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Oakland City Council votes 6-1 to add 60 police officers to force

Oakland will have two more police academies over the next two fiscal years to hire more sworn officers into the Oakland Police Department, the Oakland City Council voted on Tuesday evening.

The hiring would allow the city to meet the requirements of Measure Z, a parcel tax approved by voters in 2014, which helps funds other city services such fire and violence prevention. It will also add 60 more officers to the force.

Six councilmembers – Nikki Fortunato Bas, Dan Kalb, Rebecca Kaplan, Treva Reid, Loren Taylor and Sheng Thao – voted in favor. Councilmember Noel Gallo voted no and Councilmember Carroll Fife abstained.

The vote overall is meant to address the high levels of violent crime in Oakland and was denounced by at least one community group. The Anti-Police Terror Group has advocated for shifting policing resources toward public safety and community needs they say would eliminate the need for additional officers.

Mayor Libby Schaaf thanked the six councilmembers who voted in favor of the hiring. She said the action will give the city the chance to “carry out a holistic vision of public safety” after a recent surge in crime. Schaaf said in a statement:

Our residents spoke up today and their voices were heard. They spoke up for a comprehensive approach to public safety – one that includes prevention, intervention, and addressing crime’s root causes, as well as an adequately staffed police department.”

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