Will Oakland's Police Shortage Affect San Leandro?

Police staffing in our neighboring city is at a low. Does that matter here and, if so, how?


Oakland's police force has shrunk to 629 officers, down about 25 percent from 837 four years ago, the Oakland Tribune reports

That city has had 100 killings and a 20 percent spike in major crime.

The Tribune says some Oakland leaders want to contract with the Alameda County Sheriff's Department to bring on additional help. But where will Oakland get the $158,000 per deputy that this would cost in annual pay and benefits?

Oakland is in the process of discipling 44 of its officers for misconduct during the Occupy protests, when San Leando police assisted on occasion. 

Meanwhile, an Oakland city council candidate was robbed at gunpoint Wednesday night as the sense of crisis in our neighboring city grows.

None of this paints a pretty picture. How does the situation in Oakland affect San Leandro?

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Leah Hall October 18, 2012 at 08:38 PM
To the best of my knowledge, the most recent break-in in my neighborhood near the Oakland border occured last Sunday at around noon. I found out because 2 police officers knocked on our door. They noted that it was particularly brazen and unusual for crimes of this nature to occur on the weekend when so many people of us were home. This is only the most recent occurrence in a string of break-ins on our block. The frustrated officers also let us know that specific residential streets in the Broadmoor neighborhood are getting hit really hard. When I look at a map of our neighborhood, it’s fairly evident that our street grid, which was laid out in the 20's & 30's, is very prone to high volumes of cut-through traffic. Some north/south streets in particular run through neighborhoods on the Oakland and San Leandro side. Ever since we mover to our home in 2000, I’ve been wishing for traffic calming measures and increased community partnerships with our neighbor in terms of public safety and youth development opportunities (especially after school and weekends).

 From my perspective, ongoing neglect in our 2 neighboring communities is now being exacerbated by a crime differential caused by a policing shortage in Oakland. I also wonder if and where the “hot-spot” policing strategies are being deployed there.

Tom Abate (Editor) October 19, 2012 at 12:07 AM
Leah: In April Chief Spagnoli said the 100-blocks crackdown in Oakland did not move crime into SL. http://sanleandro.patch.com/articles/spagnoli-says-oakland-crackdown-not-pushing-crime-into-san-leandro A couple of weeks after Spagnoli's comments , Oakland stopped its targeted crackdown saying it had pushed crime into more affluent neighborhoods of that city. My headline said the move "vindicated" Spagnoli. I was scolded for that word choice, as I did not see whether crime also went up in affluent neighborhood near Oakland in SL. Here is the second article: http://sanleandro.patch.com/articles/chief-spagnoli-vindicated-on-crime-crackdown-stance Earlier this month the Chief charted a crime increase in SL, relative to the 2010 low point, and urged neighborhood watches. http://sanleandro.patch.com/articles/as-crime-rises-chief-promotes-neighborhood-watch So I am wondering now if we're getting the spillover, at least on the north end of SL
Leah Hall October 19, 2012 at 05:04 AM
Hmm....it sounds like the "push" has indeed spilled over to the flatlands of the south, i.e., my neighborhood and neighboring environs. Did I mention that I was at Safeway on Broadmoor the night it was held up by 5-6 armed gunman in September? Yes, and here was the Patch article that Tom graciously published: http://sanleandro.patch.com/articles/patch-reader-was-caught-up-in-safeway-robbery This is only the half of it, folks. :(
Leah Hall October 19, 2012 at 05:11 AM
Thank you, Tom, for keeping a sustained interest in this perplexing and depressing trend in the Broadmoor Neighborhood.
anthony October 19, 2012 at 06:25 AM
Did anything show up on the cameras ?
Leah Hall October 19, 2012 at 06:29 AM
Which cameras are you referring to, Anthony?
Sean C. October 19, 2012 at 03:49 PM
Perhaps we should question whether the increase in San Leandro crime and the shortage of Oakland police officers is a matter of correlation or causation. Here's an alternative theory: Just like trick or treaters who visit rich neighborhoods on Halloween for better treats, those who are turning to crime will look for neighborhoods with good stuff and lax security. As the economy remains slow and unemployment remains high, more and more people will turn to crime for money. Therefore, it makes sense that the longer the economic downturn lasts, the more crime will increase. To counter this, perhaps we should consider providing the police with incentives to reduce quality of life crimes. Right now all the incentive goes towards arresting people for crimes involving narcotics or terrorism. That's what makes headlines, earns promotions, and allows police departments to keep 60% of the value of any assets seized, which in turns helps them to pay for people and equipment, and to make up for budget shortfalls. We tend to forget that law enforcement is a multi-billion dollar industry run by people just like us; they want recognition, reward, and ever increasing resources too. Let's start encouraging the SLPD to aggressively curtail quality of life crimes by highlighting their efforts in this area in the press, providing more funding for it, and shifting the budget priorities for the department. It worked in New York. It can work here too.
David October 19, 2012 at 04:01 PM
Oakland, like SL, could lower the starting wages and benefits for new cops, and still get plenty of qualified applicants, as again, cops in both cities are paid significantly (nearly twice) what NYC cops are paid, despite NYC's cost of living being much higher. If Oakland had the national average number of cops per resident, it'd have over 1200 police; SL would have 200. Public sector unions are not only bankrupting cities, they're killing citizens.
Warren Albee October 19, 2012 at 06:10 PM
Leah...would you please do the Broadmoor community a service and give us a list of the streets that have been hit recently and repeatedly, and a list of burglaries with dates/ addresses? Thank you. I was not aware that a crime streak was in progress, I just thought it was business as usual.
Leah Hall October 19, 2012 at 06:40 PM
Hi Warren, I'd like this information as well, but I haven't figured out where to find it. If someone knows of a website that tracks this info, I would really appreciate it if they would share it. Just speaking from my own experience, just about every neighbor I have talked with in the last year has had their home broken into or has a story to share about 2-3 homes around them. One young man was robbed by knife/gun (I can't recall which) right in front of his house during the middle of the day and week. Another young couple who had just moved in had their home broken into while one of them was home. A house only a few houses down was broken into in the same manner, but late at night while the occupants were asleep (this story was told to me by a neighbor who lived across the street). I arrived home one day at around noon a few months ago to discover a "scout" on my driveway who signalled his partner after he saw me. They both fled on bikes, but only after the partner had done about $300 worth of damage kicking in doors in the back of our house. The list goes on and on.... Some of my neighbors and I are discussing intalling cameras at our own expense, and would like to figure out how to ban together to situate them in the most effect manner. I hope this helps, but I doubt it will solve the problem by itself.
Tyler October 19, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Perhaps we should have a County wide tax on the ballot to aid the Oakland police instead of the zoo. I understand they're even working with deficient radios. Talking with SLPD, they'd send Oakland all the help they could. Spagnoli might say that Oakland's situation doesn't affect San Leandro, but I think we all know better.
anthony October 19, 2012 at 11:27 PM
Leah... mixed up my donut- shop gossip, Sheffield Village instead. About the cameras...http://piedmont.patch.com/articles/montclair-launches-residential-surveillance-camera-program http://libbyschaaf.com/information-about-home-security-cameras
Carol Parker October 19, 2012 at 11:54 PM
Leah, there is a neighborhood in Montclair (in the Oakland hills) that recently installed cameras neighborhood-wide. There was an article about them floating out there somewhere. You might find it with some googling. Perhaps they could give you some advice. If I find it again, I'll post it here in comments.
Carol Parker October 19, 2012 at 11:58 PM
Leah this is what I found with a quick search...this is the one I remembered. http://www.sfgate.com/crime/article/Oakland-hills-residents-fight-crime-with-cameras-3687341.php
Ken Briggs October 20, 2012 at 12:23 AM
the Oakland mayor needs more police, maybe shec should get smart and have the reserves , the army come and help out . when the city has all those protesters ,she is to nblame when building damage is done . make them all get permits or have the fire department start hoseing the area down . but as for our mayor Spagnoli needs some more police also . it is the courts that screw up . just look at all the crime arould here and look at the courts . they let these people out and let them hang around with the bad and donnothing b. get more probation people to go check up on the bad people . make all nof them do week end clean up and make them pay for the book work when ever , for the ones that have jobs let them keep them just pay a little when ever they can .
Leah Hall October 20, 2012 at 01:38 AM
Thank you, Carol!
tony santos October 20, 2012 at 04:17 AM
while mayor i recommended that San Leandro police, paid for by Oakland obviously, patrol part of east oakland-i drove around and found it would be easy for us to patrol out along macarthur blvd, to 106th avenue, due west to san leandro blvd-our police chief not interested so the idea went no where-oakland now admits it needs help and i still feel we can assist-i spoke to the director of the cops program about this and he was interested in helping get fed dollars to help suggestion along-
Fred Eiger October 20, 2012 at 05:09 AM
Seems like the peope up there need to buy some big dogs for their backyards, and having neighborhood posse's would be a good start. But trying to be politically correct will only increase crime.
Leah Hall October 20, 2012 at 03:57 PM
Hmm....and Alexa Internet, known for her insight on all matters, apparently believes that /I'm/ obsessed with lions and tigers. Go figure. :)


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