The Oakland Police Commission is pleased to announce that Michelle N. Phillips will serve as the City of Oakland’s first ever Independent Inspector General, effective early January.
This is a turning point for Oakland and demonstrates the community’s call for stronger police accountability, since the position of Inspector General was the result of a ballot measure expanding Measure S1 and passed with a resounding majority (81% of the vote, according to news reports).
“Michelle Phillips is a mover and shaker who will thrive here in Oakland. Her dynamic leadership in Baltimore showed she can implement the kind of transformative reform strategies the Oakland Police Commission is looking for from its inaugural Inspector General,” said Police Commission Chair Jackson.
Ms. Phillips brings to Oakland extensive experience as a criminal justice professional in areas of Community Policing and Police Science research. She previously served as the Deputy Inspector General of Investigations for the City of Baltimore, where she was responsible for streamlining and improving all aspects of the Investigations Unit to meet and exceed national best practice.
Prior to her work for the City of Baltimore, Ms. Phillips was responsible for managing large scale research projects dedicated to understanding and improving community policing at the National Police Foundation. She was also instrumental to the creation and integration of a national open-source database for officer involved shootings.
Ms. Phillips earned her B.S. in Criminal Justice from Coppin State University and her M.S. in Criminal Justice, with a specialization in Law and Courts from the University of Baltimore. Ms. Phillips is a certified fraud examiner and certified inspector general investigator.
“Ms. Phillips speaks with thoughtfulness and genuine humility and displays an underlying fierce commitment to a fair and just system. It’s because of this, and the agencies the community voted to put in place, that I believe Oakland is poised for its next chapter,” said Police Commission Vice Chair Milele.
Reporting to the Oakland Police Commission, the role of the IG will be to ensure the Oakland Police Department (OPD) is performing to the highest standards and complying with its policies and
constitutional policing practices. The IG will also be responsible for reviewing and investigating how the City of Oakland is handling police misconduct by reviewing the work and efforts of the Community Police Review Agency (CPRA), as well as how OPD is addressing and complying with federal reforms.
Upon her appointment to the position of Inspector General, Ms. Phillips said: “The City of Oakland’s passage of Measures LL and S1 displays the City’s undeniable dedication to positive, progressive and transparent police reform and accountability. I am excited to be a part of such a monumental time for the City of Oakland and am honored and committed to serving the people of Oakland.”