Phil Matier: Oakland Vote Set On Hiring Of Policing Heavyweight Bratton
OAKLAND (KCBS) – A big vote is slated for Tuesday night, when the Oakland City Council will formally weigh in on the proposed hiring of police consultant William Bratton, formerly Los Angeles Police Chief and New York Police Commissioner.
Bratton stands to score a $250,000 consulting contract to overhaul the beleaguered Oakland Police Department, which is struggling to get the upper hand on crime within city limits.
Bratton has gone on the record as a strong proponent of stop and frisk tactics, something opposed by Mayor Jean Quan. But, despite that difference of opinion, Quan has urged council members to approve Bratton’s contract nonetheless.
Civil rights advocates warn that Bratton and his tactics open the door for widespread racial profiling.
Emotions ran high at Oakland City Hall last Tuesday night as dozens of people spoke out against the plan to hire Bratton. After hours of debate, the Public Safety Committee ultimately backed the proposed contract for Bratton, but with the understanding that his role could be reevaluated. That deal now goes before the full Oakland City Council Tuesday night.
Published reports suggest Bratton and two of his associates long ago drafted a plan for OPD which called for dividing the city into five policing zones and the hiring of technicians to handle much of the paperwork associated with policing.
The Oakland City Council meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at City Hall.
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