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Calif. PD facing layoffs of 150 officers

Oakland had the sixth-highest violent crime rate in the country in 2009 and the highest in California, according to preliminary FBI statistics

By Matthai Kuruvila
The San Francisco Chronicle

Oakland police union leaders ramped up their public-relations war with the city Monday over the possible layoffs of 150 officers, gathering at the site of a recent street shooting to warn that crime could become epidemic if the cuts go through.

"This is a dangerous city," Sgt. Dom Arotzarena, president of the Oakland Police Officers Association, said at a news conference at Eighth and Adeline streets in West Oakland, where 43-year-old James Johnson was shot to death June 6. If the City Council cuts officers from the city's 776-member police force, he said, "it could be a lot more dangerous."

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