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In a plea to for community unity, Oakland’s chief of police this week renewed his call to end violence in the city’s streets amid what has been an especially bloody month.
“We cannot reduce crime alone,” Chief LeRonne L. Armstrong said Monday. “We need our community to partner with us, along with other key and critical organizations such as the Department of Violence Prevention (DVP), and other city departments. Together we can reduce violent crime as we stand up for a safe Oakland.”
While some of the crimes, including two homicides and two armed robberies since July 15, had been released previously by the department, several incidents had not, including the following:
• An unidentified Oakland man was arrested at 6:01 p.m. Wednesday, July 14, in connection with a shooting earlier that afternoon in the 9500 block of A Street. No injuries were reported, but an occupied vehicle was struck by bullets. Two guns were recovered during the arrest.
• A man walked into a local hospital with a gunshot wound at 2:43 a.m. Sunday, July 11, from a shooting in the 500 block of International Boulevard.
• Police responded to a report of shots fired at 11:43 p.m. Saturday, July 10, in the area of 22nd Avenue and International Boulevard, where they found two men suffering from gunshot wounds.
• A man walked into a local hospital with a gunshot wound at 11:37 p.m. Saturday, July 10.
“We cannot reduce crime alone. We need our community to partner with us, along with other key and critical organizations such as the Department of Violence Prevention, and other city departments. Together we can reduce violent crime as we stand up for a safe Oakland.”Chief LeRonne Armstrong
• Officers responded to a report of a shooting at 10:23 p.m. Saturday, July 10, in the 1200 block of 52nd Avenue and found an Oakland man with a gunshot wound who died at the scene.
• Officers responded to a report of a shooting at 8:45 p.m. Saturday, July 10, at Bancroft Avenue and Havenscourt Boulevard, where they found a man with a gunshot wound.
• Officers responded to a report at 5:37 p.m. Saturday, July 10, of an armed robbery that resulted in a shooting at 90th Avenue and Plymouth Street. Police found a woman with a gunshot wound.
• Police received a report at 12:28 p.m. Friday, July 9, that a gunshot victim was being transported privately to a local hospital. Police said the shooting occurred in the 400 block of 30th Street.
Anyone with information on any of the incidents is asked to contact the Oakland Police Department Felony Assault Section at 510-238-3426.
Since taking the helm of the Oakland Police Department in February, Chief Armstrong has been outspoken about the city’s rising crime numbers and the need for adequate department funding to put more officers on the street.
In June, he lamented a vote by the City Council to redirect roughly $18 million in proposed police spending over two years, which Armstrong argued will hamstring a police force that is already stretched too thin; the money is being reallocated to alternative forms of violence prevention and harm reduction.
“We already have a tough time responding to the high number of calls that we get,” Armstrong said then. “This will make it tougher, having less officers in the field, particularly for marginalized communities like deep East Oakland, where we see two-thirds of our calls coming from.”
As of late June, OPD had 714 officer positions staffed, but is authorized to staff as many as 788 officers. Armstrong said that since 2013, the city has not added officers to the police force while the city’s population has grown from roughly 395,000 to 433,000.