Law enforcement officials in Alameda County are seeking a state grant which would enable them to beef up the Oakland Police Department. Oakland has seen a marked decline in its police force in recent years and since that time, crime rates have been on the rise.
If the $67 million federal grant is approved, it would allow the department to hire 30 officers for the Oakland PD. It would also enable county officials to hire 30 California Highway Patrol officers and 30 more Alameda County Sheriff’s Department deputies.
Once the new recruits are hired veteran officers would reportedly be assigned to area patrols. This will allow law enforcement personnel to better saturate high-crime areas and increase department visibility. A big concern, according to Oakland officials, is that grant money would ultimately be allocated with the idea of hiring a county-wide crime suppression team. This means that members of the local police department could be required to take part in crime abatement efforts in areas outside of the city. Some are worried that this could be a problem, especially considering how high current crime rates have been. Many have said that sending officers elsewhere will do little to help local residents.
Proponents of the grant say that these concerns are unwarranted, and that most of the task force’s operations would in fact take place inside Oakland.
Law enforcement officials have not indicate when they will find out if they are eligible to receive the funding. If the funding does come through it is unclear when those monies will be disbursed.