You read that headline right. The city -- among other, less crime happy places -- is finally getting the money it needs (and deserves) to hire more cops to deal with the out-of-control crime in the city.
According to news reports, Mayor Jean Quan held a press conference yesterday to announce that the city is getting a $4.5 million grant to hire 10 new police officers.
The money is coming from the Community Oriented Policing Services program, also known as COPS, which awarded 39 other agencies in California millions of dollars to combat crime. But Oakland is getting the largest check, and for good reason.
Back in 2009, Oakland cut the size of its police force from about 830 officers to about 600 present day. Meanwhile, crime has taken over the city and ended last year with 131 homicides. So far this year, there have been 69 murders.
And let's not forget the city was crowned the nation's robbery capital earlier this year; even local reporters have hired private security after experiencing a series of robberies and assaults while on the job.
All the while, the city has seen a handful of police chiefs come-and-go over the last two years, two of which resigned in a matter of 48 hours.
Of course, Police Chief Sean Whent is stoked about the money, adding that he's hoping to have 700 police officers by 2015 (we assume he's not holding his breath). "Right now, I'd be out here singing the praises if they were giving me two officers," he told KTVU.
The money should be coming soon. Until then, hold on to your purses.