In a drastic move that underscores the seriousness of the crime wave happening in Oakland, California, Gov. Gavin Newsom announced that he is deploying 120 California Highway Patrol (CHP) officers to the city to help curb the rash of violent and property crimes that have plagued the area over recent years.
This move comes as the city faces frightening levels of violent crimes, vehicle theft, and retail theft. Many have blamed the soft-on-crime policies of the city and state, arguing that they have only served to embolden criminals.
California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that he is sending 120 California Highway Patrol officers to Oakland to help address rising violent crime in the city.
The officers will conduct a targeted law enforcement surge operation in Oakland and surrounding Alameda County focused on vehicle theft, retail theft and violent crime. The deployment represents a nearly 900% increase in CHP personnel for the county.
Oakland has seen violent crime rise 21%, robbery increase 38% and vehicle theft jump 45% compared with last year, according to preliminary 2023 data. That contrasts with declining crime rates in other major California cities, like Los Angeles.
Last summer, members of the community spoke out against the rapidly rising rates of criminal activity in the city. The NAACP slammed the local government for failing to tackle the problem.
READ MORE: Oakland NAACP Absolutely Rips Into Woke D.A., ‘Defund the Police’ Activists in Call to Action on Crime
Oakland NAACP calls on local elected officials to declare a state of emergency around crime. Almost too many noteworthy lines to choose from:
“Failed leadership, including the movement to defund the police, our District Attorney’s unwillingness to charge and prosecute people who… pic.twitter.com/PvJZgnwM3b
— Leighton 明 Woodhouse (@lwoodho
The issue has become so pronounced that it forced In N’ Out Burger and Denny’s restaurant to close up shop. There is no telling how many other businesses have shuttered because of the local government’s inability or unwillingness to crack down on crime.
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Oakland’s mayor, who was once a fierce proponent of the “Defund the Police” movement, has seen fit to rethink her prior stance on law enforcement.
As violent crime has surged in the city over the last several months, Armstrong has continued to sound alarm bells about budget cuts and lack of leadership from the city to effectively address the problem.
During that time, it may have seemed like no one was listening. But it turns out that someone was. Oakland’s Democrat Mayor Libby Schaff is now aggressively demanding that the City Council reverse course on their partial defunding of the police, saying now is not the time to pull money from those who put their lives on the line.
In a CNN interview done yesterday, Schaff responded to a question about last week’s brutal murder of retired police officer Kevin Nishita, who was working as an armed security guard in Oakland to protect a local news crew at the location of a prior “smash and grab” looting incident on which they were preparing to report. Schaff acknowledged how tragic the death was, and said that the city desperately needed more police officers and “appreciated” them (really?) but that “the defund rhetoric is challenging our ability to attract and retain recruits. And we know that that is not unique to Oakland.”
Perhaps the presence of CHP officers can help local law enforcement get crime under control in Oakland, which has always had these issues. However, if the same policies remain in place, then it won’t be long before Newsom has to send CHP officers in again to deal with the problem.