A bombshell report released by the Anti-Police Terror Project is putting a microscope on Oakland Police's response calls for service.
According to the report, from 2018 to 2020, less than 10 percent of all 911 calls to the Oakland Police Department were for violent crimes. More than 50 percent of the calls were for things police shouldn't need to respond to, such as mental health calls.
"The number that nears 60 percent of these calls are non-criminal that they are responding to is shocking and alarming," said James Burch with the Anti-Police Terror Project.
The report comes as the group claims the city is looking to increase police funding by $11 million as part of its latest budget revision.
The city disputes that saying there is little new spending, and money that was already approved in the initial budget.
"The glaring question becomes, if we are giving you $350 million and over a half of what you are doing is responding to non-criminal calls, is there somebody else that could be doing that?," Burch questions. "And is there somebody else that could be doing it better? We think there is."
Burch believes police are wasting time and money investigating abandoned cars and dealing with homeless. He argues those calls could be better handled by other departments.
He is pushing for the city to focus its funding on a pilot program where the city's fire department would respond to non-violent 911 service calls instead of police.
"It's important for the health and well-being for the people who are being responded to," he said. "We know there are a bunch of people in crisis that need stability, need compassion and care. We want them responded to by professionals who are trained to do so."
On the other hand, the police department is questioning the accuracy of the new report saying the police system used to collect data is outdated and provided incorrect data on response times, types of calls and numbers of officers assigned.
NBC Bay Area reached out to the Oakland Police Department for further comment, but were told nobody was available.
In a letter to City Council, the department explains the data needs further review adding in part the following:
James Burch, Anti Police Terror Project 2:56 its important for the health and well being for the people who are being responded to. We know there are a bunch of people in crisis that need stability, need compassion and care. We want them responded to by professionals who are trained to do so 3:10
"OPD is also constantly looking for opportunities to leverage resources to free up sworn personnel to address violent crime. OPD’s patrol function is staffed at minimum staffing currently and patrol officers perform important functions that need to continue to have staff assigned...”
Critics say the bottom line of the issue is the money planned for the police should be directed to other agencies instead.
"We are going to need some of the millions and millions of dollars that OPD waste if we are ever going to have a chance to truly address this issue," Burch said.