(KTSF by Sean Au)
Oakland’s Police Department received a $10.7 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice to hire 25 police officers.
Among the new hires are 10 officers currently undergoing training at the police academy. These new hires will be assigned to the 100 blocks where 92% of Oakland’s violent crime occurs.
Mayor Jean Quan says, “We are going to have 25 officers who are going to be assigned to middle schools. They are going to be out on the streets, they are going to get to know young people in those middle schools by their first names, they will be inside the schools. They will be around the schools, and will be working in those neighborhoods to make sure young people get to school safely.”
Among the 25 new hires, 4 are officers formerly laid off, 11 are new police officers to be recruited, and 10 are the new officers currently in the police academy.
One of the new officers Jared Blue shares his thoughts, “There seems to be a bit of tension between the police and citizens at times. I just thought that I can make a difference and change that, make people think and know that the police in the city are good people working hard to make this a better place; not an us versus them kind of thing.”
The addition of new officers will bring the total staff level in the OPD to 670.
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