OAKLAND, Calif. (KCBS)_ Some Oakland communities are considering the idea of starting private security patrols in response to recent officer layoffs.
However, the police department has some concerns about what could be a new trend.
Police spokesman Jeff Thomason says the department has reservations about the idea of neighborhoods hiring their own security force.
“Anytime you hire private security you’re hiring people that are not trained up to the level of a police officer,” says Thomason.
But that concern isn’t stopping Chinatown, the Montclair District, and other neighborhoods from thinking about hiring private security.
“If they are going to buy it, they should make sure they do their homework and get high-definition cameras,” added Thomason.
UC Berkeley School of Law criminologist Barry Krisberg says there’s a general trend of cities thinking about privatizing some police services.
“We’ve ratcheted up these salary dollars and benefits to an extraordinary extent. They’ve probably priced themselves out of the market and every city is going to be looking for any and all ways they can to cut back on expenditures,” commented Krisberg.
The city of Oakland got rid of 80 police officers in layoffs last month.