Monday, April 6, 2009

Livin la vida local

As you all know, crime continues to play a large part in the drama called Oakland.

Four officers down.

More black on black violence.

A minimum of 9 murders in the last 30 days.

Is the US falling apart at the seams with more force these days?

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Oakland City "CEO" guilty of police department interference

Deborah Edgerly, O.C. CEO

O.C. doesn't mean Orange County. It means Oakland Criminal.

Because that's who we have as City Administrator, aka Chief Executive Officer. A City CEO who barges into a police/SWAT action-in-progress and threatens POLICE OFFICERS that she will whine to Internal Affairs about them. All because her nephew is implicated as a gang member and has a gun in his car on the front seat.

Her nephew sounds like a normal law-abiding citizen. Right!

And in our very own Bush/Enron/Worldcomm, we let the CEO (Deborah Edgerly) keep the job all through end of July. That is super inappropriate. And if that's not corrupt enough, she also keeps her full benefits and 90% of salary for life, as a golden parachute. What are Oakland taxpayers made out of--PLATINUM??


Send her away immediately and her inept relatives on the city payroll too! We read that Edgerly's extended family is on the city taxpayer payroll as all manner of maintenance technicians, animal control shelter director, police cadet, who knows, maybe even in "criminal whitewashing". Rather, criminal investigations. I wouldn't be surprised.

Why is city council so quiet on this??


And here's an Oakland Homicide Memorials blog. Up to date all the way through December last year, and now discontinued. (Too much work and gas costs too much, apparently.)

How can Councilwoman Jean Quan (oakland hills rep) complain that makeshift memorials cause more (retaliatory) crime? There's a loose screw somewhere. More like, "if we pretend these killings don't happen, I DON'T HAVE TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT THEM."

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

SF Chronicle Miscalculates the Math

What is Demian Bulwa smoking?

"Violent crime in the Bay Area's biggest cities dipped in 2007 after two years of increases..."


"the Bay Area's big cities reported a total of 358 slayings in 2007, up from 353 in the year before"

Hm... that's rich. You do the math.

Yet, the last point makes sense.

"Monday's FBI report showed that Oakland had the highest per-capita violent crime rate among big California cities last year. For property crime, Berkeley was on top."

OAKLAND. We're number one!

Waste of money, mockery of law

OPD wasted $15,000 of our property tax dollars (paid directly and through rent) for louder Harley Davidson motorcycle mufflers?

Who's dumb idea was this?

Monday, April 14, 2008

Why Oakland is "All Tuckered Out"

To hear it from ordinary citizens, depending on who's flapping their lips, you'd think our police department is either
-corrupt, working in hand with fbi to terrorize eco-activists (judi berri) and poor black victims
-not sensitive to ethnic cultural groups (china town, black neighborhoods)
-short staffed by 50% (Charles Pine and other city council candidates)

None of these are completely true.

1. Um, violent crime is up 50% in the last 3 years, since Chief Tucker took over the post of Chief of Police for Oakland, as compared to the previous five years before the OPD leadership changed. This has not happened in San Franciso, Union City, Richmond(!), or most other CA cities (source: see email below). So yes, there is dysfunction "somewhere" at OPD. As we look to troubled childrens' parents as the source of their acting out in class for attention, we need look no further than the chain of OPD command... and go straight to the top! Guess who's there?

2. Yes, police are corrupt if our banking and business "Leaders" (aka got to the top by climbing on the backs of others, cheating, making backroom deals, lobbying with money like PG&E and developers do) are corrupt. Which the latter largely are. For example, Clinton Killian. What a cheapskate! Womanizing?--okay, but cheapskate employer? Please. So yes, every affinity group or person will want to take their "cut" or slice of the cake. Hello, middleman!

3: Not sensitive to cultural groups, complain Chinatown leaders and a Berkeley Daily Planet columnist. Hey, what about following basic laws? But yes, sensitivity and a diverse work force would help. However, having 100% ethnic police in each enclave brings us to the post-Yugoslavia or "free tibet for CIA/US military nukes pointed at China" type ethnic/religious strife. We all want to be the MELTING POT right? There has to be balance. I don't know what the OPD staff ethnicity ratio is. Maybe someone can enlighten me? Counting the last names on is probably not the greatest idea, but maybe it'll help shed some light...

4: As A Better Oakland notes recently, we are "in the middle of the pack" in comparing our ratio of police staff to total city residents. That is, Pine is exaggerating the number of police we need, and that this would be the end-all be-all solution, aped by Marcus Johnson's "1075 officers" petition.

Now, here is a retired OPD personnel's scathing critique of Police Chief Wayne Tucker (OPD) anda what should be changed ASAP. Ask questions.


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Subject: [OPD] OPD retiree can speaks out, thank goodness!

*The Harbinger of Daily Crime Reports*

*[April 1, 2008]*

OPD's Daily Crime Reports are not insider information. Anyone
can ask for a copy. The latest copy, March 31, 2008, is very telling, in
that it confirms for the third year in a row the new paradigm of intolerable
violence in Oakland. Collectively, Murders, Aggravated Assaults, Rapes, and
Robberies are up for the third year in a row to levels unparalleled for
their escalation. To appreciate this is first to review the numbers, second
to analyze them in proper context, and third to make serious adjustments.

Reviewing the Numbers:

Everyone should know by now that Homicides are up to 36, not the 35 mentioned in the current daily Crime Report. Nevertheless, the 35 mentioned contain the annotation that this frequency is "Average" for the current 21 day period. That this number is more than half, in the first quarter of the year, than the 60 we had all year in 1999 is not mentioned. That this number is representative of an average of 139 Murders for the current three year period and 50% higher than for the five years prior to the current OPD leadership is not mentioned either. Sadly, no number of Homicides should ever be listed as "average."

1,829 citizens were Robbed in Oakland this year thus far, 2%
more than last year, and 60% more than the average of five years under Chief
Word prior to the current administration. Car Jackings are particularly
horrendous because an automobile taken by force is a repugnant personal
violation tantamount to being robbed in one's own home. Unbelievably, 85
have occurred thus far this year, up 10% from the frightening 77 last year.

Aggravated Assaults often miss being Homicides by merely an
artery. They are up 7% from last year and have already hit 900 in these
first three months. Oakland has 275% Aggravated Assaults compared with New
Yorkers and 147% that of nearby Richmond. Oakland has about 2 ½ times more
Aggravated Assaults per citizen than San Francisco.

Overall, Violent Crimes are up again this year. Philadelphia's
Police Chief is operating under a state of emergency, and Oakland has +29%
more Murders, +18% more Rapes, +18% more Robberies, and +29% more Aggravated
Assaults per citizen – and climbing. Compared with Oakland Police Chief
Word's last year in office, 2004, the current administration has seen
Murders rise +77%, Rapes +18%, Robberies +63%, and Aggravated Assaults +40%.
The comparisons generally are for 2006, Chief Tucker's second year in
office, because that's the latest available for the Uniform Crime
reports. However,
the Oakland perspectives are up to the immediate date. Of particular note
is that the past three years have been consistent and increasing from the
high levels established in 2006.

Analyzing the Numbers:

It is fairly evident to determine that Violent Crimes indeed
elevated to crisis proportions during the past three years. They were
already too high previously, but the question has to be asked… "Are we
becoming inoculated to the severity?" These essays don't seem to strike
notes of alarm. Oakland is plodding ahead as with the inertia of stone and
the clarity of fog.

There is nothing in the demographics of Oakland to suggest such
a paradigm escalation of Violent Crimes. Unemployment, poverty, education,
income, and other factors reported by the Census Bureau have experienced
relatively little change from 2000 to 2006. Perhaps a note, if only to
demonstrate some significant demographic change, is that Whites increased
from 125.013 (31.3% of the population) to 128,672 (34.1%). Black or African
American decreased from 142,460 in 2000 (35.7%) to 114,342 (30.3%). The
Hispanic and Latino population increased from 87,467 (21.9%) to 97,738
(25.9%). The Asian population has remained relatively stable. Perhaps
something to consider is the change in languages spoken in the home for
people over 5 years of age. In 2000, 234,737 people spoke English (63.2%),
whereas in 2006 that number dropped to 203,594 (58.6%). Distressing, and
hopefully wrong, is the Census Bureau's "estimate" of Oakland's population
of 377,256 (+/- 13,173), down from the 2000 Census of 399,477.

In terms of City engagement and resources expended to reduce
violence through outreach and other programs, there have been considerable
increases in such efforts and expenditures. Measure Y funds have been
utilized since early 2005 to underscore the priorities. One would expect to
see some fruits from these well-meaning applications during the past three
years. In the worst case, they certainly would not have added to the new
paradigm of Violent Crimes that were actually experienced.

That leaves the Police Department to be analyzed in the context
of the high Violent Crime numbers. Whether the Negotiated Settlement
Agreement (NSA) had any deleterious effect on crime rates by lowering the
engagement of officers, as is commonly asserted, is up to conjecture. It is
unlikely the direct cause, however, because as stated in another essay,
private and public enterprises elsewhere have remained profitable, and even
increased in effectiveness, after much more onerous regulations,
constraints, prescriptions and proscriptions that have challenged their
missions. More likely, if the NSA has been a negative force, it has been
the fault of the administration for not efficiently melding the NSA into
operations and results. Wayne Tucker has received high praise for his NSA
efforts, and this has probably resulted in a gracious tolerance for the lack
of results against crime.

In terms of the Police Department, it is most striking for its
change in leadership at the beginning of the escalation of Violent Crimes a
little more than three years ago. A change in leadership always brings, and
should bring, a change in priorities, philosophy, management style, and
operations. The current leadership has sought to assert itself in all of
these areas in ways that collectively must be held responsible for the
outcome. Whereas the Violent Crime rate had actually been declining in the
two last years of the Word administration, the first two full years of the
Tucker administration, and well into the third year, have found a huge jump
in Violent Crimes that cannot be explained relative to the opposite
experiences of other police agencies generally in California and nationally.

It was postulated in another essay that Wayne Tucker was ill
equipped with experience, knowledge, or management skill sets to address
Oakland's crime issues. What was not mentioned were a few other
observations generally regarded by others who work within the OPD. It is
felt that the current Chief relies heavily on the direction and control of
the City Administrator's Office [blind leading the blind?]. There are many
examples to highlight this, including the Vision Statement and White Paper
ostensibly written by the Chief, but reported actually to have been written
out of the City Administrator's Office. This would appear consistent with a
dramatic departure from all previous Chiefs who had their own styles for
placating City Hall while nevertheless exerting their personal direction
over the Police Department. Chief Word (6 years), Chief Hart (19 years),
and Chief Gain (6 years), were all consulted over the past three years by
this author. Each was appointed in some measure to be a change agent for
the evolution of OPD. Each made his way through the ranks, graduating from
the OPD Academy and having worked in most aspects of the OPD. Each had a
definably different management style. Each had comments concerning the
"interference" from City Hall. In terms of results, each either suffered or
enjoyed the general trends and directions of crime. None had a paradigm
escalation of Violent Crimes out of sorts with the trends.

A common note is that none blamed their predecessors, the OPOA,
the lack of manpower, the lack of resources, or any other factor as any
reason for not being able to do their jobs. While each would have preferred
more resources and fewer constraints, each seemed to develop a singularly
individual style to do the best they could under any circumstances. In
other words, their records are not laced with excuses. Their
accomplishments are thus credited or debited by the best score available –
the crime rates relative to general trends. Whether it was Wayne Tucker or
the City Administrator's office, the past three years have perhaps seen more
battle with the OPOA and the police membership than against crime. It has
been the same OPOA during the past 40 years, with essentially the same
powers under their Memorandums of Understanding and the City Charter, as
always. It was discovered that there were no management rights taken by the
OPOA from the Chief of Police going back at least to 1998. If anything, the
labor statutes have been responsible for giving more teeth to any labor
group in any public or private enterprise, and all must cope.

But it wasn't the OPOA alone that was responsible for the lack
of results during the past three years, to hear Wayne Tucker speak of the
OPD's inability to address Violent Crimes. Relentlessly, he has campaigned
that it was also the fault of a lack of manpower. He got the backing,
benign as it is, from the Mayor's Office and the City Council to raid the
Measure Y funds to stem an attrition problem that was proven not to exist. He
makes a good impression and one wants to believe everything he states,
regardless of the unsubstantiated generalities and lack of detailed
information. After all, he is the subject matter expert assumed to have the
gravitas of the highest law enforcement office in the City. On the
contrary, none of the previous Chiefs had more manpower, and in fact they
had much less. They had fewer police officers to begin with. None had the
backing of a City Administration that afforded Wayne Tucker $28,000,000
dollars of overtime funds to put to work. Chief Word recalls pulling teeth
to get $12,000,000 authorized for overtime, but he reduced crime noticeably.
Not only did Chief Tucker have the overtime equivalent of 200 full time
police officers working for him, he also had three dozen experienced police
retiree Annuitants. Tucker had the boon of Measure Y that gave him, had he
utilized it properly, the benefit of 63 more officers funded by the

Therefore, neither the OPOA nor the lack of manpower were
legitimate excuses for the dismal increases in Violent Crimes. So, let's
focus on leadership and management style for a moment. Chief Tucker is well
known around OPD for having said that "morale doesn't matter." However, job
satisfaction does, and by all accounts it is dismally low. He also has
never had any experience in fielding police officers in an urban setting,
and he has been the first Chief ever to buy the notion that the Patrol
Division and the Beat system are no longer the "Backbone of the Department."
This is indeed a major departure. Another often quoted tenet of Chief
Tucker is to castigate "old fashioned practices." Whole units of OPD were
abandoned or thrown out wholesale.

Perhaps most debilitating for everyone concerned was his
abandonment of Planning and Research. Since then, there has been no
credible, relevant or timely information available for anyone. It is as if
a body was dropped in a snake pit blindfolded and with ear muffs.

Chief Word spoke of it recently, and the other Chiefs certainly
grasped it as a given, when he mentioned that in the last two years of his
term he found "balance" to be the key. When resources are limited, as they
always will be in any enterprise, one must balance the resources available.
Chief Tucker abandoned Beat Health, a profitable six person operation
responsible for cleaning up an entire city for over a decade, a unit
endorsed and sponsored by the community organization OCO, a unit heralded
around the country and interviewed many times on national television and
radio, as it was simply discarded in favor of promoting an idea out of
balance to the organization. It was felt that 57 PSO's could do the same
job better, when in fact they haven't achieved 2% of what the six man Beat
Health program did. Another abandonment was the Jail, in favor of having
OPD rely solely on the Sheriff's facilities. This took away the third
feature heralded by Chief Bratton (after morale and information) as success
factors – the ability of investigators to interrogate and debrief arrestees
not only for immediate crimes but also a wealth of usable information [not
to mention that the economics were faulty, the inordinate time now for
officers transporting away from their beats, and the rapid release of
citizens who were merely detained].

The most glaring example of imbalance is the Chief's full court
press with Area Command and Crime Reduction Teams (CRT's), at the cost of
denuding and subordinating more blanketing efforts. Both have laudable
potential, but they are huge diversions from a more comprehensive and
holistic game plan. The communities, their leaders and activists, "love"
the CRT's, and this is perplexing considering the paradigm increase in
Violent Crimes. Except, that for the first time people in the communities
got the personalized attention of the Strategic Area Commanders. So, while
CRT's should be reduced to an effective balance in addressing "hot spots,"
the benefits of having command personnel available and answerable in the
field must be continued. [Chief Tucker has announced to the Council and
Committees that he will increase CRT's to 7 Squads of 8 officers each.]

It wasn't only the Beats that were subordinated, but also the
traditionally revered Criminal Investigation Division. Never have so few
investigators been allocated, nor so many lower ranked officers been
assigned in C.I.D. One can go through every unit of the Department and see
that Chief Tucker was seriously intent on destroying every vestige of old
fashioned practices. Unfortunately, the new practices have been seriously

There should be at least one more mention [restraining the
volumes that could be discussed] about the inefficiencies, disconnections,
and dysfunction at OPD. Chief Tucker's insistence on a peculiar version of
12-hour shifts called 2-2-3-2-2-3 appears to be the most disruptive event
perhaps in OPD's entire history. There was no prior planning process, but
merely a pronouncement that it would take place, followed by an admitted
one-sided management report endorsed only by two command officers – one of
whom was since promoted to Deputy Chief and the other to Captain. There are
very enlightening narratives from both, and from another Deputy Chief who
was "demoted." In an objective survey, 428 cops opposed the plan (against
11 who supported it) being forced upon them, and many offered reasons,
alternatives, and recommendations. It has been in place since January 12,
and it is a common mantra to hear officers say, "Today is my Monday, and
tomorrow is my Friday." The Chief promised that the plan would be liked by
the membership, reduce overtime, place more officers on the streets, enhance
team efforts, and reduce violent crimes. He wants two years to "try it
out." There is no articulated plan, but merely an explanation of how it is
anticipated to work – called by the Chief as a "work in progress." There
are no designed metrics or measurements contemplated. It is failing in all

Making Serious Adjustments:

The first action is too obvious to mention. From there, the
Department must recover and get itself together. It can reduce crime
dramatically, and at less cost in dollars and manpower. The steps, taken
concurrently, are to motivate the work force, act on real information, and
develop measurable strategies. The pillars of neighborhood policing (Beats)
and relentless follow-up (Investigations) must be restored.

1. Acknowledge a Crisis Crime Situation.
2. Establish the Office of Police Management and Budget.
3. Move the best personnel into the most suitable assignments.
4. Establish the integrity of neighborhood Beat assignments and
Problem Solving Officers.
5. Differentiate the officers who respond to calls for service (911)
from PSO officers who are dedicated to solving neighborhood problems.
6. Place the three deputy Chiefs and Assistant Chief, each in charge
of the entire Department during each of three eight-hour shifts 24/7.
The Assistant Chief is in charge of the entire City during the day,
and the third Deputy Chief is the relief Commander. The Chief of
Police is the overall commander. Insist on "hands-on" and "management
by walking around."
7. Immediately place *all* officers, until further notice, into a five
day work week mode of ten hours each day. This may be either five
eight-hour days or four ten-hour days, with overtime being voluntary but
strongly encouraged. [overtime cost is estimated at about $7 million]
8. Insist that all officers work in the field and not spend time at
headquarters, including Sergeants, Lieutenants, and Captains. Intentional
and extensive overlaps are to be *in* the neighborhoods to afford
office hours for police/citizens, canvassing and follow-up, building
extensive contact networks, and so on.
9. Balance and reallocate personnel distribution and deployment with
measurable plans, police and civilian.
10. Triple the use of Annuitants and have them engaged extensively in
follow-ups for investigations.
11. Develop a detention system that is short of incarcerating and
processing detainees by the ACSO.
12. Evacuate the Eighth Floor.
13. Increase manpower on the job by management protocols that will
drastically reduce the 40% absentee factor and dramatically place the right
personnel at the critical tasks during overtime. This could literally
have the effect of adding hundreds of cops "on-the-job."
14. Develop software to keep our resources maximized. If airlines and
hotels can keep their seats and rooms filled during drastic changes in
demand and resources, we should be able to fill our Beats and staff our
15. Freeze all outside conferences, seminars, training, and junkets.
16. Conduct in-service training voluntarily at home and on the
Internet, with certifications for successful learning.
17. Become a service organization. Employ every opportunity to
experiment in this regard. Adopt from successful private businesses.
Learn from the companies rated most liked by customers and employees
alike. Examples include getting faxes of records into the
neighborhoods instead of having citizens line up on the third floor of the
police headquarters, calling citizens for feedback and input, volunteer
organization participation in police work and volunteer work by police
officers, adopting in house child-care, offering in-house food catering,
in-house concierge for Oakland events, etc, etc.

There are of course endless ways to improve an organization, and
above are only a few priorities to indicate direction. Lowering crime is
all about having an effective apparatus, and it is made so not by emulating
others but by tying it all together from the top and having it work from the


Saturday, April 12, 2008

All Tuckered Out

Chief Tucker is uninspiring. The HR team doesn't even think to use google adwords or craigslist consistently for recruiting purposes, until pushed by the city's own residents. The Dept needs help. Funds. Tech knowhow of the friendster/myspace generations.

Where is the Oakland Police Foundation? Totally MIA since inception.

Oakland's ghettos need high paying factory jobs to bootstrap themselves.

And all we have are more cheap asian imports, instead of local factory jobs, even as the dollar falls ever more into toilet paper territory. And more bankrupting wars, enriching only the "federal express" reserve LLC's elite yale/goldman sachs/bank of america/cia/jp morgan/offshore/tax-haven/drug running banking class.

I return. How does one start a recall of the current police chief? This would help us, locally.

So would everyone choosing to bank with local Oakland credit unions, instead of big tapeworm banks like BofA, Wells, WaMu (about to fail), Citi, etc. Admittedly, Bofa and Wells are involved in the east bay community thru various projects, but we need to strengthen our local and regional banking institutions first, not national, corporate, shareholder-first banks which splatter our freeways and cities with expensive billboard adverts.

Okay, so step one of recalling Chief TUcker is probably contacting your city council rep.

Dist 1: Brunner
Dist 3: Nadel

Get to it!

Wednesday, April 2, 2008

The interesting thing...

...about crime is that it started with the founding of our nation.

Some "founding fathers" were slaveholders.

The US grew through the Louisiana Purchase, yes. What does that mean... just transferring title to some vacant land?

Or did that mean the forced ethnic cleansing of America of its native Indians so white cracker settlers could settle down?

How odd.

Now, have you ever worked in a prison ministry? Met the so-called criminials incarcerated in American for-profit jails on trumped up marijuana charges?

The real criminals are the wealthy people of this country who leach off the rest of us.

The executives of Citibank, JP Morgan, Goldman Sachs, Blackwater, Corrections Corporation of America, ExxonMobil, Chevron.

The lowest income tax on the planet: US corporate tax rate.

We pay taxes on income: wages, and items we buy: sales tax. Nobody pays taxes on wealth. No wonder we are depending on $500 Billion to $1 Trillion per year in dirty money (from hard "illegal" drug sales) laundered through our largest banks to fund the US Government and Wall Street and thus our 401ks/mutual funds.

Wealth: held in large families with names like Vanderbilt, JP Morgan, Hilton, Gates, Buffet, Soros, Bush, etc.

Anything made illegal becomes VERY EXPENSIVE. See: Prohibition: liquor became a black market. And now we have the same with heroin from Afghanistan, crack from Columbia, etc.
The CIA according to the CIA's Inspector General in 1998 noted that the CIA brought drugs into the US to sell in inner cities, to funnel back into Iran-destabilization schemes.

Learn more about organized crime, real cost economics, financial market manipulation, how shit really works in the US and the world... altogether "Tapeworm Economics" of a centralized , imperial system.

Navigate the Falling Dollar
--video presentation by Catherine Austin Fitts

Money Matters
--blog by Elaine Supkis

Clusterfuck Nation
--blog by James Howard Kunstler

None of this is to refute Oakland's crying need for effective police--but more than this, Oakland's families need manufacturing jobs to pay for increasingly expensive food and energy and shelter, while this country exported nearly all its manufacturing jobs to cheap-labor countries over the past three decades. And now white collar jobs are being exported as well.

Good luck, Oakland.

Let's consume less. Invest in our community--small business loans, local production, arts and education.