Oakland Unified School District votes to eliminate its police department

Bay Area

OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Oakland Board of Educators voted Wednesday to eliminate its police department.

A virtual meeting was held Wednesday night on whether the city’s school district would eliminate the Oakland schools police department.

There’s a number of items on the agenda but there were a lot of public comment from teachers and parents asking the board to speed up the process.

“This is a historic moment, letting go of the issue of law enforcement that has oppressed our communities for centuries is critically important.”

“This is not just based on one person doing something, this is based on the whole unit because I believe there are other resources where the money can go to.”

Activists and parents called on the Oakland Unified School District to redirect money spent on police into social services for students.

Wednesday night, board of educators held a virtual meeting discussing the proposal called the George Floyd Resolution – calling to eliminate the district’s police department.

In the wake of Floyd’s death, districts are looking to join the police-free schools movement.

The district proposed the resolution earlier this month.

KRONon spoke to OUSD Police Chief Jeff Godown about who would answer the calls for help in place of campus police.

“Those calls are still going to be answered and if somebody from the school picks up the phone and dials 911 like we do now, the only difference is my office is not going to respond, OPD is going to respond,” Godown said.

Superintendent Kyla Johnson-Trammel says the district will have to change practices.

“It will require an ongoing commitment of all OUSD educators, certificated staff, classified staff, both its school sites and central offices working hand in hand working on partnerships with students and families,” Johnson-Trammel said.

The district wants OUSD police gone by the end of the year.

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