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Frazier Report

Frazier Report

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Published by: ali_winston on Sep 19, 2012
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09/19/2012

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FINDING #63

OPD has a Public Information Section that reports directly to the Office of the Chief of
Police. The OPD Public Information Officer (PIO) is a police officer who has responded
to numerous public and media inquiries regarding the actions of OPD during various
protests initiated by the “Occupy Oakland” groups. During this period the Oakland
Police Department’s image within the community has been shaped by written, visual
and electronic images of helmeted police, confrontations with Occupy protesters,
political controversy and the inability to comply with the Negotiated Settlement
Agreement (SRI Louise Coles, et al. v. City of Oakland, the Oakland Port incident March
7, 2005). OPD’s ability to “positively” influence the community and create a favorable
image via the media has been limited and ineffective.

RECOMMENDATION #63

It is recommended that the current PIO position be elevated to a command level
individual (sworn or civilian). This person would preferably be public relations
professional retained to develop an overarching messaging campaign which includes
the use of electronic media. The City and OPD must position themselves in front of the
continued negative media reports regarding crowd management and use of force and
begin to control the information released about the department with an organized and
focused message. Strategies should include informing the community of OPD’s current
Department reforms and on a renewed quest for excellence. The addition of a public
relations professional moves the department into a more proactive position, and into
alignment with other major police departments with regards to taking control of
community perceptions of their activities.

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