MOBN! Board member Paula Hawthorn checks in with her review of the latest Monitor’s report.

Two years ago I wrote this about the Negotiated Settlement Agreement:

I have reviewed the fourth, sixth, seventh and eighth (current) Quarterly Reports of the Independent Monitor. … In the four reports that I reviewed, there were six tasks that OPD is always in “partial compliance”: tasks 5, 20, 24, 34, 41 and 45. They were in partial compliance, I maintain that they will remain in partial compliance in future reports, and thus OPD will end up in receivership.

In fact, we did wind up in “receivership light” with a Compliance Director (in addition to the Independent Monitor assigned to monitor the NSA) who is tasked with bringing OPD into compliance with the NSA. The Monitor is Robert S. Warshaw, the Compliance Director Thomas C. Frazier. Frazier gets an annual salary of $270,000 and Warshaw has a two year, $1.78 million contract. As our Compliance Director, Frazier directs that money be spent to bring OPD into compliance with the NSA. Frazier’s Remedial Action Plan Budget Addendum calls for $3,605,000 to be spent on the police department itself.. So the combined cost of the NSA monitor & compliance director for the last year is $1,160.000 plus Frazier’s $3.65M in ordered City spending.

And what do we have to show for this? How closer is OPD to being in compliance with the NSA after this amount of time & money? Surprise! No Closer!

Why are we no closer? Because, as I said in Jan. 2012, the evaluation process is fundamentally flawed. When they keep moving the goal posts, you cannot win the game. In the sections below I’ll discuss what the current tasks are where OPD is out of compliance in the last (16th) quarterly report of the Independent Monitor. But I think the issue is not so much his findings, as the fact that he has no incentive to ever allow OPD to be in full compliance. In fact, Warshaw’s lucrative contract goes away if OPD is ever declared to be in full compliance.

Why do we care? An argument can be made that all police departments should have an Independent Monitor, watching everything they do, making sure they are respecting the citizen’s rights, and that Oakland in particular has such a bad history that we may need to always have an outside, Independent Monitor. An argument also can be made that having a Compliance Director, not associated with either the Independent Monitor or with the City of Oakland bureaucracy, is ideal to make sure that OPD is well-run and well-resourced, and that keeping OPD out of compliance in perpetuity means we will always have these two levels of supervision, and what is wrong with that? There are two problems with keeping OPD out of compliance: the first is the perception that “you can’t trust the Oakland cops”. The headline every 3 months when the Independent Monitor’s report comes out is that OPD failed again, and the subtext is, well, they are not trustworthy. If you don’t trust the police, you don’t tell them when you have information about a crime, and you don’t trust them to solve crimes that occur. So you get our current culture of secrecy & of retributions. We must increase the trust in the police.

The second problem is money, of course: over a million dollars a year. For year after year…READ MORE HERE

Now, for the current Monitors Report: According to the monitor OPD is not in full compliance in Tasks 20, 26, 30, 33, 34, 37, 40 and 41.

3 Responses

  1. Ann Nomura

    Dear MOBN Member Paula Hawthorne,

    Since this piece links to a website which promotes the MOBN Agenda for Oakland, it would be helpful if the website had the names and of all authors and Board Members. The site is somewhat opaque as to where the opinions and political positions come from, more transparency would be really helpful.

    Are you or the MOBN registered lobbyists or paid political consultants?

    Is the MOBN or any of its Board Members working with particular candidates this campaign cycle?

    Does the MOBN have public meetings and are its Board Meeting Minutes posted online?

    Reply
  2. livegreen

    Ann, quit trying to silence opinions that are different than yours, rather than the article itself. You do this time & time again, whether on the NSA or on Private Security Guards.

    Your whole post is a non sequitur and is typical of the far left politics of both the Mayor and labor unions, as well as far right politics of the Tea Party & extremist Republicans.

    Debate the merits of the issues at hand rather than trying to bash the author or an organization you might disagree with.

    Reply
  3. Oakie

    Watch out livegreen or she’ll accuse you of being a registered lobbyist.

    Worse yet, she’ll help elect Dan Siegel as our next mayor. Then you’ll pay for your insolence.

    Reply

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