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Federal Grant To Pay For New Oakland Police Officers

OAKLAND (KCBS) – Oakland's police force is getting a much-needed boost as the city has received a large federal grant to hire 25 officers.

The U.S. Department of Justice Office of Community Oriented Policing Services announced more than $243 million in grants nationwide on Wednesday; Oakland will be receiving over $10.7 million.

KCBS' Bob Melrose Reports:

The awards were made through the COPS Hiring Program, which provides funding directly to state, local and tribal law enforcement agencies to hire police officers dedicated to addressing specific crime and disorder challenges.

"I would like to thank the COPS office and our team for getting the largest award in the United States," said Oakland Police Chief Anthony Batts. "That means a lot and sends a very heavy message to this community and how important this community is to people who are watching outside."

Batts said he hopes to have the additional officers stationed near schools in high crime neighborhoods with others focusing on fighting human trafficking and prostitution.

The grants will provide 100 percent funding for the salaries and benefits of newly-hired or rehired full-time officers over a three-year period.

Funding decisions were based on an agency's commitment to community policing, crime rates, changes in law enforcement budgets and other local fiscal data.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

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