OAKLAND (KPIX) – The Oakland City Council will vote Tuesday whether to add more police officers in the midst of rising homicide numbers.
The Anti-Police Terror Project believes the police department can shift resources away from non-violent calls to address homicides instead.READ MORE: Thick Fog Bank Blankets San Francisco, North Bay Valleys
Oakland Police Chief is responding, calling the group’s new report “inaccurate and divisive.”
“Our staffing levels are at a crisis point right now,” said Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf.
So far, there have been 129 homicides, nearly 600 shootings, and 2500 robberies in Oakland this year. The Mayor and some council members are urging residents to say ‘YES’ to more officers.
“I think the reality is that we are not responding to nonviolent crimes and we’re not responding effectively enough to violent crimes because we don’t have enough officers,” said Oakland City Council member Loren Taylor, who represents parts of East Oakland.READ MORE: UPDATE: Suspect In Attempted Armed Carjacking Killed In Shootout With San Jose Police
The Anti-Police Terror Project cites in its newly released report that at least 31% of officers’ time responding to 911 calls is spent on noncriminal and nonviolent issues, like animal control and traffic.
“If we have hundreds of officers that are in this department that we don’t know what they’re doing why wouldn’t we look at that first,” said Maureen Benson, a former Oakland police commissioner and part of the Anti-Police Terror Project.
“Whether you support law enforcement or not, I hope we all can have productive conversations about solutions rather than constant attacks and inaccurate data. We all should be Standing Up for a Safer Oakland, instead of anti-police rhetoric,” said Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong.
The Mayor’s office says the $5.8 million to pay for 60 additional officers will not affect any city services, or cut into prevention efforts.
Oakland’s police department has 676 sworn officers.MORE NEWS: Marin Brewing Company Shutting Down After 3 Decades Due To Pandemic Struggles
That’s the lowest number in a decade and below the voter backed Measure Z, which requires at least 678 sworn officers.