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Larry Murphy

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Blackjack and Jive-Five
Larry Murphy  More Info

About the Oakland Police Department

The Oakland Police Department was founded in 1953.  It is organized into four bureaus under the command of the Office of the Chief of Police: Bureau of Investigations; Bureau of Services; Bureau of Field Operations; and, Bureau of Administration.

Oakland Police Department (CA) (Images of America)
Phil McArdle  More Info

A Complete History of the Oakland Police Department

Phil McArdle was the Oakland Police Department’s technical writer for 20 years and previously wrote a history of the police department that was published internally. He was the principal editor of Exactly Opposite the Golden Gate, a history of Berkeley, and his writing as appeared in the Baltimore Sun, the San Francisco Chronicle, the Berkeley Daily Planet, and numerous other publications. McArdle and his wife, Karen, collaborated on Fatal Fascination, a study of police work in the East Bay and elsewhere. The vintage photographs in this extraordinary compendium were culled primarily from the Oakland Police Department, the Oakland History Room of the Oakland Public Library, and the author’s personal collection.


According to the book description of Phil McArdle’s book, “The California legislature granted a charter to the new community of Oakland in 1862, and a year later, the town council appointed three peace officers. When it was a dusty Western town, Oakland’s major business was raising cattle to feed San Franciscans and the gold miners north of Sacramento. Year by year, as Oakland grew in size and population, the police department grew with it. The Oakland Police Department pioneered the use of call boxes, police cars, and other technical innovations. It has served the city well through good times and bad, wars, fires, and earthquakes. A large, diverse organization serving a complex multicultural city, the Oakland Police Department today accepts the challenges of policing in the 21st century.”

Larry Murphy was an Oakland Police Department police officer.  According to his bio, “he has broad experience in Administration of Justice and, notably, made significant contributions toward revising police recruiting and training standards following the riots that shook America's cities during the latter part of the 1960s. He was awarded the Oakland, California, Police Department's Medal of Merit for contributions to police training innovations and earned the coveted advanced certificate for law enforcement preparedness issued by the California Department of Justice.”


Larry Murphy’s book, Blackjack and Jive-Five, is the true story of “the day-to-day pressures experienced by a unit of black cops and their white sergeant confronting a white-dominated police culture.”  According to Jon J. Sparks, Chief of Police (ret.), “Blackjack and Jive-Five should be required reading for all incoming police recruits. Not only is there a strong social message but the book includes many textbook solutions to a variety of typical disturbance situations and tactical maneuvers for handling potentially dangerous contacts with criminal suspects. I know of no formal written training instrument that tackles these difficult situations with such detail and insight to the human factors involved.”

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