The U.S. Justice Department awarded Oakland a $10.7 million grant that will enable the city to hire 25 police officers for three years, bolstering a force that was stripped of dozens of officers last year because of budget cuts, reports the San Francisco Chronicle. Oakland was one of 238 cities to win a Justice Department grant after Police Chief Anthony Batts proposed using the funds to hire officers to work on youth violence, human trafficking, and juvenile delinquency around four middle schools.
Batts said the officers are expected to create safe routes to school, monitor parolees near schools, mentor youth and develop four-block safety zones around the schools. The Justice Department based its awards on a combination of factors including specific crime issues, overall crime rate, and a city’s economic health. In Northern California, San Jose got $1.7 million to fund three officers and Salinas got $8 million for eight officers. Oakland’s 25 officers were the maximum allowed.