Healthy Neighborhoods

Desley Brooks meets with OYPB

“Your policies will have some impact.” This what City Council member Desley Brooks told members of the Oakland Youth Policy Builders on April 5. The group met with Brooks to discuss the policy proposals for the police department they have brainstormed. These ideas include obliging police officers to hand out business cards with information on how to file a complaint/compliment with the Citizens' Police Review Board, creating incentives to have more officers live in Oakland and holding a training for police officers led by youth.

Brooks gave the group invaluable feedback on the policy proposals OYPB will later present to Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan in May.

OYPB’s policy proposals are based on a PUEBLO survey of over 700 high school students about their interactions with police. The group noticed that many youth were unaware of their ability to file complaints, so youth that had negative experiences with police did not file complaints. OYPB’s business card policy proposal would educate youth about how to file complaints.

Brooks said having uninformed citizens is “part of the problem” for unprofessional police behavior.
Although Brooks did not agree with raising the salary of home-grown police officers as an incentive to attract more officers to live in Oakland, she did support the business card idea and a training.

“The business cards should be [enforced] under administrative instruction and combined with the training component,” said Brooks. “Too much police training is on the basis of fear and we need to change that dynamic.”

Brooks emphasized the need for policies to be consistently enforced in order for them to be successful.
She also suggested the group sit in on a police training session to develop curriculum for the youth-led training proposal.

Created: 04-15-2012

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