ALCO BOARD OF SUPERVISORS//ROUNDUP | A multi-agency proposal that would add up to 90 public safety officers for high crime areas in Alameda County has some federal and local hoops to jump through before receiving the $67 million grant.
This week, the Alameda County Board of Supervisors, often on the periphery of rising crime in Oakland and routinely critical of City Hall mixed their approval for the proposal to hire 90 officers split equally among the Oakland Police Department, Alameda County Sheriff’s Department and California Highway Patrol, with skepticism and regionalism.
Alameda County Supervisor Scott Haggerty, who represents parts of the Tri Valley and Fremont, voiced support for the plan designed, in part, to put more officers on the ground in Oakland, but also questioned the message it sends to other parts of the county. Haggerty said helping Oakland with gang problem, for instance, may make other cities like Fremont, which is the second-largest in the county, feel left out. “Fremont has gangs, too” Haggerty said, “and let me tell you Hayward is no Shangri-La.”
A lack of leadership is Oakland’s main problem, said Alameda County Supervisor Nate Miley. “I think Rome is burning,” says Miley. “I’ve seen it go down the tubes over the years.”
In the past, whenever other agencies or city beckon the Board of Supervisors for help, Miley regularly portrays their aid in gallant terms. Last Tuesday, he called the board, “knights in shining armor.”
Although, Miley agrees the lack of resources for hiring additional police officers in Oakland is also an obstacle to tamping down crime and homicide rates, he says “It’s an issue of leadership.” He also noted turnover at the chief of police’s office as contributing to the lack of continuity.
COUNTY HEALTH CARE STILL IN STITCHES St. Rose is still losing money, but not as much, says Alex Briscoe, director of Alameda County Healthcare Services. The hospital now run by a new operator has lowered its losses from around $16 million to between $6-8 million, Briscoe said Tuesday. “The problem isn’t going away,” he said, “and we’re not out of the woods.”
Sutter Health, the Alameda County Medical Center and the Eden Township Healthcare were characterized as still in talks over the fate of San Leandro Hospital and a skilled nursing facility at Alameda Hospital was recently approved, said Briscoe. However, like nearly every stand-alone hospital in the East Bay, Alameda Hospital’s poor pay-mix continues to make it difficult to sustain its operations on the island.