State grant to help Bay Area fight crime

March 6, 2008 11:52:31 AM PST
Several Bay Area cities are getting an infusion of state money to fight gang-related violence. Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums held a news conference about the state grant today.

With 28 murders already in Oakland this year, some in Oakland are skeptical that this will solve all their problems, but they do believe it is a piece of the puzzle. A news conference was held at Project Reconnect in Oakland to discuss the grant. Alameda County and Oakland are getting a total of $800,000 dollars from the California Gang Reduction Intervention and Prevention Initiative. Matching money brings the total to $1.4 million dollars.

The money will be split up amongst law enforcement and community groups. It will help pay for a probation officer and a gang unit officer. Project Reconnect will use the money for gang prevention parent classes and other groups will do job training. Oakland Mayor Ron Dellums sees this as an important part in stopping gang violence.

"Poverty, hunger, disease, inadequate education, lack of hope, lack of mental health -- many, many issues contribute to the issue of crime and violence. It's a very complex problem and it's going to require a complex approach," said Mayor Ron Dellums, Oakland.

Last month, Mayor Dellums was criticized in the press for perceived inaction in fighting crime. However, Mayor Dellums police recruitment plan was passed on Tuesday. That moves forward with the training and hiring of 71 more officers by the end of this year -- bringing the total to 803 officers. The required amounts are needed to meet the standards of Measure Y, the anti-violence and public safety act that was passed in 2004.

The Bay Area is getting $2.6 million dollars to spread all around. The other cities that are getting it are Richmond, San Francisco, Mountain View and Santa Rosa.