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Oakland PD Mandates Reporting of Illegal Warehouses, Parties

In the wake of the deadly warehouse fire in December, Oakland police have been ordered to report any unpermitted living spaces in warehouses or illegal parties, effective immediately, according to the Oakland Police Department.

The order was issued Thursday by Acting Police Chief David Downing, the department said. 

For now, officers are required to send an e-mail to command staff reporting a violation, department spokeswoman Officer Johnna Watson said.

In the future, the department is going to add a news section to its police report forms that will allow officers to check code violations and specify which other city departments need to be informed, Watson said.

On Dec. 2, 36 people died in a massive fire during a late-night party at a warehouse called the Ghost Ship in the Fruitvale neighborhood, where several artists resided.

Documents have shown Oakland police responded to an illegal rave at the warehouse in 2015, and the department received 18 calls to the warehouse dating back to 2007.

City officials said building inspectors never set foot inside the Ghost Ship warehouse in 30 years.

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