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Drug Crimes Take Priority for Oakland Police

Posted on: 12/28/2013

Due to budget cuts and furloughs over the years the Oakland Police Department has taken a major hit to staff and its number of uniformed officers. With a limited number of officers the OPD decided to focus more patrolling city streets instead of investigating homicides. Whether or not having more police out on the streets actually prevents crime is a controversial topic. Numbers from 2012 show that Oakland police solved only 28 percent of the homicides in the city this year. Since Oakland is known as being one of the violent cities in the country their crime lab has begun to come under heavy scrutiny for its inefficiency.

Oakland’s crime lab processes 95 percent of all suspected drug cases in less than 24 hours. They have no backlog for their narcotics unit while recent reports show that their homicide department has years of backlog and over 650 cases with untested evidence. If the OPD decides to continue to focus on “cost effective” drug arrests it could prove to be a real problem and endanger public safety even more.

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