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City Authorities Reform 4: Create Political Space for Police Reform

Recommendation: Create political space for police reform

Many interviewees we spoke to mentioned how police reform efforts – especially those involving accountability measures or other initiatives opposed by the Oakland Police Officers’ Association (the Police union) – were politically toxic for many Oakland elected officials.  Repeatedly we were told that the need to be perceived as “tough on crime” could override any genuine effort to take on vested interests and push through badly needed reforms in the OPD.

What can be done to build the political space for elected officials to speak out (and act out) in favor of police reform?

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