OAKLAND -- It was after 2 a.m. Wednesday when the City Council approved three measures that are aimed at helping make Oakland's streets safer.
Measures 20, 21 and 22, known as the Schaaf-Reid proposal, were unanimously voted in, by a bleary eyed council that had sat through more than six hours of public comments, mainly about approving the consulting contract for William Bratton.
The trio of proposals was authored by District 4 Councilwoman Libby Schaaf and Vice Mayor Larry Reid, amounting to "a permanent ongoing investment in public safety, totaling $6.2 million every year," Schaaf said.
When all the pieces are in place, the measures will result in putting the equivalent of 61 more officers on the streets. Oakland police will hire 20 service technicians and one person for the crime lab, freeing up sworn officers to patrol city streets.
The new hires will be bolstered by the temporary contracting with Alameda County Sheriff's Office to aid Oakland police in the short run. These officers may be able to begin as early as next week, according to Schaaf. The third measure proposes the commencing of a third academy to begin in September, which could yield additional 45-50 officers.
With more police on the streets, beat officers will be more likely to remain in their beats, instead of getting diverted to other parts of the city, Schaaf said.
"The crime technicians should have a huge impact on hills residents," where requests for crime reports are frequent, Schaaf said.
More than 500 people attended the council meeting Tuesday night. The council chambers and all four hearing rooms were packed.
"In my 14 years with the city of Oakland, I have never seen so many people turn out for a council meeting," Schaaf said.
Both Schaaf and Council President Pat Kernighan reached out to their respective districts, urging residents to come and make their voices heard.
"I am sorry to the people that came and were unable to participate. Even though they didn't speak, I felt their presence," Schaaf said.
"This isn't a therapy session. This is a community and these are rules," said Jill Broadhurst, chair of the Montclair Safety Improvement Council, referring to the boisterous nature of the meeting. "This is long overdue. I'm glad to see Libby moving forward taking proactive steps and taking security seriously for all residents."
Jim Dexter, the second vice chair of the North Hills Community Association, said that his group supported all four proposals.
"We want to see a major improvement in the Oakland Police Department administratively and staffing," he said.
Dexter was happy to see the Schaaf-Reid proposal approved.
"There is no point in going through this process if the Oakland police are not given the means to respond," Dexter said.
He said he would like to see the mayor's office and the council work more closely with the Community Police Advisory Council and the Measure Y Oversight Committee.