Oakland has appointed Dr. Holly Joshi to lead the city’s Department of Violence Prevention (DVP). Mayor Sheng Thao announced Dr. Joshi’s appointment on Monday, Nov. 20 during a press conference at Esperanza Elementary School.
Dr. Joshi has a long history of community involvement in Oakland. She spent 14 years with the Oakland Police Department, including two years as a lead investigator in human trafficking cases and over two years as the department’s chief of staff.
Currently, Joshi serves as Senior Director of GLIDE’s Center for Social Justice and an adjunct professor at St. Mary’s College where she obtained a master’s degree and doctorate in leadership. Until 2022, she was Director of Racial Justice and Systems Change at Bright Research Group. She earned her bachelor’s degree in criminal justice from California State University East Bay.
Dr. Joshi is a renowned expert on gender-based violence, which has been a focus of the DVP.
“People have a hard-time reconciling the intersections between gender-based violence and gun violence,” Joshi said. “But unfortunately it impacts the same families, the same individuals, and the same root causes are causing it. And in most cases the interventions that are necessary are very similar.”
Oakland is in the grips of a crime wave. Between 2019 and 2022, violent crime increased 18%. Meanwhile, the city has been without a permanent police chief for almost a year.
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