Public Safety Agencies Work Together to Improve Safety along the Hegenberger Corridor

City of Oakland Expands upon the Merchant Corridor Safety Ambassador Program

Today, the City of Oakland, Port of Oakland, Alameda County Sheriff, and the California Highway Patrol detailed existing and new initiatives to improve public safety along the Hegenberger Corridor. The ongoing collaboration between these partner agencies has reduced most property crimes along the Hegenberger Corridor since mid-2023.

Key Actions:

  • The increased presence of Oakland police officers patrolling the 98th Avenue and Hegenberger Corridor 7 days a week. (City of Oakland)
  • Deployed police foot patrols and trust-building officers to enhance security in shopping centers and gas stations. (City of Oakland)
  • Safety Ambassadors on the Hegenberger Corridor from the Airport to International Blvd, providing providing a visible safety presence, homeless outreach and merchant engagement services. (Black Cultural Zone)
  • Hired a dedicated security team to provide 24/7 coverage at the Edgewater Shopping Center and the areas of Chevron and Starbucks on 98th Avenue. (City of Oakland & Port of Oakland)
  • Additional security cameras, including three eye-in-the-sky cameras, were deployed to monitor activities in and around the area. (City of Oakland & Port of Oakland)
  • Partnered with the California Highway Patrol to conduct traffic enforcement and safety operations (City of Oakland & California Highway Patrol)
  • Partnered with the California Highway Patrol to coordinate surge operations (City of Oakland & California Highway Patrol)
  • Renewed security contract with the Port of Oakland to provide security services at the Oakland International Airport. (Alameda County Sheriff’s Office)

Key Performance Indicators:

  • 63% decrease in auto burglaries (824 incidents to 305)*
  • 49% decrease in larceny/theft (315 incidents to 162)*
  • 7% decrease in robberies (30 to 28)*
  • Oakland Police Department has conducted 41 arrests from May 1, 2023 to February 29, 2024.
  • California Highway Patrol has recovered 360 stolen vehicles, conducted 168 arrests, and seized 16 crime-linked firearms during the month of February 2024.

*Data compares the period from May 1, 2023 - September 30, 2023 to October 1, 2023 to February 29, 2024

These expanded safety resources are part of a comprehensive safety strategy that builds upon the Merchant Corridor Safety Ambassador program along the Hegenberger Corridor, which

features 12 Safety Ambassadors, one Dispatch Ambassador, and two Community Outreach Ambassadors from the Black Cultural Zone that walk the area and offer direct support to Hegenberger commercial corridor business owners and members of the public. The ambassadors provide safety and community resources, homeless outreach, and small business technical assistance along the Hegenberger Corridor from the Airport to International Blvd, and International Blvd from 80th to 90th Ave. The Safety Ambassador teams also liaise with relevant agencies and City services like MACRO and 311. The Black Cultural Zone designed and created a workforce development program that trains and hires local community members to serve as East Oakland ambassadors.

These ambassadors are part of the Merchant Corridor Safety Ambassador program, providing three high priority Oakland commercial corridors with resources and capacity building in support of their commercial district safety efforts. The two-year $2 million program funds private unarmed security guards, neighborhood safety ambassadors, and security cameras along the Hegenberger corridor, Fruitvale District, and Downtown. These safety personnel and technology enhancement initiatives are administered by the Black Cultural Zone (BCZ) in the Hegenberger corridor, The Unity Council (zTUC) in Fruitvale, and the Business Improvement District Alliance in Downtown Oakland.

In support of the increased deployment of safety personnel and law enforcement officers, Oakland’s Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD) is also working with property owners and businesses in East Oakland to invest $150,000 to install cameras in East Oakland commercial corridors in Spring 2024.

The City of Oakland is focused on implementing a comprehensive public safety strategy that invests in a robust police department, strengthens violence prevention initiatives, and leverages technology to disrupt criminal networks.

What they are saying:

“The collaborative efforts between the City of Oakland, Port of Oakland, and our public safety partners in the California Highway Patrol and Alameda County Sheriff’s Office is delivering results and is an example of good government at work.,” Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said. “The Hegenberger Merchant Corridor Safety Ambassador Program strengthens community connections, improves coordination with city services, and directly enhances our collective efforts to promote a safer and more welcoming experience along this key gateway to our city.”

“The Safety Ambassador Program was launched at a critical time for District 7 and the City of Oakland. We appreciate our longstanding partnership with the Black Cultural Zone, which has been at the forefront of advancing our community safety priorities in the Hegenberger Corridor, says Treva Reid, Councilmember for District 7. My office meets regularly with business owners and residents, who advocated with us to secure increased and dedicated community safety resources. This $2 million investment for Safety Ambassadors, which I secured with them in the FY23–25 budget process, coupled with the strong partnership with the Oakland Police Department, the Regional Public Safety Task Force that I launched with East Bay leaders, the Governor's 10-point plan, and initiatives such as Rise East, will help move East Oakland forward.”

“We are collaborating with all of our law enforcement partners to bring safety to the Hegenberger corridor”, said Assistant Chief Tony Jones, Oakland Police Department

“The Alameda County Sheriff's Office will continue collaborating with law enforcement and community partners to ensure the Oakland International Airport remains a viable global travel hub. We have and will continue to support the Oakland Police Department when our staffing levels allow us to work outside of our agency's commitments. We will work jointly during those times to address areas where they identify they need support most,” said Alameda County Sheriff Yesenia Sanchez.

“Along with conducting these proactive operations, the CHP continues to have an expanded presence in Oakland focused on high-visibility enforcement to deter, investigate, and respond to criminal activity,” said Chief Don Goodbrand, Commander, Golden Gate Division, California Highway Patrol

“‘Community keeping community safe’ is a model that invests in community members here in East Oakland to become Safety Ambassadors in the very neighborhood they live in, conducting outreach, offering creative problem solving, and connecting residents and local businesses to resources,” said Carolyn Johnson, CEO of the Black Cultural Zone. “Our Safety Ambassadors program is another example of the possibilities of the Rise East initiative, a $100 million collective effort of neighborhood nonprofits, government, and community to reverse decades of systemic disinvestment in Deep East Oakland through additional investments in housing, health, safety, education, and economic opportunity.”

“Supporting our neighborhoods begins with building strong links with the businesses and the corridors that define them,” said Sofia Navarro, Interim Economic and Workforce Development Director. “Embedded in a clean and safe program are opportunities for workforce and economic development as we bring blighted blocks back to sustainable spaces.”

“The quick deployment of Ambassadors in the Hegenberger corridor has provided much-needed additional safety personnel to help us address the critical issues in this area,” said Bill Crottinger, President of Argent Materials and Chair of the Hegenberger Owners and Operators Group. “We are encouraged by this investment and look forward to continuing to build upon the ambassador program in partnership with the Economic Development Department and Neighborhood Services, leveraging existing City resources and support to develop a comprehensive, long-term Corridor Safety and Management program that will support our local businesses and the Hegenberger corridor – the Gateway to the City of Oakland!”

About the Merchant Corridor Safety Ambassador Program

The Merchant Corridor Safety Ambassador Program complements existing ambassador programs in nine commercial districts throughout Oakland, funded by business improvement districts, a State CRISES grant, and other city funding. These programs provide teams of ambassadors on the streets in Chinatown, Jack London, Downtown/Uptown, Koreatown/Northgate, Lakeshore, Laurel, Montclair, Rockridge, Temescal, and Clinton Park, with coordination and leadership from the City of Oakland Economic and Workforce Development Department (EWDD), in partnership with the City of Oakland’s Neighborhood Services Division.


Sean Maher
Citywide Director of Communications & Engagement


Posted: March 18th, 2024 2:47 PM

Last Updated: March 18th, 2024 4:11 PM

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