Phil Matier: OPD Crime Strategy Shrinks Districts, Doesn’t Add Officers

OAKLAND (KCBS)— Beginning Saturday, The Oakland Police Department is changing its strategy on fighting crime. The department plans to switch from the two police districts it currently has to five smaller ones.

The plan is among the recommendations from a team of police consultants. They’re trying to do more with less and the official announcement should come on Friday. The plan should be implemented on a roll-out basis. The first one will be in East Oakland where they’ll have two captains and as many squadrons. The district will be in place by the weekend.

Police captains will be responsible for community outreach as well as officer deployment. They’ll be held accountable by Police Chief Howard Jordan.

Unfortunately, were not seeing an increase in a number of officers in the department or even necessarily in East Oakland. What they’re doing is taking the small amount they have and implementing the notion that with a smaller geographic area, they might be able to get more done without spreading out their resources.

Oakland City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf said she hopes the new strategy will lead to quicker response times by officers.

“The fact that they’re constrained in a particular neighborhood hopefully means that when a call comes they should get there quickly. Part of the consulting advice is to meet with community leaders, get connected and make those relationships that community policing is all about. That’s a critical part of solving crimes,” Schaaf said.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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