A man in a grey suit and white collared shirt with a backdrop of grass in a field.
Mac Muir was appointed executive director of Oakland's Community Police Review Agency. Credit: Courtesy city of Oakland

Following a national search, the Oakland Police Commission has picked Mac Muir to become the executive director of its Civilian Police Review Agency, or CPRA.

CPRA is the Police Commission’s investigative arm, staffed by civilians who examine allegations of police misconduct and recommend discipline. Established in 2016 by a ballot measure approved by 83% of voters, Oakland’s Police Commission is one of the most powerful police oversight agencies in the country. The commission has the authority to recommend police policy changes, audit the police department, and even fire the police chief.

In a press release, Muir said he’s “humbled” to take the job. “Oakland is and always has been the most important place in my life. Growing up here shaped my commitment to challenging inequities in policing,” he said. “As Executive Director of the CPRA, I’m committed to bolstering Oakland as a national leader in police oversight as we weigh serious challenges with real opportunity.”

Muir worked for seven years at New York’s Civilian Complaint Review Board overseeing a team of seven investigators. He graduated with a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin College and received mediation training from Columbia Law School and the New York Peace Institute.

Muir will take over as the city faces a $360 million deficit. Many city departments are in line for significant budget cuts, however, Mayor Sheng Thao has proposed growing the Police Commission and CPRA’s budget. 

Thao’s budget plan calls for eliminating the Oakland Police Department’s Internal Affairs Division, which also investigates cases of police misconduct. These savings would allow the city to grow CPRA’s staff from nine investigators to 22 and put the job of reviewing complaints against the police solely in the hands of the Police Commission. The City Council has the final say about CPRA’s staffing and must pass a balanced budget before the end of June.

Eliminating OPD’s internal affairs to save money, avoiding duplicative efforts with CPRA, and ensuring more independent police misconduct investigations were recommendations that came out of the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force.

Muir will assume the role of executive director on June 19.

Before joining The Oaklandside as News Editor, Darwin BondGraham was a freelance investigative reporter covering police and prosecutorial misconduct. He has reported on gun violence for The Guardian and was a staff writer for the East Bay Express. He holds a doctorate in sociology from UC Santa Barbara and was the co-recipient of the George Polk Award for local reporting in 2017. He is also the co-author of The Riders Come Out at Night, a book examining the Oakland Police Department's history of corruption and reform.