Ron Dellums's Crime Promise: By the Numbers

How has Oakland mayor done since last State of the City address?

View Comments ()
|
Email
|
Print

    NEWSLETTERS

    Getty Images
    It was a tough year for the Oakland Police Department, which lost officers to a shooting and to layoffs, but crime does actually look to be down.

    Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums is set to give his State of the City speech.

    Last year, coming just weeks after the shooting of Oscar Grant by BART police and shortly before the Lovelle Mixon standoff that results in four dead officers, his promise was to reduce crime, even as the city grappled with massive budget deficits.

    So has he made good on that promise?

    According to the Federal Bureau of Investigations, violent crimes reported were down 13 percent from January to June of 2009, with decreases in murder, robbery and aggravated assault (though there was a troubling increase in forcible rape).

    New Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts officially took the helm in late October. Since then, crime reports have gone down month-over-month, according to data from the OPD.

    From November 20 to December 20, there were 4,114 reports of crimes filed by Oakland police, while from January 20th to February 20th, only 3455 reports were filed -- a decrease of 16 percent.

    (Click on the infographic to see more details.)

    Though how much that has to do with improved policing, and how much to indirect factors such as weather or statistical errors (two percent of total records from October 24 to February 20 were excluded due to missing or unintelligible dates) is unknown.

    Looking at the data week-over-week, and the number of reports during any given seven days is volatile, with spikes after Thanksgiving and New Years Day.

    And, of course, while the perception of crime is that it's getting worse, in fact, nationwide, it has been getting better for some time. Meaning any politician's promise to reduce crime in the last decade would have eventually paid off, regardless.

    Still, Dellums will have plenty of numbers to point to in his speech to suggest that he made good on his promises and that his selection of Batts to head the department was a wise one, at least for the time being.

    Jackson West isn't entirely happy having a good data sample that's unspecific and untimely, and timely, specific data that only covered the last few months.