With Violent Crime Increase, Two Public Meetings Focus on Public Safety in Oakland

Date Posted: September 29th, 2020 @ 3:15 PM
Last Updated: September 30th, 2020 @ 3:36 PM

Oakland, CA – Against a backdrop of an unacceptable increase in violent crime, including an alarming spike in homicides and shootings—tragically, seven people have been killed in Oakland since last Thursday, and homicides and shootings are up nearly 45% over last year— public safety in Oakland will be the focus of two important public meetings this week: a special Joint City Council meeting with public safety-related commissions and boards, and a new task force, and a meeting of the newly seated Reimagining Public Safety Task Force.

Today at 4:30 pm is a special joint meeting of the Oakland City Council and the Safety and Services Oversight Commission, along with members of Police Commission and Community Policing Advisory Board (CPAB) as required by Measure Z, and the newly created Reimagining Public Safety Taskforce.

City staff from the Oakland Police Department, Department of Violence Prevention, Oakland Fire Department, and Department of Race and Equity will present a report summarizing how City Departments have utilized funding from the Public Safety and Services Violence Prevention Act of 2014 (Measure Z) to reduce violence, and discuss the inclusion of a racial equity framework to improve effectiveness.

Violence has a vastly disproportionate impact on communities of color, specifically African Americans and Latinos, in Oakland and elsewhere. No one effort alone can achieve safety and healing. Inequitable systems that drive disparities in criminalization, wealth, health, education, and housing are all forms of structural violence – and they perpetuate the cycle of individual violence. The City of Oakland has embraced an explicit equity approach that highlights the need to change its own systems and institutions that contribute to inequitable outcomes related to violence.

This joint meeting presents an opportunity for community members and City leaders to articulate a commitment to reducing disparities to those who experience violence without increasing racial disparities in incarceration and by taking a public health approach that explicitly seeks to address root causes of violence.

To participate via Zoom teleconference, click here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86487030367

Tomorrow night, Wednesday, September 30 from 6 – 8 pm, the newly seated Reimagining Public Safety Task Force convenes its second meeting.

The agenda includes the following:

  • A summary of current Task Force data requests, updates and next steps regarding the Task Force’s workplan and timeline
  • Information about the four Advisory Boards and opportunities for the Task Force members to chair or otherwise participate on an Advisory Board
  • Presentation by the City of Oakland’s Finance Department and Police Department about the City of Oakland’s budgeting process, the Oakland Police Department’s (OPD) budget, and OPD’s organizational structure
  • Presentation by the City’s Department of Violence Prevention about programs and services funded through Measure Z: the 2014 Oakland Public Safety and Services Violence Prevention Act.

To participate via Zoom teleconference, click here: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/86487030367

Background on Reimagining Public Safety

Through the Reimagining Public Safety Task Force, the Oakland City Council is answering the call from residents and community leaders who have stated unequivocally that the time has come for change. The Reimagining Public Safety Task Force will engage in an open, transparent, and thorough process—co-led with the community—to create a shared vision for the public safety system in Oakland that is rooted in equity and addresses the historic and current disparities created by racism and economic inequality.

Our ambitious goal is to rapidly reimagine and reconstruct the public safety system in Oakland by developing a recommendation for Council consideration to increase community safety through alternative responses to calls for assistance, and investments in programs that address the root causes of violence and crime (such as health services, housing, jobs, etc.), with a goal of a 50% reduction in the OPD General Purpose Fund (GFP) budget allocation.

For more information about Task Force membership and meetings, and to engage with the Task Force, please check the official website for regular updates.


Media Contact

Karen Boyd

Communications Director

City Administrator’s Office

(510) 449-4401