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CITY OF OAKLAND
POLICE ADMINISTRATION BUILDING
455 - 71H STREET
OAKLAND, CALIfORNIA 94607-3985
Police Department Office of Chief of PoUce
Office (510) 238·3365 Fax (510) 238·2321
Han. Thelton E. Henderson United States District Court Northern District of California 450 Golden Gate Avenue
San Francisco, CA 94102
March 10, 2011
Re: Delphine Allen v. City of Oakland, et at. C 00 4599 THE (JL) March 17, 2011 Case Management Conference
Status Report from the Chief of Police
Dear Judge Henderson:
I respectfully submit this report to the Court.
The Monitor recently published its Fourth Quarterly Report detailing the Department's progress toward compliance. Twelve of the 22 tasks are in full compliance, eight are in partial compliance, and one task is deferred due to a lack of data. One task remains out of compliance. The Department moved into full compliance with Tasks 26 and 30 (Force Review Boards) and into partial compliance with Tasks 33 (Reporting Misconduct), 34 (Stop Data), and 40 (pAS Database).
The Department has now demonstrated one year of sustained compliance for several tasks. We have requested the Monitor remove these tasks from active monitoring. We believe the Department will also have demonstrated one year of sustained compliance for several additional tasks by the end of 2011. Removing these tasks from active monitoring will allow the Department and Monitor to concentrate on and successfully resolve the remaining tasks.
There are indicators of positive progress by the Department and its members toward achieving the goals of the NSA Complaints of misconduct declined 18.5% during 2010· the first reduction in several years. Of all the allegations of misconduct, only 14% involved use of force; of these, 72% involved lower levels of force such as
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handcuffing, control holds, and the drawing of firearms in high-risk situations. In comparison, 37% of aU misconduct allegations involve service complaints--compIaints related to service delays, Departmental policy or procedure, or other complaints of unsatisfaetery service.
The number of instances of use of force also declined, by 19%. This is particularly notable given that the Department handled two significant crowd control events during this time period. Both events were handled with minimal damage, use of force, or complaints. The" Department has been praised by the media and the community for allowing individuals to exercise their rights to assemble and express their views, while maintainin.g public safety and minimizing property damage.
Focus on Key Remaining Tasks
Key tasks related to Internal Affairs investigations, the Personnel Assessment System (PAS), stop-data collection, and consistency of supervision require more focused attention. The. Department expects to attain. compliance in these areas this year. Achieving compliance in these areas is the top priority for the Department. A chart detailing the action steps the Department is implementing to reach compliance in these tasks is attached. Many of the action steps are in place or in progress. Some require more time to implement, and some require new funding from the City. The plan has been submitted to the Monitor for review and recommendations for improvement. An extension of the MOU is recommended to ensure one year of practice compliance is achieved for the above described tasks.
Cultural Change at OPD
To fully realize a cultural shift at the Police Department, I am working with the City to implement changes focused on increasing accountability across all supervisory and command levels, enhancing transparency. and re-emphasizing customer service. These include:
• Commander of Police Position - The Department is working with the City to establish the position of Commander of Police to improve managerial accountability. This will be an upper-management position within the Department, with direct responsibility for implementing the Chiefs vision and policies. This position will be open to-both internal and external candidate, enabling the Department to select the best and brightest leaders. The commander position differs from the captain position in being at-will and is outside the procedural rules and attendant delays provided by civil service rules. In the past, it has been nearly impossible to remove a captain or lieutenant except in cases of significant misconduct. The new structure gives the Chief discretion to appoint commanders who have demonstrated leadership, willingness to hold people accountable, and a dedication to community policing. Commanders who are unable to perform at an acceptable level can be removed without a lengthy and
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difficult appeal process. This is a major step toward accelerating cultural change and increasing accountability in the Police Department The addition of a commander rank is subject to meet and confer with the Police Management Association and the Oakland Police Officer's Association (OPOA); the Department will be engaging in this pr ocess soon.
• Organizational Structurl~ Realignment - The Department is developing a plan to reorganize. The f~1IS of this reorganization is on providing better service to the citizens of Oakland, and will provide a more manageable span of control for supervisors and commanders, including at the executive level. It will also improve command and control, supervision. and accountahility. The objectives of this effort include:
o More evenly distribute Department staff among Executive Management;
o Flattening the organizational structure to reduce overhead and maximize productive time;
o Maintaining positive community relations through decentralized/geograpbic responsibility;
a Resolving the fi:nctional versus geographic organizational structure conflicts; and
o Developing consistent administrative and technical expertise through more consistent assignment of responsibility of these support functions to civilian managers.
• Independent Oversight Function - Along with this intemal reorganization, the City is exploring ways to implement better independent oversight I made the recommendation to establish a Civilian Office ofInspector General (010), modeled after the San Jose Office of Independent Police Auditor, to promote transparency and continue the successes we have made in implementing reform even after the conclusion of the NSA. The new Mayor, Ms. Jean Quan, strongly supports independent oversight. The goal is to strengthen the community's trust in the Police Department.
• Increased Outside Interaction - To further build community trust, I am seeking help outside the agency to increase transparency, improve organizational effectiveness, and place the right people in the right positions. The Department continues to look outside the Police Department when it develops training, revises policy, or reorganizes itself for efficiency. Over the last few months, Department staffhave conducted site visits with:
o Los Angeles Police Department to seek information on how to improve integrity testing;
o Detroit Police Department to observe their Management Accountability Meeting; and
o City of San Jose to see how the Independent Police Auditor operates.
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The Department has also brought in instructors from outside the agency to teach subjects such as search and seizure law, diversity, dealing with the mentally ill, and SWAT liability.
• Improved Transparency - The Police Department now recognizes that more transparency is the key to establishing an effective relationship with the community it serves. Examples of this increased transparency include the following:
o In January of 2010, the Department publicly released a report covering the March 21, 2009 deaths of four police officers and the events leading to the occurrence. That report was critical of senior management decisions resulting in a S W AT entry into an apartment. The report had many recommendations for Department improvements given the lessons learned from that tragic incident. The Department did not hide this information and shared it wi th everyone in the h.opes that we and others would learn from the mistakes made that day. Since that time, the Department has continued its quest to be more transparent.
o The January 1, 2009 shooting death of Oscar Grant by a BART police officer has damaged police-community relations in the region. On November 8, 20IC, our Department had an officer involved shooting that generated unfavorable attention in the conununity. I invited the FBI to conduct an independent investigation and to review our investigation of the incident. It is my belief that we as public servants are answerable for our actions and I have confidence that a Federal investigation into the incident will reach a fair conclusion.
o The OIG conducts audits of Department operations and compliance with the NSA. The OIG now publishes these audits on the Department's website so that community members and members of the Police Department can read this information. VVe believe that informing the community as much as possible about the Department's compliance and operations helps establish an understanding and a connection that is vitally important to our community policing efforts.
o In December 2010, the OIG also established a community working group including faith based organizations, the Citizen's Police Review Board, people involved in street outreach, and the American Civil Liberties Union. The purpose of the working group is to strengthen the positive relationship between the community and the Department by providing insight into the Department through the OIG.
o Increasing transparency within the organization is important for this Department. [ heard concerns from the membership regarding inaccessible personnel information in iP AS and their perception that this hidden information may negatively impact their careers in terms of promotion or transfer within the organization. I directed these files be available for review. My intention was to be transparent and demystify the iPAS process. However, this direction has caused concern regarding potential iP AS related compliance issues and legal ramifications regarding supervisory notes files
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access that need further clarificati-on. The OPOA for example, maintains personnel information should be available for review and failure to allow this access is a violation of the Police Officer's Bill of Rights. I have rescinded the dire etion to review these entries with subordinates until further review and analysis is completed to address the issues.
• Community Service Emphasis - The Department is reemphasizing community service in the training it conducts. I am stressing customer service to commanders during Department command meetings and requiring they emphasize this daily in their interactions with thei line staff. The Department is also implementing a strong community poIiclng pIan, the cornerstone of which is to have beat officer participation in s(llving the problems identified by those persons living on the beat they patroL Patrol officers will be required to have a collaborative working relationship with the Problem Solving Officers. The Department is dedicated to increasing connectivity between officers and the community and will encourage officer participation in several programs that have historically been successful at building relationships between the police and the community, particularly youth in the community. In 2010, the Department opened up its CompStat crime meeting to the public so that the community can see what the Department is doing about crime trends in their area.
• Improved Training ~ Quality training and clear expectations for job performance are key to successfully .hanging culture. In addition to a renewed focus on community service, we h. ve developed a three-year training plan and increased training in a number of areas that will ultimately help build better relationships with the community. Over the last several months the Department has developed additional training in the areas of officer involved shootings, handling of the violent and mentally ill, foot pursuits, customer-service, and community policing. Emphasis has alsn been placed on search and seizure training to ensure the Constitutional mandates related to individual rights are protected. Also, throughout February and March, supervisors and commanders have been attending a leadership symposium focused on leadership skills, coaching, and mentoring.
City NSA Working Group
Another major change the City has undertaken in 2011 is the creation of a city working group for compliance with the NSA. Mayor Quan and the CIty Administrator, Mr. Dan Lindheim, recognize that the NSA goes beyond the Police Department and they are highly committed to ensuring flat sustainable compliance is achieved. To that end, Mayor Quan directed her staff to c nvene a working group to include her office, the Police Department, the City Administrator, and the City Attorney's Office. The goal of this group is to ensure better communication between the City and the Police Department, and a more coordinated effort to achieve compliance.
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The members of the command staff and I look forward to working with the Monitor and the plaintiffs' attorneys to reach new milestones and achievements in our journey to go beyond compliance into sustainable practices. I am confident that the Police Department that exists today is profoundly different than the one that existed at the time the NSA was put into place. I am equally confident that the changes we are making to ensure management accountability are critical to making it better. I look forward to the day when the plaintiffs' attorneys and the monitors will come into your courtroom and tell you that the Oakland Police Department has achieved compliance with the NSA and that the City of Oakland has a model police department, The command staff and I have the same goal as the Monitor and the plaintiff's attorneys. When compliance is achieved; the real beneficiary is not the Oakland Police Department or the plaintiffs, but the communities we serve.
Anthony Batts Chief of Police
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