As talks continue about next month's First Friday event, the volunteer group that organizes the monthly festival said it's planning several changes aimed at preventing another shooting.
"We're definitely going to see a different First Friday; everyone is thinking about what they can do to make the event more safe," said Eric Arnold, a spokesman for Oakland First Fridays.
Representatives of arts and business groups met with city officials Thursday and will meet again next week to discuss the future of the event, which has swelled from an art gallery crawl to an outdoor street party drawing more than 10,000 people to Oakland's Uptown District.
Last week's festival was marred by a gunbattle that killed an 18-year-old student and wounded three other people.
Arnold said event organizers were working to better coordinate activities with Oakland police and private security and were reaching out to several youth-based organizations to provide programming for the increasing number of Oakland students attending the event.
Organizers also are considering holding a peace concert during next month's festival, Arnold said.
Several nearby business owners have questioned whether the event has gotten too big for the district. Since October, the city has closed nearly 10 blocks of Telegraph Avenues for revelers.
It'll be up to city officials to decide whether to scale back the festival's footprint, Arnold said, but organizers don't
"I don't think we can put the genie back in the bottle," Arnold said. "I do think we can make it a safe event."
Officers paired up after second shooting
Oakland police were paired up in patrol cars for about a week recently after the department received intelligence that officers could be targeted for violence, department spokeswoman Johnna Watson said.
Watson would not specify the nature of the intelligence, which the department later determined was not credible.
The intelligence was received shortly after an officer was shot in the leg while pursuing a suspect Jan. 25, Watson said. Earlier that week, a detective was shot in the arm while investigating a homicide.
Watson said officers doubled up for about a week until it was determined that the threat was unfounded. She would not provide the exact time frame.
Oakland police usually assign one officer per patrol car to help them cover more ground.
Police also paired up officers in early 2011 to ensure adequate backup while the department's radio system suffered persistent failures.
Police consultant to address public Sunday
The lead consultant responsible for helping turn around Oakland's beleaguered police department will lead his first community meeting Sunday at Holy Names University.
Robert Wasserman, chairman of the Strategic Policy Partnership, will speak at the first of several community meetings that will inform the consultant's plan to help Oakland fight crime.
Originally former Los Angeles and New York police Chief Bill Bratton was scheduled to address the audience. However, after protesters fiercely resisted Bratton's inclusion in the consulting team, city leaders decided to keep him out of the spotlight.
Sunday's event, which is free to the public, is scheduled for 3 to 5 p.m. at the university's Valley Center for the Performing Arts, 3500 Mountain Blvd., Oakland.