OAKLAND, Calif. (KGO) -- The issue of policing is once again front and center in Oakland. Barry Donelan, the president of the Oakland Police Officers Association, says the problem is out of control.
"City leaders are vilifying and demonizing them at every turn. The defund strategy by the majority of city council has brought us this violent crime," he said.
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Donelan says police don't have the resources to keep up with the crime surge.
The department is currently losing about 10 offices a month.
"We're at 694 today. Lowest we've been in seven years, yet the highest violent crime in a decade."
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Donelan believes officers are leaving largely because of city leaders' actions.
It's a claim firmly rejected by several members of the Oakland City Council.
"That's a ridiculous exaggeration," Councilman Dan Kalb said. "Most people who leave the police force are retiring because they're now at retirement age."
Councilmember Noel Gallo told ABC7 the council did vote 6-2 on Tuesday to add a new police academy this fiscal year to help address the problem.
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However, they want to make sure, it comes with some fundamental changes.
"How do I screen, where do I recruit? How long do I maintain the officers?" Gallo questioned.
Because if there's one thing everyone can agree on, it's that the violence needs to stop.