CHP deploying officers to help Oakland police

October 26, 2012 6:53:10 PM PDT
It's worked before, it could work again -- Oakland police are calling on the California Highway Patrol, for help. A man shot to death early Friday morning highlighted the need for assistance in a city where the crime rate has skyrocketed this year.

This isn't the first time Oakland has asked for and received help from the CHP and Alameda County Sheriff's Department. When Jerry Brown was Oakland's mayor, he asked for the same support; now that he's governor, he's providing it.

Jody Shelton lives on the 300 block of Vernon Street near Lake Merritt. On Friday, around 5:40 a.m., she heard shots. Minutes later a Vallejo man who was living in a halfway house was found dead in the street.

OPD Sgt. Johanna Watson says he was targeted and shot multiple times as he left for work at the nearby Goodwill Store, "We are talking to witnesses, and we are thankful to the community, we received multiple calls this morning about hearing gunshots."

There is no one in custody yet. This brings homicides to 103, up 20 percent from this time last year. To try and stop the killings, Mayor Jean Quan and Police Chief Howard Jordan announced Friday that they will be getting badly needed reinforcements starting next week. The CHP and the Alameda County Sheriff's Department will be added to help patrol trouble spots in the city.

"I want to personally thank Governor Brown for his quick response to my request and my community's plea for help," Jordan said. Chief Jordan admits his department is understaffed, overworked, and at times even outnumbered by Occupy protesters, "I know the officers are very anxious," Jordan said. "There is a lot of anxiety in the department, there is a lot of unknowns, but I'm proud of the way they have performed their duties."

The number of additional officers to be deployed is still undetermined. Where the funding for the support will come from has not been decided. Mayor Quan says it will be available, "I can afford some level of cooperation between the CHP and the sheriff until my police academy turns out more officers."

Those new officers will not be available until sometime next year. In the meantime, Chief Jordan is asking for a 90 day commitment from both the CHP and the sheriff's department, noting that he will probably ask for another 90 days after that.


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