A woman who was fatally shot while driving in East Oakland Wednesday afternoon about a half-mile from her home had been working to make that neighborhood safer, City Councilwoman Libby Schaaf said today. Judy Salamon, a 66-year-old pet sitter known for her love of dogs, was an advocate for hiring a private security firm to patrol the Maxwell Park neighborhood, where she lived and was slain, Schaaf said. Oakland police said Salamon was shot and killed at about 1:24 p.m. Wednesday in the 2400 block of Fern Street, between Brookdale and Fairfax avenues. She crashed her car into a parked car after the shooting, police said. Authorities haven’t discussed a motive for the shooting or released any information about a suspect. The shooting scene is adjacent to the Home of Peace Cemetery. Flowers, candles and photos of Salamon have been placed on both sides of Fern Street in the area where she was killed. There’s also a flyer about a community meeting this weekend to discuss a proposal to hire a private security firm to patrol the area.
The flyer says that in the wake of Salamon’s death “there is renewed interest in hiring a security patrol, which is something Judy favored and which some residents believe might have saved her life.” Schaaf, who represents the area where Salamon lived and was killed, said she didn’t know Salamon personally but has read about her activities on a neighborhood website. Salamon’s love of dogs was well-known and there will be a memorial dog walk in her honor at 6 p.m. tonight on Fern Street near where she was killed, followed at 8 p.m. by a vigil near her home in the 2700 block of Best Avenue, Schaaf said. She said a group of Maxwell Park residents have been working for several months to try to get enough people in the area to sign up to pay for a private security firm that the cost would be affordable. Schaaf said, “It’s a personal choice for each neighborhood to decide whether to hire a private security service but it’s not a substitute for having an adequately-staffed neighborhood.” She said she “applauds” neighborhoods where residents have agreed to pay for private security but added, “I’m just sorry it’s necessary.” Salamon lived in a light green one-story house on Best Avenue with a lemon tree in front and a “Beware of Dog” sign in the front window. The Oakland Police Department has posted a notice on the front door indicating that it has impounded a tan Chihuahua found in the home and placed it in protective custody. Schaaf said people who want to honor Salamon and her fight to make her neighborhood safer should come to the Melrose High Hopes Crime Prevention Council’s block party at Foothill Boulevard and Fairfax Avenue, not far from Salamon’s home, from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.
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