Currently, the city primarily relies on the Oakland Police Department to investigate complaints against its own officers. Some community activist groups and council members are pushing to tip that balance in the direction of civilians with no connection to the department to do that work instead.
It's a hefty job. The police department's Internal Affairs Division, or IAD, has a staff of about 35 people. It received 1,570 civilian complaints of officer misconduct in 2010, according to its own reporting, an average of about two complaints per officer. Of the complaints, 415 concerned use of force.
Oakland's existing Citizens' Police Review Board has been around for more than three decades. It is staffed with four investigators, but has never been the primary resource for residents to bring police complaints and has never had the resources to tackle more than a handful of cases. Last year, it handled 80.