Two factors have led to crime and policing hitting the radar recently. First, as is often the case, politics. With a Republican running for city council, inaccurate cries of “crime wave” and “spiking crime” began at the beginning of September. This was despite there being any data that supported this finding. But, as of September, Alameda has witnessed a shocking number of firearm discharge events (some of which involved people being shot). There were five incidents in the space of three weeks.
With questions swirling about how the city is viewing this, I wanted to report back on both data I have received and on my meeting with our new interim police chief (my third meeting with police leadership in the last month and the second that discussed this summer’s shootings).
As of today, October 18th, we have had 12 shooting reports in 2020, all of them happening after June 1.
- One was murder (the Circle K clerk shooting the shoplifter) – Arrest made
- One was for shooting at a car, house, etc. with people in it (this was the Park Street shooting) – Arrest made
- Four of these were assault with a firearm, shots fired – three arrests made
- One was for shooting at an empty vehicle – no update
- Five were for discharging a firearm in a negligent manner – investigations underway
Where the shooter was apprehended, four of the six of them were from Alameda.
The first thing to notice and appreciate is that our City’s law enforcement staff have made arrests in all but one of the shootings that involved shooting a person. Our detectives have a good track record with clearing cases related to violent crime compared to our neighboring jurisdictions and they have continued to perform well.
The rest of the open cases are under investigation, our city staff are working hard to solve them and have accessed regional resources to help with this. No one in any of the city’s departments, including police, is taking this lightly and they are working hard to solve them. Our former Acting Chief and the current Interim Chief both indicate that these incidents have risen regionally, not just in Alameda and they are in discussions with other departments to try and address the issue.
There will be updates if and when the cases progress.