Monday, July 19, 2010

Oakland Police Will Only Investigate Violent Crime

According to the San Francisco Chronicle ,the City of Oakland police department will no longer respond to investigate crimes such as burglary, prowling, restraining order violations, runaways or a host of other "non-violent" offenses.

Last week, the city laid off 80 officers to help eliminate a $30.5 million budget deficit, prompting the department to announce that officers would no longer be dispatched to take investigate or take reports for most nonviolent crimes. "With current levels of staffing, we are unable to respond to many lower-priority calls," said Officer Jeff Thomason, a police spokesman.

Instead, Oakland residents now have to file certain crime reports online or visit a police station. Those without a computer can ask that a blank form be mailed to them or pick one up at a library. Residents can still call 911 to report emergencies and crimes such as shootings, robberies, rapes and assaults.

It will be interesting to see what kind of impact this decision has on crime. Oakland's efforts, or lack there of, seem to fly in the face of New York City's very successful crime fighting efforts. New York followed the "Broken Window" theory that introduced aggressive prosecution and enforcement of minor crimes as a means to influencing over-all crime rates. New York's crime rate has fallen at an unprecedented rate.

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