Oakland, California is a potential urban gem, sited next to the San Francisco Bay, with its own working harbor and a high end residential district in the Oakland hills.
Regrettably, it has suffered from chronic misgovernance over the last decades (allowing for an aborted renaissance when Jerry Brown was mayor).
All Oakland’s problems were made more challenging by an embedded sub-population of under-supervised prison parolees and their high crime cohorts.
Tragically, Oakland has never quite achieved the police population density of, say, New York under the Giuliani administration, let alone the enhanced police presence required by 3,000 parolees and 4,000 homeboys.
Mayor Brown chose well when he selected a former US Marine, Mike Nisperos, to be his criminal justice liaison. As I result I enjoyed a few moments of “face time” with the Mayor and left with the impression that unlike his predecessor and successor, he was willing to take law and order issues with the seriousness that they required.
As I write this, Oakland is careening into disaster, with a demoralized police department, savaged by layoffs and cuts, let by a strong police chief who is impossibly hobbled by a grave staffing shortage.
The following documents reflect my early efforts to “support local law enforcement.”
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