January 13, 2013 in Nation/World

Oakland police say four die in separate shootings

Associated Press

OAKLAND, Calif. – Oakland police are investigating four fatal shootings that took place in different parts of the city within six hours, the latest outbreak of violence in a city that saw 131 homicides last year.

Mayor Jean Quan, police Chief Howard Jordan and several staff members discussed Friday’s shootings in a conference call Saturday, Quan spokesman Sean Maher said.

The Police Department has 612 officers, down from more than 800 in 2009 and far short of the 925 recommended by the city’s strategic plan, Councilwoman Libby Schaaf said. Proposals for creating a new police academy, contracting for supplemental policing from the county sheriff and enlarging the ranks of civilian Police Department employees could all come before the council this month, she said.

Violent crime in Oakland rose 23 percent in 2012, prompting the city to hire former New York police commissioner and Los Angeles police chief Bill Bratton as a consultant on how to reduce crime and combat gang violence.

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