Mayor Sheng Thao joined Interim Police Chief Darren Allison, District 3 Council Member Carroll Fife, and Interim Department of Violence Prevention Chief Kentrell Killens in a press conference to discuss recent arrests of suspects in a string of robberies and the steps the City is taking to prevent crime and make our communities safer.
On May 21, Oakland Police Department officers arrested nine suspects in connection to nearly three dozen robberies. The arrests were just the latest wave in a total of 20 arrests made between May 15 -21.
“Community safety is a priority for my Administration,” said Mayor Thao. “People who commit crimes in Oakland will be held accountable. I commend the Oakland Police Department for their work in protecting our communities.”
The City of Oakland is united as One Oakland in working to not only solve crimes when they occur, but to prevent them from happening. To that end, the City has taken several steps to improve community safety, including:
- Reinvesting in traffic divisions and foot patrols: 7 sworn staff dedicated to foot patrol and 7 sworn staff dedicated to traffic unit;
- Restructuring public safety departments in the Mayor’s proposed budget for more effective coordination and strengthening of resources;
- Budgeting for 6 police academies in the proposed budget, increasing the number of officers from roughly 700 to 730 over the next two years.
“In recent weeks, we’ve seen a surge in violence which has impacted our community and it’s concerning for all of us who work, live and visit the City of Oakland,” said Interim Chief Allison. “Our city, like many other major cities, is facing very challenging times and it is crucial we come together to take a collaborative approach when it comes to addressing crime in Oakland.”
The nine suspects arrested on May 21 ranged in age from 12 to 17, highlighting another priority for the Administration: Preventing crime by investing in youth.
“The Department of Violence Prevention is committed to offering support services to all individuals involved in this matter,” said Kentrell Killens, Interim Chief of Violence Prevention for the Department of Violence Prevention. “Through relentless outreach, we are seeking to engage the young people involved and their families to introduce the variety of services offered throughout the DVP network of providers. Through our existing relationship with probation, our staff will conduct individual coaching with the young people to begin this process of building relationships while they are in custody as well as through their transition back to the community.”
As part of her focus on lasting solutions to community safety and youth empowerment, Mayor Thao is committed to supporting the Career Technical Education TAY Hub (transitional-aged youth), which provides housing, wraparound services, a technical education center in several trades, a space for athletic programs, and additional services and support for the 50% of Oakland’s high school graduates who do not enter post-secondary programs. The Mayor’s office will be co-hosting a School Safety Summit next month to strengthen the City’s investment in vital school-based violence prevention services that help keep our young people in school and off the streets.
And despite a historic deficit, the Mayor’s proposed budget maintains funding for Oakland’s parks and recreation in order to allow these spaces to stay open for children, and includes the creation of a Department of Children, Youth and Families.
“We can hold individuals accountable and address the root causes of crime by giving our youth the necessary tools to reach their full potential,” said Mayor Thao.