Mayor Sheng Thao Announces Police Walking Patrols, Other New Safety Measures
By Ken Epstein
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao held a press conference this week with acting Police Chief Darren Allison and small business leaders to announce new and strengthened public safety initiatives in the wake of the death of a popular Oakland baker who was killed during a smash-and-grab robbery.
“Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao has made public safety a top priority of her administration,” according to a city of Oakland media release. “Even as we work to address the root causes of crime, the city is taking steps to deter crime now and address the needs of residents, businesses and visitors.”
The public safety programs include new foot patrols, a vehicle enforcement unit, and a traffic division.
“Starting next week, you’ll see a return of our walking officers to our business and neighborhood shopping districts, said Acting Chief Allison. “This is a unit that hasn’t been in existence for the past two years.”
Mayor Sheng Thao also said the Oakland Department of Transportation is starting a new Vehicle Enforcement Unit that will “remove blighted and abandoned vehicles.”
Alicia Kidd, owner of CoCo Noir wine bar in the downtown area, spoke at the press conference: “In order for Oakland to thrive 365, we need to have OPD, we need to have our community policing, as well as the community, to help continue our businesses and the safety of our customers and employees and owners.”
There is broad concern in Oakland about the rising rate of crime. In 2021, the city experienced 132 homicides and 119 in 2022, the last two years of former Mayor Schaaf’s administration.
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