State Watch

Oakland approves fifth police academy amid spike in violent crime

The City Council of Oakland, Calif., approved a fifth police academy on Tuesday amid a spike in violent crime.

Under the resolution, the academy would be funded for the fiscal 2021-22 by police department cost savings. It requires the city to recruit cadets with “diverse backgrounds and from local community colleges and institutions.”

The resolution further directs the city’s administrator to look into funding a sixth police academy for fiscal 2022-23, as well as to investigate providing child care for trainees.

The council’s vote the day after the city recorded its 100th homicide this year, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.

The Oakland City Council had rejected a proposal to add the fifth academy three months ago, arguing that more resources were needed for violence prevention, according to the newspaper.

But debate over the academy comes amid a spike in violent crime coupled with a decrease in the number of sworn officers.

Barry Donelan, the president of the Oakland Police Officers Association, said Tuesday that there are currently 694 officers in the police department, ABC 7 reported, the lowest number in seven years.

Donelan said the police didn’t have the resources to keep up with the surge in crime and blamed the “defund strategy” by some City Council members.

“City leaders are vilifying and demonizing them at every turn. The defund strategy by the majority of city council has brought us this violent crime,” Donelan said, according to the news outlet.

Tags Crime prevention defund the police Oakland Police Safety violent crime
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