Phil Matier: Few Recruits For Oakland Police Lateral Academy
OAKLAND (KCBS)— The Oakland Police Department started a new lateral academy Tuesday designed to help rebuild its understaffed force. While city officials had hoped between eight and 15 recruits would sign up, only four officers have enrolled.
Instead of training new recruits, a lateral academy brings in officers from other police departments. In this case, not a lot of folks appear to want to be on Oakland’s police force.
Meanwhile, Oakland officers are heading out to other departments at rates that are hard to keep up with. Not to mention this news comes on the heels of some less-than-successful rookie academies as well.
Just this month alone, the Oakland Police Department has lost 10 officers, bringing them down to 630. That’s way below the 800 they had only a couple of years ago. Older cops are retiring, heading to other departments or going on disability, which Oakland seems to have a high rate of.
Councilwoman Libby Schaaf, who recently announced that she is running for mayor of Oakland, has suggested regular reports on the amount of cops on the job in order to focus on who is going out the door.
Police officers in Oakland are actually paid pretty well. The salary doesn’t seem to be the issue, it’s the work involved that not enough people are willing to do.
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