Just in from the Mayor's Office:
Today, Mayor Quan acknowledged and takes full responsibility for the inaccurate statistic. “I was given incorrect data last year regarding areas with a high concentration of homicides in our city. I have been using that data to describe the 100 Blocks Initiative. As Mayor I should have taken more time to analyze and verify the data and its accuracy as it related to the concentration of violent crime in our community. This is regrettable and I take full responsibility for the error.” said Mayor Quan.
Although the statistic used was incorrect, the premise of the public safety strategy is sound and has merit. “It is the Right Strategy and it is the Right Plan to address one of our City’s most significant challenges.” Stated Mayor
Quan. The areas chosen to focus on have been identified in numerous reports and analyses as being the right neighborhoods and the right beats in the city with the highest concentration of homicides. We must focus our
efforts on reducing crime in the neighborhoods that historically and persistently suffer from the most violence and have the least hope.” stated Mayor Quan.
Various analyses of data on shootings and homicides conducted by a number of researchers over a number of years* have revealed a recurring and consistent pattern: violent crime is concentrated in particular geographic
areas of Oakland.
The team that Mayor Quan has selected to lead the public safety effort—including Police Chief Howard Jordan and City Administrator Deanna J.Santana—are aligned in their strategic vision for public safety and their
commitment to assign law enforcement and other City resources in support of this strategy.
“Our successful collaboration with other law enforcement agencies to extend the reach of policing strategies is showing results. This year we have employed strategies to remove approximately 300 guns associated
with crimes from the streets and worked to remove offenders from our streets,” said Assistant Police Chief Anthony Toribio. “We are working with finely tuned crime data on a daily and weekly basis to target the
highest crime areas, respond to crimes when and where they are happening, and make vital arrests.”
In addition to law enforcement, the City is seeking ways to support the violent crime-reduction strategy with other City resources. “For many years, the Oakland Police Department has held sole responsibility for addressing the City’s public safety challenges,” said City Administrator Deanna J. Santana. “We know that the police department alone cannot reduce the high levels of violence in our community; they must have the
support and resources of every City agency and department.”
Santana has charged city department directors to think about service delivery with an aim toward crime reduction. “Parks & Recreation, Public Works, libraries and other City departments are seeking new ways to
provide resources to reduce crime in the most impacted areas,” she said. "This is a new approach for City agencies, and will take time to take hold.”
The Mayor also focused on the need to provide real opportunities to the young people in these neighborhoods to reduce crime long-term. “Our summer jobs program for youth will begin July 16th for kids in the most
distressed areas providing an opportunity for them to learn skills that will be useful throughout life” said Mayor Quan. We cannot begin to turn the tide on violent crime, unless we are all working in concert on a united vision. “We have the right team, the right strategy, and we are focused on the right areas,” said the Mayor.