Reporting Andrea Menniti
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) — The California Highway Patrol said Friday that it plans to deploy officers in Oakland and Stockton to assist police in a pair of Northern California cities that have seen spikes in violent crime this year.
The initiative called “Operation Impact” could begin as early as next week, said Officer Sam Morgan, a CHP spokesman.
“Both cities will identify the times and dates where they need us that will the greatest impact,” Morgan said.
He said while the CHP already has a working partnership with the Oakland police, the state patrol officers will likely provide additional assistance in high-crime areas.
Gov. Jerry Brown announced this week that he would use CHP officers to beef up law enforcement in both cities.
In Oakland, violent crime is up more than 20 percent over last year. And on Oct. 15 the city marked 100 homicides; there were 110 killings in Oakland last year.
There have been nine homicides in Stockton within the last week, bringing its total to 59 homicides so far this year — one more than all of 2011.
Brown first indicated his plans Sunday at a church in east Oakland.
“Can you declare the city of Oakland a state of emergency so that we can get help in here, to help put public safety number one in this city? We need safety in this city, Governor,” Bishop Bob Jackson of the Acts Full Gospel Church, said to Brown.
“I will make sure that our highway patrolmen are beefed up for the city of Oakland and work with the police department,” said Brown to a chorus of cheers from the congregation.
Brown told KTVU-TV on Thursday that the CHP officers will help those cities for a limited period of time.
“We’re ready to make it happen,” Brown said.
Oakland police Chief Howard Jordan said Thursday in a statement that the help is needed and would be welcomed.
“I look forward to strengthening our collaboration in renewed and combined service to Oakland. I appreciate the help, support, and quick response from Gov. Brown,” Jordan said.
Stockton police Chief Eric Jones echoed similar sentiments. The city filed for bankruptcy this year and the police force was cut by one-fourth.
“I wish to thank Governor Brown for authorizing the CHP to participate in the effort,” Jones said, adding that he also would like to thank CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow.
The CHP is looking into receiving federal funds to help offset costs associated with the officer deployments, Morgan said.
Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.