Monday, January 7, 2013

Monday Must Read: Oakland Cops’ Union Doesn’t Want Help from Sheriff; Oakland Councilmembers Try to Save Third Police Academy

by Robert Gammon
Mon, Jan 7, 2013 at 9:40 AM

Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Even though Oakland is in the midst of a violent crime wave, the city’s police union says it doesn’t want help from the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, the Trib reported. Oakland councilmembers Libby Schaaf and Larry Reid are pushing a plan to bring in sheriff’s deputies to help the understaffed police department until OPD can complete police academies and hire new officers. But the police union, which has long had a contentious relationship with Alameda County Sheriff’s Office, apparently doesn’t want to work with sheriff’s deputies on city streets. Schaaf and Reid, however, are moving forward with their plan.

Schaaf
  • Schaaf
2. Schaaf and Reid, meanwhile, are also sponsoring a plan to use the recent uptick in city revenues to pay for a third police academy this year, the Trib reported. The department is down to just 613 officers, and the city had planned to launch a third academy in June 2013, but Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to kill redevelopment funding last year delayed the city’s proposal. But now that city revenues are rising as the economy continues to recover, Schaaf and Reid say Oakland should finance a third academy, beginning in September.

3. Three Oakland medical marijuana dispensaries that received permits from the city last year have yet to open because landlords won’t rent to them — out of fear of the federal crackdown, the Chron reported. Landlords in Oakland are particularly wary because of attempts by US Attorney Melinda Haag to seize the property leased by Harborside Health Center, a large medical cannabis dispensary in the city. Haag is trying to force the closure of Harborside through federal asset forfeiture law — while also sending a chill through Oakland’s medical cannabis community.

4. The financial scandal involving the state parks department turned out to be not as bad as originally thought. The amount of money that parks officials squirreled away turned out to be $20 million rather than the original estimate of $54 million, the Mercury News reported. According to a state probe, the financial scandal began in the 1990s as an accounting error, but then top parks officials repeatedly failed to inform the governor’s office after discovering the problem.

5. And Gary Bell, who was elected to the Richmond City Council, cannot be sworn into office this week as planned because he remains in a coma, the CoCo Times reports. Bell became seriously ill after the election and his ability to take office remains in doubt. Richmond progressives want progressive candidate Eduardo Martinez, who finished closely behind Bell in the balloting, to take Bell’s place on the council.

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