Oakland Crime Stats Update, February 2009

The Mayor announced in his State of the City address last month that he was going to cut crime in Oakland by 10% this year. Outgoing Police Chief Wayne Tucker told an audience last need that he believed it the benchmark was attainable. Let’s take a look and see how we’re doing so far, shall we?

As of Wednesday, February 25th (XLS):


A couple of notes – crime, particularly violent crime, in the early part of last year was alarmingly high. (Not that these numbers aren’t alarming, they’d be shocking anywhere else, but in Oakland, cause for celebration. Well, a few years ago they’d have been cause for alarm even in Oakland, but there’s nothing Oakland politicians are so good at as lowering expectations.) It leveled out a bit starting in late Spring/early Summer 2007. So while these numbers show a dramatic drop, if you look at the number of crimes being reported now week to week, it isn’t much lower from what we were seeing in the last few months of 2008. I say this not to minimize the achievement of a reduced crime rate, only to add a little context to these numbers.

10 thoughts on “Oakland Crime Stats Update, February 2009

  1. Navigator

    A 60% drop in homicide and we’re nitpicking and making excuses for the lower numbers? These stats are great news. A 25% drop in serious crime should be celebrated, not downplayed. Can Oakland EVER do anything right? And yes, nine homicides for a major urban American city in two months is pretty good for anybody. Not just Oakland.

  2. Patrick

    I’m keeping my champagne on ice until we have data from a longer period of time. 57 days is nothing in the scheme of things – especially when it was cold and rainy much of the time.

  3. oaklandhappenings

    True, Nav. As I mentioned in the Jordan takeover article on SFgate, one of those recent homicides this year is justifiable:
    http://www.insidebayarea.com/search/ci_11748385?IADID=Search-www.insidebayarea.com-www.insidebayarea.com
    Oscar Grant is another being part of the current count, of course.
    I am impressed by these numbers, although–as Patrick wisely reminds us–Oakland has to continue this decline for many months for me to feel convinced that crime is no longer “out of control”. The only disagreement I have with you, Patrick, is the weather issue: while rainy, it was still humid and muggy enough on some days. In January, many days were late spring-early summer-ish temps.
    Thanks, V, for posting this. As I may have asked before, where–if via a website–do you get these numbers? I would like to beable to follow them week by week, if posted that often.

  4. oaklandhappenings

    I forgot to mention this, but where you say, V, that (these numbers would)”…be shocking *anywhere* else”. Are you referring to anywhere in the Bay Area, or the nation? By anywhere, do you mean everywhere?

  5. m32

    Ron Dellums should get some kind of kudos for this. Lately, there seem to be fewer ne’re-do-wells hanging around the Grand/Harrison area and Adams Point has been feeling safer lately. Also, there seem to be more cops out on the street.

  6. Ralph

    No credit on drop on homicide, i lived in B-more and we long ago recognized the mayor’s limited power to reduce homicide.

    what i would like to see is a bump in drug arrest. Tues aftn I watched a drug deal go down in broad daylight on Broadway b/w 14th and 15th. Some time later, cops came by and scattered the youth, but quite quite frankly since the cops know these ne’er-do-wells are distributing, OPD needs to be beat down the criminals with a night stick, lock them up in the pokey, and in 45yrs try them for being a black-eye on society and drug distribution .

  7. MarleenLee

    Why should Ron Dellums get any kudos? It was the taxpayers that ponied up an extra $88 a year to put some additional officers on the street. Maybe they’re finally starting to make a difference.

  8. das88

    *sob* the numbers might be lower but they seem worse when you are part of the left hand column — one of the not-so-few 890 burglary victims.

  9. Navigator

    Oaklandhappenings, You’re absolutely right, we do have “justifiable” homicides in that total. In San Francisco, justifiable homicides wouldn’t even be counted in the total. So, Oakland’s official FBI classified homicides are even lower than that. What do we have, seven so far this year?

  10. oaklandhappenings

    I’m not too sure on the exact number, Nav. However, even if only one justifiable (so far), with such a low total to this date, I felt it was worth mentioning. Late in the year, only one would not mean a whole lot, percentage-wise. If I recall on Feb 28th of last year, we were already up to 25 unjust, 1 just. Therefore, we are down by at least 65%, barring any this evening. Fortunately, none of the 5 reported shootings Friday were fatal, but that is another stat–along with all other forms of aggravated assault–that REALLY needs to come down also this year. If not, the homicide drop acts of less of an indicator towards violent crime dropping.