In the endless cycle of cities trying to oversee their own police forces, civilian oversight boards are the biggest way that cities oversee their police departments. The vast majority of these boards appear to be biased against police and usually form as a result of pressure from left wing organizations or in response to police misbehavior. Recently, we have also seen ballot measures to increase the power of these police oversight boards. This is happening in Oakland, California. There is a measure on the ballot this November to increase the power of their civilian oversight board.
This charter amendment would do two things, it would first remove the clause that gives the police chief to override the police commission and council in times of emergencies of public safety and allow the police commission, not the city administrator, to hire the civilian inspector general. In times like this it is very dangerous to take away emergency responsibilities from the police chief. In times when America is having riots in the streets do we want a bunch of left leaning bureaucrats deciding policies? In the article it states that the commission heard complaints from people about the use of rubber bullets, tear gas, and other crowd control methods.
This is a very bad charter amendment for the city of Oakland. It gives the oversight board much more power over the police department. Just imagine if the board forces the police to step back from handling these riots; the city of Oakland could burn to the ground. Allowing the board to hire its own inspector general is very dangerous as well. By allowing the board to hire its own inspector general, the chances the inspector general will be biased towards officers will be much higher.
With this charter amendment, the already-biased oversight board in Oakland will be much more powerful. At a time when police are under attack these oversight boards should not be given even more power. Just imagine if this board says that riots are not an emergency. This will only hamstring officers in their response to handle the riots. This, combined with the board being able to hire a biased inspector general, the Oakland police department will have tough times ahead if this charter amendment passes. The people of Oakland need to decide if this is the path that they want for their officers.
With the current climate of civil unrest across America and the demand of mass demonstrators for the defunding of police departments, or in the instance of the city of Minneapolis, the outright dismantling of the police department, let’s consider a different perspective in regards to police reform. How about the direct election of the chief of police for all local police municipalities throughout the country? Read more here.