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The Oakland Police Department (OPD) presides over one of the most crime-ridden areas in the nation. Policing Oakland is a challenging task by any measure and there have been many allegations that officers have employed inappropriate policing tactics. (Guardian article). After a gang of rogue police officers in the 1990s was accused of framing and beating suspects, the department was placed on a court-ordered monitor by a district judge. As part of a Negotiated Settlement Agreement, OPD is required to complete a list of “tasks”. The department has received other independent recommendations for reforms. There was a clear lack of accountability in the departments past, which created the impetus for reform. For the purposes of this paper, accountability entails establishing expectations, verifying performance, assessing blame, and sorting responsibility (Romzek 241). In this paper I ask, “Will accountability related reforms be institutionalized?” I evaluate the need for these reforms and use two applicable tasks to analyze reform success. I argue accountability-based reforms has penetrated the police culture and will be institutionalized because of internal support and decentralization, which improve collaboration and present an opportunity to engage with the community.
I will break my paper into three parts. In the first section, I will explore a case example of the problems of police accountability in Oakland, and argue that there is a need for change. Second, I will look at two tasks – tasks #24 and #34, which I chose to evaluate the departments’ efforts to make reforms that are aligned with the accountability-based police structure. Next, I will look at cross pressures and organizational change principles (Fe...

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...erarchical structure that divides up leadership by geography and addresses the needs of the community more efficiently.
Overall, the prospects of accountability-based reforms taking hold and becoming institutionalized are fairly good. Based on the Fernandez and Rainey framework for organizational change we see that the two steps chosen to assess accountability-based reforms in the OPD show that reforms have internal support because it improves collaboration between top managers and lower level officers by creating more manageable districts that have one go-to person that has all the responsibility. The two accountability-related tasks I chose to examine also show signs that the requirements by the court-ordered monitor show either partial or full compliancy, pointing to an upward trajectory of the institutionalization of accountability-based reforms.

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