Politics

Oakland Mayor Quan Travels To DC, Seeks Federal Aid To Fight Crime

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Oakland Mayor Jean Quan delivers the State of the City address at City Hall on February 8, 2012. (CBS)

Oakland Mayor Jean Quan delivers the State of the City address at City Hall on February 8, 2012. (CBS)

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OAKLAND (CBS SF) — Oakland Mayor Jean Quan said Thursday that she’s trying to get more federal help in fighting her city’s crime problem while she’s in Washington, D.C., to attend a U.S. Conference of Mayors meeting and the inauguration of President Barack Obama.

In a phone interview, Quan said she will be meeting with officials from the U.S. Department of Justice and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to try to bring more law enforcement resources to Oakland, which had 131 homicides in 2012.

Quan said an ATF task force helped Oakland police in a four-month undercover operation in West Oakland last year that resulted in the arrest of 60 suspects and the seizure of 92 guns and large quantities of illegal drugs and she hopes there can be a similar effort this year.

The mayor said she also hopes the Department of Justice will permit Federal Bureau of Investigation crime lab analysts to help Oakland police investigate crimes.

She said the FBI’s crime lab “can move quickly in helping local law enforcement leaders” fight crime.

In addition, Quan said she and other mayors have conferred with the Obama Administration in developing tougher gun control laws and are “very pleased” with the recommendations that the president has put forward.

Quan said she’s happy that Gov. Jerry Brown has arranged for a small group of California Highway Patrol officers to work 10-hour shifts twice a week on violence-suppression efforts in East and West Oakland but she’s hoping that arrangement can be extended for a longer period of time.

And she said she’s “thankful” that the City Council’s Finance Committee voted unanimously on Tuesday to hire 11 Alameda County sheriff’s deputies for up to 180 days at a cost of up to $265,000.

The full City Council will vote on that proposal and three other crime-fighting measures at their meeting next Tuesday night.

Quan, who arrived in Washington on Tuesday and will return to Oakland next Tuesday, said she will also be working on other priorities such as economic development, job creation, the home mortgage crisis and affordable housing.

Quan said, “I will be lobbying for infrastructure dollars” in a transportation bill that she hopes will help the Port of Oakland and the Oakland International Airport.

She said she will also be seeking funds from the Federal Emergency Management Agency to pay for seismically retrofitting rental housing in Oakland.

Quan said, “Fifteen percent of our rental housing could be damaged in a major earthquake and that would be a big blow to our economy.”

Quan said she chairs the International Affairs Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors and on Friday U.S. Trade Representative Ron Kirk will talk to the panel about international trade.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco and Bay City News Service. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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