In March 2019, the Oakland Police Department contracted risk management consulting firm Hillard Heintze due to concerns brought forward from within the Oakland Police Department regarding racial disparities related to internal officer discipline. Hillard Heintze was tasked with conducting a review of the discipline process and administrative investigation of complaints of misconduct for sworn personnel of all ranks, Police Officer Trainees in the Academy, and probationary officers in the Field Training Program for the five-year period from January 1, 2014, through December 31, 2018.
This study identified racial disparities and the Department affirms that these findings are unacceptable. The guiding principles of the Department embrace fairness and procedural justice; it is vital that those tenets are adhered to both internally and externally. We are committed to mitigating race and gender disparities within our systems and processes to ensure our employees regain a sense of trust and equitable treatment.
The Oakland Police Department owns the results of the study and will engage in an aggressive process designed to identify and mitigate the disparities, and advance internal equity, diversity, and procedural justice. To help achieve this goal, the Oakland Police Department has partnered with the City’s Race and Equity Director Darleen Flynn to conduct a Race and Equity Impact Analysis on the Department’s disciplinary process and the Academy and Field Training program. This Race Equity Impact Analysis will work to identify what aspects of the investigative process may be leading to disparate outcomes and design an action plan to remedy racial or gender disparities to cover areas not addressed by the Hillard Heintze recommendations. To conduct this Analysis, we have engaged noted experts in the field of racial disparities as well as the involved stakeholder groups and our employees in this important endeavor.
We want to thank our employees and stakeholders for their invaluable input, and we look forward to continued engagement as we make progress to further equity and diversity within our ranks while building trust and credibility with all stakeholders.
To read the report and the Department’s response click here.
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