Town Square

Post a New Topic

Corruption and cover up by Palo Alto Police Brass

Original post made by Shocked!, Addison School, on Aug 13, 2014

If you have not yet seen this NBC new story from last night you need to. I was shocked at what they exposed especially how none of executive staff would even comment on it. Looks like a cover up to me. Web Link

Comments (16)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Demanding answers
a resident of Barron Park
on Aug 13, 2014 at 8:54 am

Read the who story on the website because it lists out more details. For one thing, the quota that the officers alledge is illegal so any City staffer who approved it committed a crime. The reports shows the police chief running away and that neither the mayor nor the city manager would speak to the reporter. Something smells pretty fishy when your own staff says there is a problem but the bosses wont comment. I want to read the rest of the internal documents that the report mentions and demand there be e a full investigation by an OUTSIDE entity. Every PA cop I know is very good so if they claimed there is a problem I would tend to believe them.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by OMG
a resident of another community
on Aug 13, 2014 at 9:55 am

I don't know what more a third party investigation can do because it was pretty well covered in the news report. Its interesting that the public image this department portrays is very different from what is actually going on. Dennis is a good man but sounds like some things are going on without his knowledge.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Memories
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2014 at 10:39 am

Burns is a "good man"? That's not the same as being an effective leader. How pathetic. We deserve better and so do our residents. This fear of budgets cuts needs to be honestly addressed.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by The Shadow knows....
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 13, 2014 at 11:36 am

I know Dennis Burns personally, and find it very difficult to believe that he would either initiate or condone the actions described in the news story.

Frankly, I don't fault him or any other City official for refusing to comment to these types of so called investigative reporters. The reporters seemed more interested in sensationalism than journalism, and often frame their questions in a manner something like the old cliche of:
"Have you stopped being dishonest yet?
Yes or No!"

Talking with those types of reporters is a can't win proposition, and discretion is the better part of valor.

It may well also be that this involves a personnel matter or disciplinary action and Burns is prohibited from discussing it.

People should not assume that his lack of responsiveness is an indication of a cover up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2014 at 12:51 pm

We recently learned that Palantir has given software and support to PAPD. What role does the use, and/or abuse, of this type of software play in statistics becoming more important than good police-work?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Classic
a resident of Embarcadero Oaks/Leland
on Aug 13, 2014 at 4:07 pm

Thank you to the new reporters and whistleblowers. Without you we would not know what is going on. Now all we need is the chief or the officers union to go on TV and tell us how this all just a big misunderstanding. If cops, especially a female cop, will go undercover on TV and risk their career to tell us something I think we should be paying attention. FBI, Sherriff's Office, Auditor where are you? We need to hear from you.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by 10 tickets a day
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 13, 2014 at 4:17 pm

I have a friend who works on the force who said there is an informal quota including the fact that the traffic team (mostly motorcycles) are being told to write 10 tickets a day. If that's not a quota I don't know what is. She said that their is a lot of cronyism and favoritism and that most officers are too scared to speak up. She and I are all for the department being taken over by the sheriff's department.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Alleged
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 13, 2014 at 5:44 pm

Apparently, the report from PAPD last year that 10 more traffic cops was a bald-faced lie. No new officers were hired.

What I would like to know is where are all these officers writing traffic tickets? I rarely see them, and there are scofflaw stopsign runners all over the residential neighborhoods.

Ten years ago, we complained to PAPD about this, since so many of them run stopsigns in the pre-dawn hour. We were told that there were no problems with running stopsigns in Palo Alto. We complained to "Mr Roadshow", who contacted PAPD directly. After an alleged stakeout on one residential street, PAPD reported back that there were no problems with stopsign runners in Palo Alto.

BALONEY! Ask any kid walking or bikeriding to a Palo Alto school in the morning. Everyone sees this happen, but the PAPD is in denial--or afraid to ticket a wealthy resident who is very well lawyered-up.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Cowper and El Dorado
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 13, 2014 at 7:46 pm

I have seen, on average, one car per hour not stopping at the stop signs at this intersection.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Ahem
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Aug 14, 2014 at 12:14 am

Rumors of this story have been brewing for several days. Why were Police Chief Burns, Mayor Shepard, and City Manager Keene unprepared to talk to the press about this issue?

Why did NBC TV break this story, instead of one of our local newspapers?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by joke, right?
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Aug 14, 2014 at 8:26 am

Ha! Seems like standard sensationalized entertainment reporting with no real story behind it. It would be nice if news channels actually did their job and reported news.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Survey
a resident of College Terrace
on Aug 14, 2014 at 8:55 am

According to the news story, a confidential survey of officers was conducted in 2012 where 46 of the 80 officers participated. Of those 46, 82% responded that they are "more afraid of getting into trouble with department brass than being killed or injured in the line of duty. That is a very troubling statistic. I would like to read the rest of that survey. PA Online, perhaps a FOIA request is in order?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 14, 2014 at 12:33 pm


>> I have seen, on average, one car per hour not stopping at the stop
>> signs at the Cowper and El Doradointersection.

Well, this is now true all over Palo Alto. If Police wanted to write valid
tickets it would be easy, they would not even have to get technical
and lie to people that they did not come to a complete stop ... because
I know that happens ....

Some people do not even slow down.

And semi-regularly on Channing and Homer people who have a short 1
block drive to Middlefield just drive the wrong way on the one-way
street.

On Channing, past Newell to the freeway it is more rare to see someone
stop at a stop-sign than it is to see them breeze right through it.

And my biggest gripe and worry is that people don't bother to worry
about what lane they are in any longer. I see people driving the whole
length of a block with their wheels over the line into the next lane.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 14, 2014 at 12:36 pm

Survey ...
>> 46 of the 80 officers participated. Of those 46, 82% responded that they are "more afraid of getting into trouble with department brass than being killed or injured in the line of duty.

That probably doesn't mean that getting into trouble with the brass is a fate worse than death - it more likely means that they feel safe in their skins in Palo Alto that an officer is not going to be shot - it is a very low probability event.

Has their ever been a Palo Alto police officer shot or wounded in the line of duty? I don't recall one?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by CrescentParkAnon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Aug 14, 2014 at 12:39 pm


"Alleged" ... I'm guessing the Police are told not to ticket people who run stop-signs with light traffic as not being dangerous or a threat. My guess is that there are few or zero accidents caused by this practice, so the Police just decide to let people do it. It's kind of stupid as when it becomes a "Palo Alto entitlement" and everyone starts to do it and get used to it, if there are accidents it will be hard to break people of the habit.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Never Thought of it this Way, Did You?
a resident of Midtown
on Aug 14, 2014 at 2:44 pm

Stopping at stop signs contributes to global warming. A car burns gas, and emits carbon, accelerating away from the stop. It emits much less carbon when it keeps a steady speed.

So thank drivers you see cruising by the sign. They are doing our planet a favor.


Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.

Email:


Post a comment

Posting an item on Town Square is simple and requires no registration. Just complete this form and hit "submit" and your topic will appear online. Please be respectful and truthful in your postings so Town Square will continue to be a thoughtful gathering place for sharing community information and opinion. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

We prefer that you use your real name, but you may use any "member" name you wish.

Name: *

Select your neighborhood or school community: * Not sure?

Comment: *

Verification code: *
Enter the verification code exactly as shown, using capital and lowercase letters, in the multi-colored box.

*Required Fields

Local picks on 2015 Michelin Bib Gourmand list
By Elena Kadvany | 8 comments | 3,578 views

Politics: Empty appeals to "innovation"
By Douglas Moran | 13 comments | 1,524 views

A Surprise!
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 1,411 views

It's Dog-O-Ween this Saturday!
By Cathy Kirkman | 2 comments | 578 views