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Oakland Homicide Rate Drops To Lowest Level Since 1999

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) -- Oakland's homicide rate is at its lowest level since 1999. The city's end-of-year crime report shows that there were 68 homicides in Oakland in 2018.

Oakland police spokesperson Johnna Watson said the drop is part of a larger trend and that the homicide rate has dropped steadily over the last six years.

"It's encouraging that our numbers have reduced," she said.

KPIX 5 Police Analyst and former Oakland Police Chief Howard Jordan attributed the declines to the department's use of technology and intelligence and the city's success with its central crime-fighting strategy, Operation Ceasefire, which forms partnerships with the community.

"It's a credit to the leadership in Oakland—the mayor, her staff, the chief and her staff, as well as the citizens who have taken ownership of Oakland," said Jordan.

Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf and police chief, Anne Kirkpatrick planned to hold a press conference Thursday morning to discuss the drop in homicides.

At a press conference on Tuesday, Chief Kirkpatrick made it clear that she is still not satisfied with the numbers.

"I'd like to see a total transformation in the city of Oakland and I believe in it," she told reporters. "I know it can occur, and I'm excited about our future."

Jordan said the department will face new challenges in the coming year, including state legislation that requires police to open misconduct records to the public and release body camera footage within 45 days.

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