OAKLAND (KCBS) – The Oakland Police Department will soon re-hire eight more of the officers laid off last year because of budget cuts, Police Chief Anthony Batts said.
The Police Department has already brought back 24 of the 80 officers it laid off in July 2010 to help close a $42 million deficit that faced the city that year.
Batts said all of the returning officers were sorely needed to combat prostitution and drug dealing, which are often factors in the city’s shootings and aggravated assaults.
“Some of those who are doing drug dealing, they’re the pimps who are putting the young prostitutes out there too,” Batts said.
KCBS’ Chris Filippi Reports:
Demonstrators at a rally Thursday in the San Antonio neighborhood marched along International Boulevard to protest the exploitation of children by the sex trade.
Some women participating in the march complained that they feel unsafe walking alone in the area after 7 o’clock at night. Other residents said they frequently see teenage girls climbing into cars with older men who are clearly not relatives or friends.
Batts promised the marchers he would create a task force that specifically focuses on identifying and arresting suspects most likely to commit violent crimes.
The chief said the beefed up size of the force would also allow him to step up patrols in crime hot spots throughout Oakland.
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