The Oakland Police Department is at its lowest staffing levels in the past ten years. Those extra deputies certainly helped. But like with most contracts, it all came down to money. On Saturday afternoon Oakland Councilman Larry Reid learned there would be no more deputies after tonight.
"I'm kind of depressed now," Reid said.
The longtime Oakland city councilmember just learned that Alameda County sheriff's deputies will not be helping patrol Oakland streets after Saturday night.
"It's a total surprise," Reid said. "Councilmember Libby Schaaf and myself were able to convince our colleagues to expend the funds to retain those deputies that's been working on our streets."
The sheriff's deputies had been working on a contract since February 1, supplying 11 deputies to the understaffed Oakland police for Saturday and Sunday nights. It cost the city $265,000. That money ran out.
Alameda County sheriff's Sgt. J.D. Nelson says his department and Oakland could not work out a new deal.
"There's the workers comp costs that go into it, we have equipment that's been damaged during our time in Oakland, and all that stuff we have to front," he said. "And we want Oakland to absorb some of those costs."
That's not all Oakland wouldn't pay for. The major sticking point came when a sheriff's deputy tried to make a traffic stop last month and was shot in the foot. Oakland would not foot the bill for his care or time off the job.
In an interview by phone, OPD Chief Howard Jordan said, "I want to thank the Alameda County Sheriff's department for their work and support. It's unfortunate that because of not being able to work through legal issues we will not continue to have their support. We will ask the CHP to take on a little more work. We will redeploy officers."
The deputies will be missed.
"I won't be as safe without them being out on the streets of Oakland," resident Lilian Jackson said.
And there's more bad news -- Oakland was hoping that Alameda County would fund the next couple of police academies. That's not going to happen. Although, the county says police recruits are welcome to go through their program.
Councilmember Reid says that next week he's going to at least try to get those deputies back on the streets.