Friday, May 09, 2014

Oakland politics, in a picture

Yesterday, I stopped by Oakland Police Department headquarters for its annual memorial ceremony for the 50+ officers killed in the line of duty. I was surprised to learn that the first fatality took place all the way back in 1867.

After watching four seasons of The Wire, I am hyper aware of the intersection between Big City Police and the Mayor's Office.

The City of Oakland and its police department are beyond dysfunctional. Mayor Jean Quan (second row, in white and red) is viewed by many as incompetent and has no friends in the police department. At the ceremony, she was relegated to the second row.

Right in front of the mayor is the current Interim Police Chief. I think "Interim", "Acting", and "Co-Whatever" are the most useless titles ever. He seems competent, but has zero charisma/gravitas. He is probably not going to be made the permanent chief. He became chief when his two predecessors both quit within the same week(!).

Up front, in the middle, in purple, is the District Attorney. She doesn't have extraordinary clout, but she has credibility and staying power, which are both in short supply in this group. She gave the longest speech, and all she talked about was the need to hire more officers.

In the second row are a handful of city council members, who are all coincidentally running for mayor.

1 comment:

Lukas said...

Your one-force-per-city Police structure is weird. We have one per state, so they are all quite large, organised and well-scrutinised. Dodgy things still happen, but not very often.