Talk of the Town: Do you feel safe in Oakland?

Who feels safe in the Town?

Ansel Troy asked Oakland commuters: Do you feel safe in Oakland?

According to Forbes magazine, Oakland is the 11th most dangerous city in the United States in 2023. Local news headlines about Oakland often detail robberies, murders, and thefts. 

I asked commuters at the Fruitvale BART Station: Do you feel safe in Oakland?

Sawas Anand

I feel pretty safe. Well, I’ve been staying in East Oakland. A friend of mine said, “are you staying in East Oakland? Are you concerned.” I mean, I’m pretty close to the Blade. I haven’t been bothered, I haven’t felt unsafe in any moment. I feel pretty good here.

Sawas Anand, Oakland resident

Young Lee

I do. Because I grew up here and I’m kind of familiar with everybody. I’m familiar with the area. I feel comfortable here. Most people that’s not from Oakland probably feel like Oakland’s not safe, but people from around here, they all feel comfortable.

Young Lee, Oakland resident

Azaudrey Taylor

Yes. I mean, I’ve had my phone stolen out here. My cousin has been shot out here and passed away. So, there’s many reasons why I can personally say, I could not feel safe out here, but, I’m from the Bay Area. I know the Bay Area. There’s shootings that happen in San Francisco, there’s shootings that happen in Richmond, and that’s where I live. I feel safe here.

Azaudrey Taylor, Richmond resident

Aaron Bates

Yes I do. The majority of the time. With the recent wave of violence, in the last two or three months, you have to keep your antennas up. The news and these killings in East Oakland, in the last six to two months, that has impacted individuals. Other than that, I think Oakland is a pretty clean city, in certain parts. We got the good, the bad, but overall, yes, I feel pretty safe. 

Aaron Bates, Oakland resident 

Thomas Mullins

Do I feel safe in Oakland? Listen to me man, I got a knife on my hip, so, everybody else got guns, so ultimately, no. No, I don’t feel safe. I would put police on the streets, man. I’m homeless out here. The first thing I did when I came to Oakland was sought out a policeman. 

Thomas Mullins, Oakland resident

Do you feel safe in Oakland? Let us know your thoughts below.

Author Profile

Ansel Troy is an East Oakland native, raised in Oakland public housing and a graduate of Oakland public schools. His work as an entrepreneur has appeared in publications including The Wall Street Journal, Architectural Digest, and Business Insider. He has a passion for social justice, government transparency, and investigative stories. He holds a BA in Ethnic Studies from Cal State Hayward.

1 Comment

  1. NO! I do not feel safe. I live in the Fruitvale/Foothill area. I don’t go out at night and if I do, I will NOT walk home but use a taxi service or ride-share. With the 911 calls taking such a long time for response, you can count on OPD for help if it’s needed.

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