Businesses in downtown Oakland are hiring private security for employees and asking employees to stay inside as crime in the city worsens, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

Blue Shield, a health care provider that moved its headquarters to Oakland in 2019, is offering employees security guards and ride-hail services due to the rise in crime in Oakland, according to the Chronicle. Kaiser Permanente, a healthcare giant, is asking employees to stay in their buildings, according to the Chronicle.

“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 spokespeople said in a statement, according to the Chronicle.

Violent crime in Oakland spiked 21% from 2022 to 2023, according to Oakland crime statistics. Robberies rose 38%, burglaries increased 23% and the city recorded 120 homicides.

Kaiser Permanente told workers who were not from the city to not hold meetings in downtown Oakland in a December memo, according to KTVU.

Officials in Mayor Sheng Thao’s office said Kaiser is “a valued employer and partner in addressing community safety,” and said the city assigned police officers and safety ambassadors to districts surrounding Kaiser’s location, according to the Chronicle.

Kaiser Permanente and Blue Shield did not immediately respond to the Daily Caller News Foundation’s request for comments.

Brandon Poulter on January 31, 2024

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