(BCN) — Oakland hit a grim milestone last week as the city passed 100 homicides recorded so far in 2023, according to the latest data from the Oakland Police Department.
Between Oct. 9 and Sunday, six people were killed in Oakland, bringing the year-to-date total to 104. This makes 2023 the fourth consecutive year that the number of homicides in the city shot past 100, the Oakland Police Officers’ Association said in a statement Monday.
By the same time last year, the city had already recorded 105 homicides. In 2021, there were 110 homicides by mid-October. The last year homicides in Oakland did not reach 100 was in 2019, when the city recorded a total of 78 killings, the police union noted
“These statistics paint a stark picture of Oakland’s public safety crisis, marked by a shortage of law enforcement personnel, the absence of a permanent police chief, and a mayoral administration that lacks a comprehensive public safety strategy,” the OPOA said in its statement.
Alongside the number of homicides, the city has had significant increases in almost all major crime categories year-on-year. Data from Oakland police show robberies are up 35 percent from 2022, carjackings are up 22 percent, motor vehicle theft is up 51 percent, and burglaries are up 36 percent.
In the face of these crime figures, the OPOA urged city officials, law enforcement, community leaders and concerned citizens to come together “to secure our city’s safety, well-being, and prosperity.”
The union also called on Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao to act on the issue.
They pointed out that the Oakland Police Department currently maintains a sworn staffing of 711 officers, with a maximum budgeted number of 712 officers. According to OPOA, this is the lowest budgeted number of police officers Oakland has had since 2014.
Oakland’s mayor is set to give the annual State of the City address at 2 p.m. Tuesday to discuss issues facing the city.
“Residents and police officers anxiously await (Tuesday)’s State of the City address to learn if there’s a concrete public safety plan to combat surging crime,” OPOA president Barry Donelan said in the union’s statement.
The OPOA represents all sworn members at all ranks within the Oakland Police Department.
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