City of Oakland names new violence prevention chief

BySuzanne Phan KGO logo
Tuesday, November 21, 2023
City of Oakland names new violence prevention chief
The City of Oakland on Monday named Dr. Holly Joshi as the permanent chief for the Oakland Department of Violence Prevention.

OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- Oakland city leaders say they are doing all they can to stop violent crimes. On Monday, the city announced a new permanent leader for the Oakland Department of Violence Prevention.

The new Chief of the Department of Violence Prevention, Dr. Holly Joshi is a big win for the city of Oakland, says Mayor Sheng Thao.

"I know she has the pulse of the community. She understands the community," said Mayor Sheng Thao.

The announcement was made at Esperanza Elementary School at the campus of Stonehurst Elementary in East Oakland, which Joshi attended as a little girl. Her family lived five blocks away. Joshi worked for the city of Oakland for 14 years from 2001 to 2014.

MORE: 'We are suffering': Oakland community seeks solutions to rising crime at safety meeting

"I was a member of the Oakland Police Department. I worked in every department that you could. I was chief of staff. I ran an investigative unit that was focused on violent crime intervention and response. I was an undercover officer. I was out here in East Oakland partnering with community-based organizations," said Dr. Holly Joshi.

Oakland's mayor says heading the Department of Violence Prevention is a big move.

"We are safer in our community through the resources we offer. We are all better for it," said Thao.

Antoine Towers, a so-called violence interrupter, works with Youth Alive! And Oakland Violence Prevention Coalition. He supports the new chief named.

VIDEO: Meet Kevin: A man on a mission to stop gun violence in Oakland

When a shooting happens, Kevin Grant is one of the first people to respond. His goal: keep another shooting from taking another life in Oakland.

"She's an amazing individual that has done great work in the community," said Towers.

And Towers supports work of the Department of Violence Prevention.

"A lot of people may not see because it's a big city and there's a lot of turmoil that has been happening within the city. But every success counts. Every time we work with an individual and mediate a situation and prevent an escalation, it counts," said Towers.

Joshi says she plans to look at the root causes of gun violence, gang violence and gender-based violence.

"Our role as the DVP is to focus on prevention and intervention and the police department's role is accountability, so we are going to work really hard at our role-prevention and intervention. Because we want to reduce the footprint and the need to utilize the criminal justice system," said Joshi.

Now Streaming 24/7 Click Here

If you're on the ABC7 News app, click here to watch live