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Latest Academy Brings Oakland Police Department To More Than 700 Officers; Feds Gives Positive Reviews

OAKLAND (KCBS)— Friday was a proud day for the Oakland Police Department. Not only did the 170th graduating class of their police academy hold commencement, the department as a whole received a good report card from their federal overseers.

35 members of the Oakland Police Recruit Academy graduated at the Scottish Rite Center.

"I want to go into special victim's unit investigations," said a proud Andrew Jackson one of the new grads who's helping bring the force to over 700 officers, their highest number in four years.

Police Chief Sean Whent said this latest class will help lighten the load for everyone.

"It provides a lot of relief for a lot of our officers. They don't have to work as many shifts to cover for vacancy," he said.

Also a relief to the chief and to Mayor Jean Quan is the federal monitor overseeing the department as part of the settlement in the 2003 Rider police brutality case, who gave his latest findings.

"He gave us our best report yet," said Quan. "We are now down to two items. We had been at five."

Oakland Police Force Over 700 With Latest Graduating Academy; Federal Monitor Gives Positive Reviews

One of those two items the department needs to improve is so-called stop data. This is the analysis of police stops that looks for the potential of racial profiling.

"We've hired a professor from Stanford to help us do some of the analysis and training related to stop-data information. I think that's going to be beneficial," said Whent.

The other item was a bit more technical and has to do with integrating all of OPD's data. Mayor Quan may ask for a little more time in dealing with that item.

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