The U.S. Department of Justice on Tuesday awarded $2.2 million to Alameda County and $4.5 million to the City of Oakland to hire public safety officers through the Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) hiring program.  Oakland received the largest COPS grant in the nation and California jurisdictions across the state received nearly $20 million.

Associate U.S. Attorney General Tony West, an Oakland resident, was present to make the announcement in front of the Ronald V. Dellums Federal Building in Oakland.  “These resources will offer public safety agencies here in Oakland and throughout California some much-needed assistance to address major issues like homicides, gang crimes, youth violence, and crimes against children,” he said.

Alameda County will use the funding to hire eight Sheriff’s deputies, while Oakland will increase their force by ten police officers.  Supervisor Keith Carson, President of the Board of Supervisors, emphasized that the added boots on the street will aid regional crime fighting efforts, which require close collaboration among city, county and federal agencies.

The eight Alameda County deputies will assist the Oakland Police Department and will enhance the Sheriff’s Office partnership with Oakland and its surrounding communities.

Congresswoman Barbara Lee, D-Oakland praised local law enforcement officials and acknowledged the challenging political and fiscal environment in Washington.  “We know that the effects of the sequester are real and that the dollars being awarded today are more and more scarce despite the need,” she noted.

Supervisor Carson highlighted the progressive public safety best practices that characterize Alameda County’s comprehensive approach to reducing crime.  “In this community, we also focus on prevention and care for individuals who are returning to our community so that we can proactively prevent the numbers from rising.  We deal with individuals in a preventative way, in a holistic way, in a family way, in a community way.”

 

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