When your best isn’t good enough, it’s time to go

So I’ve had like a dozen people ask me this week why I haven’t written anything yet about the latest plan for ending Oakland’s spate of restaurant robberies from Mayor Ron Dellums and Police Chief Wayne Tucker.

For those who missed it somehow, Dellums says that the problem will not end until we all start running around writing down license plate numbers of all the suspicious looking vehicles we see. The Mayor also made the extremely helpful observation that he thinks people are robbing restaurants because they are “targets of opportunity.” Um…duh.

Meanwhile, the police department basically blames the continued robberies on the media, saying that all the coverage of robberies and no reporting on arrests emboldens would-be robbers. Again…duh.

The police department thinks this is unfair, since they’ve actually arrested 52 robbery suspects in the past two months, although none of those arrests are of suspects in the recent restaurant robberies. So…52 suspects. 60 days. Out of how many crimes? Well, between June 24th (xls) and August 24 (xls), we went from 1,897 reported robberies for the year to 2,606. So…two months, 709 robberies, 52 arrests. And the problem is with the media not reporting arrests? If they say so.

Anyway, I mostly haven’t written about it yet because it’s just too depressing. The latest pleas for help and rounds of blame and sad defensiveness are just so totally pathetic that my immediate reaction was one of pity rather than anger. Both Dellums’s and Tucker’s remarks just give off this overwhelming stench of complete desperation. And yeah, it’s totally unacceptable that they can’t get a handle on things, but my feeling at this point is that both really are doing the best they can. The problem is that both are just completely overmatched by their jobs. And when you’re doing your best and working as hard as you’re capable of (I’m not saying that the Mayor is working harder than most people would be capable of, BTW, just that I don’t think it’s in him to do anything beyond what he’s already doing), and the result is just flat-out not acceptable, that means it’s time to hand the reigns to someone else. At this point, the best thing both Dellums and Tucker could do to help Oakland move forward is to put their egos aside and admit that these extremely important jobs should be filled by someone with more energy, more ideas, and more, well, just general competence.

50 thoughts on “When your best isn’t good enough, it’s time to go

  1. VivekB

    I actually just did a robbery trends analysis for Oakland/Area 1 & 2 & 3. I did both YTD and median per month comparisons between 2008 & 2007/2005. The #s comparing to 2007 seem about flat, obviously compared to 2005 it sucks.

    So basically my point here is: however well they’re doing now is however well they’ve done for a year and a half. The takeover robberies are certainly taking it to the next level, but robberies overall are still flat.

    The analysis is here if you’re interested:
    http://www.rockridgeresidents.org/forums/showthread.php?t=216

  2. TheBoss

    Vivek – The issue isn’t the year-to-year comparison. It’s the fact that Dullums has reacted so slowly and badly to the current trend. The man has to be able to deal with changing circumstances!

  3. V Smoothe

    Vivek –

    Doesn’t that just drive my point home? Crime rose dramatically beginning in the spring of 2006, and here we are at the end of summer 2008, and they haven’t been able to do anything about it? It’s like Ignacio keeps saying – we have more cops, more crime, and fewer arrests. Obviously something isn’t working.

  4. Max Allstadt

    I wonder if we can tie this to demographic shifts. Like the number of 16-24 year old boys, for instance? Or even the number of 16-24 year old boys who live in households making under the mean income?

  5. Mike Spencer

    I wonder how many officers on any given day are not showing up for their shifts? Perhaps due to injury, illness, etc. If you are supposed to have, say 50, on swing shift and only have 35 or 40 that makes a significant difference.

  6. VivekB

    VS, TB. Yep, agreed with both of you. What I didn’t say well was that more folks should have been this irritated a long time ago. It’s sad that it took takeover robberies to have more people wakeup, i’ve been pissed about the general crime explosion for that whole time.

    What worries me more is that folks will get used to takeover robberies as it’s no longer “big news”, and it’ll take a customer getting shot or killed during one to get effective action.

    Unless Oakland’ers get used to that, at which point i’m definitely moving to Piedmont…

  7. Colin

    Here is a petition for recall:
    http://www.petitiononline.com/510911/petition.html
    I don’t know about the legality of an online form, but there it is.

    I also don’t know who gets put in charge. I’m so-so on Ignacio, but he certainly knows this city and he’s a capable bureaucrat. He also seems to have an opinion about where the problems are (hello, Chief Tucker). On the other hand, so much of this has happened while he’s been around. I understand that he has no direct control, but he’s not entirely a bystander.

    I don’t know. I just don’t know.

  8. Robert

    There is another question MS, not just about how many officers don’t make it out on patrol on their shifts, but what are the rest of the police doing who are not assigned to patrol. Lets say you are about right and there are 50 officers per shift. From what I have heard about the number of officers on the street at any time I suspect that that number is actually high. You can cover 24/7 with the equivalent of 4 full shifts (actually very efficiently with 12 hour shifts and only 4 hours overtime every two weeks (84 hours per two week block). That means you need 200 officers to cover the city 24/7. Lets toss in another 50 to cover vacancies, for 250.

    What are the other 500 or so sworn police doing???

  9. Max Allstadt

    From my personal experience in West Oakland, I’m beginning to thing we really really need our jail back. If we had an expedited path to the drunk tank for people who wander around all whacked out or drunk in the middle of the day, we could make a huge quality of life difference.

    I have sympathy for addicts and alcoholics, but I also think that after a certain number of trips to the city jail, people might learn to throw their lives away inside, or out of sight. The simple aesthetic change in the streets would lead to less bullshit in general.

    We have a crime wave and no jail. WTF?

    The jail we do have is being used by another city, and it releases their criminals onto our streets. WTF?

    I’m told that releases actually happen at 9 or 10 at night, downtown. They’re letting people out of jail, broke, right as our bars and restaurants are full of all sorts of targets. WTF?

    Last weekend, 9 people got shot, and our leaders continued an 8 week break. WTF?

  10. dto510

    Max, as you point out in your comment, there is a jail in Oakland. Do you want us to close the County jail or reopen the City jail? The OPD use the County jail often, but its use is hampered by bureaucratic BS that Oakland could solve on its own. We don’t need to reopen the City jail, we need to be able to outsource some city functions to other agencies (ie, use the County jail fully), something that is currently prohibited by the Charter and union agreements.

  11. Max Allstadt

    That’s a bit of a misunderstanding on my part then.

    What I want is for the cops to have a less burdensome means of locking up people for drunk and disorderly conduct, or stoned and disorderly conduct. I understand that at the moment it takes great hods of paperwork for them to jail anybody. If it’s warranted, it should be easy. They should be able to throw someone in the back of their car at 8 am and be back out at 10 am to do it again.

    And, if it’s true that other municipalities are using our jail, we need them to pay for buses to bring them back their own crooks. And if somebody in charge of the county jail is releasing people at 10pm regularly, we need to know who is responsible so we can put their embarassed face on the 6 o’clock news.

  12. dto510

    Max, I think you point out some big issues here that really aren’t directly related to the jail – it’s just a good example. Yes, Oakland cops have to do too much paperwork. Yes, coordination between the County, the OPD, and other agencies is incredibly poor. Another example of this would be Chauncey Bailey’s assassination, which happened only one day before a multi-jurisdictional raid on Your Black Muslim Bakery. Maybe if coordination improved, not only would the OPD be able to more fully use the County jail, but they might be able to do major raids without several days of ironing out the logistics.

  13. Max Allstadt

    Well the one big issue around the jail that I’d really like some confirmation on is the release time. DTO, it was a security guard in Old Oakland who told me about the 10pm release time. Not exactly an ultra reliable source, but not in anyway dubious.

    If it’s true, it has to stop. We should be releasing people about 45 minutes before the BART starts running, so they’re docile from a night of barely sleeping in jail. The folks from other jurisdictions should be returned there, not just told to go back.

    As for the paperwork issue for cops: I have heard two officers on this issue, one who I won’t name, and Bob Valadon. Both think having unsworn personel available to do deskwork is the quickest and cheapest way to get more men on the street.

  14. DwtnOakWorker

    Vivek and V Smoothe – Have you done any mapping of crime statistics? It would be great to see how the geographic location of the crime spree and crimes that have occurred in the post-2006 era compare with crimes from the early years of this decade. My sense is that we have had crime spikes before (see this USA Today article about a 2002 murder rate spike http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2002-12-15-homicide_x.htm) and that most of the crimes took place in the flatland neighborhoods with larger lower income populations. The current takeover robbery situation is clearly unacceptable and has too stop. Yet, it does seem that a number of Mayors have not done enough to systemically reduce crime rates and we are now seeing crime explode throughout the City. I too am guilty of this – in the past when I lived in North Oakland I was not personally concerned about the crime in the City – I felt upset but didn’t feel that it really affected me. Yet, when someone was robbed at gunpoint on 20th Street at 1 pm while using an ATM next door to my office building on the heels of a takeover robbery the previous week at a restaurant a block away I was astounded. Murders and robberies in far-off flatland communities don’t resonate as well as a mugging on your daily route to work or at your favorite restaurant. Many of the places that have been hit in this most recent spree are places that I have patronized in the past.

    I am very disappointed that City leadership is not doing more. I am more disappointed that this is just the latest twist in a citywide crime cycle that started under the leadership of Mayor Brown’s and Mayor Harris. They key difference today is that crime has spread from traditional lower income areas to the rest of the City. I would love to see some data to confirm if my hypothesis is correct or not. And I would like to hear about a concrete package of solutions that would help to stop this. Flooding the City with police (or Guardian Angels) is at best a temporary solution. What can be done to create real lasting change?

  15. californio

    V,

    How about getting a guest blogger on here from the OPD? I’d be interested in an insider’s take on jails, number of cops on beats, etc., and just a general take on what’s going wrong. Not an “official” who’ll just give us the official BS, but someone who deals with it everyday, has been with OPD for a while, and uses his or her noggin.

  16. Max Allstadt

    Californio -

    Unfortunately, I think that for the same reason CEDA employees don’t do comments, we’ll not be hearing from the OPD. Particularly on a forum that so repeatedly trashes Tucker. (Whether or not he deserves it).

    ConcernedOakFF comments. I would love it if a ConcernedOakCop materialized. Yeah, I know it flies in the face of my “sign your own name” spiel. Since when was I consistent?

  17. e_nut

    Hi All-
    I feel that the intense scrutiny that both the Mayor and Chief of the OPD may be a little overzealous…No one has an answer to the problems facing poor urban communities in the US. It is way bigger than Oakland, in fact a large majority of major cities in the US have problems that mirror the crime demographics in Oakland. It would be nice to hear Dellums & Tucker, or anyone for that matter, actually discuss the fact that their is a population of youth that have no place in mainstream US society…these youth’s know that, and basically say f@#k you to everyone else and our rules.

  18. DP

    I just moved here and I am astonished at the level of crime. I also have to wonder why the residents aren’t protesting any of this? Why aren’t Oakland residents organized and DEMANDING that crime be stopped? Who elected these people?

    Why hasn’t a curfew been instituted? Why hasn’t the National Guard been called in? Where is the FBI? These are armed robberies taking place during the day now. People have been injured – pistol whipped, pregnant woman punched in the stomach, etc.. Last night someone fired into a crowd of 30 to 40 people! A pregnant woman and her child died. How bad does it have to get here before people stand up and say they aren’t going to take it anymore? Are the residents here just so desensitized to it that they don’t notice what is going on in their own backyards?

  19. Surfways

    As V pointed out in a previous post, you can read the perspective of one person who was in the OPD (retired) : http://www.ronoz.com.

    It is really time for chief tucker to go (lower cases intended). And DP, I agree, I don’t know why I am not seeing people taking action in regards to the crime. I’ve sent emails to city council members, demanding that they find a way to relieve him from his position. I think its the city administrator that has this authority.

    I LOVE this blog and the people that comment here, but how can we transform the talk and comments found here to actual action and progress in city hall? Besides sending out emails to city council members and complaining with my neighbors, I need to do more.

  20. VivekB

    DntwnWorker: I haven’t done any mapping; that’s something well covered elsewhere, plus it doesn’t really show rate of crimes, which is what I was really trying to figure out. I see # of robberies, is that good or bad? How is that compared to years past? Is it really worse, or am I just waking up to it? Also with the new geographic restructuring of OPD, is that helping or hurting? It’s hard to make huge dents in crime quickly, but i’ll take slow & steady progress, reduction every units of time.

    Plus I kinda just stumbled into this whole thing in the first place, so anything i’m doing now really is an organic growth/stream of consciousness type evolvement. If you’ve got suggestions on how to improve it, i’d love to hear it.

  21. DP

    March? Protest? Bombard Schwarzenegger with pleas for help? The people in this town need to organize and DEMAND a change.

    I just moved to Oakland. I can, and most likely will, leave the area BUT there are little children here. It is unconscionable that we allow this to go on and these children have to grow up in an environment like this.

    Shootings, sideshows, armed assault, shots fired into crowds of 30-40. There is no such thing as “safety in numbers” here. If we don’t need a curfew and the National Guard now, then when? What will it take for people here to wake up?

  22. Allan

    I have a feeling this suggestion may not be well recieved – but I thing we need a “surge” in law enforcement. Bring in the Highway Patrol, FBI, whatever help we can get from the state and federal government. Even if it is only for a few months, we need to get the idea out that at least some of the time – crime does not pay.

  23. James H. Robinson

    I moved to Oakland a year ago, and sometimes I doubt my choice. Is there anything GOOD in Oakland? Is there any reason for an outsider to move here?

  24. Max Allstadt

    James, here’s ten reasons. I’ll even give you reasons to move to WEST oakland:

    1. Beautiful Weather
    2. Flat ground for miles means you can bike everywhere.
    3. A huge stock of beautiful old houses at cut rate prices.
    4. West Oakland is the dead center of the Bay Area. By car it is 30 minutes from everywhere.
    5. The upside of lawlessness is that there are a lot of opportunities for fairly harmless fun that would never fly in a stuffy suburb.
    6. Genuine diversity. My block is White, Black, Latino, Pinoy, Young and Old.
    7. The Tacos. They’re better in Fruitvale, but we do alright out here in the west too.
    8. A city in shambles often has a lot of secret treasures, underused. Radio Beach and Middle Harbor Shoreline Park come to mind.
    9. Random people at our coffee shops are worth talking to, and who’ll talk to you too. Mama Buzz, Gaylords and Revolution Cafe have the kind of real cafe culture that you will never find at Starbucks.
    10. The fireworks on the fourth of July are better on the streets of West Oakland than they are at Jack London Square.

  25. Jennifer

    I believe that Dellums should resign, and this is the counsel that his COS Chai should be giving him. It will elevate Chai so that he might actually be able to get another job. As it is now, who would hire this guy. Even if he does have the phone number of the Bat Phone. Good to know he has time to see movies while residents of Oakland are being terrorized.

  26. Surfways

    I know city officials have heard us residents but we have no real clout. Did we make it painful for the city to displease us? The elections? Nadel & Brunner got elected again.

    Perhaps if we get businesses to “protest” – the sales tax could be deposited in escrow and only given to the city if certain conditions are met (like demanding the resignation of the police chief or such). This tactic would give the city some pain and hopefully draw a lot of attention to the point where other businesses would employ this tactic.

    One hardware store held the sales tax for one day because Dellums wasn’t listening to their concerns. There was an article on this but I couldn’t locate it.

  27. DP

    Have any of you ever protested? Marched? Called the Governor? What has been done? I like the sales tax idea! It would get some media attention.

  28. Mike Spencer

    I have lived in Oakland for something like 14 years. In some ways, not much has changed on the Oakland crime landscape. Same problem areas and pockets, same types of criminality. So none of the current climate, ie armed robberies, etc, is really new.

    I just have a sense the last two years or more of OPD being too reactive and slothful. Decimated crime lab, certain Union honchos having no financial incentive to see anything change. And I don’t buy blaiming it on the “Riders reforms” that they can’t be aggressive. I just have a sense of them, from top down, just wanting to punch the clock and get the hell back through the Caldecott before dark. In these regards, Dellums and Tucker seem perfectly matched. No energy, just tired ideas. I would love to see a police chief and brass who live in Oakland and who have a stake in the City. Maybe it’s too much to ask for but something has to change. And if we are going to hire more cops, do it through a sales tax where everyone pays and not just homeowners.

  29. len raphael

    DP, one would think normal reaction of residents would be “fight or flight” in reaction to conditions in Oakland but in my tiny corner of Temescal it seems to be “try not think about it and don’t walk on the streets after 7pm” unless you’ve been directly touched by violent crime. Then the reaction is usually flight.

    perfect example is the drive by shooting around the block from me 49th and Manila/Lawton, a few weeks ago. cars and one house along half a block stretch sprayed with semi automatic fire. a cop half a mile away on Claremont heard the gunfire.

    Ok, if you’re a resident of the OHA project there you could get on a long waiting list for a Section 8 voucher to move to Antioch, but wouldn’t you have thought the middle class residents, renters paying +900/bedroom and a bunch of owners of +500k homes, would either start leaving or screaming for OHA to throw out it’s shadier residents and for more patrols? Other than a high attendence at an initial meeting about the shooting, and some of the middle class residents immediately affected who will probably be moving, residents just hunker down and shrug it off as part of living in Oakland.

    Maybe just another form of the same economic forces as the OHA residents face:eg the home owners can’t afford similar size and quality of housing, without a long commute. They don’t have the time or energy to fight the professional pols, unions, ngo’s, developers who make a living off this city.

    -len raphael
    temescal

  30. DP

    I have been speaking to the people in my neighborhood. They are all very resigned to living in a high crime neighborhood. I hear over and over, “The cops don’t care.” I (not surprisingly) have called the police department several times. I believe that they do care – at least the officers that I have spoken with. I have also stopped officers on the streets and they have been very helpful.

    Maybe the people that live here don’t really care about the crime – unless it directly effects them? A friend of mine once told me “You always get what you settle for.” Maybe that is the core issue in Oakland.

  31. Deckin

    I think DP is basically right; we have the government (or lack thereof) that we collectively deserve. Not us in particular, but us in general in this city. And the source of that is two forms of social pathology: One endemic in neighborhoods that breed crime and send it about the rest of the city, the other in those neighborhoods victimized by intruding thugs. The first sort is well documented and commented on. I personally feel it’s impossible to solve that pathology. What can be done is that it can be fought, limited, chased and made to be a genuinely uncomfortable option for those who choose to pursue it. But that brings us to the second. We won’t do any of that in this city because those whose neighborhoods are victimized by crime insist, in the main, that we can’t ‘arrest our way out of the problem’ (funny how they also feel we can ‘impeach our way of out the current administration’) but must ‘solve’ the problem through social engineering. Until the second social pathology is limited and contained, the first will continue to make our lives miserable. I’m genuinely amazed how many contortions people with a dogmatic faith in failed liberal social policies will go through rather than admit they are fundamentally wrong. They’d sooner be mugged than have to admit that poverty isn’t the cause of all that’s wrong in the world.

  32. DP

    I happen to believe that we can arrest our way out of this – in part and at first. We need a hard-core crackdown on the criminals. Like Allan suggested, “Bring in the Highway Patrol, FBI, whatever help we can get from the state and federal government. Even if it is only for a few months, we need to get the idea out that at least some of the time – crime does not pay.” That is the first step. Except I don’t want them to think crime EVER pays. We have to close the door to that way of life – shut down that option.

    Oakland would FLOURISH if it were safe. Location, location location. The weather here? It’s fabulous! Businesses would move in and that would mean jobs. Real estate would go up. People would get involved in the community. Reporters get shot here for covering crime – how is the average citizen supposed to feel safe even starting a neighborhood watch program???

    THE CRIME HAS TO BE STOPPED.

    Number two, show the kids here that there are other options. I don’t mean more social programs, I don’t think those work. I mean EXPOSURE to other ways of living. I grew up in extreme poverty and the worst thing about it is that you don’t BELIEVE that you have options. For me, going to college was comparable to going to the moon. I didn’t realize that I could go to college until I was 24 and I was surprised when I found out. When you are dirt poor, everything seems out of your reach. You accept that at a very young age.

    I really don’t feel safe enough here to stay and get involved. I’d love to help but when I call 911, I need to hear “An officer is on the way” NOT ,”I’m sorry, they’re busy” (Yes, I really heard that).

  33. Jonathan C. Breault

    So well written, so well reasoned, so abundantly obvious. Ron Dellums is so astonishingly inept, so entirely unprepared, so shockingly clueless and obtuse. And compounding it all is an imperious persona complementing his odd predeliction for ego aggrandizement to an absurd and comical degree, and as pointed out so perfectly, no energy, enthusiasm or inspiration. His is all bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo masking his colossal ignorance. Dellums equates careful, cautious methodolgy with exceptional insight and nuanced innovation. The fact is Dellums take an inordinately long time to produce absolutely nothing of import or consequence. He pretends to be a deep study but he is just a procrastinator masquerading as some sort of highly attuned elder statesman. Dellums really and truly would do everyone a favor by resigning. The entire city council would also do the citizens a favor by resigning as well. There is little in the near term for people to feel good about absent a huge, wholesale purging of the ridiculous clowns at City Hall. Will never happen and Oakland will deteriorate. The old addage that smart people alway know what they don’t know and dumb people (politicians) think they know everything when they know practically nothing. Too bad in Oakland the stupid people have run the city into the ground. And they keep getting elected.

  34. TheBoss

    Jonathan – I agree with much of what you say, but I don’t think Oakland will deteriorate in the end. Demographic forces are too powerful. The city is gentrifying. Just look at the crime maps from year to year. The crime is pushing south and west. More so every year.

    The government can’t stop it. But, they can and will slow it down and make it as painful as possible.

  35. Frank C.

    Max, I love your points, but they won’t work for anything but a small slice of the population.

    To truly thrive and have a good tax base, Oakland must become more safe and family friendly. Artists and hipsters, etc., are an essential starting point, but they are NOT capable themselves of lifting the City’s economics and tax base by themselves.

  36. Max Allstadt

    you’re absolutely right frank. Artists and hipsters can’t change the city on their own. Nor would anybody really like the results very much if by some miracle they did.

    I actually don’t see how anything but the cafe culture and the fireworks are hipster-only benefits. We could do with a little less lawlessness, for sure, a little chaos is crucial to any real city. In Walnut Creek, they’d get rid of the guy who sings like a loon every morning at the corner of 20th and Frankin. Frank Chu would probably be run out of Piedmont if he tried to set up there. If Oakland ever gets to that level of order, shoot me.

    Middle Harbor shoreline park is screaming to be filled every Sunday with BBQing families. I’m glad I have it to myself most of the time, but I’m also not. Definitely not a hipster-only perk of a park.

  37. VivekB

    Cafe Culture is for hipsters only? What about the poseurs among us?

    I love cafes, but there’s no chance anybody would confuse me with a hipster. Hell, i’d have to stretch to be a hipster-wanna-be.

  38. Max Allstadt

    To clarify yet again, the cafe’s I mentioned might be accused of being hipsterish. I’m sure there are plenty of other cafes in this town where one might happen on conversations with non-hipsters. As a matter of fact, the people I talk to at Mama Buzz only look like “hipsters.” There is actual depth there, and plenty of it. Do not let the outfits and haircuts fool you. I’ve learned MASSES about the California education system at Mama Buzz.

    The entire debate about what is a Hipster and what is not… kinda out of my hands. If it’s about fashion, I’m not one, ’cause my pants aren’t threatening my fertility.

    So that leaves only lawlessness and fireworks on my hipster list. And again, who doesn’t like a little lawlessness? Just a little. Our problem is that we have a surplus.

  39. DP

    I heard 13 gunshots late yesterday afternoon while sitting in my apartment. They couldn’t have been more than a block away. Nice to always have the Oakland PD in my “recent call” list on the cell though – no searching for the number.

    That is a little too lawless for me and I am an artist.

  40. Max Allstadt

    Put 777-3211 on your speed dial on your cellphone. That will get you OPD emergency without wasting time getting routed through the Highway Patrol. Tell all your friends about this. You can improve the OPD’s arrival time by calling 777-3211. I asked for this info to get spread around more actively at a council meeting once. No results.

  41. susan

    That’s great that you gave out the number to call but is anyone there to answer it? I called last week and was on hold forever. The 911 operator was very sweet and tried to explain the shortage of police dispatchers at OPD. How come no one is addressing this problem? How does a call for help that is on hold get the help there??? Perhaps the shortage of police officers is not the only problem. Why were police dispatchers not included in the special money proposed for the ballot. I think that I would prefer to have my call for help answered quickly than to have a CSI show up after the fact. Don’t get me wrong, I do believe that it is important to have more crime scene techs, however, I feel that it is imperative that they also try to staff the 911 center to handle the calls coming in and to also effectively dispatch the newly improved staff of police officers. I always thought that police officer/dispatcher ratios were supposed to increase together??

  42. Max Allstadt

    I’ve never been put on hold by OPD when I go through the 7773211 number by cell or 911 on an Oakland landline.

    Then again, I think they may be prioritizing. I haven’t really called about anything other life threatening stuff. I call sometimes when I think I see an easy drug bust, but that’s usually during the day.