Updated 03/06/2017 – As our community continued to grow, the City Council and staff recognized that the Police Department would need to grow as well. With the cost of the contract increasing there was concern we would not be able to keep pace with the growth. The City Council and key staff members began to analyze the costs of the contract. Due to cost increases, it was becoming more and more difficult to add Officers. After several months and much consideration, it was determined the city could provide these vital services in a more cost effective manner by forming our own “standalone” police department. The overall savings is at least $700,000 per year and the intent is to use that to add more officers and programs.
In August, 2016, we hired a new Chief of Police. Chief Thorsen returned to the City of Oakley after serving as the Chief of Police in our contract from 2005 through 2010. The Chief also served as the Chief of Police in Clayton from 2012 to 2015. In March we added two Lieutenants. Lieutenant’s Jeff Billeci and Eric Navarro were selected from a group of highly qualified applicants to serve our community.
On May 6, 2016 we officially assumed full responsibility for law enforcement in the City of Oakley with an authorized strength of 29 sworn personnel, (we are now at 33) and approximately six support and professional positions. Plans for the future are the addition of more sworn staff to include additional traffic enforcement personnel, the renewal of our POP and canine programs and improved supervision in our investigative unit.
The Oakley Police Department is a full service municipal law enforcement agency. It is broken into two major divisions. The Operations Division incorporates the Patrol and Investigations functions. Their responsibility is to handle all calls for service, document and follow up on criminal matters, enforce traffic laws etc. The Administrative Division is responsible for the maintenance of all police records, procurement of necessary equipment, training and assuring we are in compliance with those mandates required by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST).
Original Post, November 2008 – Oakley currently contracts with the Contra Costa County Sheriff’s Office for police services, which include personnel, forensics labs, dispatch, evidence inventory, swat team and helicopters. The officers patrolling our streets are actually members of the Sheriff’s office wearing Oakley uniforms and driving Oakley Police cars. There are 28 full time sworn personnel (1 Chief, 5 Sergeants, 14 patrol officers, 2 traffic officers, 2 Problem Oriented Policing officers, 1 K-9 officer, 1 School Resource officer and 2 detectives). We operate with an approximate .8 officers per 1000 residents. The goal is 1.1 per 1000. There are also 2.5 non sworn personnel assigned to the police department. Over the last three years we have added 9 officers to Oakley’s Police Department. For our small community this growth has been unprecedented.
Traffic enforcement is the primary responsibility of all patrol officers. With the addition of two motorcycles to our mobile fleet we have two officers specifically assigned to traffic enforcement. Juvenile matters are handled by a full time School Resource officer. Major felony investigation, excluding narcotics, sexual assault and homicide cases which are handled by the Sheriffs investigations unit, are handled by Oakley detectives.
Major accident investigations in Oakley are handled by our IMPACT team which is made up of traffic investigators from Oakley, San Ramon, Danville, Lafayette, Orinda, Moraga and the Sheriff’s Office. CHP handles collisions in the unincorporated area and major crashes involving police vehicles. The Sheriff’s Office rotates in as “mutual aid” when we have a major incident. This happens fairly often because of the proximity of the Sheriff’s Delta Station on O’Hara. We have also had Antioch and Brentwood in on various mutual aid incidents, but that has been rare.
Through some reorganization done in the last couple of years, funding has been made available for additional personnel at the Police Department. Two of these positions now make up the City’s “Problem Oriented Policing” (POP) team. POP Officers generally do not have “beat” responsibilities (i.e. they are not responsible for handling routine calls for service). This frees them to address other quality of life issues within the City. POP Officers will generally be assigned things like homes where drug dealing is suspected, chronic locations of parties, searching for wanted suspects, and addressing neighborhoods where the police department receives an inordinate number of calls for service. Working in partnership with other City Departments and law enforcement agencies and using both traditional and non-traditional law enforcement techniques, the goal is to mitigate these types of neighborhood problems and find long term solutions. The non-emergency dispatch number for the Police Department is 625-8855.
The cost of police services is basically the cost of an officer charged by the Sheriff’s Office. Revenues to pay for police services are paid primarily from the General Fund. Funding for police services consumes over half of our General Fund. To ensure that our department continues to grow, without raising additional fees or taxes, we need a vibrant commercial/retail environment. Revenues from sales tax currently sit at about 8% of the General Fund. It should be between 30% and 50%.
To summarize our efforts in the battle against crime; we continue to battle property crimes and assaults etc. However, we don’t respond to the amount of violent crime (stabbings, shootings, homicides etc) that Antioch handles.
You can track crime in your own neighborhood: crime report