Making Crime Unprofitable

This post comes in the wake the author getting assaulted on Broadway at 25th Street over the weekend.

– – –

What are our society’s financial incentives to keep crime down?  How are financial incentives set up right now?

Is the Mayor of Oakland (Ron Dellums) paid according to how safe our city is? Hell no.  Same for the OPD Chief.  Does he get a bonus for a safer city? Should he? I believe so.

And how would we measure “safer”?

A – truly lower crime stats (not fake numbers like us govt employment and CPI figures) — fewer murders, muggings, car thefts (hooray, inept ACo DA Tom Orloff is gone as of a month ago! he reminded me of Doug from Weeds)

B – hire a 3rd party to independently and randomly survey real Oakland city residents. do they “feel” safer?

C – what do you think?

If these two people and those under them were paid more if the city was measurably “safer” would Oakland be a safer city? Or just safer on paper?

Side note: This idea isn’t original to me.  Google “Popsicle index” and you’ll find it.

There are other people who benefit from higher crime too, financially.

  • Prison wardens and their unions.
  • For-profit private/corporate prisons. You think these don’t exist? Google “corrections corporation of america” or “corporate prisons.”
  • “Bail bonds” outfits benefit from higher client turnover and fees
  • At the end of the day, crime IS profitable. For many.  And stopping crime is NOT profitable.

If you want to help me catch the pedicab passenger who attacked me Saturday night, head over to my site and click “donate.”

20 OPD detectives are sitting at HQ right now investigating complaints of OPD misconduct — probably over half of these reports are generated by criminals themselves to take the heat off themselves — and only 8 [eight, viii] investigators are covering all robberies and assaults in Oakland.

Effectively, misdemeanors are not being investigated.  The lab techs have such a work backlog that OPD investigators themselves cannot ask for fingerprinting work to be done even if they have a burglary suspect and stolen goods IN HAND.  The only dusting work these techs are allowed to do is homicide-related cases. (Highest priority.)

As you can see, as Charlie Pine and Chief Batts have BOTH said, Oakland really does only have HALF A POLICE DEPARMENT.

Since OPD effectively is over-burdened and not allowed to catch criminals, I’ll need to do more investigating on my own and hire a PI.


3 responses to “Making Crime Unprofitable

  1. Sorry to hear about this….check with area stores and merchants very soon in case security cameras have a pic of the guy. Check with the restaurant to see if they will cough up any names of patrons at around that time. Not saying that cops won’t put some elbow grease into it, but never hurts to help your own cause, like you are doing.

  2. Hi Mike,

    Thanks so much for your tips. I’ve gotten good tips from Tamara Thompson (another PI) as well. OPD is definitely over their heads in manure so I’ve been all over this case myself. They do their best but there’s only so much a handful of people can do.

    I’m in process of getting video from some businesses. However, one in particular (C&K Enterprises, a highbrow german luxury car showroom) refused to allow me access to their video system, even though it would have shown the perpetrators.

    I’d think that C&K blocking me from accessing their surveillance video is an obstruction of justice, punishable by imprisonment. The manager there claimed they only held 2 days worth of video — and I went to them within that time period. Still no go.

    Most businesses there have no video surveillance capability even if it looks as if they do.

    I’m pushing the restaurant as gently and professionally as possible and they’ve been great so far.

    Thanks again for your suggestions Mike! Will keep you in mind.


  3. Comment on sfgate explains why Crime DOES pay…

    2/5/2010 8:03:27 AM

    Prisons are a business — indeed, a major industry — not so plain and not so simple.

    Certainly there’s a prison-industrial complex, to which you can add the “criminal justice” system.

    Lots of people make a fine living off of criminals, from well-paid police officers, to lawyers and judges, court employees like officers, translators, and various secretaries, clerks, and facilitators, to prison guards, to those who use prison labor and prison-made products, to those who build and help operate prisons, to the private-prison industry.

    As Tom Wolfe pointed out in his great novel, “Bonfire of the Vanities,” such a system requires “chum” — that’s what the van and wagon loads of arrestees brought each day to the Bronx (New York City) Supreme (actually, superior) Court are called.

    As New Yorkers can tell you, policing varies from diligent to almost-not-at-all depending upon the neighborhood. When I lived in Harlem, I observed drug deals conducted openly while squad cars zoomed by.

    Read more:

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