Did you know that we’re not even patrolled by beat-level police much anymore? Apparently assignments and shifts have been adjusted, and the North Hills are getting less attention and love. We learned this exciting news last night, while tuned to KTOP (Channel 10) for the Oakland City Council’s marathon proceedings.
Among the parade of public speakers, our neighbor Jim Dexter came up to the podium to speak his mind. In his more official volunteer duties, he chairs the North Hills Neighborhood Council (Beat 13Y). Everyone who lives north of Thornhill, up to the Berkeley border, falls within this group’s purview.
Anyway, Dexter was discussing overall city priorities regarding public safety and was hardly alone. He also mentioned the current Problem Solving Officer (PSO) assigned to his beat no longer put in full-time hours. Jim reported recent changes in assignments with, as we understood him, an officer patrolling only one out of four days here. Yes, that’s 25 percent of the time!
Measure Y is something Oakland voters approved years ago, to increase community police officers. Compliance seems to be a tricky deal and, without assigned officers full-time, we are effectively violating the terms. Dexter reminded the Council reps that funds can neither be collected nor used when the force falls below 770 officers.
In the meantime, John Haney serves as the Beat 13Y officer and knows the lay of the land well. Come meet him at the North Hills steering meeting tonight, from 7-9 pm. All neighbors are invited to share their safety questions and concerns – at Fire Station 7, 1006 Amito Drive (map).
Feb 26th update: Correction here, as we learned Officer Haney “had been assigned one day a week (out of his four-day work week) to be on patrol.” This reassignment translates to a 25 percent loss. Please read Jim Dexter’s comments below.