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Probation Office May Be Moved Near Oakland Schools

OAKLAND (KPIX 5) -- Parents in one Oakland neighborhood said they are outraged as Alameda County looks to move a probation office next to two schools.

"You would have to be blind and simple to think that the building would work with children here, children all around," said Elizabeth Salem-Harris, a grandmother of a student at Lincoln Elementary School.

She, along with other parents, are upset that Alameda County is planning to move its probation office from 4th and Broadway in Downtown Oakland to a building on the 1100 block of Jackson Street. The location is next to Lincoln Elementary and the American Indian Public Charter School.

The county said about 1,400 convicts would check in with their probation officers each month, some are sex offenders.

"I'm afraid of the sex offenders. I have three girls that I'm trying to protect," said Randolph Boreliz, a parent.

About 750 children attend Lincoln Elementary, and another 500 children attend American Indian Public Charter School.

Teachers at the charter school walk their students past the building every day to Lincoln Recreation Center, which serves hundreds of teenagers after school.

"We'll picket, and we'll do whatever is necessary. This is unacceptable. There's no if's, ands or buts." Salem-Harris said.

While the county has been planning the relocation for a few years, parents said they were kept in the dark until last week. At the same time, County Supervisor Wilma Chan said she also found out about the 1,400 inmates that would check in at the new location.

The supervisor is asking the county administrator to move the probation office elsewhere. "I'm focused on finding a solution that will satisfy the community," Chan said.

Chan said the county is expected to make a decision by next week to move the center next to the schools or find another location.

State law restricts where sex offenders can live, but not where they report for probation. The school district said it would provide additional security guards at Lincoln if the probation office moves.

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