Over ten years...
City Adds Hundreds of Staff But No Police
While the number of police officers in Oakland stagnated for ten years, City Hall appropriated funds to hire 357 other staff.
The number of police in the 1994-95 fiscal year was 681, according to the unaudited budget report. As of Feb. 4, 2006, the City had 704 officers.
While Police Staffing Stagnates...
The total number of City employees back in 1994-95 was 3,909. In the current budget for 2005-06, the city council funded 4,266 employees.
City Hall Adds Hundreds of Other Staff
Oakland has half a police department, based on population and staffing comparisons with most major cities. There are so few officers on patrol that burglars roam neighborhoods in broad daylight, knocking on doors and finding houses to break into. They do not worry about attracting a cop's attention, because there are no officers around.
Measure Y, pushed by the council in 2004 and approved by voters, was only another tax. Homeowners and others are paying $20 million more per year, but police staffing is less than when the council wrote Measure Y. Like Measure Q, Measure DD, and the recently adopted litter tax on take-out food businesses, Measure Y means less funding for the alleged purpose.
A political machine has dominated Oakland politics for the last decade. During this time the councilmembers have ignored the first priority of city government: ensuring peaceful neighborhoods. Budget figures confirm that taxpayers already pay enough money to do the job. Overall staffing rose by hundreds of employees, but the number of police officers remained half of what it should be.
– Feb. 11, 2006