OPD Captain Tracey Dialogues with Youth
OPD Captain Ed Tracey, head of the Training Division, visited PUEBLO's Oakland Youth Policy Builders on Thursday, March 15th to discuss their ideas about how the relationship between Oakland police officers and youth might be improved. Captain Tracey has been with the Oakland Police Department for twenty-two years in a number of different capacities, and he grew up in Oakland. He displayed a thorough understanding of the issues and challenges that face both officers and young people when they interact.
OYPB members shared the survey of 700 students about their experiences with police and discussed some of their proposals to address the findings. One of the ideas emerged from the survey which showed that most teenagers are not aware that they can file complaints against police, are not aware of how to do so, and do not know that Oakland has a civilian oversight agency -- the CPRB. OYPB participants pointed out that this problem could be addressed if officers handed out business cards with complaint information on the back. Captain Tracey listened attentively and offered that it would be helpful to include information about how to send a compliment if the officer had done an outstanding job, as well.
Other issues that came up in the conversation included what kind of ID youth need to carry and why, and whether incentives to encourage officers to live in Oakland would bring about a better relationship between the community and the police.
Captain Tracey invited these participants to a 'ride along' and Chief Jordan has expressed a willingness to meet with them soon to discuss their ideas.
OYPB members were very appreciative of Captain Tracey's openness, candor and respectful attitude and they learned a great deal about the challenge of police officers in an understaffed department and helped them understand the perspective of officers as they approach their daily duties.