Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Tuesday Must Read: OPD Embraces Community Policing; Support for Gay Marriage Reaches Record Levels

By Robert Gammon
Tue, Mar 19, 2013 at 9:48 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. The Oakland Police Department launched a reorganization plan that will allow it to re-embrace community policing strategies, increase police accountability, and give residents a stronger voice on public safety issues. The Chron and Trib report that Police Chief Howard Jordan decided to divide the city into five geographic areas and hold the commanders of those areas responsible for crime trends in their regions. The plan also will allow officers to work more closely with community and neighborhood groups to tailor policing strategies for their areas. The department had previously tried a version of geographic policing, but then abandoned it under then-Chief Anthony Batts.

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2. Support for same-sex marriage has reached historic levels nationwide, with 58 percent of Americans now saying that they approve of allowing gay and lesbian couples to get married, according to a new Washington Post-ABC News poll. The poll results mark a steep turnaround from 2006 when 58 percent of Americans said they opposed gay marriage. The poll findings also coincided with an announcement yesterday by Hilary Clinton, the former secretary of state, that she now backs same-sex marriage as well. Both Democrats and Independents strongly support gay marriage, but Republicans continue to oppose it.

3. A new report commissioned by the Republican Party revealed that voters view the GOP as being “narrow-minded,” “out-of-touch,” and dominated by “stuffy old men.” Tea Party groups and conservative pundits immediately denounced the report.

4. A new study reveals a huge gender gap for immigrant visas in the United States, with more than 70 percent of special visas going to men in 2011, the Bay Area News Group reports.

5. Two former high-ranking CalPERS officials were indicted by a federal grand jury on fraud and conspiracy charges for their roles in an alleged scheme to steer pension fund investments to Wall Street firms in exchange for payoffs, the LA Times$ reports.

6. Berkeley School Board President Leah Wilson resigned after being appointed the executive officer of Alameda County Superior Court, Berkeleyside reports. Wilson said she made the move to avoid conflicts of interest. The school board is expected to appoint a replacement for Wilson.

7. And a decade-long ban on lead fishing tackle has produced sterling results at Quarry Lakes in Fremont, with the lakes now being among the cleanest bodies of water in the region, the Chron reports.

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