Gov. Gavin Newsom has announced that he is sending state lawyers to help the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office prosecute crimes, particularly violent, drug and property crimes in Oakland.

The announcement comes on the heels of Newsom’s decision to send 120 California Highway Patrol officers to Oakland as part of a so-called “law enforcement surge operation.” 

In addition to the CHP officers, lawyers from the California Department of Justice and the California National Guard will now work in cooperation with county prosecutors focused on violent, property and some drug crimes, Newsom said in a news release Thursday.

“I welcome the support from the Governor in this fight against organized retail crime and the scourge of Fentanyl in our community,” said Alameda County District Attorney Pamela Price. “I am assigning Alameda County career prosecutor Assistant DA Michael Nieto to represent my office in this collaborative effort.”

The governor’s office said that crime statistics from Oakland show that violent crime rose 21 percent in 2023 compared to the previous year, while robberies increased by 38 percent and vehicle theft rose by 45 percent.

Kiley Russell writes primarily for Pagransen on issues related to equity and the environment. A Bay Area native, he has lived most of his life in Oakland. He studied journalism at San Francisco State University, worked for the Associated Press and the former Contra Costa Times, among other outlets. He has covered everything from state legislatures, local governments, federal and state courts, crime, growth and development, political campaigns of various stripes, wildfires and the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.