Education in Oakland

You Call That a Favor?

Posted by novometro on February 12, 2007

I was glad to see Monday that the police chief answered a recent column in the San Francisco Chronicle asking if OPD bent the rules to help the City Administrator’s daughter.

Unlike most scandals involving cop shop favors to politicians and City Hall nabobs, this one didn’t involve a get-out-of-jail-free card or an overlooked DUI. Apparently, the City Administrator’s daughter wants very much to be an Oakland police officer. So much so, in fact, that after washing out of the police academy three times, she’s returning for a fourth try.

The Chronicle column said that police chief Wayne Tucker recently axed a two-hour physical test that has long served as a “rite of passage” to the ranks of the OPD. The column quoted police officers who believed that the test had been dumped to make things easier for the City Administrator’s daughter.

Mr. Tucker writes that the changes followed recommendations from outside consultants brought into review OPD’s police academy. It’s probably not that simple. Perhaps the struggles of a well-connected recruit brought attention to a relic of a hazing ritual long-since discarded in other police departments. This line from the chief’s letter sounds like he’s addressing his fellow Oakland cops: “In order to meet the rising tide of violence in our community we must modernize the Oakland Police Department and bring it into conformance with accepted policing standards.”

When people complain about OPD, the grousing never has anything to do with their ability, or inability, to scale walls. The complaint is almost always the same: Why does it take the police so long to respond to a call? The answer is almost always the same, too: There are not enough officers.

There are entire websites devoted to shaming City Hall into hiring more cops. Do we want to shame someone who actually wants to be an Oakland police officer? The evidence suggests that those people are rare.


One Response to “You Call That a Favor?”

  1. Good blog post. I definitely appreciate this website. Stick with it!|

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