OAKLAND CITY COUNCIL//BUDGET | Members of the largest union in the city packed the Oakland City Council chambers on Tuesday, demanding concessions from the city as it prepares to release its financial plans for the next five years.
The plan forecasts that by 2017, the city will still be sunk in a $48 million budget deficit, mostly from salary obligations to city workers and police. That number would increase, according to Mayor Jean Quan’s office, if several police proposals by some members of the city council were passed.
To increase its police force to 833 officers from the 649 it has now, the city would have to increase its budget by $74 million over five years. Bolstering the police department would mean opening anywhere from one to three new police academies, which would tack on $7 million each to the budget, according to the city’s five-year plan.
Though most members of the council have supported new public safety measures, some were leery or writing blank checks for the OPD in the wake of abuse lawsuits that have drained the city of millions of dollars.