Oakland City Council Approves Two New Police Academies as Homicides Surge

crime scene




The Oakland, California, City Council listened to dozens of residents and then voted Tuesday to approve two new police academies and hire a professional recruiter to attract experienced officers. The development is taking place on the heels of a nationwide defund police movement and as crime is surging in the city.

“The city has reported 120 homicides as of Monday — the highest number in nearly a decade — as officers continue to leave the department at a higher rate than previously projected,” the San Francisco Chronicle reported. “The main reasons for officers’ departures are dissatisfaction with the Police Department’s top brass, a lack of support from city leadership, heavy discipline and family issues, according to a city report released Friday.”...

...Some 50 people spoke at the meeting, most in favor of beefing up police.

Carl Chan, president of the Oakland Chinatown Chamber of Commerce, said he wanted the city to fund four police academies and return the number of authorized cops to 792 officers...

...Jackson called for Oakland to boost the number of officers to 850.

“Our residents spoke up today and their voices were heard,” Mayor Libby Schaaf said in a statement. “They spoke up for a comprehensive approach to public safety — one that includes prevention, intervention, and addressing crime’s root causes, as well as an adequately staffed police department.”...

...The Chronicle reported on the city council meeting:

The City Council’s decision comes as city leaders scramble to fill 60 vacant positions within the Police Department. Last week, Schaaf and the city administrator proposed adding two new police academies — bringing the total number of new sworn officers to about 60 by 2023, after expecting to lose some officers through attrition. The overall budget allocation approved Tuesday is about $11 million to fund both academies.

The two newly added academies will include one for police recruits and directs the city administrator to “undertake all possible efforts” to fill an academy of experienced police recruits. But not all council members could agree on whether hiring experienced officers from around the country was a good idea...

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