OAKLAND -- Police are closer than ever to satisfying an 11-year court-mandated reform effort, the department's federal overseer wrote Tuesday.
In his quarterly report, Robert Warshaw, a former U.S. deputy drug czar, found that Oakland was in full compliance with 17 of the remaining 22 reform tasks -- one more than in April's report.
Warshaw praised the department for conducting review of force boards more professionally, producing its first report documenting police stops and improving its electronic officer tracking system to manage the risk of police misconduct.
"We commend the department for these strides," he wrote. "The mayor, the new city administrator, and the recent and permanent appointment of Chief Sean Whent have all contributed to the progress that the department has made."
Oakland agreed to the reform drive in 2003 to settle a lawsuit pertaining to the Riders scandal, in which four police officers were accused of beating up and framing drug suspects in West Oakland.
The reform tasks, which were later reduced from 51 to 22, are geared toward making police more accountable and preventing discriminatory policing.
The department went from partial to full compliance for its early warning system. The computerized database now can automatically import arrest data among other facets of an officer's record, Warshaw wrote.
Tasks still not fully satisfied include analyzing data from police stops and completing reforms pertaining to the use-of-force review boards, according to the report, which covers the first three months of this year.
This is the second straight positive quarterly report for the department, but Warshaw cautioned earlier this year that he still had concerns about racial profiling. Oakland's stop data report will soon be analyzed by a team of academics to determine whether officers were justified in stopping African-Americans at a rate far higher than other ethnic groups.
In Tuesday's report, Warshaw wrote that the police department is "at a critical juncture where any indicators of disparate treatment among population groups must be addressed in order to determine whether there is a constitutionally valid basis for the disparity or there is a need for corrective intervention."
Contact Matthew Artz at 510-208-6435.