Companies in Oakland are now having to pay for private security firms to escort their employees due to the rampant crime in the Democrat-controlled California city.
According to the San Francisco Chronicle, businesses are also asking employees to stay indoors as crime in the city worsens.
Blue Shield, a healthcare provider that moved its headquarters to Oakland in 2019, is offering employees security guards and ride-hail services.
The company has been forced to take drastic action due to the rise in crime in Oakland, according to the Chronicle.
A representative of Blue Shield said that the company has promised to offer “various options” to keep employees safe when they come to the office.
Among them are ride-hail services, secure parking, and security guards.
Blue Shield asks most employees to come to the office at least twice a month.
Executives are told to only show up once a week.
Kaiser Permanente, a healthcare giant, is asking employees to stay in their buildings, the Chronicle notes.
In a statement, Kaiser said:
“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.”
In a memo to staff, Kaiser also directed workers from out of town not to hold meetings in downtown Oakland.
Violent crime in Oakland spiked 21% from 2022 to 2023, according to Oakland crime statistics.
Robberies soared by a staggering 38%.
Burglaries also increased 23%.
The blue city recorded 120 homicides.
According to KTVU, Kaiser Permanente told workers who were not from the city to not hold meetings in downtown Oakland in a December memo.
Officials in Mayor Sheng Thao’s office said Kaiser is “a valued employer and partner in addressing community safety.”
The mayor said the city assigned police officers and safety ambassadors to districts surrounding Kaiser’s location, according to the Chronicle.