City Council Seeks to Control the APD

City Council Seeks to Control the APD

The Alameda Sun received a copy of this letter addressed to the City Council.

Councilmembers:
If there is misinformation about policing policy, it is the City Council on the hook, not the Alameda Police Department (APD). Passage of the current ordinance as written may open the city to litigation.

This ordinance clearly discusses the city’s use of police powers. Additionally, during the June 16 meeting, Council was party to a motion that not only put a hiring freeze on APD when its officers understaffed, but further required all policing policy changes be brought to the City Council for approval before implementation.

If the Council controls the budget and the policies, which is the role and power of the head of any department, the Council is now running the police department; credentialed to do so or not, Council has taken this power.

The risk of selective enforcement and efficient enforcement for the safety of the residents this City are the Council’s, which demanded this expansion of its policing power. The Councils is no longer in position to point fingers at APD.

In the July resolution, item 6.A wanted a work plan that outlined a top-to-bottom change in APD’s community service culture that reestablishes community member safety. This is effectively saying community-member safety and well-being is not APD’s the current goal.

Our hospitals are not currently stressed with a large influx of COVID-19 patients. Where is the data on this you are seeing to substantiate this? What are the numbers at Alameda Hospital? With a city infection rate of 0.38 percent (294 cases divided by 77,000 population) over a period of six months, how much more is there to rationally reduce?

Like your proposal in July regarding police reform (aka “de-funding”), let’s hope the balance of the Council members have wisdom in their decision making to oppose this.

If this passes, the city will be at risk of a preemption violation. As a local jurisdiction, laws cannot be created that conflict with state laws or legislate in areas where supreme jurisdictions seek to occupy the entire field. The Alameda County Health Advisory’s is this field as this ordinance contains language acquiescing to this larger entity.

The Health Department is acting as the supreme jurisdiction in the area you are proposing to proceed into and by virtue of their orders directly referencing currently in place rules (California Health and Safety Code § 120295, et seq.) regarding violation penalty what you are looking to do is counter to the goals of higher authority.