Oakland City Hall. Credit: Darwin BondGraham

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The City Council is holding two meetings on Tuesday with a focus on gun violence and police staffing. The first meeting at 10:30 a.m. will include a discussion and vote on a hiring plan to increase the number of Oakland police officers. 

Last week, Mayor Libby Schaaf and Councilmembers Treva Reid and Loren Taylor announced a proposal to add police academies to the city’s budget and unfreeze some police positions to boost police officer staffing. On Thursday, Councilmember Sheng Thao released her own plan, which includes offering hiring bonuses for new officers. The proposals came as OPD dropped below 678 officers. 

That number is significant because the city can no longer collect money through Measure Z, a  voter-approved tax, once the number of officers falls below that threshold. Money from Measure Z helps fund the police department as well as violence prevention and the fire department. Council on Tuesday will discuss both proposals and a plan to ensure the police department has adequate staffing. 

Then at 5:30 p.m., the council will hold a special meeting with the Police Commission, Department of Violence Prevention, and members of the Oakland Police Department to talk about the rising number of homicides and shootings so far this year. The evening session will include reports on gun crime data and how the city is addressing gun violence. 

Other items before the council during the morning meeting include: 

Recycling refund: California Waste Solutions, which has a city contract to pick up recycling, has agreed to pay a total of $6 million as part of a legal settlement for overcharging owners of multi-family properties. CWS has also agreed to significantly lower the monthly rate it charges customers at multi-family units for providing backyard cart service. City Attorney Barbara Parker is asking the City Council to ratify the settlement agreement, and separately, the board will approve the change to the contract to lower the rate. 

Animal services suit: Former Oakland Animal Services Manager Denise BonGiovanni this year filed a lawsuit alleging multiple officers in the city’s animal services department harassed, discrimnated against, and publicly humiliated her because of her gender and sexual orientation. BonGiovanni’s suit also claims officers neglected or abused cats and dogs. City Attorney Barbara Parker is recommending the City Council approve a payment of $150,000 to settle the suit. You can read more about the case here

For more information on the agendas and how to access the meetings, click here.

David DeBolt reports on City Hall and policing for The Oaklandside. He spent 12 years working for daily newspapers in the Bay Area, including on the Peninsula and Solano County. He joined the Bay Area News Group in 2012 where he covered a variety of beats, most recently as a senior breaking news reporter. During his time at BANG, DeBolt covered Oakland City Hall, the Raiders stadium saga and the A’s search for a new ballpark, as well as the Oakland Police Department and police reform efforts. He was part of the East Bay Times staff honored with the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News for coverage of the Ghost Ship warehouse fire.