Oakland City Council considering loosening police chase policy

The Oakland City Council on Tuesday voted to direct the police commission to propose changes to the Oakland Police Department's pursuit policies.

 "I believe the commission will look into all the data nationally, locally, and regionally as they do an exhaustive study," Councilwoman Treva Reid said at the meeting. 

Reid and Councilman Kevin Jenkins introduced the measure after hearing from residents who want police to engage in more chases.

OPD's current policy only allows officers to pursue violent and armed suspects except in special circumstances.

"We have to be balanced with balancing public safety, with pedestrian safety, with the safety of our officers, with the safety of bystanders," Jenkins said at the meeting. "We also have a huge perception issue that we have to tackle as elected leaders in this town that Oakland is open for crime." 

The police commission is being asked to bring its report on police pursuits and proposed changes back to the City Council by Sept. 24.