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FAQs

What is the purpose of the patrols? Why was Safer Rockridge created?

Safer Rockridge is a California non-profit public benefit corporation created to promote the public safety of the residents of lower Rockridge and immediately surrounding areas in Oakland and Berkeley.

After a major increase in crime in Oakland peaking between 2012-14, there was a broadly-felt sense of powerlessness and frustration in our community at how to address it. Private security services that focused on a specific house seemed inadequate. What good was it to have a patrol which drives by your house but doesn’t care about the surrounding neighborhood? It was from this place that the idea of working together as neighbors was born. Safer Rockridge thus began as a pioneering crowdfunding experiment between 11/2013-02/2014. You can read more about our history here and our purpose here.

Please note that there is no mandatory cost or membership fee for the Safer Rockridge services, but we are 100% reliant upon your contributions and hope you will consider making a recurring monthly contribution of $30/month.

Is my house with in the coverage area?

To determine if your house is in the coverage area, please click here to show the map. Of course, feel free to contact us if you have any questions. Please remember to sign up for our newsletter and consider contributing as we would not exist without your ongoing support.

What are the specific hours of coverage? Are the Patrols 24/7?

While we wish we could have the patrols operating 24/7, current funding does not present that opportunity. As a result, patrols hours are limited to high-crime windows. For security purposes (and because they also change periodically relative to contribution level), patrol hours are only published in our monthly newsletter. Please consider subscribing as well as making a contribution.

How often do patrols pass by my house?

Safer Rockridge monitors the patrol cars via a GPS tracking system. Our historical experience is that the patrols pass by almost every house in the patrol area between 2-5 times each patrol day.

Are the patrol officers armed?

No. Safer Rockridge believes the primary purpose of the patrols is deterrence. We especially do not ever want to increase the risk of a firearm being discharged within lower Rockridge. Matters that require firearms should be handled by the police. Our contracted security officers may carry mace or batons only if they are licensed to do so. For additional information, please read our engagement policy.

What are the rules of enagagement with potential criminals?

Patrol officers generally will not physically intervene, but instead will provide a visual presence and call the police when appropriate. If they witness any portion of a crime, patrol officers will provide eyewitness and other evidence to the police as well. That said, if there is a crime in progress where a person is being harmed or facing imminent harm, the patrol officer may choose to intervene physically if in their judgment they feel it is safe to do so.

How will the patrols interact with residents and visitors?

Safer Rockridge intends for patrol officers to be part of the community. As such, we expect them to converse with members of the community on their daily rounds. Please introduce yourselves and talk with them as well. If there is a surge in crime activity on your street, please call them and ask them to come and stop so you and your neighbors can talk with them.

Are the patrols effective?

Paul Liu, Ph.D., an economist and one of the organizers of Safer Rockridge, analyzed the impact of the patrols on burglaries and robberies in Rockridge with Bayesian statistical modeling using over seven years of Oakland-wide, historical data through October 2014. He estimates that burglaries and robberies were down by 30% after initiation of the patrols, relative to what they would have been absent the patrols. He also found no evidence to suggest that the patrols have caused a spill-over effect in neighborhoods adjacent to Rockridge. See the full report at http://goo.gl/zY27Z4.

What kind of training do the Patrol Officers receive?

Patrol officers receive training as required by the State of California, as well as by the owner of the firm (PPS), a former Piedmont Police Officer. In addition, most of our officers have been life-long residents of Oakland and are very familiar with the community. Some have had several years or more patrol experience prior to being hired.

What do address racial profiling?

Racial profiling is typically an issue that arises with police departments using racial or religious bias in exercising their discretionary right to detail citizens. Since our contracted patrols do not stop or detain people, however, the issue of racial profiling doesn’t arise. Nontheless, it is our policy that the Safer Rockridge safety patrols are prohibited from engaging in racial or other discriminatory profiling.

Are contributions tax-deductible?

Unfortunately, no. As expected, Safer Rockridge’s application for 501(c)3 nonprofit status was denied. This is consistent with other groups providing similar services.

Will you speak to my group?

Yes, if available we would love to come share our experience and answer group questions about the patrols. Please send us an email and we will get right back to you regarding our availability.

How are you communicating with the community?

Safer Rockridge is committed to keeping the community informed about the patrols. We attend community meetings and speak when invited. We publish a monthly newsletter and used online survey software to get anonymous feedback. The best way to stay on top of us is to sign up for our newsletter. You can do that here.

How can i volunteer to help?

If you are interested in volunteering or possibly joining our board, please contact us. We wouldn’t exist without the financial support of the community and the significant time commitment of its volunteers.

How do i file a compliant about the patrols?

We want to know about positive and negative experiences with Patrol Officers. While the feedback we received tends to be very positive, occasionally there are performance issues which we are committed to addressing promptly. The board members of Safer Rockridge are all volunteers who live in the patrol area (i.e., your neighbors). If you have any questions or concerns, please contact Safer Rockridge by clicking here or by sending us an email at saferrockridge@gmail.com. In addition, if this matter is of a serious enough nature, you can also file a complaint with the State of California at http://www.bsis.ca.gov/consumers/complaints.shtml.

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