Oakland Mayor and Police Chief announce new plan
to fight crime
By Jeff Shuttleworth, Bay City News Service
March 1, 2006
OAKLAND (BCN) - Oakland Mayor Jerry Brown and Police
Chief Wayne Tucker said today that the city is redeploying its
officers in order to better fight what they describe as a clear
surge in violent crime in the city.
Oakland police say that in the first two months of 2006, compared
to the first two months of 2005, there has been a 200 percent
increase in homicides, a 148 percent increase in shootings and
a 109 percent increase in robberies.
Speaking at a crowded news conference at the Police Department,
Tucker said six police service area commands as well as the traffic
enforcement section have been reorganized into a unified command
that will be flexibly deployed to match police resources with
Tucker said that in a second step that will be implemented soon,
the department will reassign 13 officers from their duties at
the Oakland International Airport back to the patrol division.
He said that will be a "force multiplier" for the Police
Department because the officers will provide much-needed support
to the patrol division.
Brown said the plan calls for "a refocus and emphasis on
crime fighting," stating that the department has so many
demands for so many services that sometimes "crime fighting
gets lost" in the shuffle.
Brown also said "other agencies need to be on board"
in the fight against crime in Oakland, singling out the Alameda
County Board of Supervisors and court officials for criticism.
The mayor said the Board of Supervisors has "dramatically
reduced" the number of probation officers in the county even
though many parolees need supervision, and said that court officials
allow ex-felons caught with firearms to be released back onto
the streets after posting only $10,000 bail.
Brown described the redeployment as "a strategic effort
to go where the crime is" and said it's crucial because the
city needs to let criminals know that "the streets of Oakland
are not a playground of thugs, gangs and shooters."
Tucker said the department is moving quickly to train and hire
more officers, stating that it is about 100 officers short of
the total of 803 officers the city wants to have on duty.
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