Kaiser warns employees of Oakland crime concerns – NBC Bay Area

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How bad is the crime concern in Oakland?

The city’s largest private employer is now advising employees to stay in the building for lunch due to worries about robberies.

“Unfortunately some of these things do happen and I don’t think we should let some of the bad elements make people live in fear or work in fear,” said Neto Brossard, who works in downtown Oakland.

NBC Bay Area has learned a memo was recently sent to Kaiser staff at the company’s downtown headquarters announcing the new recommendations.

Kaiser in a statement to NBC Bay Area on Friday said “In response to the current crime environment affecting all businesses and the entire community of Oakland…we continue to provide guidance to keep employees as safe as possible.”

Others who work in the area said safety is a real concern and employees should be given an option to work to work from home.

“I would think maybe at least on a hybrid schedule — maybe once a week or something like it would be nice to see the employers work with the employees,” Brossard said.

Oakland police said it plans on increasing patrols in the area and police brass are meeting with Kaiser executives to coordinate increase security.

Mayor Sheng Thao is also weighing in and released the following statement on Friday:

“Thao regularly collaborates with business leaders on our shared vision of promoting safe and thriving Oakland. Kaiser is a valued employer and partner in addressing community safety.

Oakland is making progress in addressing community safety in our business districts where many of Kaiser’s facilities are located. There are more police officers and safety ambassadors on the street than anytime in the past two years. At the end of last year, Oakland experienced significant reductions in property crime in business districts across the city.

Oakland will remain vigilant and work collaboratively to ensure this downward trend continues and that more resources are brought to the table.”

Meanwhile, Blue Shield also located in downtown Oakland said it is now paying for rideshares for its employees, along with parking and private security to address safety challenges.

In a statement, Blue Shield said in part “We remain hopeful and we are counting on city, county and state leaders coming together with the community to improve safety and revitalize our city.

Here is Kaiser’s full statement to NBC Bay Area:

In response to the current crime environment affecting all businesses and the entire community of Oakland, as well as other communities across the country, we continue to provide guidance to keep employees as safe as possible. Kaiser Permanente is committed to ensuring the safety and security of our employees and physicians across all of our locations. We continually monitor our environments for concerns, review our practices and strengthen them wherever possible. We are also committed to local business owners who are affected by concerns about rising crime in Oakland and we continue to encourage our employees to support local businesses while taking precautions to protect their personal safety.

Oakland is our national headquarters, and we are proud to serve the local community. We are working with city officials and community leaders on how we can support the Oakland economy and address crime while we maintain our unwavering commitment to the city.

Kaiser Permanente is a proud co-founding member of Oakland Thrives, whose goal is to make Oakland the healthiest city in the nation. In August we announced a $5 million grant to the Oakland Thrives Leadership Council (from a Kaiser Permanente fund at the East Bay Community Foundation) to help support Rise East, the initiative to improve health and create equitable opportunities for East Oakland residents, including affordable housing, safe communities, and economic opportunity.

Additionally, last week, Kaiser Permanente announced a new $9 million grant over the next three years to the Oakland Unified School District to expand programs and services that will help students and staff lead healthier lives. This is the latest in a stream of multi-year Kaiser Permanente grants to OUSD totaling $60 million since 2010. The grant will support school-based health centers, social emotional learning opportunities and mental health screening in the District’s 77 schools, expanded health education for students at all grade levels, and staff wellness opportunities.

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