Federal stimulus money helps fight crime

March 6, 2009 7:07:05 PM PST
The Bay Area will receive $15 million from the federal stimulus bill to fight crime. In all, $2 billion will be handed out to law enforcement agencies across the country.

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President Barack Obama spoke at a graduation ceremony for police recruits in Columbus, Ohio. Twenty-five of them would have been laid off without the stimulus funding.

"I don't need to tell this graduating class what it's like to know that your job might be next, because up until a few weeks ago, that is precisely the future that this class faced," said President Obama.

The money comes from the $787 billion stimulus bill. About $4 billion was set aside specifically to fund state and local law enforcement agencies.

Of that amount, President Obama announced the release of $2 billion on Friday to cities and police departments across the country.

  • Oakland will receive $3.3 million
  • San Jose will get $1.7 million
  • San Francisco's figures were not available

    San Francisco Police Chief Heather Fong was honored in Chinatown. She is retiring in April. Fong says a large part of the money San Francisco receives will target high crime neighborhoods.

    "The violent crimes within our city is in small pockets and so what we are doing is to address those communities to make sure that we reduce the level of crimes," said Chief Fong.

    San Francisco Supervisor David Campos heads the board's public safety committee. He's hopeful some of the money will be spent on crime prevention.

    "We also want to make sure the community based organizations that work in the community, especially that work with young people, that they are properly funded," said Campos.

    San Jose police officials tell ABC7, they plan to upgrade their computerized records management system that'll allow patrol officers quicker access to records, crime patterns and other investigative resources.

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