OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) – The city of Oakland is on track for a grim-record-breaking year in murders.
The police union attributes the deadly violence to a number of factors. Key being the lowest number of officers in recent years.
This time last year, the city of Oakland recorded less than a dozen homicides. This city has currently experienced close to three times as many people killed.
“It’s 34 homicides of those 33 are classified as murders,” Officer Barry Donelan said.
An OPD crime mapping website shows the homicide locations are spread across the city from east-to-west and all below the 580-freeway, in the flatlands.
The site needs to be updated — Only 24 of the homicides are listed.
The first occurring on New Years Day. This list ends on March 17.
KRON4 spoke to Barry Donelan, the president of the Oakland Police Officers’ Association.
“I don’t want any more murders. I want no more. Zero! This hearkens back to the early 2000s and the big numbers of murders that we had,” Donelan said.
This statement from Mayor Libby Schaaf’s office reads:
“For the upcoming budget and $192 million Oakland will receive in American Rescue Plan Funds, the Mayor has urged the City Council to prioritize restoring critical police services the city was forced to cut due to massive revenue losses from the pandemic. Fully restoring violence prevention efforts, like Ceasefire, which was proven to reduce homicides and shootings by 50% over five years in Oakland, is a clear priority to address this traumatic increase in gun violence Oakland has experienced.”
KRON4 reached out to city council president Nikki Fortunato Bas to be a part of this conversation, but have yet to receive a reply.
“While others aren’t talking about it we sure are. Investigators are working around the clock trying to solve these murders. You can talk about ‘defund the police’ but when you’re at a point that levels of officers we haven’t seen this low in five years and, continuing to attrit down, it’s very worrying about what that’s going to do to the crime rate in the months and years to come,” Donelan said.
OPD currently has 718 officers.
“Back to a number that we were 5 or 6 years ago,” Donelan said.