The nonprofit Oakland-based Urban Strategies Council will likely do crime analysis for the Oakland Police Department, the city’s public safety committee decided this past week.

Under the proposed contract, Urban Strategies will be paid $116,000 for city-wide spatial crime analysis that will begin next month and end October 2011.

The city did not put the contract out for bid because Urban Strategies was the only organization with existing memorandums of understanding with local, state and county agencies that authorize information sharing, said Police Capt. Ersie Joyner. These agencies include the Oakland Unified School District, the Alameda County Probation Department and others.

The decision by the public safety committee – consisting of Vice Mayor Jean Quan, Councilwomen Pat Kernighan and Nancy Nadel and Councilman Larry Reid – will go to the full council for approval on Tuesday, Oct. 19, Councilwoman Desley Brooks said this week.

The City Council will need to approve a resolution waiving the city’s advertising and request-for-proposal-and-qualifications requirements for crime data analysis services.

The Council also will need to approve acceptance and allocation of $34,143 from the Juvenile Accountability Block Grant program and $3,413 from the State COPS XIV grant. Various other grants will cover the remainder of the cost of the contract.

Michal Migurski of San Francisco-based Stamen Design said it was understandable why the city was not putting out the contract for bid, since Urban Strategies has relationships with government agencies that provide critical information. But he said it pointed to the difficulty of attaining government information that perhaps should be more readily available to the public.

“It doesn’t smell fishy to me,” he said. “It’s unfortunate, but not fishy.”

Joyner and Junious Williams and Steve Spiker of Urban Strategies did not return phone calls seeking comment for this article.

For the last 18 months, Urban Strategies has worked with Councilwoman Brooks on a pilot project in Police Area 3 – central-east and all of east Oakland – to support the police department’s efforts to implement intelligence-led policing in the city.

The new contract will be for work that is citywide and the data will help the police department focus its efforts to suppress and prevent crimes that impact juveniles, such as human trafficking and child prostitution and gang activity and truancy, according to an Oct. 12 report written by Capt. Joyner.

The analysis will be a critical tool that will improve the collaboration between the department and other agencies by targeting resources toward geographic areas and individuals with the greatest need, according to the report.

If approved by the Oakland City Council, the Urban Strategies Council
will be called on to do the following analysis for the police
department:

  1. City-wide crime trend mapping and analysis
  2. City-wide hot spot analysis on a quarterly basis
  3. Area-wide hotspot and trend analysis for each police command area
  4. Expanded analysis of the connections between gangs, violence and guns
  5. Calls for service analysis to complement the crime reporting data and
    to help with the allocation of resources both geographically and
    temporally
  6. Drill-down analysis into the major crime hot spots in each area