Gov. Newsom to deploy attorneys to Oakland to boost prosecutions

ALAMEDA COUNTY, Calif. (KRON) — Two days after announcing a 900 percent increase in California Highway Patrol officers in Oakland and the East Bay, California Gov. Gavin Newsom announced plans Thursday to deploy state attorneys to the area to boost criminal prosecutions.

Deputy attorneys general from the California Department of Justice and attorneys from the California National Guard will be deployed in Oakland and Alameda County as part of a new partnership between the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office and California law enforcement agencies, a statement from the governor’s office said. The aim of the partnership will be to increase prosecutions of violent criminals as well as prosecutions for property crimes, serious drug-related crimes, retail theft and auto burglaries.

The California Department of Justice has independent prosecutorial authority, the governor’s office said, and will work to “prosecute significant cases targeting major criminal networks in Oakland and the East Bay.” Prosecutors from CalGuard will become deputized assistant district attorneys in Alameda County and “provide investigative and analytical support to identify criminal networks,” the announcement said.

Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price said, “I welcome the support from the Governor in this fight against organized retail crime and the scourge of Fentanyl in our community.” Price announced that she would assign Assistant District Attorney Michael Nieto to represent the DA’s office in the partnership.

California State Attorney General Rob Bonta spoke to KRON4’s Terisa Estacio about the deployment

In 2023, violent crime in Oakland increased by 21 percent, robbery increased by 38 percent, and vehicle theft rose by 45 percent, according to preliminary reports from the governor’s office.

The partnership is set to become operational in the coming days, the governor’s office said.

On Tuesday, Gov. Newsom announced plans to send 120 additional California Highway Patrol officers to Oakland and Alameda County as part of a law enforcement surge operation. The CHP officers will work with local law enforcement agencies on a targeted crackdown on crimes, including vehicle theft, retail theft and violent crime. License plate reader technology, specialized units, K-9s, and air support will also be deployed, the governor’s office said.

Ryan Mense

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