Oakland’s police department has to do more than simply fight crime, they are required to pursue and implement reforms to enhance discipline and improve the culture of the department as a whole.

Balancing the two responsibilities during tough economic times has been a challenge, and has resulted in unusual staffing schemes and organizational structure. For instance, more officers investigate other officers than investigate homicides. Ensuring a required number of sergeants are on duty at all times has resulted in the city relying heavily upon overtime, causing costs to increase.

Some of the reforms were mandated by a 2003 settlement for an abuse of force case involving a group of officers called “The Riders.” However, officials and experts say the steps taken in the last 8 years have actually increased the dysfunction in the department.

From the Bay Citizen:

Last month, at his first executive meeting as Oakland’s new police chief, Howard A. Jordan laid out his priorities for the police department in California’s most violent city.

No. 1: reforms. No. 2: crime.

Read the full article here.