FACTS & FIGURES
As we share our budget priorities with City Council, we always hear the same excuse: “There isn't enough money - if you want something funded, you have to tell us what to cut out of the budget.”
FACT: OPD GETS MORE THAN THEIR FAIR SHARE
Sworn police officers make up only 15% of the city's workforce. OPD consumes 32% of base salaries, 46% of overtime pay, 54% of “other pay,” 35% of employee benefits, and 35% of total employee compensation paid by Oakland, and almost 50% of the general fund! Our per capita police spending is higher than 90% of comparable cities in California and the country. And OPD officers are paid disproportionately well on a national scale, for example, they are more than twice as expensive as LAPD officers.
FACT: WE DO NOT NEED TO INCREASE POLICING TO INCREASE PUBLIC SAFETY
In fact, statistics cited by Mayor Schaaf in her budget presentations suggest that after the recent police scandal broke, OPD reduced use of force and stop and frisks in Oakland by about two-thirds. (Not surprisingly, this resulted in a similar drop in complaints of police misconduct!) The mayor says crime dropped in this time period, while others say the statistics show violent crime remained constant. This shows that we can reduce the presence and activity of armed cops in our communities, without making “crime” worse, and that in some cases reduced police activity may actually improve Oakland! So why add any more police to a bloated payroll? Increasing policing goes hand in hand with increasing criminalization, wasting resources and ruining lives, and leading to the crisis of mass incarceration today.
QUESTION: WHAT DOES THE OPD ACTUALLY DO?
What crimes / calls for service does OPD actually handle? Since they are the most expensive employees in the city, do we really need them to do everything that they are doing? For example: Police have to come out in Oakland for a car blocking another car in! Based on a recent public records act request, parking and mental health calls represent a large percentage of what OPD handles. Do we really need the highest paid (and heavily armed) employees to tow cars or write tickets? Are heavily armed police who we want responding to mental health calls and doing wellness checks? We can afford 2-3 social workers and clinicians (professionals with thousands of hours of training) for the price of one armed cop with no expertise (only 15 hours of training).
SAD REALITY: COMMUNITY POLICING? SUPPORTING THE LOCAL ECONOMY? WHERE DO OAKLAND OFFICERS LIVE?
For all OPD's talk of "community policing," as it turns out, most of OPD's officers don't live here. This also means the hundreds of millions of dollars we pay for their salaries are not even flowing back into our local Oakland economy!
OVERTIME & OVERPAY
2011-2016 Police Salaries for Oakland - Transparent California
Oakland Police Overtime Costs Continue to Soar - East Bay Express
Police Overtime Audit for Fiscal Year 2012-13 - Oakland Auditor