The reduced transition probabilities B(E2;0(+) --> 2(+)(1)) of the neutron-rich (74)Zn and (70)Ni nuclei have been measured by Coulomb excitation in a (208)Pb target at intermediate energy. These nuclei have been produced at Grand Accélérateur National d'Ions Lourds via interactions of a 60A MeV (76)Ge beam with a Be target. The B(E2) value for (70)Ni(42) is unexpectedly large, which indicates that neutrons added above N=40 strongly polarize the Z=28 proton core. In the Zn isotopic chain, the steep rise of B(E2) values beyond N=40 continues up to (74)Zn(44). The enhanced proton core polarization in (70)Ni is attributed to the monopole interaction between the neutron in the g(9/2) and protons in the f(7/2) and f(5/2) spin-orbit partner orbitals. This interaction could result in a weakening of magicity in (78)Ni(50).