Crime over Time

Jesse Douglas Allen-Taylor doesn’t think that Chip Johnson is being fair when criticizing Dellums’s lack of action with respect to crime. JDAT appears to be incredibly proud of himself for discovering that over time, Chip Johnson, (gasp!) changed his mind about whether or not we need more police:

Sounds like the same anti-violence programs Mr. Dellums is advocating today, the “social remedies” solution Mr. Johnson is now roundly criticizing the mayor for being unable to give up.

Why, in Mr. Johnson’s view, were more police only a stopgap solution to Oakland’s crime problem under Jerry Brown, but now be-all and end-all under Ron Dellums? Hell if I know. You’ll have to ask Mr. Johnson yourself, about that.

Personally, I don’t feel any need to ask Johnson myself. It seems reasonable that over the course of five years, someone might change their mind about whether or not Oakland needs more police. Perhaps Johnson had his house burglarized, and got pissed off when he couldn’t get anyone to come take a report for days. Maybe he got tired of seeing more and more of his friends get mugged. Maybe he tried to call 911 to report a crime in progress, and was told that no officer would be available for several hours. These things happen to Oaklanders all the time, and when they do, the fact that we simply do not have enough officers becomes exceedingly clear.

But ignoring any potential personal explanations for Johnson’s attitude change, there’s also the simple fact that the circumstances changed in two major ways. First, we passed Measure Y and started giving millions of additional dollars per year to the sort of social programs Johnson had previously asked for. Second, crime went up. A lot. Check it out below:

These charts represent the number of recorded offenses between 1996 and 2006. 1996-2005 numbers are taken from the OPD Historical Data sheet, while the 2006 numbers are from the FBI’s Uniform Crime Report. Either OPD doesn’t make available year to date crime numbers for 2007, or I’m just too dumb to find them.


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