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As crime spikes in Oakland, arrests fall more than 50%

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(The Center Square) – The city of Oakland is seeing a high increase in crime, with burglaries increasing by 99% since 2020, while the Oakland Police Department struggles to fill full-time police officer positions.

From 2020 to 2023, the city of Oakland has also seen a 72% increase in motor vehicle thefts, robberies have increased by 53%, and homicides are up 16%, according to recent report that is on the April 9 agenda of the city’s Public Safety Committee.

Despite the rise in crime, police arrests have followed a nationwide trend and have plummeted. City of Oakland police made 12,911 arrests in 2016. That number has declined over the years and dropped to 5,576 in 2023, the lowest since the city has records online dating back to 2006.

As the city of Oakland grapples with the crime surge, the report reveals that 9.5% of the city’s police officers reside within the city limits, while some live in neighboring counties and cities up to an hour away from Oakland.

The department has seen a decline in sworn staffing positions since 2019, with the recorded number of 749 sworn staffing positions dropping to 730 in 2020, 723 in 2021, and 690 in 2022.

As of September 2023, the department had filled 713 sworn staffing positions. The Oakland Police Department is projecting as many as 91 retirees in 2024.

The city of Oakland and the city’s police department did not respond to emails seeking comment.