Nov 1, 2019

Area 2 Captain Bolton’s message on recent activity in our area.

Robbery updates:

Officers and investigators were able to make some key arrests last week on what we believe were two separate robbery “crews” operating in the downtown, uptown, and North Oakland neighborhoods.  Although we can’t tie them to all of the robberies we suspect, I believe that crime in Adams Point, Longfellow and Rockridge has been positively impacted by these arrests.  Unfortunately – and again – these suspects ended up being juveniles so I am tracking what measures in any form can be utilized to help them defer from future robbery activity following these latest arrests.

Home Robberies – Beat 10 and 13:

On yesterday’s log there was a listed incident that has caused understandable concern on Nextdoor.  Apparently the family member of a victim posted details which ended up in the news this morning. I have asked the OPD PIOs to put something out but info will be minimal at this time due to ongoing investigation.

I can confirm that the victim told us that at about 11:30pm he was approached outside of his home and then forced inside where his ATM was retrieved.  He was then forced to drive or accompany to at least one ATM to withdraw money before being left with his car at an ATM.  Zip ties and duct tape were used to restrain the victim.We have already recontacted the victim, recanvassed the scene, and are following up on leads.

Last night, on Beat 10, we had another reported home robbery where a victim was initially approached outside of his home.  The robber ended up entering the home with the victim at gunpoint where loss was taken.  The victim was pistol whipped before the suspect fled. At this time I do not have reason to believe that the same suspect is involved or that this represents what may be a larger series. However, I agree that the two contemporaneous incidents are concerning enough as isolated events and that much worse when viewed together.

I will let you know if there are updates as we move forward.

PG&E Public Safety Power Events:

Whether you knew or not, the PG&E outages cause considerable disruption to police operations in addition to the disruption to your power.  Your Community Resource Officers and Crime Reduction Team Officers (and I) worked on days off and for tremendously long hours to ensure that extra patrols were provided to outage areas, traffic control signals that were out were staffed or otherwise addressed through portable stop signs, calls for service impacted by outages were addressed more rapidly, fire watch patrols were occurring, business districts had extra eyes and ears, and that contingencies were in place to cause evacuation in the worst case red flag scenario.  I was very impressed by the OFD leadership and staff who commanded these overall incidents and was very proud to see that the OFD and OPD teamwork was excellent under these situations –  I am hopeful that this PSPS is not something I will be routinely witnessing…

Stop Data:

I have shared and discussed how our officers are making decisions on who to stop, detain and arrest and under what circumstances and how discretionary stops are making a difference in police legitimacy and also racial disparities. For the 2nd year in a row I have measured meaningful reductions and changes in Area 2 stop activity and resulting data. Our history and resulting trust issues have understandably and rightfully caused most focus on how discretionary stops impact our African American community the most.  That’s whay I think it is meaningful that once again our new data shows me that discretionary and routine enforcement stops on persons described as black have fallen 48% compared to this time last year and that the African American or Black racial disparity has dropped by 20% while rates for other races have increased within the same period. This is a good start – not a celebratory end or finish line by any means and would be incomplete without also continuing to address implicit bias through training and awareness and explicit bias through the law.  The Chronicle may be publishing an article this Sunday with their view on the numbers so I’ll be interested to see what the reporter’s view includes.

Sincerely and respectfully,

Chris Bolton

Captain of Police

Police Area 2 – North Oakland

Oakland Police Department