Crime Prevention Programs

 ​Oakland Housing Authority Police Department’s
Nationally-Recognized Crime Prevention Program

The success of the Oakland Housing Authority Police Department’s (OHAPD) Community Policing Approach is simple. We empower the public housing community by changing our residents from the inside out. Our success in partnership represents a philosophy of equality, mutual respect and trust. 


Although some community policing strategies, such as foot patrol, resemble policing of years past, the Community Policing approach is not new.  Community Policing is not just another “tack on” program that requires new resources. It is a philosophy, a management style, and an organizational design that promotes police-community partnerships and proactive problem-solving strategies. It is a different way of looking at policing.


In 1992, in response to a high rate of homicides and other crimes in an area of Oakland that included two of our largest housing developments, OHAPD introduced a method of community policing designed to encourage residents and officers to work together to reduce crime. The results were dramatic; almost as soon as the program was introduced homicides in the area stopped. In fact, from 1992 until 2000 there were no reported homicides in the area, and since that time the number has remained relatively low. The Community Policing program was recognized on national television and then-Attorney General Janet Reno visited the area twice to see the transformation for herself.


OHAPD's Unique Approach to Community Policing

  • Our program redefines the roles of the community and police and the relationships between them. Both share responsibility for social order and work cooperatively to identify problems and develop practical, community-wide solutions throughout the public housing population.
  • Our program acknowledges that we cannot do the job of public safety alone and recognizes that we have valuable resources available in our community.
  • OHAPD’s program uses a model called “Health Realization,” which recognizes that communities are naturally resilient and that their members have the ability to identify and solve their own problems.  
  • Community empowerment occurs when we enlist our residents in identifying their problems, determining their own solutions to them, and then working together with law enforcement to make positive changes. Only then do they truly have control of their own destinies.