NCPC: A Part of Your Crime-Fighting Team

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Neighborhood Crime Prevention Councils (NCPCs) are part of the community policing program in Oakland. In the words of the authorizing resolution by the City Council, community policing is to Òcreate a working partnership between the community and the police... to analyze neighborhood problems, set priorities, develop strategies, and work together to improve the quality of life in our neighborhoods.Ó

NCPCs provide forums for all Oakland individuals and neighborhood groups (including block clubs, neighborhood watch programs, community-based organizations, merchant associations, citizen associations, and houses of worship), to participate in making their communities, better, safer, and stronger. They are organized and run by local citizen volunteers and currently receive no funding from the city.

NCPCs are supported - but not controlled by - the Oakland police department (OPD), that works with the NCPC to develop strategies and allocate resources to address problems. The police also report back to the NCPC about progress on specific issues and priorities set by the NCPC.

OPD assigns Community Resource Officers (CRO) to each of the 35 community policing beats, some of which are divided into sub-beats. The Greater Rockridge NCPC shares its resource officer for Beat 12Y with Beat 12X (Temescal) and its CRO for Beat 13X with Beats 13Y and 13Z (upper Rockridge and Montclair). The Community Resource Officers were formerly known as Problem Solving Officers. Each NCPC also has a Neighborhood Services Coordinator (NSC) assigned, who is a liaison with the police and other city departments.

The CROs and the NSC attend NCPC meetings as other assignments allow. NCPCs identify one priority per beat, and the CRO and citizens discuss recent crime activity and Òhot spotsÓ at the meetings. NCPCs often use email to communicate with the CROs and the NSCs and work with OPD to attack neighborhood problems like outbreaks of burglaries, or problem houses.

One of the most important messages the Greater Rockridge NCPC tries to convey is: If you donÕt report a crime, any type of crime, itÕs as if it never happened. Reporting helps OPD plan how to allocate its resources to reduce Rockridge crime.

The Greater Rockridge NCPC meets at 7:30 p.m. on the second Thursday of the month, upstairs in the Rockridge Branch Library meeting rooms. Check the website (rockridgencpc.com) to confirm the meeting. The next meeting is on June 11. The speaker at this meeting will be Christopher Sean Watson, director of the Sexually Exploited Minors (SEM) Program for Bay Area Women Against Rape (BAWAR). He will discuss what their programs have to offer the Oakland community.