OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – Cops are leaving Oakland Police Department in record numbers.
The police union blames the lack of support from the Oakland City Council as one of the primary reasons. The city council president disputes the characterization of their support for OPD.
Oakland police officers are leaving the department at an extraordinary rate.
According to an Oakland Police Officers’ Association pie chart, 86-cops parted ways with the department in 2021, 22 left law enforcement altogether, 27-retired.
The majority left OPD to work for other police agencies.
“I am just pleading for the council president and her colleagues to turn the ship around because at some point we will get to a situation where there aren’t any Oakland cops at the speed that we are losing them,” Officer Barry Donelan said.
The president of the Police Union, Officer Barry Donelan, has outlined in this letter to the city council president, a few immediate fixes he says the city council can take to stop officers from walking out the door.
“Just stop the rhetoric. It costs nothing. Don’t blame Oakland Police Officers for everything that ills Oakland. That’s what we see from the council on a regular basis. Second of all, the talk about us, stop taking mental health calls for a year and a half now. Let’s do it! Implement it. Make MACRO happen. Send those calls to the fire department. Finally, engage with us. This is the first correspondence that I have received from the council president. She has been there three years,” Donelan said.
“I did receive that letter. I have to say that I am deeply offended because I have said publically that I deeply value the sacrifices and commitment of the men and women who serve on our Oakland police department,” Oakland City Council President Nikki Fortunato Bas said.
Yet, still, officers are leaving at a rate Donelan says the additional police academies approved by the council won’t be able to replenish.
“No matter how many police academies the council sets up they will never be able to keep up with the levels of attrition,” Donelan said.
Above he says showing up to thank officers for their hard work is what’s missing the most.
“I asked them at Christmas to attend a shift change to just say thank you and happy holidays to your police officers and only one of the eight councilmembers did,” Donelan said.
That one was Councilmember Treva Reid.
“If we are not meeting with them, speaking with them, hearing from them, listening to them, coming up with strategies and solutions as we address these challenges, we’re going to be deeper into this crisis,” Reid said.
KRON4 has learned that Council President Bas and OPOA President Donelan have opened the lines of communication and are now in the process of scheduling a sitdown meeting to address officers leaving OPD.