Despite years of tough policing, Oakland couldnt get a handle on handgun offense. Was the answer a community-based approach?
Ersie Joyner had a banner year in 1995. He was just four years out of Oakland’s police academy when he was awarded a prestigious honour of merit for a seemingly superhuman achievement. In one year, he personally started more than 400 stoppages. And the evidence room of the Oakland police department( OPD) was crammed with millions of dollars value of cocaine and heroin he had expropriated from dealers.
” I thought to myself, I’m on top of my game ,” said Joyner in a recent interrogation.” I’m the best of the best .”
But looking back, Joyner doesn’t see the coming to policing in his early years, and OPD’s institutional culture of the 1990 s, effectively functioning, or responsible. The aggressive zero-tolerance programs used to lock up thousands of people, mainly for dose atrocities, never succeeded in creating a safer city.
” My whole entire vocation I have been coached, I have qualified, and I have worked towards eliminating organizations ,” said Joyner.” That has disappointed miserably for us for decades .”
Joyner has become a case study in mutate. Now the head of OPD’s Ceasefire program- a successful violence intervention initiative ascribed with contributing to Oakland’s decline in gun homicide charges- he no longer believes that the police can successfully address violent crime on their own. Instead, he’s come to see the limits of law enforcement tactics and the importance of the community’s role in divulge the cycles/second of violence in a town like Oakland, which for years was graded among America’s” slaying uppercases “.
Joyner was one of California’s top policemen in the 1990 s. Sporting and street-wise, he grew up in East Oakland and dominated an understanding of the city that few other policemen had. He graduated from the elite Bishop O’Dowd private school and investigated criminal justice at California State University Hayward. At 22, after only six months on patrol, he was drafted to go undercover in high-risk investigations.
He’d end up spending much of his career there, sometimes working in joint taskforces with federal agencies. Last-minute, he found himself on loan to the FBI and DEA to surveil dope and weapons smugglers who were connecting the Bay Area to the Mexican border. He attached OPD’s Swat and the special imperatives division, which hounded the forearmed drug peddler who propelled Oakland’s retaliatory cycles of violence.
Wherever he was, Joyner’s racket always centres on ” dismantling” the Bay Area’s most violent mobs. And in a police bureau that respected itself on its stature for toughness, Joyner, who has a bulldog-like stare, was the personification of the hard-charging cop. He became one of OPD’s most most decorated men, prevailing officer of the year in 2002 and taking dwelling six awards of virtue throughout his career.