Crime has always been a spotlight issue for Oakland. Recent events like the string of robberies that have hit commercial districts in North Oakland and the arrival of the Guardian Angels patroling our streets has made this issue even more paramount. This morning KQED's morning show Forum discussed the issue of crime and city of Oakland's response- those who missed it can listen here. All of this discussion makes it clear that something has to be done, and voters are eager to see their public funds put to creative and practical use. I'm working with others in the city to make our neighborhoods safer. Here's what needs to be done:
- Hire more police officers. We have too few police officers for a city of our size. The City of Oakland should increase the number of police officers until crime levels have decreased substantially.
- Mandate the use of a public safety management and accountability system. Other cities around the country have implemented systems to track crime in neighborhoods and these systems have proven effective in reducing crime.
- Reassign uniformed police officers from clerical jobs to community crime reduction assignments in neighborhoods
- Equip police and emergency vehicles with GPS. This allows police commanders to know the location of emergency vehicles and more efficiently deploy police officers to the closest emergency situation.
- We need an audit of Measure Y funds. Enforcement needs to be balanced with prevention and Oakland voters supported Measure Y to do just that. However we need an audit so taxpayers know how these $6 million are being spent to improve public safety.