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COUNCIL PRESIDENT PRO TEM SHENG THAO'S STATEMENT ON THE PASSAGE OF THE THAO PUBLIC SAFETY PLAN

Date Posted: September 22nd, 2021 @ 8:59 AM
Last Updated: September 22nd, 2021 @ 9:05 AM
Sheng Thao banner: left is a photo of Sheng Thao, and then to the right is her logo with her name, the oakland tree, and "working for oakland" on the bottom

Oakland, California - Council President Pro Tem Sheng Thao made the following statement regarding the passage of the Thao Public Safety Plan:

“As a city councilmember, mother, victim of a home burglary, and survivor of domestic violence, I know, personally, just how important effective policing and public safety is in Oakland. At the same time, a history of systemic racism in this country has meant that law enforcement agencies have treated some fairly and with respect, but others with prejudice and cruelty. To those who have felt harassed by our justice system instead of protected by it, police officers feel more like prison guards. And when the organizations who are supposed to maintain peace instead make you feel unsafe, your relationship with the law itself changes. The law feels like a tool of your oppression, rather than a shared set of rules.”


“But no matter who you are, when your home is broken into, or you hear gunshots outside your door, or when walking to your car alone at night, you want to feel safe. Oakland has one of the lowest ratios of officers per violent crimes in the country. I've heard from constituents for months that when they call 911, they don't get a response. But to the people who don't feel represented by our justice system, we don't just need any police officers, we need the right police officers. Officers who have compassion, emotional intelligence, and who want to do the job the right way. Oakland needs better policing.”


“In June, I joined a majority of my colleagues to vote for an historic $18 million investment in crime prevention and non-violent interventions for emergencies like mental health calls. We need to maintain and invest more in these pivotal programs and also respond to the uptick in violent crime. To do that, we need to maintain our police staffing numbers.”


“Today the City Council voted to approve the THAO PUBLIC SAFETY PLAN, a common sense approach to increase our 911 response times and maintain our violence prevention efforts.I want to thank my colleagues for their support, as well as Chief Armstrong for working with me to identify solutions to our academy’s low graduation rates and increase our local representation.”


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