The Oakland Police Officers Association made a maximum $1,400 campaign contribution to Viola Gonzales last week, according to a disclosure form filed with the city clerk. Gonzales is running against incumbent Noel Gallo for the Oakland City Council District Five seat.
Gallo first ran for city council in 2012 on a law-and-order platform that included strengthening the city's police force. At a public forum last week, Gallo said hiring more cops is still a major priority for him. He wants to increase the number of sworn police officers from the current 744 to as many as 850.
But the police officers' union appears to be upset with Gallo because of his support for a sweeping police reform measure
Gallo is co-author of a ballot measure that would establish an independent civilian police oversight commission. If approved by voters in November, the new commission would be able to investigate police misconduct and impose discipline on officers.
OPOA strongly opposed the police commission ballot measure when it was being considered by the city council earlier this year. The union successfully lobbied to have some features gutted
. Even so, if voters approve creation of the commission, it would be one of the strongest civilian oversight bodies in the nation.
OPOA has spent large sums in previous elections in attempts to unseat city officials who cross swords with them. In 2012 OPOA spent tens of thousands in an unsuccessful effort
to topple Rebecca Kaplan from her at-large council seat, and to prevent Barbara Parker from remaining in the city attorney's office.
More recently, OPOA spent $17,583 to help Anne Campbell Washington win her District 4 seat
was unable to reach Noel Gallo and the Oakland Police Officers Association for comment this morning.