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Oakland police give up control over department

OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Oakland police officials have agreed to surrender authority of the department's command staff to a court- appointed director.

The Oakland Tribune reports (http://bit.ly/RDf5GA ) the agreement announced Wednesday averts a federal takeover of the department.

The newspaper says the agreement comes after the city had failed to meet a federal judge's order to make the reforms that had settled a police brutality scandal in 2003.

Critics have said Oakland police were slow in meeting the reforms, and this year federal monitors said the department had stalled on key tasks such as tracking problem officers, reporting the use of force and conducting internal affairs investigations.

In reaching the agreement, a federal officer, who would be called a compliance director, would have the power to fire the police chief, overrule him on major decisions and demote his command staff.

The agreement must be approved by a federal judge.

Information from: The Oakland Tribune, http://www.oaklandtribune.com

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