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Comment Archives: stories: News & Opinion: Opinion

Re: “Why Private Security Patrols Are Not the Answer

Thank you for this interesting discussion. I'd like to add to anyone who's still reading this that, if there are going to be security guards hired by neighborhood associations, they should really be in uniforms and have some kind of signs on their patrol cars.

Unmarked private patrols are, at least as far as my peace of mind is concerned, worse than nothing. I live a few blocks away from where Larry Ward was shot by an SV3 guard, and I understand that this is not an issue that's easy to discuss, but having various SUVs with tinted windows following me at a distance when I go for a walk doesn't contribute to a sense of safety in the community. I hope that these cars belong to paid security guards, but without clearly marked patrol vehicles, it's impossible to distinguish the behavior of a vigilant observe-and-report type from the behavior of an aspiring rapist.

To be fair to SV3, they do clearly mark their cars, and I very much appreciate that. If the theory is that the obvious presence of security is a deterrent, it just makes sense to make that presence as obvious as possible, and also obeying local laws regarding security guards making their identity clear.

It seems clear that there's a certain defensiveness and secretive attitude on the part of the neighbors who are taking these steps, perhaps because they anticipate a negative response from our more outrage-prone fellow Oaklanders? I've had a lot of trouble getting anyone to be candid or direct about who's hiring, paying, and overseeing these guards, even after speaking directly with several such security officers (in Brentwood, the Dimond, and Temescal, among other neighborhoods.)

It's tempting to circle the wagons when one feels under siege, but furtiveness and secrecy are the enemies of public trust and civil society... Come on, HOAs and neighborhood watches: take a stand in the name of transparency and give your employees permission to disclose basic facts like who pays them, and for what. In the absence of transparency, people will tend to assume the worst.

Posted by Claire Bresnahan on 02/02/2016 at 2:13 PM

Re: “Why Private Security Patrols Are Not the Answer

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Posted by Sean Torres on 12/09/2015 at 3:36 AM

Re: “Why Private Security Patrols Are Not the Answer

These guidelines represent a logical and sensible approach to the deployment of security patrols. Local regulations can also limit the use of armed personnel, for example off West Africa, so security patrols can never be a universal answer to.

Posted by Jayavarshani on 08/12/2015 at 3:22 AM

Re: “It's Time for Civilian Oversight of OPD

There are many good reasons to support this very modest ballot proposal, that won't cost the city any additional overhead costs, most of which were given in the article.

To me a sufficient reason to get this on the ballot and approve the amendment is to start the work to gain the "hearts and minds" of many residents who won't cooperate with OPD because they don't trust them to police them fairly, let alone to protect them if they do cooperate. (as in snitches and stiches)

As much as affluent likely to vote voters demand more police, the City will not have the money to hire substantially higher number of police without ignoring looming retirement and infrastructure debts; cutting vital services; or competing with OUSD for yet another much higher parcel tax.

Oakland can't hire enough police or buy enough surveillance equipment to compensate for the lack of cooperation from residents.

OPD has to break out from its feeble attempts to occupy the many "hot spots" of Oakland and instead earn the trust of residents.

Only then can OPD efficiently deter crime before it happens and improve it's abysmal investigation closure rate.

4 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Leonard Raphael on 06/27/2014 at 1:02 AM

Re: “It's Time for Civilian Oversight of OPD

Well Mr. Powers, I don't know if we know each other but based on your comment, some one has given you some very false information about me. OPD fabricated, lied, and conspired a case against me and wrongly seperated me from my earned employment! There is not ONE piece of evidence of theft OR untrulthfullness on my part. Just the opposite, I was fired because I REFUSED to author an untruthful Police Report at the order of my then supervisor Sgt. Delgadillio, amoung other things.

I challange you or ANYONE else to discuss this item in ANY open public forum, I'll even let you choose the place. Don't throw stones and hide your hand. Let's step into the light together!!!

3 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Robert Oliver on 06/26/2014 at 11:28 AM

Re: “It's Time for Civilian Oversight of OPD

This comment was deleted because it violates our website's Terms Of Use. People who repeatedly violate our policies will lose their right to post comments. You can read our entire Terms Of Use here.

7 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Editor on 06/25/2014 at 7:50 PM

Re: “Trigonometry Or Empathy?

"By sending your children to your neighborhood public school, you are helping them by giving them the chance to develop empathy and navigational skills."

Gee and all this time I thought by sending your children to public school, you were simultaneously dooming them to limited post-high school options while silently affirming the stupidity of Prop. 13 where most folks who have lived in the Bay for 15 years or longer are simply not contributing their fare share to public education.

1 like, 3 dislikes
Posted by Bob Mulrooney on 06/16/2014 at 3:28 PM

Re: “Trigonometry Or Empathy?

I was raised in a small town in Montana in the 70's. I did not notice it at the time, but there was a black girl in my class and an Hispanic boy. It wasn't until years later that I realized this. We all loved playing together and we did not even know what prejudice was (let alone racism).

If you look at the diversity and empathy, I do not see how there is any connection. Diversity is not necessary to empathy. When I was a kid, we had empathy without noticing the differences between us.

Of course, we were all poor. So, I suppose our racial diversity was greater than our class diversity. Maybe the author is using race as a proxy for class. Now, class is where people could use more empathy, and not just from one side.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Gary Baker on 06/13/2014 at 10:58 PM

Re: “Trigonometry Or Empathy?

Kevin, alas, no. Thanks to various machinations over the years, the state pays schools for butts in seats. (The taxpaying parents of private school kids are paying into that fund just as much as people who send their kids there.) Not whether the brains attached to those butts are learning anything. This is called ADA (average daily attendance) and is a source of institutional obsession, including the all-important obsession with making sure absences are "excused" because then the school gets paid. The whole debacle has resulted in a whole lot of energy being put into confining kids who don't want to learn, and letting them wreak havoc with those who do.

2 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Mary Eisenhart on 06/13/2014 at 8:51 AM

Re: “Trigonometry Or Empathy?

This comment was removed because it violates our policy against anonymous comments. It will be reposted if the commenter chooses to use his or her real name.

Posted by Editor on 06/13/2014 at 8:19 AM

Re: “Trigonometry Or Empathy?

Doesn't more kids in private school mean more dollars per student available in the public school system? If so, shouldn't we encourage those that can afford it to send their kids to private? BTW I think that kids in private can be just as empathetic as those in public.

3 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Kevin Long on 06/12/2014 at 9:13 AM

Re: “Trigonometry Or Empathy?

Kudos to Ms. Schafer for reporting her experience and perspective. In my experience, Tech has some excellent teachers and it is indeed possible to get a great education there. It would be even better if the classroom behavior she describes were effectively eliminated; it is not a valuable experience to see one's peers get away with that nonsense and be able to adversely affect your education that way.

5 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Mary Eisenhart on 06/12/2014 at 9:02 AM

Re: “Trigonometry Or Empathy?

I am tired of being lectured by school board members that if I don't submit my child to the public school system, I am somehow creating a scenario where "everyone loses".
Maybe they could demonstrate their commitment to public schooling by driving their kids from the North Pole of Oakland to one of the schools that are less Euro-American? You know; one of the schools where the PTA doesn't raise multiple thousands of dollars to supplement the curriculum.
Where is the evidence that Oakland Public Schools are improving significantly?
Is it that white parents are willing to send their kids to Tech?

5 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by roberttownsenddc346c on 06/12/2014 at 8:01 AM

Re: “A's Fans Caught in Middle, Again

Pity the taxpayer. To be an A's fan you can live here or not, you can go to the games or not; but as an Alemeda county resident and or an Oakland resident we're stuck with whatever bad deal is imposed. Why should this be any different than the bad Raiders deal, the $5million dispute described above, the Warriors deal that may cost $62 million, the $2Billion pension/healthcare shortfall, the OPD settlement deals, the Goldman Sachs swap deal.

7 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Jeff Diver on 05/01/2014 at 1:10 PM

Re: “A's Fans Caught in Middle, Again

Actually Mr. Ferrier, I am too young for physical newspapers. I use news websites like the one we're on now to save trees. "Ton of leverage", you got be kidding. Must be fantasy land with two sites for a stadium and imaginery funding from Dubai prince. =)

I like the current Oakland Coliseum as it is, convenient near BART, even though its got plumbing issues...but even new big stadiums would have some structual shortfalls inherent in upkeep with Earthquakes, natural wind and water damage.

2 likes, 2 dislikes
Posted by Peter Yuan Liu on 04/30/2014 at 4:03 PM

Re: “A's Fans Caught in Middle, Again

Actually Mr. Liu, the city has a Tom of leverage. The A's have been legally blocked from leaving Oakland. And local business people have proposed viable strategies to build stadiums on two different sites. The city has never been in a better position to get the A's to stay.

Before you comment on an issue you obviously don't understand, pick up a newspaper.

4 likes, 10 dislikes
Posted by Rob Ferrier on 04/30/2014 at 8:32 AM

Re: “A's Fans Caught in Middle, Again

The city does not have any leverage at this point. If they decide to move elsewhere, it is their choice. However, when I am mayor of this city, under the Community Empowered Safety Plan, I will turn Oakland into an economic powerhouse that rivals the Hong Kong of China. At that point, sport teams from the west coast of the United States will be begging to play here at the "model city" and they will pay a premium to the city for that honor. Until then, if there are no teams staying, our stadium will be played by local high schools and community colleges.

9 likes, 7 dislikes
Posted by Peter Yuan Liu on 04/29/2014 at 9:30 PM

Re: “Getting Smart About Public Safety

Kaplan is nothing more than a political panderer.

Did you know she has threatened to cut the police force further if Oakland residents do not renew the Measure Y taxes? Mind you, this comes after the fact that Oakland residents paid Measure Y taxes and yet, the City Council still cut the police force while these taxes were being collected. Kaplan had absolutely no right to make those threats!

11 likes, 3 dislikes
Posted by John Blankenship on 04/24/2014 at 6:47 PM

Re: “Getting Smart About Public Safety

This piece of writing is a perfect example of why Oakland’s electeds are completely over their heads regarding how to manage Oakland’s resources and to meet our needs for better public safety.

Kaplan is right on one matter--Oakland cops haven’t been used well to control crowds and the costs of this are unaffordable.

Kaplan’s approach is utterly misguided and is typical of our governmental dysfunction. It’s misguided because it looks at only one aspect of a complex series of problems, thus any resulting policymaking is virtually guaranteed not to solve the problem at hand and to cause further problems.

Oakland’s police/public safety/finance problems all have to do with our lack of a comprehensive plan to deal with them and no specific official or agency with the responsibility to carry such a plan to fruition.

Rather than looking at one little aspect--crowd control failures and costs, we need to create a public safety plan which looks at what resources we have, what resources are needed and needs to set specific priorities and goals for moving forward. We also need a competent agency to manage such a plan and all related resources--comprehensively, day-to-day. Most cities which do this successfully have a police commission and/or commissioner--someone who knows how to run a cop shop efficiently and ethically.

7 likes, 1 dislike
Posted by Michele Ocla on 04/24/2014 at 2:24 PM

Re: “Getting Smart About Public Safety

I am the World's Smartest Leader. God tells me to spread the Community Empowered Safety Plan to the world and an army of the righteous will spring forth to bring World Peace to Earth. No kidding.

20 likes, 4 dislikes
Posted by Peter Yuan Liu on 04/23/2014 at 4:43 PM

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