OAKLAND (BCN) - The Oakland Police Department added 35 new officers to its force Friday at a graduation ceremony at the Scottish Rite Center for recruits who graduated from the department's 172nd training academy.
Police Department officials said the class reflects Oakland's diversity and works toward Mayor Libby Schaaf's goal of having more Oakland residents serve as officers.
The class includes 18 college graduates, 7 women, and 8 Oakland residents.
It also includes several bilingual officers who speak languages such as Spanish, Cantonese, Hindi, Khmu and Vietnamese.
Police officials said the graduates are a welcome addition to the department and represent another step in their effort to grow increase their staffing levels and improve public safety in Oakland.
Schaaf said during her State of the City address Wednesday that the graduation would bring the number of officers on the department to 735, a step closer to her goal of having 800 officers by 2017.
Layoffs in 2010 left the department with as few as 611 officers and the force did not begin growing again until last year.