In a critique that should sound eerily familiar to Oakland police leaders, a star-studded consultant team said the department needed to beef up investigative units and improve its focus on identifying crime trends in order to reduce sky-high rates of burglaries, robberies, and shootings, reports the Oakland Tribune. The team, headed by former New York City and Los Angeles police Chief William Bratton, found that Oakland police effectively were not investigating burglaries in a city where the crime jumped 43 percent last year.
The consultants recommended creating geographically-based investigative units to respond better to burglaries and robberies. They also called for major changes in the city’s Compstat process — a weekly high-level data-crunching session that uses crime mapping to focus top commanders and district leaders on identifying hot spots and responding to crime trends. “When this is fully implemented, this is going to [ ] reduce crime in the city,” Patrick Harnett, a retired Hartford police chief and longtime Bratton associate, said at a news conference. Bratton did not attend the event. City leaders turned to Bratton this year after a particularly violent 2012 during which the city recorded 131 homicides and averaged 12 robberies and 33 burglaries a day. Their report is seen as a road map for helping the department bring down crime, especially robberies, burglaries and shootings, after two years of or spikes. Several members of Bratton’s team had proposed similar reforms six years ago, but few were implemented by department brass.