OAKLAND, Calif. --The Oakland Police Department added 33 new officers to its force Friday at a graduation ceremony at the Scottish Rite Center for recruits who completed the department's 173rd training academy.
Police Department officials said the class reflects Oakland's diversity because it is balanced between black, white, Asian-American and Latino officers.
Police officials also said several graduates are bilingual, speaking Spanish, Cantonese, Portuguese, Tagalog, Tongan and Vietnamese.
Police Chief Sean Whent and Mayor Libby Schaaf were among those who attended the ceremony marking the officers' graduation from the half-year-long training academy.
Whent encouraged graduates to remember, "Every contact we have with people in the Oakland community is an opportunity to build or erode trust."
Most new officers received their badges from Whent but five were pinned by family members who have served in law enforcement.
Adam Hall was honored as class valedictorian for maintaining the highest overall academic and performance standing in the class.