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East Bay leaders, law enforcement agencies announce partnership to combat crime

East Bay leaders and law enforcement are joining forces to get a handle on crime.

“The perpetrators of crime aren’t constrained by jurisdictional lines. They don’t stop when they get to a city’s borders. That means we cannot stay siloed. We have to work across jurisdictions to enhance public safety,” said Berkeley Mayor Jesse Arreguin.

That’s the goal of the new regional public safety partnership, as Berkeley, Oakland, San Leandro and Alameda County leaders try to reduce crime in their area. They are working together to track crimes, to help them prevent it, or catch criminals in the act.

The joint effort relies on technology, sharing data, and working on policies to better prevent crime. They also want to create a real-time crime center using cameras throughout the county.

“We are able to share information more rapidly, we are able to deploy resources in a smarter matter, we are able to have a better effect on responding to crime,” said Berkeley police Jen Lewis.

Last year, Oakland saw a 21% increase in violent crime and 38% spike in robberies. Some of the hardest hit areas are in Oakland’s Hegenberger- Interstate 80 corridor by the airport an area Oakland police are heavily focused on in the last six months.

“We have seen an over 50% reduction, where we are seeing about 30 break-ins occurring a day which is still too much. I want to continue to drive that number down,” said Cpt. Casey Johnson with the Oakland Police Department.

“This region is an economic engine, not just for Oakland but this entire East Bay Area and we are all invested in protecting how we support our businesses, how we support our communities, how we support our tourists. We have businesses that are still here who want to stay here,” said Oakland councilmember Treva Reid.

It’s a welcomed effort for East Oakland business owner William Crotinger, who told NBC Bay Area Wednesday that he’s lost employees because they didn’t feel safe in the area.

“We are all certainly impacted. So, to be able to solve that and to know that everyone is on the same page, it thinks it is what is required to actually get things done,” he said.

The partnership comes as the state recently brought in 120 CHP officers to the streets of Oakland and Alameda County for a five-day surge operation.

The CHP made 71 arrests, recovered 145 stolen vehicles and seized four guns linked to crimes in that time.

But the surge is not permanent. CHP said they are going back to their normal East Bay staffing now, but will add more patrols as needed, unannounced, going forward.

Oakland councilmember Noel Gallo believes more resources are needed.

“The reality is, we have an emergency and I need the National Guard to be here if that’s what we need to have them on our  streets as other cities are doing,” he said.

Source: NBC Bay Area

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