As Oakland marked its 132nd and 133rd homicide of the year over the weekend both in East Oakland, police chief LeRonne Armstrong addressed a shift in resources. The department is creating a new District 6 to bring 48 more full-time officers to the area.
"This is significant because the department has recognized the call for service emergency calls coming from our East Oakland residents and the need for more presence in our community."
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Citing 60% of service calls coming from East Oakland, the chief assured the public resources would not be taken away from other parts of the city that have also seen high profile crimes. This new District 6 configuration has been implemented in the past.
"Those officers will be there 24 hours a day. We've been supplementing our current patrols with overtime so this will fill the gap making it less of a responsibility on the officers to fill in."
Loren Taylor, Oakland Councilmember for District 6 says the restructuring will address service inequities and make a big difference.
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"When my residents are waiting a couple days to 911 calls it's unacceptable, it's something I've been lifting up since I came into office."
Also discussed at Monday's conference: an update on the homicide investigation of TV news crew guard and retired police officer Kevin Nishita. He was shot while protecting a reporter in downtown Oakland on November 24 and died from his injuries days later.
"We have recovered a vehicle similar to the vehicle we're looking for and we pushed photos out. We're analyzing that vehicle and feel confident we'll follow up all leads," says Taylor.
Chief Armstrong credits information provided by the public in assisting in the Nishita investigation- and says he feels "hopeful and optimistic" those responsible will be identified.