The questions were mainly directed at Captain Ersie Joyner of the Oakland Police Department, though representatives of the school board and the Oakland Unified School District police were there as well.
They gathered at an auditorium from which gunfire can be heard on an almost nightly basis, and the captain did not sugarcoat the situation.
"Unfortunately, I don't have the liberty to sit here and cry about the staffing, I have to work with what I have. I do have very low staffing numbers, although our 911 calls keep increasing," Capt. Joyner said.
But despite the drop in staffing, violent crime overall in the neighborhood near Green Leaf Elementary School is actually down -- though shootings are up.
"I'm a firm believer that there is only 10 percent of people in this community doing 90 percent of the crime. If we know who those individuals are, we can get their special attention and we can drastically drop the crime rate," Capt. Joyner said.
The meeting was called to deal with the violence in the streets and the growing rage of residents that nothing's being done.
"I'm feeling a lot of anger internally from a lot of people. I myself was a victim of violence by gunpoint. I have been raised in this area for 30 plus years, so I know what their frustrations are," Greenleaf Elementary School teacher Chelita Bolden said.
After more than an hour of questions, one woman said she had something positive to say tonight to her kindergarten son.
"Don't be scared, it's OK, you are secure, a lot of people will be taking care of you," parent Lucerito Meza said.