Grand Lake Neighbors — March 2024 Minutes

Wednesday, March 20, 2024

Barnett Hall, Lakeshore Baptist Church

Attendance: 40, including OPD(1) and City reps(2)

NEXT MEETING: WEDNESDAY, May 15, 2024

Questions: Eric Hughes – hughesearthur@gmail.com


Crime reports and project status from OPD

  • Not reported in writing this month. We requested written stats for future meetings. Our CRO Officer McKinney is on leave, so here are our current OPD contacts:
    • Our CROs are Officers Mendez and Officer Gil Aranda. Contact them at crowest@oaklandca.gov
    • Our Community Resource Officer (CRO) Escalation contact is Sgt. Alain Manguy: AManguy@oaklandca.gov
    • Our area Walking Officers are:  Michael Cooper (mcooper@oaklandca.gov) and Daniel Kemmitt (dkemmitt@oaklandca.gov)
    • Our Special Resources Lieutenant is Acting Lt. Eric Kim (ekim@oaklandca.gov).   

There was much discussion about crime and related issues across Oakland.

CRO Aranda led the discussion, took notes, and promised to follow up with us. We appreciate his willingness to jump in on this under difficult circumstances.

  • Problems on Crescent Street – there were a few folks from that street present, and their issues included mailboxes being broken into. CRO Aranda suggested they follow up with Neighborhood Services and schedule CPTED reviews.It was brought up that Oakland needs to learn to market itself better – quality marketing and accurate communications are critical to the perception people have of entities, and Oakland doesn’t seem to get that. One person suggested we’ve lost hope, another that Oakland is being gaslighted by so many bureaucrats trying to convince us that things are better than they really are. There was discussion about the ongoing problems in Oakland about accessing quality data about, for example, crime and hiring. Questions were asked about whether Oakland has enough investigators to look into all the crimes – the answer was, of course, no. It was suggested that the people in charge learn how to be honest with the citizens about the issues we confront. 
  • A subsequent email from an attendee: “To improve Oakland, we need our leaders to provide an accurate picture of what is happening. This is not easy work – it is very hard, but without metrics and clear accountability there are no indicators or signals to say that investments are creating the intended outcomes.”

Discussion of the use of street cameras:

  • Jim Donatell, a Lakeshore Homes Association resident and Board Member, provided us with an overview of the project underway in the Lakeshore Homes neighborhoods to install eight FLOCK cameras at key neighborhood entry and exit points. He gave us an overview of the process that Lakeshore Homes used, and is willing to share other pertinent points that will help any group interested in following the same path. It was noted that CHP, Piedmont, Richmond, and San Leandro have access to and utilize the FLOCK data from Lakeshore Homes. Notably absent from that list is Oakland (CRO Aranda will follow up).
  • Here are four of the key points to consider when organizing a similar camera project:
  • Determine entry/exit points
  • Model the cost  (Note: this is a PDF. If you want a spreadsheet, contact Eric.)
  • Identify who will pay (can a group cover the cost?)
  • Determine who/what entity will sign the contract with Flock.
  • Here’s a powerpoint from Flock about what they do. For more info, go to their website.
  • Grand Lake Neighbors is very interested in helping drive this FLOCK initiative, and will consider ways to do that.

When will we get a new Police Chief?

  • That question was answered two days later, on March 22, when the announcement was made of the appointment of Floyd Mitchell.

City Council Updates: Keara ODoherty (for Dan Kalb)

  • We are all delighted that the Ceasefire program has been resurrected. It was successful in identifying and working with the people most likely to commit violent crimes in Oakland, then became a victim of the pandemic, and has now been restarted. 
  • There are about 40 cars abandoned in Oakland every day – the City is staffing up to deal with them, and working with CalTrans and the State to find places to store them once they are towed.
  • There was some discussion of Oakland’s pursuit policy, as there has been in previous meetings.

City Council Updates: Debra Israel (for Nikki Bas) 

Note: subsequent questions from an attendee were posed to Debra in a 3/21 email as follow-ups to these items. We are awaiting a reply.

  • City Council Public Safety Committee meeting was on Tuesday, March 26 at 6pm in person & virtually. There was a MACRO report presented to the committee. (GLN minutes published before this meeting was held)
  • Parking Technicians & Stolen Vehicles – Debra reached out to Michael Ford with OAKDOT to determine if parking technicians (who write the parking citations) are able to access information as to whether a vehicle is stolen or not. She will share an update when available.
  • # of New OPD Recruits – Debra reached out to Captain Yu about the number of new recruits who will be finishing their training in May.
  • “Measure Z – The Public Safety and Services Oversight Commission (SSOC) met on Monday, March 25 at 6:30pm in person & virtually. They discussed  Measure Z (and the Ceasefire program). The Oaklander’s Together Coalition presented the ballot measure for this November.  Signatures are being collected now – they have been at the Trader Joe’s on Lakeshore. See the agenda with a Measure Z evaluation update.”
    • Sign up to receive the District 2 newsletter for updates on the work Council President Bas and the D2 team are engaged in across the district.
  • Congratulations to Carol Dru from the Lakeshore Business Improvement District and Anthony Bennett from the Grand Avenue Business Association for working with the City and OPD to open (this Spring) an office for OPD near the corner of Grand and Lake Park Avenues! 

Splash Pad News: Publisher Debra Chaplan (info@splashpad.org)

  • The new publisher for the Splash Pad News introduced herself and we are all delighted to meet her! She is always looking for ideas, people and supporters to help research & write articles.
  • Be sure to look at the new Splash Pad News Website.

Eric Hughes talked about the initiative to keep tagging under control. 


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