OAKLAND (CBS SF) – Amid a surge in violence in Oakland, including the highest number of homicides in years, Mayor Libby Schaaf called on Gov. Gavin Newsom for additional aid to curb crime.
"Tragically, Oakland continues to suffer from increased violence. This year, Oakland has experienced more combined shootings and homicides than we've seen in over a decade," Schaaf said in a letter sent to Newsom on Monday.
In her letter, the mayor noted the 131 homicides so far this year, violence associated with sideshows and mass retail thefts, along with a rise in armed robberies and carjackings.
Schaaf urged Newsom to consider the installation of license plate readers and vehicle recognition cameras along on- and off-ramps to highways. The mayor said those committing violent crimes are primarily driving in vehicles that are stolen or who have switched license plates.
"The need for a system that can capture vehicle descriptions and alert law enforcement to vehicles associated with violent crime, in real time, has never been more apparent. Such technology can multiply law enforcement efforts in a focused, intelligence-based manner, while still balancing the important privacy interests of the community," the mayor said.
The mayor also reiterated a request for additional presence of California Highway Patrol units, particularly on state highways within Oakland.
Last week, the Oakland City Council voted to unfreeze police officer positions and fund two more police academies, in the wake of the recent violence. The academies would add 60 officers, which would bring department staffing back to 737 positions.
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