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Oakland community calls for violence prevention solutions, more police funding at council meeting

Oakland community continues to call on city leaders to do more about crime at latest council meeting
Oakland community continues to call on city leaders to do more about crime at latest council meeting 03:00

OAKLAND — It was another heated city council meeting in Oakland Tuesday as people from across the community packed the room to call on city leaders to do more to solve issues related to crime in the area.

Tim Gardner has lived in Oakland for 15 years, and Tuesday was the first time he's ever attended a city council meeting. 

"I just had to do something. I couldn't sit around hoping that it's get better anymore," said Gardner. 

His big concern is crime. He told KPIX that this year alone his neighborhood has been the victim of several violent crimes. 

"Some women have been attacked, robbed on the street. Mostly older women who haven't been able to defend themselves. And then a baby was injured in a gunshot, robbery with a gun where shrapnel punctured her ankle," said Gardner.

He wants the city to do more to protect people and prevent crime. That's why he decided to attend and address city leaders directly. 

"I want to express my support for the funding for the OPD traffic safety, DNA testing and DNA data access so we can solve crimes," said Gardner. 

And he wasn't alone, dozens of people took to the podium to express their concerns over how the city is handling the issue of crime, including Sandy Valenciano with Urban Peace Movement, a local organization that works with area youth. 

"It's very important to me personally as an Oakland resident that generate our energy to actually violence prevention solutions," Valenciano said. "What happens when the worst-case scenario takes place, but I want to make sure that doesn't happen in the first place."

Gardner said he agrees with Valenciano but still believes the police need to play a role in the city's crime plan. 

He believes the biggest problem is that the city isn't doing either of those things. 

"Between safety and between violence prevention. It's not a choice. We need to start working together. We also need to use our resources to solve those problems efficiently, and one of the most egregious problems in this city is a total lack of accountability," said Gardner. 

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