Let’s get this straight … Oakland is set to layoff 80 police officers on Monday?

Oakland? The city already dealing with major issues in crime, also facing ongoing riots over the recent verdict of a BART officer who accidentally shot a man?

This is bad news.

Negotiations between the Oakland Police Union and the City Council are at a standstill and if an agreement is not reached by Monday, layoffs begin taking effect.

The San Francisco Chronicle reported on Friday:

If the city and police union fail to reach an agreement by Monday – the day the layoffs take effect – the Police Department will eliminate foot patrols in neighborhoods including the Dimond district and downtown. The department will also eliminate two specialized investigations units, one focusing on parolees and the other on dangerous criminals.

… City Council members say the layoffs will be put on hold at least until November if officers agree to pay 9 percent of their salaries toward their pensions, something all other unionized city employees do. That would save the city an estimated $7.8 million and buy time for a pair of fall ballot measures that would provide police with more money.

Oakland officials will meet today, Monday morning, with police union leaders to make a final attempt to work out a deal to avoide laying off 80 of the city’s 776 officers.

My question: In Oakland, especially right now, what is possibly more important than public safety?

I received an e-mail from an Oakland Police Officer over the weekend, this is what he wrote:

Thanks for your concern.  I’m actually one of the 80 OPD officers that will be let go if an agreement isn’t met by Monday.  Is a guarantee of no future layoffs too much to ask? Currently, the city council’s proposal will only guarantee my employment for another 5 months!  So in the meanwhile, I’m supposed to go out and put my life on the line and hope for the best!?

I love my job and I love OPD.  I have not applied to another agency because I don’t want to work for another agency.  I just have faith that things will work out for the best.

E-mail your thoughts to jspencer@publicceo.com