Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Facing Police Cuts, Neighborhoods Turning to Crowd-Funded Private Security

Oakland, CA, residents fed up with an overworked and short-handed police department have turned to crowd-funding to provide additional security for their community.

The Police Department in Oakland has struggled with budget cuts. The department has run through two chiefs in two years, and has had to cut 25% of its police force in the last five.

And as the force has been cut, robberies have risen. In fact, Oakland is now the “armed robbery capital” of the US.

The LA Times reports that robbery victims are often told by police that there isn’t much they can do. The lone full-time investigator is saddled with 13,000 robbery cases. And it’s not uncommon for officers to respond to something like 13 robberies in three hours.

So three communities have turned to Crowdtilt, a group-funding site that effectively asks neighbors to donate cash in exchange for protection from a private security contractor, according to the Huffington Post.

The campaign on the site for one neighborhood explains, “While the city and the police are doing what they can, we feel it’s time for us as a community to begin exploring a wide range of ideas and taking some action on our own. One idea that many have expressed interest in is hiring private security to patrol our neighborhood.”

You can check out the campaign for yourself on Crowdtilt here.

So far, the site has raised $5267.00.

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