Revising OPD’s Use of Force Policy

Oakland has an opportunity to reimagine policing and craft a policy that addresses the needs of our communities, provides clear guidelines for police engagement and prioritizes and respects the sanctity of life.

About the Committee

In January 2020, the Oakland Police Commission voted to review and revise the Oakland Police Department’s Use of Force policy. Since then, a smaller subset of the Commission continues to work with multiple stakeholders and community groups to craft a new policy.

This work is being spearheaded by an Ad Hoc Committee made up of Commissioners Ginale Harris, Tara Anderson and Henry Gage III.

Committed to ensuring a collaborative and transparent effort, this project is being undertaken in partnership with community leaders, activists and police officers, in an effort to produce a forward-thinking policy.

Ways to Get Involved

Police policies are designed to provide the rules, guidance and instruction for Oakland’s police officers to do their duties. The Use of Force policy is particularly important since it dictates how and when officers should consider deploying force options.

Rebuilding trust and legitimacy between the police and the people they serve is foundational to community policing and a guiding philosophy to co-producing public safety. Collaboration on policy development with the community produces stronger more equitable rules for police conduct.

For this reason, the Committee is undertaking the task of overhauling OPD’s Use of Force policy with input and ideas from Oakland’s residents (especially those most marginalized that are not often heard) on how Oakland Police Officers currently use force, and how they should use force in the future.

There are a number of ways we hope you will engage with the draft policy and share your thoughts, ideas, suggestions, and concerns.

Process and Timeline

Public engagement on this policy rewrite is open till Friday, September 25, 2020.

Working with the Ad Hoc Committee, the ACLU will review all comments and submit suggested policy edits based on public input gathered from the multiple channels available.

Your voice is always welcome and important to us. You will still have the opportunity to share your opinions during open public comment at Commission meetings, or public comment when this project is agendized.

A Special Meeting is anticipated for Monday, September 21, 2020, where the Ad Hoc Committee will share with the public and the full Commission the draft policy inclusive of Oakland’s input. Information, including the meeting announcement and agenda, to follow.

Raheem presented a progress update on their study on Oakland residents about the Oakland Police Department’s use of force. Read the update here.

Upcoming & Relevant Events

Vitual Forum Flyer
  • YA! Virtual Forum on OPD Use of Force (Sep 22)
    Youth Alive will bring together experts and community members to discuss ways Oakland Police Department can change their use of force policy. Registration required: http://bit.ly/YATownhall
  • Virtual Forum to share your stories on Police Use of Force (Sep 17)
    The African American Latino Action Alliance (AALAA) is hosting an event to hear your stories about police interactions to assist the Police Commission revise police policies. Registration required: https://tinyurl.com/y4ybd4zt
  • Coalition for Violence Virtual Town Hall (Sep 8)
    On Tuesday, Sep 8, the Coalition for Violence Prevention held a virtual town hall to hear first hand from Oakland residents their experiences with police interactions and opinions on OPD's Use of Force policy. Read the notes here



Ad Hoc Working Group Members

  • Ginale Harris, Commissioner, Oakland Police Commission (gharris@oaklandcommission.org)
  • Tara Anderson, Commissioner, Oakland Police Commission (tanderson@oaklandcommission.org)
  • Henry Gage III, Vice-Chair, Oakland Police Commission (hgage@oaklandcommission.org)
  • James B. Chanin, Civil Rights Attorney
  • John Alden, Director, Community Police Review Agency
  • Juanito Rus, Policy Analyst, Community Police Review Agency
  • LeRonne Armstrong, Deputy Chief, Oakland Police Department
  • Roland Holmgren, Deputy Chief, Oakland Police Department
  • Nishant Joshi, Captain, Oakland Police Department
  • Phillip Andrew Best, Police Services Manager, Oakland Police Department
  • Joseph Turner, Sergeant, Oakland Police Department
  • Brigid Martin, Deputy City Attorney, Office of the Oakland City Attorney

Ad Hoc Committee Meeting Notes

Model Policies & Guidelines

Sharing best practice is a common method to improve an organization’s performance and enhance efficacy. Doing so in policing allows jurisdictions to learn from each other and share innovative methods to take on modern challenges.

The Ad Hoc Committee looked to the very best in national standards for ideas on how to improve the rules around when and how police officers consider and implement force tactics.

The policies and sources consulted during the drafting of this policy include:

About the Oakland Police Commission

The Police Commission is a civilian oversight body that was created in 2016 through voter-approved Measure LL, following years of activist efforts. The ballot measure gives the Commission authority to set policy, oversee the police chief’s accountability for the effectiveness of OPD, and enforce discipline when serious misconduct occurs, via the Community Police Review Agency (CPRA), the investigative body.

Learn more about about the Police Commission

Contact Us

Address

Map image for Revising OPD’s Use of Force Policy, located at 250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza in Oakland, CA 94612
250 Frank H. Ogawa Plaza
Suite 6302
Oakland, CA 94612