Oakland: Police asked — again — to report illegal parties, events
After the awful fire at Oakland's undergound afte hours arts space Ghost Ship, police are cracking down on illegal parties in the Bay Area. But with sky rocketing real estate value and limited empty space, how can the city's grassroots art scene continue to grow and thrive?This article originally appeared on East Bay Times
In response to a deadly warehouse fire in December that killed 36 people, an Oakland police official sent out a directive Friday asking officers to report any illegal parties or events to their supervisors and to a special unit within the department.
The directive comes just over a week after a similar order was issued and then retracted the same day. In a statement Feb. 16, City Administrator Sabrina Landreth said the city was in the process of developing communication protocols with the police department and retracted the order.
Assistant Oakland police Chief David Downing issued the new order Friday requiring “all personnel to report unlicensed cabarets and unpermitted special events” to the Special Event Unit within the department and to the officers’ respective commanders. Officers are being asked to report the time they observed the violation, the address of the event, contact information for any on-site managers, a description of what the officers saw, warnings given or enforcement action taken and a report or incident number.
Downing also told officers to “continue to report obvious hazardous conditions” they see during the course of their normal work “for referral to the appropriate city or county agency.”
The order comes after revelations that police officers had, on numerous occasions, visited the Ghost Ship warehouse in Oakland’s Fruitvale neighborhood prior to the deadly fire on Dec. 2, when 36 people lost their lives while attending an unpermitted dance party.
Cover photo courtesy of Paul Kuroda