OAKLAND, Calif. (KRON) — Oakland police have reported that no lives were lost to violence last week despite the city’s turbulent year for violent crime.
Police said the ongoing effort of getting guns off the streets is starting to pay off. To date, the Oakland Police Department has investigated 104 homicides.
“Our effort to remove firearms from the street,” said Barry Donelan, Oakland Police Officers’ Association President. Donelan said the number of guns OPD confiscated this year is alarming.
“We crossed over 1,200 firearms recovered this year. In my 20-year career we wouldn’t even get to a thousand in a year. Now we’re over 1,200. A 25% increase year over year,” said Donelan. “The challenge is operating with such a small cohort of police officers. We’re at 679 this morning, dealing with such a large problem.”
“I see that we have to have a target of 800 officers,” said Loren Taylor, Oakland City councilmember. Taylor said he believes OPD’s current minimum staffing level is outdated.
“Our minimum staffing level of 678 officers is what we agreed upon and established back in 2014 through Measure Z, when we only had 400-thousand residents,” said Taylor.
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Taylor said the city population has increased by 10 percent and believes the police department should do the same. Donelan agrees the addition of more officers would only help the city more.
“You saw last week in the chambers poll that for the residents this is also becoming seminal because they’re seeing the numbers of police so low, they’re seeking more police officers, and like them. I think ultimately to try to get to much better statistics for a year, not just a week. We need to increase the size of the force,” said Donelan.