Bratton was police commissioner in New York City in the mid-1990s, police chief in Los Angeles for seven years and is now a senior advisor for Kroll, a corporate security firm based in New York.

Oakland city leaders and the police department's top law enforcement officer, Chief Howard Jordan, introduced a new two-point plan to reduce crime across the city. It's a plan that includes help from the outside and placing officers closer to where people live.

Jordan says he is not pleased with the spike in crime in Oakland. As of November, robberies were up 24 percent, burglaries 43 percent and to date, there have been 127 homicides.

"That's way too many; that's way too many on my watch and I want to change that," Jordan said.

With the city manager and the mayor at his side, Jordan introduced the plan to restrict gun violence and reduce crime in Oakland.

The new crime fighting measures will include contracting with the Stratigic Policy Partnership, a group senior police managers with a proven record of violence reduction. Leading that team will be Bob Wasserman of Boston and Bill Bratton, who has headed both the New York City and Los Angeles police departments, and a return to neighborhood policing -- 5 distinct police districts, two of them in east Oakland, each of them headed by a captain and a lieutenant.

"It's critical for our continued rebound economically and it's critical for our everyday citizens that everyone feel safe," Mayor Jean Quan said.

All of this falls on the heels of a federal judge's decision to have a compliance director oversee the Oakland Police Department. The move was made after the department failed to meet the deadlines of court ordered reforms.

Jordan stressed that the two point plan they're working to put in place for early 2013 is part of a proactive decision made by him back in April. He also made it clear how Bratton and his team will fall within the city's chain of command.

"They will be reporting to me and the mayor and Ms. Santanna as a group," he said.

The group will give the chief recommendations, but it will be up to the chief to carry them out. Money from the general fund will be used to pay for the new two point plan. The Oakland City Council will be presented with a proposal to pay the Stratigic Policy Partnership a fee of $250,000.


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