Tuesday night’s Oakland Public Safety Committee meeting revealed that the Oakland Police Department (OPD) is still struggling to hire officers who live in Oakland, despite new recruitment efforts, and that the majority of last year’s $500,000 traffic safety grant went towards paying officers to work overtime to police traffic violations.

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According to the California Office of Traffic Safety, a government agency that provides grants to local and state public agencies for programs to help them enforce traffic laws, Oakland has consistently had the highest rate of hit-and-run crashes of any large city in the state. “In 2014, there were 7,000 traffic collisions, of which 4,000 were hit and runs,” said Officer Glenn Hara, who works in the traffic investigation unit at the Oakland Police Department. Out of those cases, which include incidents with injuries and fatalities as well as more minor cases, such as damage to a parked car, OPD has solved fewer than 2 percent.

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