Oakland Police Chief Hopes For Better Things in 2013
Oakland police continue to investigate the shooting death of a teenaged girl on Sunday, December 30. It was the city's 131st homicide in 2012. That's the highest number of homicides since 2006.
Police Chief Howard Jordan says he's optimistic that with 3 police academies scheduled for 2013, the department can make strides toward decreasing crime.
“A year from now, we should be probably up to close to 700 cops, which to me is a luxury," Jordan said.
That would add roughly 80 officers to the force. Budget cuts in the last two years slashed more than 200 police officers.
The city's police department is under pressure to improve this year. A federal judge is appointing a watchdog to oversee decade-old reforms, and the city has a consulting agreement with veteran law enforcer William Bratton to beef up strategy.
Jordan also plans to institute a rule that incoming officers must be 25 years of age; currently they can be as young as 20.5 years old.
“We feel like having certain life experience before you become an officer helps you in the end to be more attuned to what’s taking place in the community," Jordan said.
The OPD will return to neighborhood policing in February. The city will be split into 5 policing districts, each with its own assigned captain.