Oakley Police Chief Paul Beard provided its 2022 crime data and overview to the Oakley City Council at the January 10 city council meeting. The Oakley Police Department overview was presented in a 41-slide presentation.
Oakley Police are allotted 40 sworn positions at this time and they currently have four unfilled positions. Three officers who are injured and cannot report to work. Two officers who are injured and in temporary modified duty status. One officer is on a military deployment and two officers in training. As of Jan 10, they only have 25 people to do the operational work of 37 people (68%).
Oakley also had to consider moving the department into an emergency staffing level and had hired 8 officers in 2022.
Beard said they were now in a position where they could possibly add traffic officers “I can see light at the end of the tunnel” where he could promote a sergeant soon.
He highlighted the eight new officers have allowed the department to avoid emergency staffing levels, but recruitment is still needed. He called for “robust recruiting’. He explained with a loss of two officers anticipated in the first half of 2023, with the two new trainees they don’t gain any additional bodies.
Beard further highlighted once an officer returns, they will only be operating at 70% by mid-2023.
Attrition Since 2016
Beard said when they broke off from the Contra Costa County Sheriffs Office, they started with an “older” crew and started with a crew of 31 people—and lost 15.
- Terminations – 1
- Resignations – 5
- Retirements – 9
- Total – 15
Recruiting efforts are continuing including a cash incentive of up to $10k after a 5-0 vote by the Oakley City Council. They also offer a $2,500 “finders fee” to existing officers who actively recruit.
Calls for Service
The Oakley Police Department had a total of 25,003 calls for service in 2022.
- Priority 1 – 2,173 (emergency in nature)
- Priority 2 – 3,223 (calls of urgent nature)
- Priority 3 – 19,507 (non-urgent/cold calls)
They have actually seen an 8% decrease in calls as in 2021 they had 27,036 and in 2020 they had 27,042 calls.
Challenges Facing the Police
“I don’t believe this is just Oakley Police, I think this is all of law enforcement as a whole across America,” stated Beard. “I believe we are a more violent society. We are a less regulated society, and we don’t exercise self-control very well. Generally speaking, we are becoming a society of entitled people. It’s a society that we really do not recognize authority.
He highlighted that is not just a danger to police officers, but to society as a whole.
He shared his personal feelings on social media where “everyone has a platform and they feel globally important”. He noted how people can post a statement and the more “likes” and “followers” they get it entitled them to keep doing it—even if those types of statements are counterintuitive to what is good in America.
“I also believe that whole life choices and value systems are being played out and redefined based on my social media personality or environment,” stated Beard.
He also called legislation as major challenges to police include AB 109, Prop 47 and Prop 57.
“There is nothing safe about these acts, there is nothing safe about these laws, there is nothing good about these laws or propositions that serves the citizens of Oakley or California,” said Beard.
He urged everyone to vote for “good law” and see past the initial titles being pushed out in front of Californians.
Other challenges include staffing because of the lack of manpower and officers leaving the profession for a variety of reasons such as being a police officer has lost “popularity” due to increased assaults on them, being vilified, lost support and lost vision that they have an impact on society.
He highlighted that in the globally there is a lack of vision by law-enforcement leadership
“It’s my belief that a lot of leadership across the country they have given in and they have forgotten what it was to be a police officer and what it is to lead men and women against crime in America,” said Beard.
He highlighted how could he ask an officer to perform a 20 year career if they don’t feel supported and called it his duty to ensure they were supported and ask for things to best support officers and the community.
He said they have a very small police force when you look at a more violent American society that is less regulated, lacking accountability and less likely to recognize authority.
“When you mix those two together, sometimes you get very negative results,” explained Beard.
He also talked about the toll the job takes on officers because of what they see and hear everyday on the job—such as shootings, fatalities, vehicle crashes and other incidents.
Alexis Gabe Investigation
Beard said Oakley became nationally known for a missing person case in Alexis Gabe which ultimately became a homicide investigation.
“Without a doubt, this was the biggest case in our history,” said Beard noting the multi agency investigation resulted in 60+ search warrants whereas a typical investigation may have just 7 or 8 warrants issued. It included searches of land, see and air along.
He also stated everything they learned in this case was second place to Alexis Gabe.
Note – Previous Stories:
- Nov 7: Video: Oakley Police Press Conference on Alexis Gabe Case
- Nov 4: Oakley Police Say Alexis Gabe’s Remains Found in Plymouth
- Sept. 10: Oakley Police Re-Announce $100k Reward in Alexis Gabe Homicide
- Aug 17: District Attorney and Police Agencies Meet with Gabe Family
- June 5: Seattle Police Release Video of Fatal Shooting of Suspect in Alexis Gabe Case
- June 2: Contra Costa District Attorney’s Statement on the Murder of Alexis Gabe
- June 2: Murder Suspect in the Alexis Gabe Case Killed Following Attack on Law Enforcement Officers
- May 25: Oakley Announces Alexis Gabe Reward Fund Increased to $100,000
- May 16: Oakley Police Say Reward in Alexis Gabe Case Increased to $60k
- May 13: Oakley Police Confirm Second Search of Home in Connection to Alexis Gabe Case
- April 28: Oakley Police Describe Person of Interest in Alexis Gabe Case
- Feb 1: Oakley Police Serve Search Warrant in Alexis Gabe Missing Person Case
- Jan 31: Oakley Police Say Locating Alexis Gabe a Top Priority
- Jan 27: Oakley Police Looking for Missing Adult Female
2022 Notable Incidents
He said Oakley Police Department had gone six-years without an officer involved shooting and in 2022 they had three incidents.
“In one of those cases, our officers were shot at several times, in one of those cases our officers were under imminent threat and in one of those cases it occurred in the state of Washington,” said Beard.
Oakley also had two homicides in 2022 (West Cypress Road & Carpenter Road) along with an increase in sideshows. They did also have one fatal traffic crash.
Enforcement Trends (seeing an increase)
- Stolen Vehicle Arrests
- DUI Arrests
- Proactive Traffic Enforcement
- Traffic Pursuits
Future of Oakley Police Department
Oakley Police Department would be fully staffed at 40 sworn officers and they would become a full service department again, but 40 officers would not be enough for Oakley in the future. Beard provided an overview of how he saw future growth at 45 officers and at 50 officers.
Beard said if/when they get to 45 officers, they would open a new beat (Beat 4) which would be specifically for E Cypress corridor. At a 50-person department, its further in the future and he likely may not be around. At 50 people, more administration, two homeless/MHET officers, one canine officer team, potential school resource officer for middle schools.
Oakley Mayor Aaron Meadows thanked Chief Beard for his presentation and highlighted the big strides made in the Department over the past year given all the challenges and incidents they worked.
Note – Beards presentation was a 41-slide presentation and is available upon request by the City of Oakley. You may also watch the presentation by viewing the Jan 10, Oakley City Council Meeting.
The Chief brings up some good points. Recent “soft on crime” laws passed by our airhead legislature not only hurt and endanger police; they also endanger the law-abiding public. The daily news is full of crime and in the vast majority of cases the miscreants turn out to be serial offenders.
Time to clean house in the state legislature. Super-majorities, of either party or political persuasion, do not result in good government. Just the opposite. We need more moderate and pragmatic politicians.
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