The federal monitor overseeing Oakland's police department praised top commanders for making progress on several reform initiatives, but questioned a sharp decline in officers reporting that they used force in dealing with suspects.

In his bimonthly report released Monday, Robert Warshaw said that he will more closely review downward trends in uses of force. While police leaders attribute the drop to improved training and changes in policy, Warshaw wrote that he and an associate "have found that the low rates of some patrol squads' use of force seem implausible."

Department officials did not respond to requests Monday for use of force statistics. Warshaw, who did not provide the statistics in his nine-page report, wrote that he also will seek to reduce the use of "boilerplate language" officers use when justifying encounters that involve a use of force.

Warshaw oversees a court-sanctioned reform effort stemming from the 1999 Riders police brutality scandal. He commended the department for its steady progress in complying with the reform effort, but cautioned that much work remained. Earlier this month, the city fell out of compliance with reform tasks after an officer terminated by the chief was reinstated by an outside arbitrator.



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