Officer Nicole Allen brought us to one of her instances. “I received a call shortly after 6 a.m. on August 18 of this year, about a female down in the street,” Allen said as she searched the area for evidence of the woman’s death.
As Oakland struggles with another terrible year, we spent a day with the murder investigator. For the third year, the city had over 100 homicides. The police investigated 111 killings. A guy was slain on 90th Avenue near B Street on November 14. “It’s astronomical,” Allen added. It’s hard to accept as a community.
Oakland police chief Le Ronne Armstong extended a gun violence strategy until the end of the year and added Christmas high-visibility patrols. After eight deaths in seven days, he disclosed the plan in September.
Permanent Investigations Officers ; Part of Plan
Staffing issues persist, Allen says. The agency includes 15 murder investigators. Each investigator handles 8–10 cases each year, which increases with each unsolved crime in the city. “Obviously, Oakland is pretty busy,” Allen added. “Less cops puts more on the police that are here, particularly for murder investigations.”
Activists criticised the method and expenditure. They advocate community ties and prevention. Officer Allen prioritises connections, particularly with grieving people.
“We’re dealing with folks who’ve lost loved ones; it’s a sensitive issue as it is,” Allen added. “Humanizing and showing compassion and understanding goes far.”
Officer Allen said she often receives calls from victims’ families. “They simply want to make sure their loved one isn’t forgotten and their case isn’t pushed under the rug,” Allen added. I want people to know that this will not be the case and that we will thoroughly investigate every issue.
Oakland has Unsolved Homicides
Officer Allen said these investigations take time, unlike in movies and on TV. Sheri Roberson, whose daughter’s father was slain last year, is frustrated that no charges have been made.
“There’s been no closure, no justice; as far as we know, he’s just not here,” Roberson said in an interview last year. “We don’t know why, who, or what, and that’s hard.”
Allen says she empathises with Roberson and is driven to resolve cases and offer families some justice. “It’s what we do this job for; every case that we receive, we walk in thinking I’m going to solve this case; we’re going to obtain justice for this family,” Allen said. “Our goal.”
Allen says each murder weighs on her, and finding a balance at home, particularly with her two boys, is difficult. “They understand that work takes me away from home frequently, and that I am not always able to attend their various activities or volunteer at their school,” Allen added. “I’m busy. “They know I work hard.”
Allen, like her police chief and Oaklanders, is fed up with violence. She stated that a safer community requires everyone. “The city of Oakland is so much more than we’re seeing in the media, and it’s a tiny handful of individuals who are perpetrating these crimes,” Allen added. “We need to stay together to build trust and relationships.”