Oakland PD Abandons New Policy Which Left Cops Unable To Respond To 911 Calls

Holly Matkin

"I don't think anybody anticipated this," Oakland Police Commission Chair Regina Jackson said of the reporting policy.

Oakland, CA – The Oakland Police Department’s (OPD) new use-of-force reporting policy requirements have created such a paperwork burden that officers have been unable to respond to hundreds of 911 calls.

Under the new policy, which went into effect on Feb. 15, OPD officers are required to review bodycam footage and write up a report for any instance in which they used any level of force during that same shift, the East Bay Times reported.

As a result, officers have been holed up writing reports for an average of two hours each shift, while high-priority calls for shootings, assaults, robberies, and other 911 calls continue to roll in.

“If you had your house broken into and you needed a police officer to show up, it’s not uncommon now for someone to wait two, three days for a police officer to show up,” OPD Lieutenant Bryan Hubbard told the East Bay Times. “At the end of the day, the citizens are the ones who are truly suffering.”

The response times for other top-priority calls had been just over two minutes prior to the use-of-force reporting requirements.

Under the new policy, the response time exceeded five minutes.

Last week, City Administrator Sabrina Landreth told the City Council that the situation had become so dire that she has been “losing sleep,” the East Bay Times reported.

On Feb. 27, the citizen’s police commission finally consented to the OPD’s pleas to suspend the policy.

As a result of the unanimous vote, officers will be allowed to report low-level uses of force over the radio and in supplemental reports.

According to police records, a vast majority of the incidents that had been keeping officers bogged down in hours of paperwork were situations in which they used even minimal force in order “to overcome resistance of a person during and arrest or detention,” the East Bay Times reported.

In one such instance, six officers were stuck in the office writing reports after they restrained a mentally unstable citizen who was in need of medical help.

On another occasion, several officers who helped hold down a heart attack victim so that he could be rushed to a hospital also had to stay in the office to complete use-of-force reports.

OPD officers can now report those use-of-force incidents over the radio and in supplemental reports, freeing them up to handle emergency calls, The East Bay Times reported.

Oakland Police Commission Chair Regina Jackson claimed that no one realized the potential problems the new use-of-force reporting policy would cause.

“The officers were very frustrated,” Jackson told the East Bay Times. “I don’t think anybody anticipated this.”

The policy was implemented at the recommendation of a federal court oversight monitor, Robert Warshaw.

The federal monitoring began 17 years ago in the wake of incidents of abuse and racial profiling by a group of OPD officers, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

The federal court’s oversight was originally slated to last just five years, but OPD must also complete over 50 “tasks” and multiple subtasks in order for the oversight to conclude.

Jim Chanin, the attorney for the plaintiffs in the case that led to the federal monitoring, said that pulling so many officers off of the street in order for them to complete reports every time they touch a citizen was an “honest mistake,” the East Bay Times reported.

“Sometimes you put out ideas with the best of intentions and then in practice they compromise public safety,” Chanin said. “It’s clearly not acceptable. I think it was an honest mistake.”

On Monday, former Oakland Police Chief Anne Kirkpatrick called for Warshaw to be fired, KRON reported.

“The reason the Oakland Police Department remains ‘out of compliance’ with the federal monitoring is not its officers or its policies and procedures,” former Chief Kirkpatrick declared. “Rather, it is because Warshaw, the monitor himself, who earns a million dollars a year from Oakland taxpayers, has no incentive to see those reforms succeed.”

The now-former police chief was fired by the civilian police oversight board without cause on Feb. 20, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

During her three years in office, the now-former chief consistently garnered positive feedback from city leaders, Oakland officers, and the police union.

“When I was hired, I was given a mandate to reduce crime, stabilize the department, shift culture [and] have police accountability,” former Chief Kirkpatrick said. “I have met those mandates. And I’ve exceeded them.”

Under the 60-year-old police chief’s watch, overall crime decreased each year with the exception of 2019, the San Francisco Chronicle reported.

“The last three years of my tenure were the three lowest consecutive years of the lowest crime rate in 20 years,” she told KTVU.

So far this year, the city’s homicide rate is at a 64-year low, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Chanin – an outspoken police critic – was quick to compliment the former chief, and praised the 62 percent reduction in stops involving African Americans that occurred during her tenure.

“I think, obviously, they were trying to get ‘just cause’… and they couldn’t get it,” the now-former chief said of the Oakland Police Commission’s closed-session meetings. “So, I guess that’s why I got fired without cause.”

Former Chief Kirkpatrick said she is “outraged” by how the commission handled her ouster, and that she also plans to ask the U.S. Department of Justice to open an investigation Warshaw’s oversight of the OPD.

The former police chief said she is disappointed that she wasn’t able to push the department out of the era of federal oversight, but reiterated that Warshaw has little reason to bring the monitoring to an end for the lucrative federal contract.

“It’s a million-dollar contract. Where is the incentive to find you in compliance?” former Chief Kirkpatrick asked KTVU. “When we look at the watchdog system you need to look at everybody because it has ties to government money that are being spent. I think someone needs to come in and look at the entire situation."

“I am truly, deeply concerned about these 17 years of federal oversight,” she told the San Francisco Chronicle. “Something is wrong.”

Comments (27)
flybynight
flybynight

So Regina, are you telling not one single person with common sense warned you about this policy? Yet another affirmative action 13/60 that can find her bubble butt with both hands and a map!!!!🙄

No. 1-15
ScaleriBrosLawyer
ScaleriBrosLawyer

Huh. It's almost as if departments that have been policing for decades know what they're doing and Don't need 'reform'. Who knew?

JBoH
JBoH

"...so dire that she has been “losing sleep,”..."

How terrible...

Cds
Cds

“The officers were very frustrated,” Jackson told the East Bay Times. “I don’t think anybody anticipated this.”
Um, anyone with a little common sense would have seen that coming.

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

If you want to know the real reason that the Oakland Police Commission fired Chief Anne Kirkpatrick "without cause," in Regina Jackson's own words, this video pretty much explains it.

At 4:15, she explains (paraphrasing), that the Department is too White.

Shepfershort
Shepfershort

Until the residents realize that the problem is the commission itself, they'll never be safe.

Sgt167
Sgt167

“The policy was implemented at the recommendation of a federal court oversight monitor, Robert Warshaw.”
That was the problem, listening to someone who doesn’t know how police departments function, apparently. The amount of paperwork has easily quadrupled in the last 20 years, much of it based on changes to laws that are in affect an unfunded mandate. Staffing is already down and then they pile on excessive documentation which only serves to further diminish the number of man hours officers are actually in the road.

Cduncanf
Cduncanf

Make stupid laws, get stupid results

NomonK
NomonK

When is there to many layers of political BS in local police departments?
Anytime the Police Chief is not directly responsible to the City Commission only.
Boards, Committees that have unelected authority over the Department is setting the Department up for failure.

NFPD103
NFPD103

A little history on the guy, he is 73 years old how much actual day to day knowledge of running a police department can this guy have since he hasn't worked as a police chief sine 1998, well past mandatory retirement age for any law enforcement agency Robert S. Warshaw is a former Associate Director of the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy commonly referred to as the "deputy drug czar." Warshaw, appointed to the position in 1998, served under ONDCP Director Barry McCaffrey. He previously served as Chief of the Rochester Police Department it currently has approximately 852 officers and support staff, a budget of approximately $90 million, and covers an area of 37 square miles. Upon being appointed to the ONDCP, Warshaw was succeeded as police chief by Robert Duffy, later Mayor of Rochester and currently the lieutenant governor of New York State.

Warshaw currently is a police management and corporate consultant; is an auditor for the United States Department of Justice in reviewing compliance with procedural revisions ordered by federal courts (e.g., federal oversight of the Oakland, CA police department); and is an evaluator for the Office of Oversight Commissioner, which oversees police operations in Northern Ireland. In January 2014, Judge Snow appointed Robert Warshaw, former Rochester, New York, police chief, to act as a monitor over the Maricopa County Sheriff's Office.

He is a former member of the Executive Committee of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.

Warshaw is a former officer in the United States Army and earned a bachelor's degree in sociology and a master's degree in human resources administration.

magnumforc
magnumforc

It's Oakland, another liberal shithole run by assholes. Cops are fleeing the state in droves. Any wonder?

Stanracer
Stanracer

That stupid use of force policy must have been dreamed up by some politically correct idiot liberal.

Shastabeau
Shastabeau

They should have known putting detailed reports to paper everyday would be Disastrous and the police would be blamed for nonresponsive 911 calls. I fired a guy for writing a 5 page explanation about a minor accident.....took him 2 hours!

Sgt Rock
Sgt Rock

Coontown

RunCop
RunCop

Mmmmmm, what could it be?


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