Oakland Police Chief Cracks Down on Cursing

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Oakland will soon be safe -- so safe that parents will no longer be required to tell their children "Earmuffs" in the presence of Oakland police officers.

    Cops in the oft-dangerous East Bay city have been told to quit the cursing, according to the Bay Citizen.

    The edict comes from up top: Chief Anthony Batts has told his officers to quit the cursing, or go to heck, as the Web site put it.

    Several cops have recently been disciplined for using rough language around perpetrators. The head of the police officers' union thinks that such a policy -- to use nice words while the homicide rate increases and cops are laid off -- is ridiculous.

    "I’m not dealing with P.T.A. moms,” said Sgt. Dom Arotzarena, the president of the Oakland Police Officer’s Association, in comments to the Web site. “I’m dealing with criminals, guys who are in San Quentin, guys who are in prison."

    The softening of language is part of an overall trend as Batts is embracing a series of court-mandated reforms -- ordered since a notorious group of officers were accused of planting evidence in 2003 -- and as the demographics of police departments change.

    The aggressive cowboy demeanor is on the outs, the Web site reported, and "community policing" -- with officers working with the folks they are policing -- is on the in.

    According to the Bay Citizen, one Oakland officer was disciplined after he was caught cursing to himself in his patrol car. In another, an officer guarding a crime scene was disciplined after swearing at a man who turned out to be a city employee.