Dr. Jennifer Tran for Congress: Sensible Solutions

Public Safety

We have an urgent public safety crisis in the East Bay. Violent crime and property crime are surging out of control.

It’s time to improve and rethink modern policing in American cities.

Oakland is Ground Zero for the failed policies stemming from the movement to defund the police.

These policies were born from irrational idealism without strategic planning. As a result of these failed policy experiments, our East Bay police departments are now underfunded, understaffed, and demoralized. Oakland Police Department has been so decimated that they can no longer provide basic services to deter, respond, or investigate crimes. Average response time for top priority violent crimes is 19 minutes. For property crimes, residents and businesses commonly see response times of several hours if OPD even shows up at all.

Dr Tran’s Plan for Public Safety

Police Department Sizes Proportionate to Population

Mental Health Support for First-Responders

Non-Violent Response led by Social Work Professionals

First, all cities should have police departments that are staffed proportionately to their population.

No city in this country should lack public safety because of a lack of police staffing. We must re-establish police departments as institutions of honorable public service that deserve pay scales providing a good quality of life. The federal government should provide funding for our modern cities to meet these staffing needs so we can guarantee that no American city falls into the current chaos of Oakland.

Second, we must recognize that our police officers need mental health support.

  • Policing is a hard job. Police officers come face-to-face with a lot of sad, ugly, difficult, and emotionally taxing parts of our society. We must incorporate mandatory mental health support into every police department for every officer on the streets. This will also help to prevent police misconduct from officers who are suffering from stress, trauma, or burnout.

Third, we must build on the good idea of sending social work professionals to the scene of non-violent calls about homelessness, mental health crisis, and drug addiction.

Police departments were defunded to redirect resources into a patchwork of poorly trained “community ambassador” organizations that respond to these types of non-violent calls. Not only are these groups poorly trained, but they never work effectively in conjunction with police. Even worse, studies have shown these groups to be largely ineffective at preventing any crimes or providing positive outcomes for the vulnerable citizens they’re intended to help.

The sensible solution is to integrate social workers into our police forces.

  • Each car should be staffed with one armed police officer and one unarmed social work officer in police uniform. 
  • The unarmed social worker officer will be the first responder whenever possible, preventing the misuse of force from the armed officer. 
  • Police budgets will increase to meet the public safety requirements of the populations they serve. 
  • Unnecessary uses of force will be largely eliminated.
  • Fewer citizens suffering from mental illness and drug addiction will be incarcerated. 

The outcomes of police interactions with citizens will be just.

We need to reject the false choice between real safety and justice. We can have both.

In Dr. Tran’s first 100 days in office, she will introduce legislation to Congress called the Modern Cities Act. This legislation will encode these basic public safety upgrades listed above into federal law to create the future we all deserve.

Why trust Dr. Jennifer Tran on public safety?

  • Community Leadership: President Oakland Vietnamese Chamber of Commerce
    In this role, Dr. Jennifer Tran was responsible for convening and collaborating with the community, including first-responders and law enforcement, county and state elected officials, to build comprehensive policing initiatives that were shown to work
  • Local Advocacy: Oakland Community Policing Advocacy Board
    Dr. Jennifer Tran was a former board member of this organization, and advocated for more restorative-justice, trauma-informed approaches to crisis response
  • Grassroots Service: Stop AAPI Hate
    Dr. Jennifer Tran participated in park and neighborhood activations to improve the safety of AAPI communities facing violence in the wake of COVID-19 and anti-immigrant, anti-Asian rhetoric

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