Oakland police to increase presence in the midst of the crime wave, city leaders are seeking to reverse planned cuts

That Oakland Police Department will increase its presence in the midst of a wave of violence that has included stray armed caravans, an increase in homicide and audacity smash-and-grab burglary, while city leaders want to reverse planned budget cuts that are due to take effect next year, as it follows other liberal cities that change course to address crime.

The department tweeted Sunday that tactical teams will help patrol officers respond to caravans, illegal side shows and other violent crimes. The announcement came days after a retired police officer worked as one security guard was shot and killed while protecting a local TV news team during an armed robbery.

Kevin Nishita died of his injuries Saturday morning after being shot days earlier while working with a KRON TV team on a story about a recent smash-and-grab incident. His death brought the city’s murder rate to 127 this year.

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Kevin Nishita

Kevin Nishita
(Alameda County Sheriff’s Office)

The latest murder took place on Sunday when a man was shot and killed while confronting a suspect in car theft.

Speaking to city officials on Monday, Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf said she would push for more police officers and said she would present a plan to city council to maintain departmental levels of at least 678 officers in an effort to restart the city’s Program. for the reduction of ceasefire crime.

“This analysis will make it the case that there is a need for additional police staffing in the wake of this violent spree,” Schaaf said during a virtual meeting. “We know what has worked in the past. There is nothing progressive about unrestrained gun violence.”

She noted that COVID-19 the pandemic “completely interrupted” police training and recruitment process. Her recommendations on increased police staffing and services will be available Friday.

Four suspects involved in the latest smash-and-grab burglary targeted an Apple store in Santa Rosa, California on Wednesday, authorities said.

Four suspects involved in the latest smash-and-grab burglary targeted an Apple store in Santa Rosa, California on Wednesday, authorities said.
(Santa Rosa Police Department)

One recommendation would be to add an extra academy class and a proposal to go back to police budget cuts, such as the freezing of 50 posts in the police department from next summer.

“It’s heartbreaking, and it’s even traumatic to hear about how many lives have been lost due to violence,” said Councilwoman Treva Reid, representing eastern Oakland, who has seen a disproportionate amount of the growing violence in the city. “It has gripped our society.”

The police staff has fallen to below the 678 sworn officers authorized by a voter-approved measure.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf speaks at a news conference in Oakland, California, on July 26, 2021. Oakland officials will reverse plans to cut police funding and seek to hire more officers as soon as possible, Schaaf said Monday, like a wave of guns. .  violence and fatal shootings have left residents on edge.  (AP Photo / Jeff Chiu, File)

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf speaks at a news conference in Oakland, California, on July 26, 2021. Oakland officials will reverse plans to cut police funding and seek to hire more officers as soon as possible, Schaaf said Monday, like a wave of guns. . violence and fatal shootings have left residents on edge. (AP Photo / Jeff Chiu, File)

The Oakland Police Officers Association, the union that represents private officers, said the department loses 10 officers each month to other law enforcement agencies.

“Oakland’s dwindling ranks of police officers falling below the voter-approved minimum number of 678 are another broken promise to Oakland residents from the ‘defund-the-polite’ majority in the city council, which is determined to make Oakland less safe,” he said. union president Barry Donelan in a statement.

Oakland appears to be following a similar path as other cities that voted to cut police budgets amid protests over the death of George Floyd. Many police departments see their budgets being restored, in whole or in part, amid escalating crime rates and pressure from lawmakers.

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Oakland has struggled with an increase in gun crime and recently a wave of smash-and-grabs thefts which has left residents and businesses on the edge.

On Nov. 19, officers encountered a caravan of hundreds of vehicles targeting cannabis companies and fired up to 175 shots near officers, police chief LeRonne Armstrong said last week after a bloody weekend. He said the department needs the help of city leaders to fight the violence.

“I urge councilors to step forward and start having a conversation about the loss of human life in this city,” the chief said. “In addition to the policy of whether or not you support the police, there is a clear problem in this city and that this city should deal with overwhelming violence over the weekend, and that is unacceptable.”

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