Napa Valley police officials are upset with the way the Oakland Police Department led a motorcade of Raiders buses out of town last week, and they are letting them know about it.
In a letter sent to Oakland Police Chief Sean Whent, Napa County Sheriff John Robertson wrote that on Aug. 21, Oakland motorcycle police inappropriately shut down busy wine country roads to escort the Raiders’ team buses from training camp in Napa to Oakland.
The letter claims Oakland police on motorcycles put their lights and sirens on and led four buses through town as school children were trying to cross busy streets.
According to American Canyon City Manager Dana Shigley, the special treatment afforded the Raiders inconvenienced a lot of people.
Shigley also said she was concerned that police apparently prioritized football over the safety of the residents in her small city in Napa County.
“We certainly would like it not to happen again,” Shigley said. “It’s inappropriate to be giving a code three escort to a football team through our town when parents are trying to get to their kids. It’s already crowded enough.”
In an interview with NBC Bay Area, John Robertson said that the Oakland Police Department did not notify his department about their plans and called the motorcade “unbelievable.”
In the letter he wrote to Chief Whent, Robertson said, “While I understand the City of Oakland’s need to provide the (Raiders) with a higher level of service, if one child, or motorist were harmed by this unauthorized and illegal act, it would be just one more negative event that would affect all of law enforcement.”
Robertson told Whent that, in the future, his officers should alert the city of Napa’s dispatch center for the quickest and safest routes.
Attempts by NBC Bay Area to reach Chief Whent for comment were not immediately successful.
The Raiders have brand new practice fields in Napa to go along with an 18,500-square-foot building that features four times as much equipment as the old weight room.
Work on the new practice fields began in May, with the fields raised 14 inches to improve drainage and new grass being brought in from Palm Desert. The grass provides a more forgiving surface than the old one affectionately called “The Rock” by players.