I am committed to supporting strategies and policies that prevent violent behavior, reduce recidivism, take violent offenders off our streets, and enhance overall public safety in Oakland. This is a budget priority!
Over the past few of months there have been a number of violent assaults, property crimes and other criminal activity in parts of North Oakland and in several neighborhoods throughout our city. At a recent community meeting on crime and violence that I hosted, we heard from hundreds of Oaklanders who bravely shared their stories as victims of crime and from neighbors who have been enduring a heightened level of fear. Most everyone is insisting that we as a city government take more actions to reduce crime and ensure public safety.
The Oakland Police Department (OPD) and our Department of Violence Prevention (DVP) certainly are aware of the serious and violent crimes in North Oakland and, while there is not a single trend or apparent single, underlying reason associated with these robberies and shootings, the City of Oakland is committed to fully investigating these incidents and working to substantially reduce these horrible incidents throughout the city.
My staff and I meet regularly with the OPD Area 2 Captain and DVP senior staff to discuss recent crime trends in D1 and the city as a whole, OPD response and investigation, and implementation of DVP short and long-term strategies.
I have consistently supported the programs housed in our Department of Violence Prevention, and in 2021 successfully advocated for doubling what was their rather modest budget at the time. Additionally, I drafted, along with Council President Bas, the initial legislation to create the city’s Mobile Assistance Community Responders of Oakland (MACRO) program, which will both enable a timely response to nonviolent incidents and free up sworn officers to focus on more serious criminal activity.
That said, we must do more as a City to create actual safety for the people who live, work and visit here. Our Police response times are often lacking and violent criminal behavior continues to affect many of our neighborhoods. To address these realities, I have developed a number of budget and service priorities. Budget priorities include money that the City Council can dedicate during the budget process. Service priorities outline ways in which the Oakland Police Department and other departments/offices can focus resources to better ensure public safety for all. I’ve outlined these priorities here.