New Oakland police chief hosts 1st 'Coffee with a Cop' to strengthen community relations

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Saturday, June 15, 2024
New Oakland police chief hosts 1st 'Coffee with a Cop'
Coffee with a Cop in Oakland included coffee with the new chief Floyd Mitchell.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Coffee with a Cop in Oakland included coffee with the new chief on Thursday.

"I like my coffee black with two Sweet'N Lows in it," said Chief Floyd Mitchell, with big laugh.

Mitchell held these kinds of meet-and-greet events routinely at his two previous chief jobs in Texas. From homeowners to business owners, he says this is a powerful way to build effective relationships.

"We cannot be at every place all the time. So we rely on these relationships, so when we have incidents, that relationship is already built," explains Chief Mitchell.

Shawn Granberry, a life-long Oakland resident and Oakland business owner, says this was an opportunity to explain to the new chief the difference between, what he describes, as old Oakland and new Oakland.

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"Old Oakland would be someone like me. Who has been in the neighborhood for 30-plus years. So, been here, know the community. Lived through the ups and down, the good and bad," Granberry said. "Compared to the new Oakland that is paying $1.3 million for their house. They are a whole different demographic."

The way Granberry explains, the two Oakalnds don't get along. And don't communicate. That mistrust, he says, gets exploited. He says law enforcement needs to understand how to navigate through that.

"I know that those doing the bad things around here, are manipulating the lack of communication between neighbors, between police, between business owners, and looking at all those loopholes, to pull off the crimes they are pulling off," Granberry said.

"But remember, the crime didn't occur if it wasn't reported," said OPD Officer Meeran Gichki.

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Gichki says he understand the frustration around complaints of delayed response time. He says this was a chance to explain to residents why under-reporting is a big problem as well.

"For us to have our statistics together as well, and how we navigate our resources," he said.

Oakland resident Ranji Mandal got to meet the beat officers for her neighborhood. She says she feels reassured after their talk.

"Actually having that conversation from a civilian-officer perspective to what the touch points are in my actual neighborhood, was really helpful," Mandal said.

Oakland Police are planning several more Coffee with a Cop events in different neighborhoods around Oakland in the coming months.

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