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Politicians usually discuss budget cuts as if tightening a city’s budget only impacts marginal services, but budget cuts do have a face, and sometimes the face is that of a mom who returns home after a long day’s work, only to learn that she’s been burglarized.
In Oakland, the burglary rate is up 43 percent since the city began drastically cutting the number of police officers.
CBS San Francisco reports:
According to the latest numbers from the Oakland Police Department, more than 11,000 homes, cars or businesses have been broken into so far this year – translating to about 33 burglaries a day. The most popular targets have been cars with more than 5,700 burglarized so far this year.
That’s a lot of burglaries.
Due to budget cuts, the city has cut the number of police officers, leaving the police force at around 600.
Police Chief Howard Jordan said the city is trying to craft new crime fighting strategies in wake of the budget cuts.
“The fact that we haven’t been able to address some of the proactive things that we should be doing as an agency is really hampering our efforts to address some of the crime problems,” he said. “But with that being said, what I’ve been tasked to do and asked my commanders to do is look at some of the ways for us to free up officers in order to give them time to be proactive. I’m also reducing some of the positions in certain administrative functions in the department so that we can add more staff to our street level enforcement teams.”