Expensive Oakland Police Security Fees Force Cancellation of Community Events

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A police officer stands to the side at an outdoor event. Oakland's high permit fees for police security has garnered criticism from frustrated event planners. (iStock)

First Fridays, a popular monthly art walk and street fair in Oakland, will restart in October -- months after event organizers originally planned to resume after pandemic closures. They said they couldn’t afford a $24,000 per event fee the Oakland police charged for security. Other events have also been delayed or canceled because of prohibitively expensive security fees, which event organizers say seem arbitrary and often surface at the last minute. Oakland’s city council approved a resolution last year to change the public events permitting process, but hasn’t been implemented. We talk about the cost of putting on events in Oakland and what the city could do to address the problem.


Nastia Voynovskaya, associate editor, KQED Arts