OAKLAND -- Police are stepping up a crime-fighting program in Oakland's 100 most violent blocks but still won't specify the blocks being targeted.
Mayor Jean Quan rolled out the 100 Blocks crime-fighting initiative in October, saying that police would work more closely with city and outside agencies to reduce crime and build trust in the 100 blocks that accounted for 92 percent of Oakland's murders over the past five years.
On Tuesday, flanked by Interim Police Chief Howard Jordan and more than 20 law enforcement officials, Quan said anticipated budget cuts won't stop the city from devoting additional police and city resources to the 100 blocks over the next 90 days.
"The idea is that we'll prioritize
The city has refused to disclose the actual blocks so as not to stigmatize them, Quan said.
The blocks are generally in the neighborhoods surrounding Havenscourt Middle School at 66th Avenue and International Boulevard; along International Boulevard from 82nd Avenue to the San Leandro border; and between the Acorn Apartments and Campbell Village in West Oakland.
The initiative involves police violence suppression projects, more thorough crime analysis to pinpoint hot spots and better coordination with other
Early results are encouraging, city officials say. An August pilot program in a section of West Oakland saw homicides drop fourfold, shootings drop sixfold from the prior month and drug hotline tips increase by 155 percent.
The city also credits the initiative's rollout last fall for a drop in violent crime that had spiked during the first several months of the year. Overall, Oakland, which has seen its police force shrink in recent years, tallied 110 homicides in 2011, up from 95 in 2010.
City leaders said they will continue fine-tuning the crime-fighting plan every three months, but they wouldn't give details about the upcoming escalation and how it might impact policing outside the 100 blocks.
"We have a plan for when crime moves to another community," Jordan said. "We want the public to know that we're not ignoring very real problems."
Councilwoman Pat Kernighan, whose district doesn't include any of the 100 blocks, said police are committed to maintaining the same number of patrols throughout the city, although other areas would be less likely to get specialized crime reduction teams.
Still, Kernighan said she supported the initiative. "It's just so critical that we bring down the numbers of shootings and homicides."
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6435.
Oakland officials are lauding a program that focuses on the city's 100 most crime-prone blocks.
Mayor Jean Quan: "The idea is that we'll prioritize service in these 100 blocks no matter what happens. We know that in these neighborhoods increased enforcement has started to bring down violence rates."
Police Chief Howard Jordan: "We have a plan for when crime moves to another community. We want the public to know that we're not ignoring very real problems."
Councilwoman Pat Kernighan: "It's just so critical that we bring down the numbers of shootings and homicides."