Oakland PD gets 28 new officers

April 11, 2008 7:55:23 PM PDT
The mayor of Oakland promised to cut crime and a soaring murder rate by putting more police officers on the job and, today, he's a big step closer to that goal.

Watching her son become an Oakland police officer fills Margie Yslava with mixed emotions.

"I'm really proud but it's just the things that happen that you hear in the news. The things you hear about Oakland, the bad parts, the bad things," said Officer's mother Margie Yslava.

What would compel her 31-year-old son and father of two to leave a steady public works job and put his life on the line every day?

"I actually took a pay cut to come here, but this is what I want to do, you're here to help people and I truly believe that, it's a great place to be," said Kito Yslava from the Oakland Police Department.

This morning, Yslava and 27 others recruits became sworn-in officers, bringing the force to 753. The target is 803 officers by the end of the year.

Yslava's father wonders if that's an unrealistic goal.

"I realize they need more people but is that ever going to get fielded because you have attrition, people leaving, so to me they'll always be playing catch-up," said the officer's father Oswald Yslava.

Oakland police Chief Wayne Tucker says the attrition rate is down from five or six a month to about three.

"In July, we will graduate another 30 academy students which will make it 783. In May we will have started two academies with 100 people in those academies," said Chief Wayne Tucker from the Oakland Police Department.

A group of Oakland residents and business owners is backing a petition calling for even more officers, more than a 1,000. Mayor Ron Dellums' concern is how the city would pay for them.

For more information about joining the Oakland Police Department, you can call 1-888-OPD-JOBS or 1-888-973-5627.

Click here to visit their Web site.


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