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Calif. Given Federal Grant To Hire 100 New Law Enforcement Officers

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(credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

(credit: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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OAKLAND, Calif. (CBS/AP) — California is receiving nearly $20 million in federal grants to help hire or rehire more than 100 new law enforcement officers across the state.

National and local leaders made the announcement Tuesday in Oakland. Thirty-nine cities and counties in California will receive the federal funding available through the Community Oriented Policing Services grants, also known as COPS.

Oakland will get a $4.5 million grant, the highest amount awarded in the country. The money will be used to hire 10 officers over three years.

The violence-plagued, cash-strapped city has cut the size of its police force from 830 officers in 2009 to just over 600 now.

Other cities receiving COPS grant money include Sacramento, Inglewood and Modesto.

“The grants we announce today are part of the Justice Department’s ongoing commitment to help dedicated local law enforcement professionals build safer, stronger communities,” said Tony West, Associate Attorney General of the United States. “These awards will help our partners in jurisdictions across the state of California hire more officers and better work with the communities they serve to address public safety issues.”

The 2013 COPS’ grants come as funding for the federal program has been fiercely debated in Congress.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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