OAKLAND (KPIX 5) – In a one-on-one interview with KPIX 5, Oakland Police Chief LeRonne Armstrong discussed the brutal violence his city has seen so far this year and made an urgent plea with the community.
Oakland so far this year has seen 120 homicides and of late, we have been hearing stories of innocent victims getting caught in the deadly gunfire. Armstrong says his department is trying to do its best with fewer officers but it needs help.
"People in Oakland deserve to be safe just like in any other city," Armstrong told KPIX 5. "The behavior in this city is unacceptable and I don't know how anybody can rest at night and tolerate this violence."
Just over the weekend, a mother and her 11-year-old daughter were shot in their East Oakland home. Both were hospitalized in stable condition.
Earlier this month, 23-month-old Jasper Wu was tragically caught in a gun battle and was killed as his family was driving home on Interstate 880.
Raw Video: Watch Chief LeRonne Armstrong's Interview With KPIX 5
When asked what message Armstrong would have to residents and those that are reluctant to come to Oakland, he responded, "Well I want people to know we are working around the clock to identify the people responsible for these violent crimes."
The chief went on to say goes on to add, "We have these incidents happen in Oakland frequently. Far too frequently where hundreds of bullets or being shot in residential neighborhoods. Random bullets that can hit anybody."
Armstrong said with fewer officers, the Oakland Police Department is only solving roughly 35% of its cases. OPD has lost more than 60 officers in the last six months bringing the total to 681, well shy of the 737 authorized positions. But as the department looks to fill the vacancies, the chief said it can't arrest its way out of this crime wave.
"I really believe in this moment, this a call for all of us to come together. Even if we were given resources, they won't be here tomorrow," Armstrong said. "That is not an overnight process. But what can happen right now in this moment is that if people see something, they can share that information with us. If people want to see people held responsible, they should share information with us."
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