Use of Force Ad Hoc Committee

Oakland had 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. After that, a smaller subset of the Commission continued to work with multiple stakeholders and community groups to craft a new policy.

This work was 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 was undertaken in partnership with community leaders, activists and police officers, in an effort to produce a forward-thinking policy.

The Commission's press release on the new OPD Use of Force policy is available at the following link:

Oakland Police Commission Press Release on New OPD Use of Force Policy

Process and Timeline

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

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

Community voice was always welcome and important to us. The community also had the opportunity to share its opinions during open public comment at Commission meetings, and public comment when this project was agendized.

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

Community Listening 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:
  • 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:
  • 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 (
  • Tara Anderson, Commissioner, Oakland Police Commission (
  • Henry Gage III, Vice-Chair, Oakland Police Commission (
  • 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

Relevant Documents & Draft Use of Force Policies

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:

Training Bulletins

Additional Information

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

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