Newsom sending 120 Highway Patrol officers to Oakland amid 'alarming' crime surge

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California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced Tuesday he would be sending 120 Highway Patrol officers to Oakland and the East Bay to respond to an “alarming” wave of crime.

The announcement said California would be temporarily increasing state law enforcement personnel in Oakland and the East Bay, including sending 120 California Highway Patrol officers to conduct a “targeted crackdown on criminal activity, including vehicle theft, retail theft, and violent crime.”

“As crime rates across California decrease — including right across the Bay in San Francisco — Oakland is seeing the opposite trend,” Newsom said in a statement. “What’s happening in this beautiful city and surrounding area is alarming and unacceptable.”

“I’m sending the California Highway Patrol to assist local efforts to restore a sense of safety that the hardworking people of Oakland and the East Bay demand and deserve,” he said.

The surge in law enforcement will be a 900 percent increase from the typical law enforcement presence in Oakland and within Alameda County, according to the governor’s office. The office said officers will be “targeting auto theft, cargo theft, retail crime, violent crime, and high-visibility traffic enforcement.”

Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said in a statement she was “grateful” for Newsom’s assistance.

“The surge of crime and violence that we are seeing in our streets is completely unacceptable,”Thao said. “The City of Oakland is hard at work turning the tide — increasing law enforcement investigations, increasing police recruitment, and investing in community and violence intervention efforts.”

The governor’s office said violent crime in Oakland jumped 21 percent, robbery increased 38 percent and vehicle theft increased 45 percent in 2023, according to preliminary statistics. Newsom’s office said this upward trend of crime in Oakland comes as crime is down in other areas, like Los Angeles and San Francisco.

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