Oakland, CA - The city of Oakland is banning anybody with police experience joining their police commission, but they are actively recruiting convicts.
San Francisco Chronicle reports that the notice on the city's website lists in the requirements, “Must be an Oakland resident. Must be at least 18 years old. Formerly incarcerated individuals encouraged to apply.”
In a gross understatement, Oakland Police Officers Association said that putting the inmates in charge of the asylum was "extremely distasteful."
The voter-approved police commission bans current and former Oakland cops from serving on the commission, as well as police union employees.
Deputy public defender Tal Klement, who is a selection panel member, thought that it was important to consider ex-convicts for the positions.
“Part of the measure itself said they were looking for people who had experienced police contact, and obviously if you are formally incarcerated, you have experienced police conduct and potential misconduct as well,” Klement said.
City Council President Larry Reid spoke about selecting convicts, saying, “We’ll probably wind up with one.”
The mayor and selection panel will select nine commission members and two alternates, and only one of those members is required to have any experience in criminal law.
Once the police commission is established, it will be in charge of overseeing the department's policies and procedures as well as investigating police misconduct and recommending discipline. The commission members, with no police training and experience, will essentially be able to tell police officers how to do their jobs and discipline them over any perceived failures.
Oakland's new police chief, Anne Kirkpatrick, has a history of firing large numbers of officers and is being paid an almost $300,000 annual salary package to reform the police department. In combination with he the new police commission, Oakland police officers better hope they don't make any mistakes during their split-second decisions.