Budget Cuts Are Cutting Into Police Department
By Daryle Allums Jr. The Oakland budget cuts will be in affect this weekend. There will 106 less officers patrolling the streets of Oakland. This removal of officers will also include the entire motorcycle unit, which means that street officers that drive cars will now have to handle traffic problems. This has to make you wonder what will happen when dangerous crimes are committed and there are not enough officers to respond. Chief Anthony Batts says, “The unfortunate part is we don’t have the capacity to deal with the demand that we have in the city of Oakland.” With the large amount of officers being cut due to the budget crisis, Oakland is left shorthanded and does not have enough officers to handle the needs of the city. Batts formulated a plan to try to eliminate some of the problems caused by the budget cuts. He plans to train Officers whom initially handled petty crimes to learn how to deal with homicides, robberies, assaults, and fugitive crimes. This conjunction of these officers will be called the Major Crimes Unit as the city takes this new route. While the department still expects crime to skyrocket this summer, this new focus on major crimes seems like the best option to take in order to try to reduce the Oakland crime rate. As for the other problems the city has like traffic violations, Barry Donelan from the Oakland Police Union says, “ I think the community will see the effect very quickly.” There is speculation of a continued depletion of officers coming up in August, but for now the best thing the department can do is to make adjustments that will help to rectify the situation.