Gavin Newsom announced Tuesday that he’s deploying 120 more California Highway Patrol officers to Oakland and the East Bay as part of a “law enforcement surge operation" amid rising crime in the region.
In a press release, he said that the additional officers — which represent a 900% increase in the number of state police in the area, per the Chronicle — will target vehicle theft, retail theft, cargo theft, retail crime, and violent crime, as well as support traffic enforcement. The operation will apparently include “specialized units” and “advanced investigative technology,” although few specifics were mentioned.
Newsom also touted London Breed's talking point from last month — that crime is supposedly down 7% in San Francisco — in the announcement. “As crime rates across California decrease — including right across the Bay in San Francisco — Oakland is seeing the opposite trend,” he said.
The announcement cites preliminary crime reports from Oakland that show violent crime rose 21%, robbery increased 38%, and vehicle theft spiked 45% in 2023, compared to decreases in many other jurisdictions.
Oakland Mayor Sheng Thao said in the statement that "the surge of crime and violence that we are seeing in our streets is completely unacceptable," and called the added CHP officers "a game-changer in helping us hold more criminals accountable and make Oakland safer."
Thao already asked for and received six more CHP officers and a sergeant from the state last year, as Oakland tried to crack down on sideshows, reckless driving, freeway shootings, and vehicle theft, per the Chronicle. Since then, CHP officers in Oakland have arrested 100 people and recovered nearly 200 stolen cars, according to Newsom.
Image via CHP.gov.