As media professionals, many of you recently participated in our series of City of Oakland and Oakland Police Department “roundtable” discussions. Through collaboration with the Newspaper Guild, the Society of Professional Journalists, the Pacific Media Workers Guild, and individual leaders and representatives from our local media, new levels of communication, understanding, and cooperation have been reached.
As the City of Oakland and the Oakland Police Department prepare for May 1st activities, we are aware of the likely increase of media focus and coverage, and we look forward to enjoying these strengthened relationships. In support of that goal, I am sharing overviews of our media operations plan, policy, and practice with you in advance.
Tomorrow, May 1st, an OPD or City public information officer (PIO) will be available during all hours and until events have concluded. Our City PIO team has tentatively planned for press releases throughout the day on an as needed basis to keep you and our community informed. You may reach a PIO by phone (510-238-7994), by email (firstname.lastname@example.org), or in person during field operations - to supplement our abilities, a total of 10 OPD PIOs have been designated for field operations. They are easily recognized by their wearing of a lime-green and reflective “OPD PIO” armband. Any one of these methods of contact will result in the facilitation of your coverage.
Press credentials, either issued by the Oakland Police Department, another government or law enforcement agency, or media outlets themselves, should be clearly and plainly displayed. Credentials are required when requesting permission to cross police lines, access media staging areas, or otherwise gain access to areas where the public is restricted. Credentials not issued by the OPD should clearly provide the bearer’s identity and media or agency affiliation. Upon request and successful application, we have the ability to issue temporary press passes to media representatives lacking credentials.
In all cases, we ask that you provide coverage and conduct your required duties from locations and in a manner which does not interfere with, obstruct, or hinder law enforcement actions or scene management. All officers have been trained on issues of media access and activities. A field PIO or supervisor is available in circumstances requiring press access or activity mediation.
To further assist with your coverage, you may be informed of the locations of declared media staging areas for stationary events or locations where public access has been restricted. Media input is considered when establishing staging areas.
It is the intent of the OPD Media Relations Unit to provide the highest level of service possible in our daily work with you in the community we serve.
Sincerely, Sergeant Chris Bolton
Chief of Staff
Office of Chief of Police
Oakland Police Department