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Number Of Killings Falls In Many Bay Area Cities

Publication Date: 
January 06, 2014
San Francisco Chronicle
Henry K. Lee

Professor Robert Weisberg comments on falling homicide rates in the Bay Area for The San Francisco Chronicle

Many Bay Area cities ended 2013 with their lowest number of homicides in years or even decades, mirroring a national trend in fewer slayings.

San Francisco, Oakland, Richmond and San Jose saw fewer killings last year, and authorities attributed the homicide reduction to a combination of factors, including aggressive local, state and federal task forces; changes in demographics; and the use of video to solve cases. But they warned that the apparent crime lull will not last without continued diligence on the part of law enforcement officials and the public.


"I think Oakland and San Jose are offering interesting comparisons," said Robert Weisberg, a criminal justice expert at the Stanford Law School. "Oakland was and still is one of the most dangerous cities in the country. It's right near the top for homicide rates, that is to say, homicides by population. The fact that it went down a little is obviously good news, but I think it's more significant that it remains catastrophically high."