OAKLAND -- Mayor Jean Quan is trying to rally City Council support for hiring one of the nation's most decorated police chiefs as a consultant for Oakland's beleaguered force.

In a letter addressed to council members Friday, Quan touted former NYPD and LAPD Chief Bill Bratton's record both in reducing crime and working with civil rights groups.

"Oakland residents and businesses deserve the best, and I support Chief (Howard) Jordan in his request to bring on one of the best advisers he could have," Quan wrote.

The council is scheduled to vote on a $250,000 contract for Bratton and two associates to help police design and implement strategies to reduce crime in California's most violent city

Opponents have mobilized against Bratton, citing his support for giving police more latitude in stopping and searching potential suspects.

Support for Bratton on the City Council appeared to weaken on Tuesday amid vocal protests during a Public Safety Committee meeting. Councilmembers Dan Kalb and Lynette Gibson McElhaney both questioned whether Bratton would be effective holding community meetings given likely protests.

On Wednesday, a spokesman for Councilmember Rebecca Kaplan said she was awaiting more information before making up her mind.

Quan noted that while in Los Angeles, Bratton dealt with federal monitoring similar to what is in place in Oakland, and that complaints against the department filed with the ACLU dropped dramatically during his tenure. She also reiterated that no matter Bratton's advice, the city won't implement "zero-tolerance" policing policies.

"The goals of fighting crime and improving police relationships in our communities are not at odds with each other," Quan wrote. "I believe Bratton can help us improve the department on both fronts, but in the end, the responsibility for OPD policy is not his: it is Chief Jordan's and mine."