With the worries about the understaffed police department, private security companies come up in many discussions in Oakland. This is a place to document/discuss examples of private security in Oakland, whether past, current, or proposed.

Sept 26, 2013 Comparison of private patrol companies : http://oakland22x.org/   Click the tab called "Useful Links," the scroll down and click the file called "Private Patrols Compared.pdf." compared.pdf

List of Private Security Efforts

In the News:

One Opinion: The  interest in starting up private patrols is gaining momentum as of late September. As one participant in the Upper Dimond described it, this is entirely grass roots and usually not organized by the existing NCPC or Crime Watch structures. City Council members seem lukewarm at best about the movement.

Note that none of these patrols are armed with anything more than cell phones and radios at this time even thought some of the providers, such as  VMA,  employees (officers?) are trained and licensed to carry firearms.

One Opinion: To a large extent these groups are doing what the City should have done years ago but could not because of contracts with the police association and state laws: create a lower paid tier of flat foots who drive/walk beats. Who don't have any college credits and pass a less difficult training program than current cops go thru. But flat foots with street smarts and emotional intelligence. That would also make it easier to find qualified people from poor sections of Oakland.

According to another Upper Dimond organizer , the groups are usually set up as non-profits (assumedly not charitable) so they can open bank accounts. They collect a year's fees in advance and select the security vendor. There will be volunteers developing evaluation methods to evaluate the effectiveness of the various services.

All the patrols set up to date (late Sept 2013) have been in the East Hills and Lower Hills.  Not clear how effective they would be in the flats of say lower Rockridge where there are many points of easy access and exit, and much more transient foot and car traffic that makes it much harder to identify "suspicious people."  Also not clear if the "free rider" issue makes it to hard to get cost per household acceptable if there are many multi unit buildings and/or a high percentage of renters vs owners. Free rider effect will be minimized by security company providing additional services at no cost to paid residents such as responding to phone calls or go on premises if alarm is sounding.

Security Guard Shooting

On February 13, 2014, a security guard for the company Security Code 3 shot a burglary suspect in the leg in Oakmore Highlands. (see story)

An open letter to Libby Schaaf was posted on Oakland Local. An article in the East Bay Express discussed the potential consequences of the guard's actions.

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