OPD Training Staff To Better Handle Occupy-Style Protests

OAKLAND (KCBS)— The Oakland Police Department is changing its crowd management policies after it received more than a thousand complaints stemming from scuffles during last year’s Occupy protests.

As a result, OPD will make all officers and command staff undergo crowd control training. Chief of Police Howard Jordan himself will attend training this Saturday.

“It is our duty to protect public safety and at the same time to balance free speech and the rights of individual protesters and the rights of non-protesting residents,” Jordan said on Monday.

KCBS’ Bob Butler Reports:

Jordan said that the department had accommodated more than 60,000 mostly peaceful marchers at a time. Now a policy will be put into place to deal with those who aren’t peacefully demonstrating.

The plan includes making sure mutual aid agencies follow the same procedures as police in Oakland through “better communication, smaller agile squads used for small-crowd tactics and improved communication between agencies both internally and externally,” according to Jordan.

Allen Bradshaw marched with Occupy several times and welcomes a uniform policy

“If they all had one plan at least they’d be on the same page,” Bradshaw said.

One of the complaints from last year is that out of town departments used non-lethal force tactics not approved in Oakland. Jordan agreed “That’s not right.”

(Copyright 2012 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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