OUSD school board poised to eliminate district's police department

The Oakland Unified School District's board of education will meet Wednesday afternoon to consider eliminating its police department.

The decision hasn’t been made yet – but at a school board meeting earlier this month, there was a lot of support for this idea. 


At 4 p.m., the board will consider proposals to remove the OUSD police department, set a timeline for doing so and talk about developing another safety plan.

The district's department currently has seven officers, two sergeants and a chief. They only respond to the schools when there are issues.  

At a meeting earlier this month, the majority of the board said they support superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammell's proposal to redirect more than $2.5 million in police funds to student services.

Students protest to get rid of the OUSD police department.

The OUSD Chief of Police Jeff Godown is actually supportive of the plan.

"Maybe it is time for a change," he said. "Maybe taking the funds for restorative justice, behavioral health, counselors and other components might make a difference."

The district’s safety plan could include having civilian safety resource specialists who are unarmed and don’t have the power to arrest students.

Then the Oakland police would be responsible for more serious calls, which the chief says averages two or three per school day.

The officers have a contract with the district through June 2022 – so negotiations have to happen to end that.

The superintendent says she realistically doesn’t think they could disband the police department until at least December.