After so many years of waiting on my part, the Oakland Police Foundation is finally a going concern! Hooooray! LA and NYC have had these for years.
So… if you have a few million $$ you don’t know what to do with, take a portion of it and donate today! I already have. You can also volunteer, sponsor, etc.
Why should you donate to the OPF?
- Mainly this reason: Oakland has just over half a police department, and just slashed 80 officers from a force of 770 officers in July. These were the young recruits with energy — not older officers approaching fast retirement. We’ve lost our Problem Solving Officers (PSOs). We’ve lost most foot patrols. We’re down to 600-something officers with 4-5 retiring every month. How safe will Oakland be with 500 police? 400 police? 300 police?
Oakland has among the LOWEST ratios of police to residents of any large city:
[Image courtesy ORPN, data from DOJ 2004- the “gold old days” by some metrics]
- Oakland will cut 100+ additional police this fall in a cynical City Council ploy to get Oakland homeowners — already paying among the highest property taxes in the state (nation?) for the least policing services — to agree to vote for yet another property tax assessment, which the City Council will yet again NOT use for its intended purpose, but instead use to prop up the city’s unsustainable high-paying city employee pension & benefits ponzi pyramid scheme;
- OPD last month published a list of crimes they will no longer respond to, including home burglary;
- Check the latest crime stats in YOUR neighborhood — and citywide — at Crimespotting.org;
- OPD has a backlog of 4,000+ rape, domestic violence and other cases (I may have this wrong from memory, but it’s in the thousands for sure.);
- Oakland continues to see high rates of violent crime per capita and it was FBI rated #3 most dangerous city in the US for 2009;
- This is America, and we believe in “you get what you pay for” except for parking and “free” ways. So here’s the problem. Pay your police too little and they’ll resort to bribes and other corruption to supplement their slim incomes. Pay police too little and they won’t care enough to protect you, much less work on preventive measures. We want “enlightened despots” though sadly leadership often turns more short-term minded, more insular and selfish with each ossifying iteration of any organization until the next big reset;
- The economy will get worse. WE NEVER “GOT OUT” OF A RECESSION. This “double dip” bullshit is as true as the media and government’s “green shoots” stimulus narrative of 2009. If we don’t support a strong police department, we’ll have a city of increasing criminal activity — more crime in more places at all hours of the day and night. If we do support the OPD they will be better able to provide basic security for ALL Oakland residents, business owners and visitors, which will boost our local-regional economy. More tourists. More businesses will open and remain here. More people will shop and live here.
- Oakland doesn’t have high crime because of high poverty. We have high crime because we don’t have enough police. (And no CCW permits but that’s another topic.)
- Criminals in Oakland are better armed than the police — AK-47 automatic rifles, AR-15s (“civilian” M-16 assault rifles), the usual 9 millies, Tec-9s with 30 round clips. Police have what, .40 10-round pistols? Pepper spray? (Does anyone still USE pepper spray against anything besides aggressive… dogs?)
These are my experiences:
* I’ve been assaulted in Oakland. Case still open. My friends have been mugged and or assaulted and sent to ER with skull fractures (2007~2010). One of my friends was attacked for her wallet – and she was visibly pregnant. (2009; OPD got the perp that time.) Young men have jumped in and out of my backyard attempting to steal bicycles. And those of my neighbors (2006).
* I’ve witnessed a drive-by shooting in front of the duplex I rented in Temescal. (December 2008) I went over to check out the victims (two young black men in a Buick) afterwards. They tried to get away but slammed their Buick into about 10 cars in the neighborhood. Not so great.
You have your own experiences. People would ride public transit and walk about more if it were safe to. We could ditch our car-based failure society more quickly if the city were safer. We could have more stores open late. We could have a better Oakland — bowling alleys, better night life experiences, less stress — with a strong police force.
This city desperately needs a real police force. If you agree, please donate $10, $50 or more to the OPF today. If you want to live without police and really believe “all men are created equal”, there are no such things as thieves or psycopaths and that we don’t need security, please move to Mexico, Russia, Argentina, Nigeria, South Africa or Pelican Bay state prison.
Donating now is cheaper than donating later. Problems that fester always cost more to fix later. We all know this.
Last call! Donate to the Oakland Police Foundation right now, and I’ll give you a “free” ride in my pedicab when I’m out and about. (Email me your name + amount. I’ll verify with OPF.) Just for standing behind the people we entrust to protect us. And yes we are all the watchmen’s watchers, too.
If you Believe in Oakland, here’s your chance to put your money where your mouth is! Donate to OPF now.
ps: Yes I know “police” are not the entire answer. Yes we have many problems historically and currently as a society. Anarchy is not better however. Coddling lazy thieves and aggressive violent people is not justice. Would you stay in Oakland, raise a family here, or jog around Lake Merritt if we had no police? For real? Police are humans too – they make mistakes – and we as a society agree to this because we are all human, and we agree that we need policing.
pps: People doing criminal behavior at all levels need punishment. Jails are not the answer – these are criminal colleges, unproductive, nothing is contributed back to society, and it costs a lot of treasure to run the damn things. They’re good for temporary holding of criminals. But ultimately, psychopaths must either change and contribute back to society, or be disposed of on the spot. They are a net drain on society.
ppps: Thievery is one of the world’s oldest occupations. It’s easier to steal from others than do work yourself. Thieves and other criminals should PAY BACK to society what they’ve taken from it. In sweat and hard labor, contribute. Criminals should not be coddled in prisons – it is NOT rehabilitative for the most part.
pppps: There are no simple solutions to reducing crime. Part of the reason? It’s not profitable to certain groups of people.