OPD Looks to Boost Ranks With First Class in Four Years
A new class of recruits at the Oakland Police Academy starts on September 17. It's the first full class since 2008.
OPD ranks have been thinning for years. The number of sworn officers is down to about 640.
OPD Captain Paul Figueroa says the new recruits will help the department deal with its heavy attrition rate and eventually get the department back up to full force.
"When you're stretched thin and there's such a demand for police assistance and investigating crimes," Figueroa said, "you wish you could do more in many instances, but you end up having to triage certain cases."
He also explained that this academy is a crucial step towards getting more OPD officers out on patrol, "and to be able to do some of the type of proactive work and community policing activities that the chief wants to do."
This academy is one of three set to begin between now and next summer, as the city tries to raise the number of officers above 800.