Thirty-five academy grads join Oakland police

The Oakland Police Department added 35 new officers to its force Friday¬†when the officers graduated from the department’s 171st recruiting academy.

The new officers were welcomed by Police Chief Sean Whent, Mayor Libby Schaaf and other department and city officials at a ceremony at the Scottish Rite Center near Lake Merritt. Whent applauded the recruits for the dedication they displayed during your time in the academy, according to a release issued by the department.

Whent told the officers, according to the release:

“You will need to bring that same dedication, commitment, and heart to your work every day as an Oakland police officer.”

Officer Richard Garcia Jr. was honored as class valedictorian for maintaining the highest overall academic and performance standing in the class. Police department officials said Oakland’s diversity is reflected in the class, with many of the graduates speaking a second language, including Spanish, Cantonese, Vietnamese, Cambodian, and Punjabi. Whent also welcomed five new police communications dispatchers to the department.