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Committee Approves Funding To Help Rebuild Oakland Police Department

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Oakland police officers block a sidewalk (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Oakland police officers block a sidewalk (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND (KCBS) — Oakland City Council’s Finance Committee approved funding to rebuild the police department by unanimous vote on Tuesday. It has been described as an unusual step to allocate funds outside the usual budget process  but, given the spike in the city’s crime, many agree it is necessary.

The funding includes money for technicians, crime suppression assistance, and a new police academy. The measure still requires approval of the City Council next week.

According to Finance Committee Chairwoman Libby Schaaf, the $4 million in funding will mean boots on the ground right away. She elaborated on a three-step plan, which every speaker at Tuesday’s meeting was in favor of.

“Civilian employees that support our officers, continuing our steady growth of our actual sworn force as quickly as we are capable of, and then an unusual measure to bring in outside help in the form of sheriff’s deputies for the next six months,” Schaaf said.

Police Chief Howard Jordan was in favor of the hiring of police technicians.

“It gives officers time to be free to be proactive, which will ultimately lead to a reduction in crime,” he said.

Jordan said he’d like to see the number on the force at 1,000, but with attrition that could take years.

(Copyright 2013 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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