Yes, Oakland is STILL F-ing Dangerous (or, Thank Goodness for McDonald v. City of Chicago?)
A while back I wrote a post entitled "Oakland is F-ing Dangerous." I was responding to what I felt was a disingenuous and rather slimy column by the Oakland Tribune's editorial board, which was in turn responding to a Boalt Hall administrator's claim that Oakland may be a few things other than "vibrant" and "thriving." Not everyone agreed with me; in the comments I was accused of being privileged and of being insensitive and of making unfair generalizations about an entire city.
Well, I'm sticking to my guns:1 Oakland is f-ing dangerous. Sure, the people most at risk of violence are undoubtedly from the poor, the Footlocker employees, and the Korean grocery store owners. But starting this month I think it is safe to say that things just got a whole lot worse for everyone. Why? The SF Chronicle is reporting that after laying off 80 police officers, the Oakland police department will no longer be able respond to, or investigate, nonviolent crimes.2 "Nonviolent crimes" include, among other things:
- Vehicle burglary
- Residential burglary
- Identity theft
- Restraining order violations
- Court order violations
In other words, the City of Oakland now takes home burglary exactly as seriously as the City of Berkeley takes pot smoking on Telegraph Avenue. Arguably that has been Oakland's policy for quite some time, but now it is official: if you call the police because your ex-husband is violating his restraining order, you will be directed to fill out an online form. Ditto a report of a home burglary, or vehicle theft. Or for that matter, theft of your computer: report that online, too.
To put it a third way, if you are interested in violating a restraining order, robbing a home, or stealing a car, go to Oakland. It's open season.
1 Figuratively, or literally?
2 Note that to learn about this new official policy, an Oakland resident must cross the bay and read San Francisco's newspaper. The Oakland Tribune hasn't a blip about this new policy change, probably because it calls into question the city's "vibrance."