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Bratton trots out ‘broken windows’ for Oakland

A new report by cop consultant William “Bill” Bratton urges Oakland police to focus more on property crimes like robberies and burglaries in order to reduce overall crime in Oakland.

Recently, FBI data has shown that Oakland has the highest robbery rate in the country, with about 12 robberies a day in 2012, or about one robbery per 91 residents.

Bratton has an illustrious career of lowering crime rates in cities like Los Angeles, New York and Boston — but not without controversy.

Bratton adheres to a controversial criminological theory known as the “broken windows” theory, which argues that strict focus and attention on smaller, petty crimes leads to a general improvement in overall crime reduction.

The Bratton Group, which he heads, was paid $250,000 for their six-page report of findings and recommendations for the OPD.

The Bratton report found that the OPD assigned only one part-time investigator to over 10,000 burglaries last year.

The report recommends that the OPD establish District Investigation Units in each of the five police districts to investigate smaller crimes like robberies and burglaries so the homicide department can focus on homicides.

William Andrews of the Bratton Group told CBS-SF:

“Burglaries have gone up through the roof, and it’s got to be stopped, and the way to do it to assign burglary investigators and hunt down those burglars.”

It remains to be seen how the OPD plans to implement these reforms considering, especially since the report also cites that the department’s enrollment of police officers is down 25 percent.

Other recommendations by the report include more supervision for crime scene technicians, surveillance cameras in commercial districts and better evidence collection practices.

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