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.
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.”