The Coalition for Police Accountability Hails Implementation Vote on MACRO

Press Advisory

Oakland City Council Voices Strong Support for Immediate Implementation of MACRO
Alternative Emergency Response Could Pilot Within Months-

Oakland, Ca. The Tuesday, March 16th Oakland City Council began with overwhelming support during public
comment for Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland (MACRO), the alternative
emergency response model that was developed to respond to a broad range of non-violent
emergency calls without police. The votes to create a division within the fire department to
house MACRO and to direct the city administrator to expeditiously implement the pilot was
unanimous, as all city council members joined the resolution as co-sponsors.

In June 2020, the council commissioned a feasibility study by Urban Strategies Council that
oversaw the development of the model with extensive community participation. The June 2021
budget included $1.85 million for the pilot. The pilot was initially assigned to the new
Department of Violence Prevention to contract with a non-profit, but the council could not agree
on the awarding of the contract. The Fire Department was given flexibility in how to implement
while finalizing permanent city positions and other details.

Cathy Leonard, spokesperson for the Coalition for Police Accountability, noted the significance
of the vote “we have been hearing from Oaklanders for years that small interactions with police
often escalate. When unhoused residents testified about their need for someone else to call in
emergencies, it pushed us to bring CAHOOTS down to explain how their 30-year program
responds to 20% of emergency calls in Eugene OR without police.”

MACRO community responders with training and background in de-escalation, harm reduction,
and community-centered support will be recruited from the neighborhoods they serve. Other
alternative models typically rely on licensed clinicians and often co-respond with police.
Cathy Leonard added “There are so many emergency calls that do not require a badge and a
gun. Our neighbors will be safer and offered connections to resources and referrals, knowing
that any solution will be one they help to develop. Community members continue to be excited
about the pilot and are already pulling together meetings in pilot neighborhoods to make sure
neighbors are involved in implementation from the beginning.”

Contact: Cathy Leonard, 510-927-1574, Anne Janks, 510-213-2953

1 Comment on "The Coalition for Police Accountability Hails Implementation Vote on MACRO"

  1. Thank you for this update. Such an important alternative to calling the police.

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