Police Chief Makes Bold Promise to Youth

Legal car sideshows, local hiring

By Gini Brown

Taking a look back at my freshman year I would have never thought that I would be sitting down with Oakland Chief of Police Anne Kirkpatrick and her fellow officers, as well as City Council member Desley Brooks, to talk about resolutions for issues in our community.

A lot of people will wonder what will make an East Oakland teen want to sit down with the police. Well, for a while I always wondered where that side was coming from and what was going through their heads on the daily.

Sitting down with them provided a chance for the chief, council member, and community members to come to some agreements.

First of all, you know them sideshows everyone loves, but can never go to because it’s too dangerous, or the police are always shutting it down? Well, during this talk, the chief agreed to start the process of putting together a sideshow in a designated area and making it a safer environment — but keeping it the same fun event for people.

“Legal sideshows will be difficult because it requires a lot of moving pieces aside from putting it together,” said community activist Mya Whitaker, Skyline class of ‘09, who set up the meeting. “That does not mean it can not or will not be done.”

Another agreement we were able to come up with was being able to prioritize local young people for a certain number of jobs in the Oakland Cadets police force training program. As of August 2015, only 8 percent of all Oakland police officers actually live in our city, which some say hurts their ability to do their job well.  

There is a graduating cadet class from Merritt College this semester, so we will be watching to see how many are from Oakland, as well as keep pushing to make legal sideshows a reality.

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