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Oakland Hires Back Laid Off Cops

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Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts. (AP)

Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts. (AP)

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OAKLAND (KCBS) — Now that Oakland police officers have ratified a new contract to help the city balance its budget, the chief will move quickly to re-hire almost two dozen of the cops who were laid off last year.

That’s part of the deal that passed the City Council, but the hiring will barely keep pace with the attrition rate on the police force.

KCBS’ Doug Sovern Reports:

Oakland cops voted overwhelmingly to give back vacation days, defer raises and chip in for their pensions in return for a guarantee of no more layoffs. With the city’s budget balanced by the deal, Chief Anthony Batts gets to call back some of the 80 cops he had to let go last year.

“We get back 22 officers who are unemployed, who are sitting at home,” he said.

Sgt. Dom Arotzarena, president of the Oakland Police Officers Association, said it’ll be great to have those cops back, but five to ten retire or quit the department every month, so Oaklanders may not notice any more police on the streets.

“All this is going to do is supplant the officers who are planning on leaving really soon,” he said.

Chief Batts says he’d love to hire more, but there’s simply no money, which is why he’s reorganizing the department again to maximize public safety.

“We are not giving up on these streets,” he said. “What we’re trying to do is be as creative and innovative as we can to get the most out of the officers.”

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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