Report Finds Flaws in 100 Block Oakland Crime Fighting Strategy

By: Brian Shields - Tue, 12 Jun 2012 20:32:02 -0800

OAKLAND (KRON) -- Oakland Mayor Jean Quan is defending her anti-crime strategy in the face of a new report that finds her focus on 100 blocks is fundamentally flawed.

The mayor is concentrating police and other resources on ten neighborhoods comprising 100 blocks which she says are responsible for 90% of the violent crime in Oakland.

However, a new report from the Urban Strategies Council disputes the plan's effectiveness.

"When we ran our analysis for the five year period, the 100 blocks accounted for only about 17%," Council leader Junius Williams tells KRON 4's Terisa Estacio.  "If the homicides and shootings are concentrated in 100 blocks, then the strategy makes sense but what our findings were is that the homicides and murders are dispersed over a much larger geographic area."

The mayor is refusing to turn over specifics of which 100 blocks in the city are in her plan saying that would be counter-productive.  She insists police are focusing on the most dangerous parts of Oakland.

"The question is are police focusing on the right neighborhoods or not?" Oakland mayor Jean Quan says.  "They have their maps.  The police have their maps.  We believe that the police department's maps are more accurate.  Urban Strategy's maps go back farther.  Murders and violence have moved east.  There are some neighborhoods they have on their maps that are not in play right now.  We're also using more accurate data so we're actually counting where the shootings and the homicides are.  They don't have access to shot-spotter information which is a system that tracks where shootings are taking place whether they are reported or not.  Lastly we have the benefit of the police themselves.  The whole idea of this, bottom line, is their map isn't that different from our map for our purposes.  Our purposes are to find the top ten neighborhoods where most of the violence is taking place."

The mayor's critics on the City Council says she doesn't understand the scope of her failure.

"This mayor is going to have to take responsibility that the 100 block strategy has failed miserably," Oakland City Councilman Ignacio de la Fuente tells KRON 4.  "The crime is actually a lot more than 100 blocks.  Specifically in my district my merchants and my constituents are very disturbed and angry because not only were some of the areas that should have been in the 100 blocks left out, but crime has dramatically increased in some of those areas.  It shows that, I'm sorry but this mayor is not getting it done."

The council says it's not trying to start a war with the mayor.  Williams says he just thinks the public has a right to know what the data shows.

(Copyright 2012, KRON 4, All rights reserved.)
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