Robert Wasserman, Strategic Policy Partnership
In his first public appearance in Oakland on Sunday afternoon, police strategist Robert Wasserman laid out a series of proposals that city officials hope will be the last in a long line of failed or abandoned plans to reduce crime.
Wasserman began the two-hour meeting with a caveat: "This is not the planning session, it's the information session," he said. For the next hour he walked through a series of ideas that, while light on specific details, described the major steps he's expecting Oakland to adopt.
That includes ongoing, detailed analysis of crime data; increasing day-to-day collaboration between community members and police officers; and an increased emphasis on geography-based policing, for instance keeping officers in their beats and zones rather than have them respond to issues elsewhere in the city.
Wasserman's firm, Strategic Policy Partnership, includes former New York Police Department and Los Angeles Police Department head Bill Bratton. This addition to the team has drawn fierce criticism from community members, mainly due to his support for the legal, but highly controversial warrantless searches called stop and frisk.
Wasserman expressed surprisingly sharp criticism of another police official as he defended Bratton.
"All the stop and search issues in New York are [current NYPD Commissioner] Ray Kelly's issues, not Bill Bratton's," he said, referencing the racial profiling civil rights lawsuits New York City now faces verses when Bratton was commissioner.
While Wasserman didn't specifically address how to fix some of the city's most pressing issues related to violent crime - including a lack of police officers and the need for services related to poverty and education - he was warmly received by an estimated 200 audience members.
Strategic Policy Partnership is scheduled to hold two more community meetings, which city officials say Bratton will not attend.