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Broken Radios Force Oakland Police To Ride In Pairs

OAKLAND (KCBS) -- The Oakland police chief has ordered officers to ride two-to-a-car until problems with their radio system are fixed.

The police radio system malfunctioned several times in the past two weeks. In one instance the radios failed during a police chase that ultimately resulted in the fatal shooting of a suspect. After that incident, city officials said the system was fixed. Then the following week, the radios failed again during an undercover drug operation.

KCBS' Bob Melrose Reports:

At that point, Police Chief Anthony Batts ordered officers to ride in pairs. Some units, especially undercover or surveillance, already practice the 'buddy system', but Batts said this is a matter of officer safety.

"I want to make sure that officers back each other up and we in fact have, in areas, gone to two person units," said Batts.

This also means there aren't as many cars patrolling the streets of Oakland, but Batts said that will be temporary until the system is fixed.

(© 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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