What Are the Different Sections of the Oakland Police Department?

The Oakland Police Department is structured into several divisions and units, each with unique responsibilities, all overseen by the Chief of Police. The main divisions include:

  • Patrol Division: This is the most visible arm of the police department. Officers patrol Oakland streets, respond to emergencies, enforce traffic laws, and interact with residents to deter crime and maintain public order.
  • Investigative Division: This division takes on the responsibility of handling follow-up investigations of crimes in progress and other reported incidents. They collect evidence, interview witnesses, and work to solve crimes and bring perpetrators to justice.
  • Community Policing Unit: This unit enhances the department’s engagement with the community. They may be seen reading to students, attending neighborhood watch meetings, or even playing basketball with local children, all in a bid to foster positive relationships and community trust.
  • Traffic Enforcement Unit: This unit handles issues related to traffic safety. Their duties include monitoring “high-injury corridors,” cracking down on reckless driving and managing incidents involving stolen vehicles.
  • Felony Assault Unit: This unit is specifically tasked to deal with serious crimes such as shootings and violent robberies.

What is the History of the Oakland Police Department?

The Oakland Police Department has a rich history that mirrors the city’s own transformation over the years. Since its inception in the nineteenth century, the department has evolved and adapted to meet the community’s changing needs. Like many urban police departments, OPD has faced challenges such as understaffing and high crime rates, but they have strived to address these issues through various strategies, including community policing and collaborations with other law enforcement agencies.

In recent years, the OPD has undergone significant changes in response to calls for greater accountability and transparency. The establishment of the independent Oakland Police Commission has been a significant step in this direction, aimed at strengthening oversight and ensuring that the department is responsive to the needs and concerns of the community it serves.

How Does the Oakland Police Department Serve the Community?

The Oakland Police Department places a high emphasis on community involvement and engagement. Its efforts to partner with the community are most evident in the Community Policing Unit. Officers in this unit attend neighborhood watch meetings, interact with students at schools, and participate in local events, fostering a strong connection between the police and the residents of Oakland.

Furthermore, the department actively seeks community input on various matters, such as the hiring of a new police chief, signifying its commitment to inclusive decision-making. They also host public safety meetings to answer questions from residents, facilitating open communication and transparency.

The department also collaborates with other law enforcement agencies to better serve the community. Recently, the California Highway Patrol was deployed in Oakland to help combat crime, exemplifying their commitment to safety and order.

Through these community-oriented practices and collaborations, the Oakland Police Department strives to be more than just a law enforcement agency. It aims to be a responsible and responsive partner in the community, working with residents to create a safe and peaceful Oakland.

Address: 455 7th Street, Oakland, CA 94607.


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