The San Francisco Chronicle profiles police beat 27Y in Oakland, which has been plagued by rising crime. The beat has had five homicides, 23 shootings, seven rapes and 13 carjackings committed from Jan. 1 through Thursday. It’s nothing new. The area has had a violent crime problem for years. But it’s also a place of colorful homes with picturesque lawns and friendly neighbors. Conditions in 27Y change from block to block, depending on where people who commit crimes like prostitution and drug dealing have taken root.
The beat, one of 57 community policing beats in Oakland, is the size of a small city, with nearly 11,000 residents. More than one-fourth of them have an income below the poverty line, and 13 percent receive public assistance. The beat also reflects the city’s diversity, with a mix of black, Latino, Asian and white residents. The triangle-shaped beat contains blocks of working-class households alongside struggling families and blocks prowled by drug addicts, dealers and prostitutes. “I’m satisfied here,” said one reisdent. “I still feel comfortable here. The neighbors are good.”