East Bay News

Oakland approves measures to lower violent crime rate

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

The decision to hire police consultant William Bratton is the latest effort by city officials to curb the rise in violent crime plaguing the city.

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan and Police Chief Howard Jordan talked with reporters late Wednesday afternoon about his duties. Bratton is expected to come to Oakland by mid-February, but he'll be kept out of the public eye.

The City Council meeting lasted for more than eight hours due to the hundreds of speakers who turned out to both support and condemn the man who has been a lightning rod for controversy. Bratton who headed both the New York and Los Angeles police departments came under fire for his aggressive policing tactics. They are the same tactics that some residents, who have seen the crime in their neighborhoods spiral out of control, welcome.

"Bill Bratton is neither 'the Devil' which he seems to be described as, nor a savior. He's part of a team. He's the person who did develop the COMPSTAT system. It's a system we're trying to implement that I think we can do better with," said Quan.

As ABC7 News reporter Vie Lee noted, COMPSTAT is an accountability process that has worked to reduce crime in other areas by better utilizing personnel and law enforcement resources. It's also part of a new strategy Jordan will introduce it next month.

Bratton's is with Strategic Policy Partnership, which is headed by Bob Wasserman who has consulted for various police departments across the country. It's important to mention the approval to hire Bratton was only one of four crime-fighting measures given the green light Tuesday night. The council will fund an additional police academy to train new officers, which is scheduled to start in September. The hiring of 20 police service technicians for field duty and lab positions was also approved.

What you're likely to see immediately is the approval to hire 11 Alameda County Sheriff's deputies for three months for violence suppression efforts in East and West Oakland's trouble spots.

It's also important to mention that city leaders were clear when they said Bratton will not attend community meetings. The chief said, "It's not about Bill Bratton. Bratton is only one man on a five-person team of crime fighting consultants."

(Copyright ©2014 KGO-TV. All Rights Reserved.)

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oakland, OPD, crime, east bay news
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