Oakland Mayor Begs For Help Addressing Violent Crime

(AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

Violent crime is an issue pretty much everywhere. While we’ve pointed out a couple of places where it’s improving, that’s not happening everywhere. Oakland, California, for example.

Things are bad there. Of course, Oakland has never been known as a king, gentle, loving place. They leave that for their neighbors in San Francisco. However, it’s a lot worse now than they have been.

In fact, they’re so bad that the mayor is begging for help from the state.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf (D) has requested help from California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) to better catch criminals in the area.

Schaaf wrote to Newsom asking that he use license plate readers on the ramps of state highways and increase the presence of California’s Highway Patrol in and around Oakland in an effort to locate criminals. The mayor also asked for the state’s highway patrol Retail Theft Task Force to look into recent robberies in the area.

“The primary mode of transportation for those committing the violent crimes are vehicles that are often stolen or have switched license plates, many of whom travel into and throughout Oakland on the highways and main thoroughfares,” the mayor asserted.

This year, Schaaf said, there had been 131 homicides in Oakland. She also noted that carjackings have increased by 77 percent, and robberies by 46 percent.

“The need for a system that can capture vehicle descriptions and alert law enforcement to vehicles associated with violent crime, in real time, has never been more apparent,” Schaaf said.

“Such technology can multiply law enforcement efforts in a focused, intelligence-based manner, while still balancing the important privacy interests of the community,” she added.

That may well be true.

Of course, something else that could really have helped would have been to not defund her city’s police department earlier this year. You know, just for the sake of argument.

I mean, I can’t help but wonder if Oakland would need the state’s help if they hadn’t done such a colossally stupid thing in the midst of a surge in violent crime.

But they did.

Frankly, it would serve Oakland right if the state told them to pound sand for just that reason. Newsom won’t, though. Even if the state doesn’t provide the assistance requested, they’ll have another reason.

Personally, I’d be inclined to say to just let them rot, but there are good, decent people in Oakland who opposed all this stupidity who are likely to be adversely affected by such a thing, and I don’t want them to rot.

For those who actually supported defunding the department and are now begging for help? I have no sympathy at all. We told them this would happen, but they didn’t listen. Now they’re having to deal with the ramifications of their actions and I can’t find a whole lot of sympathy for those particular souls.

The question is whether any of those souls will learn from their mistakes. They’ll have an opportunity to replace their broken leadership with someone who may be able to actually address the issues their community is facing, but will they?

I’m not holding my breath.