Thursday Must Read: Oakland Police Consultant Calls for 911 Overhaul; William Bratton Keeps Low Profile



Stories you shouldn’t miss:

1. Oakland police consultant Robert Wasserman, a former Houston police chief, said at public meeting last night that residents are overwhelming the city’s 911 system with non-emergency calls and indicated that the system needs to be overhauled, the Chron reports. “It’s way off the map,” he said of the 911 calls, according to the Chron. “Many of the things they call for are not things that a police officer can help [with] right now.” OPD, he said, doesn’t have enough officers to respond to non-emergency situations. “We cannot continue as a city that has a policy that says, ‘You call 911, and you get a police officer.’”

  • Bratton
2. Meanwhile, Wasserman’s co-consultant in Oakland, William Bratton, the former head of the New York and Los Angeles police departments, is keeping a lower-profile, and did not attend last night’s public meeting. Bratton has been a lightning rod for criticism because of his support for controversial police tactics, like stop-and-frisk. At a press conference yesterday, Bratton said he planned to concentrate on helping OPD improve its crime-data systems and reduce the number of burglaries, robberies, and homicides in the city, the Trib reports.

3. The Chron also has an interesting piece on Thomas Frazier, a former Baltimore police commissioner who was appointed by federal Judge Thelton Henderson to oversee OPD’s court-mandated reform efforts. Any crime-fighting plans devised by Wasserman and Bratton must win approval from Frazier before being implemented. In Baltimore, Frazier was known for liberal policies, including de-emphasizing minor drug offenses.

4. State ethics officials are investigating a complaint that two top environmental regulators who monitor the oil and gas industry also have investments in energy companies they regulate, the LA Times reports.

5. And faced with a $32 million backlog of city park maintenance, the Berkeley City Council is considering putting a tax measure on the ballot or slashing city jobs, the Trib reports.