OAKLAND -- With Oakland's police department desperately short-staffed, the California Highway Patrol announced that it will be deploying officers to help patrol the city beginning as early as next week.

CHP officials wouldn't say how many officers they'll pull from freeways to beef up patrols in several high-crime neighborhoods. Specific details of the arrangement including when it will end and how it will be funded have not been finalized, officials said.

Oakland is struggling with a 20 percent increase in major crimes this year and an ever dwindling police force that stands at 627 officers -- down from a high of 837 four years ago.

The city also is looking to bring in Alameda County sheriff's deputies to help bolster patrols. Oakland is planning for three police academies, but the first class of approximately 40 cadets won't finish their field training until next fall.

City leaders asked the CHP for help several weeks ago. Gov. Jerry Brown, who himself had to deal with high crime rates as Oakland mayor, announced over the weekend that the state would come to the city's aid after being pressed by a local pastor, Bishop Bob Jackson.

"I think (Brown) understands because he was the mayor how important it is to have that extra help," Mayor Jean Quan said at a Friday news conference with CHP officials.

The CHP also is pledging to help Stockton, which is facing bankruptcy. In prior years, it has deployed officers to other high-crime, cash-strapped cities including Vallejo and East Palo Alto.

For several years, highway patrol officers participated in a grant-funded anti-gang operation in Oakland.

More recently, patrolmen have been working with Oakland police to drive around and make more stops in Oakland's most violent neighborhoods.

The proposed deployment would resemble the prior anti-gang operation, with officers "full effort being focused" on Oakland, CHP Capt. Don Morrell said.

CHP officers won't handle calls for service but will do general police work, he added.

Oakland has relied on grant funding for prior CHP operations in the city.

The city is presently looking at grants that could pay to bring in sheriff deputies to help with patrols.

Chief Howard Jordan said Friday he would like to have deputies for a 90-day operation with an option to extend the program. Jordan said his effort to seek help from outside agencies did not require approval from the court-appointed federal monitor overseeing the department.

Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6435.