In 2013, Oakland saw a drop in most types of crime, especially homicides.
Here are the statistics
Here's a simplified version that just looks at the overall sections of part 1 violent crimes from 2012 compared to 2013:
|Number of Violent Crimes in 2013 compared to 2012||+221|
While violent crimes in 3 of 4 categories dropped in 2013, the actual number of violent crimes increased.
Why did this happen?
The New Year brought a flurry of articles looking at declining homicides and crime in Oakland. Overall crime was down for the first time in years and homicides were dramatically down, the lowest level since 2004. The trends are continuing into the New Year. Although the trend has been strong since last spring, except for the East Bay Express, there was little coverage. So many people are asking me why crime is down. This is a short answer:
- We have invested much of the City's economic growth into increasing the police force and giving them more resources. We have started our 4th straight police academy after 4 years without. We have also hired more civilian staff to support the police and they going on line soon.
- We have reorganized the police force to use our police more effectively. The 5 areas with geographic accountability are helping to build closer ties with the community and more cooperation with the police.
- The Ceasefire Program, focused on the most violent criminals, is making a big difference. Good description below in David Muhammed's piece.
- At the same time we have focused more programs in neighborhoods with the highest unemployment, violence, drop-outs, etc. This includes a record number of summer jobs programs and other employment opportunities, Peace in the Parks program, Friday night Peace Walks and more. See the Job Fair announcement below.
USA TODAY ran a story in their weekend edition looking at homicide rates nationwide in 2013. Among the cities they looked at, Oakland had the biggest drop. Every single life is precious, and even one homicide is one too many, but we're encouraged by these signs of progress.
In the News:
- 2014-02-13: "Cherry-picking crime stats may have pitfalls for Jean Quan." SFGate.com