Founded in 1974, the Oakland Housing Authority Police Department (OHAPD) was originally titled the Security and Safety Services Department (SSSD). The Department had an authorized strength of 19 sworn employees, including the director of security, one administrative assistant, three sergeants, 15 officers, and three dispatchers. This department was created to supplement the efforts of the Oakland Police Department in combating criminal and narcotic activities occurring on and/or about Authority-owned/controlled properties. In 1981, OHA officers obtained peace officer status (830.31(d) PC), allowing the agency to better supplement the Oakland Police Department.
Currently, the agency has an authorized strength of 45 positions. Thirty-four positions are designated as sworn. The Department employs eleven non-sworn staff members who are assigned to departmental functions including communications, records, parking enforcement, the Customer Assistance Center, and fraud recovery. OHAPD does not provide full service policing to its population, and operates as a supplemental policing entity to the City of Oakland Police Department (OPD). The OPD is the primary law enforcement agency in Oakland, which includes Authority owned properties.
Led by Chief Carel Duplessis, the Oakland Housing Authority Police Department is committed to providing police services in accordance with state and local law, and guided by the principles and key values of the department. Always sensitive to the needs of the public, the department success is built upon dominate operating philosophy or community policing, executed by a staff of professionals who are focused providing effective, efficient and professional police services.