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Police department boosts grade from F- to A

Original post made on Nov 30, 2007

Improving from an F- to an A, the Palo Alto Police Department nearly aced the latest open-government audit by Californians Aware, a non-profit advocating for government transparency.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, November 30, 2007, 10:19 AM

Comments (4)

Posted by More-Open-Access, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 30, 2007 at 11:38 am

The first audit by CalAware was probably over the top in the time lines demanded for information. That is, they appeared and demanded all sorts of material that the Department obviously didn't have on hand. As the article noted, stats on the number of deaths of prisoners in custody was not a statistic that the PA Police normally publish, since it has been zero for a long time.

CalAware's position would have been more meaningful if they had submitted their requests in writing and then complained if the material had not been provided within the statutory ten business days. Waltzing in to a police station and demanding information on the spot seems more "dilettantetish" than being dedicated to open government/access.

While sometimes less than perfect, the City of Palo Alto usually responds within ten days of requests if the City Clerk is informed of the information request.


Posted by Emily, a resident of another community
on Nov 30, 2007 at 12:55 pm

"CalAware's position would have been more meaningful if they had submitted their requests in writing and then complained if the material had not been provided within the statutory ten business days. Waltzing in to a police station and demanding information on the spot seems more "dilettantetish" than being dedicated to open government/access."

Actually, if you read the original report, the information you are referring to WAS requested in writing, providing the ten days for the department to determine it's existence and their willingness to release it (in other words, they had up to ten days to make a determination about the request). There was a SEPARATE oral request that asked for three items, all of which are immediately accessible (either on computer or in regularly kept files).

Also, no departments were downgraded for items that they do not regularly keep; only if they kept it, but unlawfully denied access to it.

I urge you to re-read the original report and become familiar with the actual circumstances and methodology of that project. www.calaware.org


Posted by More-Open-Access, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Nov 30, 2007 at 2:40 pm

> I urge you to re-read the original report and
> become familiar with the actual circumstances
> and methodology of that project. www.calaware.org

Having spoken to the CalAware project directly about this, (if memory serves) the voice on the other end of the telephone said that they asked initially asked for the material orally, then submitted the questions in writing. Palo Alto did not respond to all of the questions within the required ten days, as it turned out.



Posted by Emily, a resident of another community
on Dec 1, 2007 at 10:28 pm

"...the voice on the other end of the telephone..."

That would have been me. I'm happy to take your call again anytime.


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