OAKLAND (KPIX 5) — While the teen sex scandal in the Oakland Police Department drags on, Mayor Libby Schaaf is talking about how she’ll go about finding a new police chief.

Framing the task squarely within America’s larger debate over law enforcement and justice, Shaaf says she is taking it straight to the people.

“We have a very holistic vision of safety in this city, and that’s why we need all Oaklanders to offer their perspectives,” said Schaaf.

She wants to hear from one group in particular – youth.

“The young people behind me are the future of this city,” she said referring to the people sharing the stage with her.

A lot of Monday’s announcement focused on things like trust, and rebuilding faith in a department shaken by the underage sex scandal, but one topic was barely mentioned – crime.

“That’s an interesting dynamic,” said former Oakland chief and KPIX 5 police analyst Howard Jordan. “Crime has sort of taken a back seat, but that’s not to say crime doesn’t exist, and you have to focus on that. That’s your bread and butter.”

Jordan says that is the signature challenge in Oakland: continuing to make gains in the city’s long struggle with violent crime, while navigating a political climate that can be downright volatile.

“And don’t forget the officers,” he adds, “because the officers are the ones that are going to make or break you once you become chief.”

Oakland has had six chiefs in just five years. Once again, the search is on.

“We have to do things Oakland style,” says Schaaf.

Comments (4)
  1. Question – they fire that ditzy Oakland PD dispatcher Mom who was hired because of big boobs rather than merit, who then pimped out her own underage daughter yet?

  2. Greg Robert says:

    I like this mayor, and the country needs a hell of a lot more like her. Most municipalities that I’ve lived in or near (Phila. tri state area), allow the police dept to make and enforce policy, control the policing narrative, and get little push back from the local elected authority/ council. Most of these pd’s are run by the FOP union…you get my drift. No police oversight other than a cursory glance. When asking questions of one prominent towns police sargent, he literally told me the police run the town…Moorestown NJ. He pointed at the current mayor, who was nearby, with a look of distain. I knew exactly what he was intimating.

  3. If the kids behind her are the future of Oakland, then Oakland is in trouble

  4. Greg Robert says:

    A follow up to previous post. While living in Darby, Pa., our police dept racked up over a million in police overtime, and vacation pay, which promptly bankrupted the borough. Property taxes doubled, and the borough finances were immediately put under it’s counties supervision. The newly elected mayor tried to intervene, but was immediately LOCKED OUT of her office. She was one of few mayors that I know of that dared to go up against the very powerful law enforcement agencies. Police were known to hang out at at he local 7-11 store, at night, in groups of five, presumably collecting overtime. This dept also had it’s sargent convicted of shaking down 7-11 store owner by not repaying a loan he rec’d from it’s owner. To list this dept’s. crimes would take too long.