Oakland to consider warrant free searches

April 15, 2008 12:00:00 AM PDT
The Oakland City Council is expected to potentially greenlight a controversial pilot program to stop teen violence - giving police the power to search your home for guns that your children may be hiding without a warrant.

All parents would essentially have to do is give their okay for officers to come inside their home and search the kid's bedrooms for guns. Oakland police want to use it as another tool to curb violence in the city and get guns off the street.

The program will go before the Oakland City Council tonight. If this is approved, police say they will launch the six-month pilot program sometime this summer and likely will start in West Oakland neighborhoods.

What would happen is officers would knock on doors and ask parents if they could come inside a home and search for guns in their kid's bedroom. Any guns found would be confiscated. If the gun was involved in a crime, police would then prosecute.

The program is a controversial one; the ACLU in Oakland says they'll keep an eye on what happens if the program is approved.

Other cities have used the consent to search program to curb violence; St. Louis tried it in 1994 - it worked for a while and then fizzled out; Washington D.C. has a program that's operating there right now - and officers say at this point they have so many parents requesting officers to come in home and search their kid's room for guns, they simply can't keep up.


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