Silverseal and StoneTurn Selected by Oakland Police Department to Conduct an Independent Review of Personnel Practices
The “New Blue” Initiative is Designed to Bring Lasting and Measurable Change to Police Departments and Their Communities Across the U.S.
Silverseal and its partner StoneTurn, a global advisory firm, have been selected by the City of Oakland, California, to conduct an objective, third-party review of the Oakland Police Department’s (OPD) promotion and hiring practices. The two firms have joined forces on a law enforcement compliance and community engagement initiative, The New Blue, which brings together a diverse and talented team of law enforcement, investigative, compliance, data analytics, and community engagement experts to help OPD both understand its current challenges and bring lasting and measurable changes that will benefit the Oakland community and OPD.
In August 2020, the City of Oakland Police Commission (the Commission) issued a Request for Proposal, seeking an independent third-party to examine a subset of allegations raised by the Oakland Black Officers Association (OBOA) in its March 15, 2019 letter to the Commission. After a rigorous interview process, The New Blue team’s professionalism, diversity, and multi-faceted approach led to the selection.
“We appreciate the OPD’s efforts to address the concerns raised by the OBOA. Our independence and objective approach should give the OBOA, other members of the OPD, and citizens of Oakland, confidence we will prioritize transparency and results in an impartial reflection of our findings. We look forward to working with community representatives, local government personnel, and police department leadership to understand current practices and identify areas for potential improvement,” said Joshua Holzer, a StoneTurn Partner and former federal law enforcement official, who leads the engagement team. Joshua noted, “Our data analytics expertise will be critically important in identifying existing trends and will act as a roadmap for any required remediation.”
The New Blue team will review policies, procedures, and historic approaches and activities. Findings from community engagement, including surveys and focus group discussions, will help tailor and support recommendations. Upon completion of the review, The New Blue team will present its findings and recommendations to The Commission and the Oakland community.
“Assessing and helping to improve OPD’s hiring and promotion practices requires an evaluation of this community’s unique needs, risks, resources and culture,” said Patrick Timlin, Chief Executive Officer of Silverseal and former Deputy Commissioner of Operations for the New York City Police Department (NYPD). “I’m confident that this independent, transparent, and objective review will help facilitate the collaborative and constructive conversations between communities and the OPD to identify issues and achieve meaningful change, including best practices for bias-free practices within the police department.”
The New Blue team includes multidisciplinary experts in community policing, community empowerment, law enforcement procedures and management, police misconduct investigations and compliance controls, and data analytics. The team will help bring material improvements to OPD’s processes and procedures by leveraging over a century of combined law enforcement experience, at both the local and federal levels, and insights gained by providing guidance in the wake of crises such as the Crown Heights Riots; investigating allegations of abuse by law enforcement against suspected terrorist detainees; overseeing major operations and divisions of the NYPD; and conducting organizational analysis and delivering recommendations for improvements to police departments around the country.
StoneTurn, a global advisory firm, assists companies, their counsel and government agencies on regulatory, risk and compliance issues, investigations, and business disputes. We serve our clients from offices across the U.S., U.K. and in Germany, Brazil and South Africa, assisted by a network of senior advisers around the world. To learn more, visit StoneTurn.com.
Silverseal, a global consultancy firm has expertise in organizational analysis, program design and training in law enforcement and security environments. The firm’s leadership consists of community-based law enforcement executives, and community engagement and empowerment specialists. The firm deploys operational protective services globally, technology solutions and conducts complex investigations.