Oakland Police Issued Directive to Report Any Illegal Parties or Events

The order comes after reports that Oakland police visited the Ghost Ship space multiple times before the December 2 fire.
February 26, 2017, 3:19pm
Photo of Ghost Ship warehouse via Wikimedia Commons

Despite the retraction of a similar order a week ago, Assistant Oakland police Chief David Downing has issued a directive asking officers to report any illegal events or parties to their supervisors, reports the East Bay Times.

According to the new order, issued Friday, all officers must "report unlicensed cabarets and unpermitted special events" to their supervisors and a Special Event Unit within the department. In addition to reporting the events, officers will also report the time, the address, contact information for any "on-site managers," and any warnings given or enforcement action taken.

The order was issued after news broke that Oakland police officers had visited the Ghost Ship warehouse repeatedly repeatedly before the December 2 fire that killed 36 people. Authorities were called to the space numerous times over the course of two years for at least 10 code enforcement complaints, including faulty electrical wiring and piles of trash. In one incident from March 2015, police were called to the venue for reports of an illegal rave. The party was reportedly shut down, but no arrests were made and no subsequent follow-up was given.

"The Oakland Police Department has been working with the city to put policies and protocols in place to make improvements," said Oakland police spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson.

On February 16, City Administrator Sabrina Landreth said the previous order was retracted as the city was still in the process of developing communication protocols.