Report critical of Oakland Police Department's command staff

May 9, 2013 8:14:51 PM PDT
The people running the Oakland Police Department claim they welcome a new report that is critical of the command staff. That report comes just one day after Chief Howard Jordan suddenly quit.

This is the long-awaited report following the controversial hiring of police consultant Bill Bratton. Protesters say his methods attack Constitutional rights. On Thursday, Bratton's report took aim at the Oakland Police Department's poor implementation of its crime-fighting plan.

"They broke my door. They were inside the house when I opened the door into the hallway," said Oakland resident Marilyn Rhodes.

Neighbors in the Redwood Heights part of Oakland say the burglaries are becoming more frequent and more brazen.

"The crime rate in this neighborhood has gotten worse and worse and worse. Police protection is less and less and less," said Oakland resident Julie Turner.

A critical report of the Oakland Police Department, released Thursday, shows only one part-time investigator was assigned to 10,000 burglary cases last year.

Oakland resident Paul Conner was one of those victims. He told us, "It took them over an hour to respond, and by that time if the thief was in the area, he's gone."

But with the initiation of a new program, Mayor Jean Quan says response times will improve. There will be 25 newly-trained civilians that will soon be taking burglary reports, allowing officers to focus on violent crime.

"Within weeks we're begging to see the difference on the ground level and another big step in community policing," said Quan.

One program, already introduced by the hired consultants, is called CompStat. San Francisco already has it. It uses computer statistics to target hot spots, creating hyper-local policing.

"When this is fully implemented, this is going to have an impact on crime and reduce crime in this city," said Pat Harnett, a police consultant from the Bratton group.

"If they're going to start this program, they need to really implement it and really try to do something about," said Conner.

One major problem, pointed out in the report, is the command staff's failure to implement the CompStat plan properly, even though the recommendations were spelled out.

Police Chief Howard Jordan resigned on Wednesday leaving Interim Chief Anthony Toribio in charge.

"We are improving our processes and we are going to become more efficient and effective in fighting crime," said Toribio. "We've already started the process of identifying the personnel and the locations where we will decentralize our criminal investigations division and put them out into the districts. So we are committed to that and we are moving rapidly towards that. And the report is very critical of the police department in several areas and we welcome the criticism because we want to get better."

There's a renewed will to carry out the plan, but the question is whether Oakland can deliver with 25 percent fewer officers cut down by budget constraints. Despite this obstacle, the police consultants and the mayor are promising significant results within six months.

The report was delayed by Jordan's surprise resignation. The report cost the city $250,000 and comes out at the same time new FBI numbers show Oakland has the highest robbery rate in the country.

At a press conference Thursday there was no mention of Jordan. ABC7 News was the first to speak with him after his announcement Wednesday. He told us he's doing it for medical reasons and he was not forced out.

"My goal is to control my own destiny and at this point the only way to do that is to seek medical retirement so I can live longer," he said.

Jordan says he's been contemplating retirement for quite some time.

The consultants did not mention the shakeup at the top, but did say they have been working very closely with and carefully with Toribio to implement these changes.

Amy Hollyfield contributed to this report.


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