OAKLAND (KCBS) – Budget cuts and officer layoffs have hampered efforts by the Oakland Police Department to recover guns from off the streets.

For years, the department has seized firearms from criminals or taken them from residents who no longer want weapons in their homes.

But with fewer officers on the force and a reorganization of the police department, the Oakland Tribune reports that the OPD has taken in 680 guns this year, well short of the normal total at this time of year.

KCBS’ Dave Padilla Reports:

“We have lost resources and had to redeploy,” said Oakland police spokeswoman Cynthia Perkins. “We have gotten a significant amount of guns off the streets this year, but when you don’t have enough officers to be proactive as you want to be, things like that happen.”

Oakland City Councilman Ignacio De La Fuente, who lives in the Fruitvale District, said police need more tools, like curfews, anti-loitering laws and gang injunctions to get guns off the streets.

“The gang injunctions, for example, allowed police to have the tools to really know and go after the main individuals in the gang injunction,” said De La Funete. “I think you know you’re going to recover some of those guns before they are used.”

Over the past five years, the Oakland Police Department has recovered an average of more than 1,400 guns a year.

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