In October 2019 Henry Gage III (then a member of the public) introduced a draft ordinance to regulate the Oakland Police Department’s acquisition and use of militarized equipment. This draft ordinance was the result of many hours of diligent work by community advocates who want to ensure that the tools and tactics deployed by the police are subject to appropriate oversight, and reasonable checks and balances.
The Commission tabled discussion of this draft until November 2019. During a November 14, 2019 meeting the Commission created an ad hoc committee to manage the creation of this draft legislation, and to make recommendations to the Commission for further action. The ad hoc was comprised of Vice Chair Gage, Alternate Commissioner David Jordan, and Alternate Commissioner Chris Brown.
The Committee met with community advocates, elected officials, and police department staff to discuss the proposed ordinance, gather policy feedback, hear practical concerns about implementation, and review proposed amendments. Community advocates organized and produced a townhall on militarized policing, and recorded testimony from Oakland residents. These meetings guided the development of working drafts, which were first presented to the Police Commission for review and comment during the Commission’s November 14, 2019 meeting. Discussion on updated drafts were continued on a number of occasions, and feedback was received from Commissioners and members of the public.
The Commission voted to approve the proposed Ordinance and to send it to the Oakland City Council for consideration on June 25, 2020.
Oakland Police Commission Controlled Equipment Ordinance and supporting materials:
Militarized Equipment Ordinance amended Police Commission 25june2020