A Big Day For Public Safety In Oakland

There were two big developments today.  Chief Batts introduced his  strategic plan framework, and he and City Attorney John Russo filed Oakland’s first anti-gang injunction action.

This morning, the Chief held a press conference to roll out his much anticipated strategic plan framework.  MOBN!’s Mike Ferro has a report at the Make Oakland Better Now! site, cross-posted at Oakland Local.  Mike’s report, the Strategic Plan Framework, and the Power Point presentation that go with it are essential reading for anyone interested in public safety issues.  And so is the department’s survey, which you can read and take here.

Oaklanders, we really need to be involved here.  The first community meeting on the Strategic Plan Framework was tonight, it didn’t get as much publicity as it should have, and was lightly attended.  But there are four more meetings — March 3, 4, 10 and 11, and if you want to (a) know what is happening to turn the city around when it comes to crime issues, (b) be heard on this issue, and (c) show the city how important public safety is, you need to be there.   Details are at the MOBN! web site.

Earlier today, Chief Batts, City Attorney Russo and others announced  they were seeking an injunction against the North Side Oakland gang.  This is happening after they presented the idea to the City Council’s Public Safety Committee and met with a decidedly cool reception.

In the Complaint, available here (beware:  the Superior Court’s  web site is slow, and you have to download documents a page at a time), the City Attorney seeks an order preventing the following activities in a 100 block area:  associating with each other except in school or church;  intimidating witnesses;  possessing firearms or weapons in public;   graffiti activities;  possessing or being under the influence of non-prescribed drugs or paraphenalia;  trespassing;  disobeying laws; recruting gang members;  unlawful loitering.  The complaint also seeks to impose a curfew on gang members with the proposed “safety zone.”

Gang injunctions have been controversial, and there probably won’t be 100% support in Oakland.  But this is consistent with Chief Batts’ oft-stated  premise that Oakland’s violent crime problem is a problem of guns, drugs and gangs. There’s some excellent coverage of this, and the issues involved, at Oakland Local here and here.

Oaklanders, take a look at the stories on the injunction and at the Strategic Plan framework, and tell us what you think.

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