Oakland city council unanimously approves idea of funding community alternatives to policing

The Oakland City Council held a special meeting on Monday and approved the idea of diverting millions of dollars from the police department to other services. 

Some of the alternatives, according to Councilwoman Carroll Fife, include: 

  • A long-term investment in the Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland (MACRO) program which is an alternative to 911.
  • Increasing gender-based violence services.
  • Moving most traffic enforcement from police to Oakland’s Department of Transportation.
  • Working to end OPD’s use of militarized equipment
  • Increasing support for restorative justice and violence prevention efforts.
  • Investing in the Oakland Youth Commission.
  • Prioritizing affordable housing and homeless programs.
  • Supporting a Phase II process for the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force.

In addition, Oakland councilmembers added amendments to research transferring the Internal Affairs Department out of the police department into the city’s Community Police Review Agency and creating a Department of Children, Youth, and Families.

The resolution provides direction to the city council as they enter the budget season. Each item would individually need to be voted on, but Fife notes this is a significant move in terms of re-imagining police safety. 

The Oakland Police Officers Association is expected to oppose many of the recommendations.

Some of them will require negotiations with the police union.