California Gov. Newsom is sending 120 California Highway Patrol officers to Oakland.
The 120 CHP officers equate to 1/6th the size of the Oakland Police Department.
In August, California Governor Gavin Newsom assigned six extra police officers to Oakland. On Tuesday, he announced he’s sending 120 more after 2023 crime statistics show violent crime in Oakland is up 21%, robberies are up 38% and car thefts are up 45%. ABC7’s Leslie Brinkley and Phil Matier take a closer took.
Governor Gavin Newsom Press Release
Governor Newsom Deploys California Highway Patrol to Oakland and East Bay, Launches Law Enforcement Surge Operation
Published: Feb 06, 2024
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW: Building on community and public safety investments in the East Bay, Governor Newsom is deploying 120 California Highway Patrol officers to Oakland and the surrounding area to conduct a targeted law enforcement surge operation to crack down on crime.
OAKLAND — Governor Gavin Newsom announced today that he is increasing state law enforcement personnel in Oakland and the East Bay — temporarily deploying California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers, including specialized units, and advanced investigative technology to crack down on crime and improve public safety. As part of the announcement, the CHP will begin a law enforcement surge operation in Oakland and the East Bay — deploying 120 officers who will work in partnership with local law enforcement agencies on a targeted crackdown on criminal activity, including vehicle theft, retail theft, and violent crime.
WHAT GOVERNOR NEWSOM SAID: “As crime rates across California decrease — including right across the Bay in San Francisco — Oakland is seeing the opposite trend. What’s happening in this beautiful city and surrounding area is alarming and unacceptable. I’m sending the California Highway Patrol to assist local efforts to restore a sense of safety that the hardworking people of Oakland and the East Bay demand and deserve.”
“The surge of crime and violence that we are seeing in our streets is completely unacceptable,” said Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao. “The City of Oakland is hard at work turning the tide — increasing law enforcement investigations, increasing police recruitment, and investing in community and violence intervention efforts. As we work to improve public safety, I’m grateful for Governor Newsom for providing these critical law enforcement resources that are a game-changer in helping us hold more criminals accountable and make Oakland safer.”
LAW ENFORCEMENT SURGE:
The CHP’s surge operation is focused on a multi-pronged approach: targeting auto theft, cargo theft, retail crime, violent crime, and high-visibility traffic enforcement. As part of this operation, the CHP will deploy license plate reader technology that will help identify and recover stolen vehicles, as well as specialized CHP units — including K9s and air support. This enhanced law enforcement presence will represent a nearly 900% increase in CHP personnel in Oakland and within Alameda County.
The focused operation will not impact the service levels of the surrounding area. The length of the operation will be determined in consultation with local law enforcement.
HOW WE GOT HERE:
In a close partnership between the Legislature and the Governor, California has made substantial investments in Oakland and the larger East Bay region to improve the health, safety, and well-being of the community.
California has invested in violence intervention and prevention efforts — including CalVIP. The state has also expanded opportunities for youth by transforming Oakland’s schools into community schools, mandating and funding after-school programs, awarding Oakland grants for youth coaches, establishing targeted college and career savings accounts, and providing tuition-free community college for students at Oakland community colleges. California has also improved community beautification through multiple grants that bolster access to outdoor recreation and the arts and culture. Through small business credit support programs, the state has deployed over $20.7 million to small businesses in Alameda County through IBank’s loan guarantee program and provided multiple equity-focused grants. The state has awarded Alameda County over $919 million in climate-focused grants since 2015. Since 2019, Alameda County has received over $1 billion from the state to boost affordable housing and over $200 million to address homelessness directly.
In August 2023, the Governor announced a partnership with the City of Oakland to deploy CHP officers within the city and loan up to $1.2 million to improve public safety in Oakland. Following the Governor’s directive, CHP increased its presence in Oakland — arresting 100 suspected criminals and recovering 193 stolen vehicles. Across the Bay, the CHP’s special operation in San Francisco has resulted in over 460 arrests, 5,263 citations, and the seizure of over 18.1 kilograms of fentanyl.
Crime in Oakland is uniquely rising compared to other urban centers in California. Preliminary reports from Oakland indicate that in 2023, violent crime rose 21%, robbery increased 38%, and vehicle theft increased 45%. Outside of Oakland, preliminary 2023 data from across the state indicates the opposite trend: crime, including homicides, violent crime, and property crime is down in many jurisdictions. For example, violent crime and homicides are significantly down in Los Angeles, and early data from San Francisco indicate overall crime in 2023 was at its lowest point in the last ten years — other than the year 2020 when daily life and routines were significantly impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
California has invested $1.1 billion since 2019 to fight crime, help locals hire more police, and improve public safety, including in the East Bay. Last month, Governor Newsom called for new legislation to expand criminal penalties and bolster police and prosecutorial tools to combat theft and take down professional criminals who profit from smash and grabs, retail theft, and car burglaries. In 2023, as part of California’s Real Public Safety Plan, the Governor announced the largest-ever investment to combat organized retail crime in state history, an annual 310% increase in proactive operations targeting organized retail crime, and special operations across the state to fight crime and improve public safety.
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