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Calls for action grow as Oakland crime spikes

As crime continues to spike in Oakland, demands for action from city and community leaders are growing louder. 

Statistics show that not only is crime in the city trending up, but some types of crime have doubled or even tripled over the past few years. 

“The bottom line of what we are seeing today,” said Oakland City Councilmember Noel Gallo, “I can rob, steal, break into your home while you are at home, and get away with it.”

Auto thefts and assaults have doubled in 2023 as compared to the same time frame in 2019, while carjackings tripled. Murders are trending upward as well. 

This spike has led to the Oakland NAACP branch to call for a state of emergency last month. NAACP President Cynthia Adams believes tackling root causes is the only way to create real change. 

“It still leads to jobs, economics. It still leads to that because we need to make sure that we get those jobs,” said Adams. “We need to bring jobs into this city so we can be able to break down the crime and stop the crime. Until we do that, nothing is going to happen.”

The Oakland Police Department has said it’s working with local, state and federal partners. Some of its tactics include firearm tracing technology, focusing enforcement efforts on active gangs, and partnering with the city’s violence prevention teams.”

OPD released this statement on Monday: “Public safety is our top priority at the Oakland Police Department, and it’s crucial to take proactive measures every day to address the rise in violence crime.”

Meanwhile, Gov. Gavin Newsom has committed to bringing California Highway Patrol officers to Oakland as reinforcement. He has also said he’ll provide money to install license plate readers. 

“If he needs to send the National Guard over, do it,” said Gallo. “I need to protect my children and families at the end of the way, and make sure that grandma feels safe walking down the street.”

Gallo is already working on a proposal for license plate readers, not only for street use, but also inside people’s home camera systems. That is, if they chose to participate. 

“At least we can discourage some of the crime and also be able to record some of those who are violation our homes, our streets, our schools,” said Gallo. 

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao also released a statement on Monday, saying the she is, “committed to working with community partners and across agencies to ensure we are doing everything we can to both prevent violence and hold people accountable for carrying out crimes across our city.”

Source: NBC Bay Area

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