Residents in North Oakland thought they would be getting a team of Oakland Police officers assigned specifically to their neighborhood, but police say they had to change their initial plans and reassign that team.
“I don't carry a wallet, I don't carry anything on me,” said Alla Marrow, a North Oakland resident for the past six years. She said it's her strategy to avoid becoming a crime victim in the Rockridge area, which has seen a spike in armed robberies.
Armed robberies in police area two which includes, Rockridge, Temescal and the North Oakland hills are up 34-percent from a year ago.
“They tried to burglarize this restaurant a couple weeks ago, my home was burglarized which is close here was burglarized,” said Phillip Raskin, owner of Fillipo's restaurant on College Ave. in Oakland.
Residents in North Oakland thought they were going to get six new police officers and a sargeant to deal with crime specifically in their area.
“Originally the plan was to have them there full time,” said Capt. Anthony Toribio, of the Oakland Police Dept, who oversees Police Area 2.
Toribio said the team had to be reassigned, and will now spend about 66-percent of its time patrolling East Oakland.
“Quite simply it was because of the level of violence in East Oakland. The murders and the shootings,” said Toribio.
Celeste Nocerino, the owner of Hello, Gorgeous Hair Salon on College Avenue said she felt let down by the shift in police resources.
“That's what's happened every time they say they're giving us police protection,” said Nocerino. Nocerino told KTVU that she understands the crime in East Oakland was more violent than in other parts of the city, but said her neighborhood deserves protection, too.
“What we want is faster reaction to crimes that are important, armed robbery, burglary. But it's not a fast enough response,” said Nocerino.
Other residents, like Marrow, said they understand police are doing what they can with the resources they have.
“The bottom line is, they don't have the money to hire enough police officers, so they're stretched,” said Nocerino.
Toribio told KTVU that if police focused their resources in East Oakland, the most violent part of the city, crime in all of Oakland's neighborhoods would go down.
“There is some benefit to having additional resources in East Oakland in that those individuals we've been focusing on and arresting have been committing crimes in other parts of the city,” said Toribo.
He also said armed robberies in North Oakland have dropped since they were at a peak of 46-percent a month ago.
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