Town Square

Post a New Topic

In pursuit of reform, Palo Alto looks beyond armed officers

Original post made on Oct 27, 2020

As Palo Alto prepares to enact police reforms, an idea that continues to gather momentum at City Hall is shifting some of the Police Department's workload from sworn officers to health professionals and other unarmed employees.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Tuesday, October 27, 2020, 12:31 AM

Comments (14)

27 people like this
Posted by Jennifer
a resident of another community
on Oct 27, 2020 at 6:52 am

Jennifer is a registered user.

Oh, yeah. This ought to work out well. Keep us posted.


53 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 27, 2020 at 8:47 am

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

If this concept is implemented, dispatch and/or the watch commander will have to make an expeditious & key decision (sight unseen) on who to send out (a social worker/health care professional or a cop) to resolve matters.

This could prove problematic in situations involving domestic violence & public disturbances where some derelict is whacked-out on meth & potentially armed.

Taking reports of home burglaries & signing off petty citations is feasible.

On the other hand, this program would also require expanding the fleet of city-owned vehicles (at taxpayer expense) + liability insurance & maintenence costs.

In this time of much-needed municipal fiscal restraint (due to lost business tax revenues via the pandemic), is adding additional city personnel
along with their benefit & pension packages + training costs a value-added & progressive reform measure?

Why not simply retrain PAPD officers to respond accordingly & dismiss the ones with a bad track record?




14 people like this
Posted by Legalized Excessive Force
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Oct 27, 2020 at 9:13 am

Legalized Excessive Force is a registered user.

Alvarez a one-off? What? DeStefano’s use of force on the man at Happy Donuts proves otherwise.

The video and documents in articles makes it clear this stop didn’t even need to be made, then it wasn’t de-escalated as it could and should have been without seriously injuring yet another Latino man.

It ended at Stanford Hospital, with no charges but evidence of a failure of policy and practice by the PAPD, including to use force when avoidable.

That the PAPD investigated and cleared itself of any wrongdoing in this case shouldn’t then lead to the one-off conclusion in this article. Instead it should lead to shock that PAPD systemic policies and practices justified this use of force.

This case is an example of a systemic problem within the PAPD that the council says it’s committed to ending. But if it isn’t even recognized, how can it be corrected?



14 people like this
Posted by Ardan Michael Blum
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 27, 2020 at 9:17 am

Ardan Michael Blum is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


3 people like this
Posted by ALB
a resident of College Terrace
on Oct 27, 2020 at 9:50 am

ALB is a registered user.

I do not comprehend Cormack's remark about policing and social workers. The police are the first responders and need to asses the situation in real time. The police need more education. The city has to lessen the influence of the police unions who have covered up unjust and violent behavior on the part of the bad apples. Again, more training, education and community policing are needed in our town.


24 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 27, 2020 at 11:04 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

WE now have continual reports of robberies and home break-in - even when the people are in their house. Now I read the police blotter section in the paper - all papers that report. There is a crime spree in process - from catalytic converters to computers.

I attribute that to the current confusion as to what the police roll is in the city. I also attribute that to the "progressive" current movement to derail police protection in favor of "what?" The current "groups" are working first to tear down existing norms but they have no game plan on what to replace it with. It is just tear down what ever is there now. That includes housing.

Please let the police in the county in total work together to arrive at a plan that all can work with. We will need them to support each other in tough situations. .


30 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 27, 2020 at 11:09 am

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

>"...evidence of a failure of policy and practice by the PAPD, including to use force when avoidable."

>"...it should lead to shock that PAPD systemic policies and practices justified this use of force."

>"This case is an example of a systemic problem within the PAPD that the council says it’s committed to ending. But if it isn’t even recognized, how can it be corrected?"

^ The police unions have a very powerful lobbyist force in Sacramento & this in turn circumvents progressive measures to curb what many consider 'police brutality', inherent racism, & bullying tactics.

The majority of PDs in California subscribe to a consultant-based manual called Lexipol which provides advisements on municipal police policy.

The problem...the police unions are steadfastly against their members being held accountable for civil rights violations (via judicial immunity) & as a result, police departments ignore a host of Lexipol recommendations.

Total abolishment of police unions & associations is the first step towards progressive police reform.

Defunding PDs & channeling certain duties to social/health care professionals is utter folly & a waste of taxpayer dollars.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Downtown North

on Oct 27, 2020 at 8:41 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


2 people like this
Posted by TimR
a resident of Downtown North
on Oct 28, 2020 at 8:48 am

TimR is a registered user.

The use of community service officers is an old idea in Palo Alto, and their use was only reduced due to budget cuts a number of years ago. They seem like a a perfectly good "force multiplier," although the only interaction I've had with them is, an officer accusing me of parking in a ranger spot at Arastradero OSP, even though it wasn't my car. A motorist with an apparent bathroom emergency was the culprit, and I didn't stick around to see if the community service officer was able to resolve the issue without needing to call in a urologist for guidance on how to handle the situation.

As for PERT and the focus on psychiatric issues, how much of an issue is that, really? As others have mentioned, there does seem to be a crime spree going on, and the City Counsel seems to want to avoid dealing with reality of home break-ins, car thefts, etc, and instead wants to talk about police shootings in other cities and mental health, almost like they're virtue signaling. I haven't been to the meetings, but I hope ALL policing issues are being discussed, not just the ones BLM likes to promote.


6 people like this
Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Oct 28, 2020 at 9:08 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Yes - the above is so true. Bad situations occur on the east coast / other cities and we go into melt-down. WE have cities tearing themselves apart in a reactionary mode and those crises are not in their own city. It is like opportunity time for the people to go in and rob the stores and set things on fire. What is even sadder is that they are ruining their own cities that provides their jobs.

The last thing we need here is allowing reactionary elements to disrupt our city and use crises in other cities to take over how we do business here. We have some bad apples but they are isolated. Manage the overall force and weed out the bad apples but do not in the process put the residents at further risk. I am concerned and check the street for cars that do not belong here.


4 people like this
Posted by Jimmy
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Oct 28, 2020 at 9:13 am

Jimmy is a registered user.

Great idea. Time to try something new. I worked for the LAPD in the 90s. I can see the pros and cons. For a city like Palo Alto this can work. San Fran or LA or NYC not so much. Dont forget to VOTE.


20 people like this
Posted by Lee Forrest
a resident of Crescent Park
on Oct 28, 2020 at 12:10 pm

Lee Forrest is a registered user.

Another option...utilizing the volunteer PAPD reserve officers to carry out some of these proposed duties.

Since they are also 'sworn' police officers, there must be more for them to do other than direct Stanford football traffic at the intersection of ECR & Embarcadero.


Like this comment
Posted by instaberry
a resident of Fletcher Middle School
on Oct 29, 2020 at 2:38 am

instaberry is a registered user.

Web Link


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Downtown North

on Oct 29, 2020 at 10:15 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


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

Email:


Post a comment

In order to encourage respectful and thoughtful discussion, commenting on stories is available to those who are registered users. If you are already a registered user and the commenting form is not below, you need to log in. If you are not registered, you can do so here.

Please make sure your comments are truthful, on-topic and do not disrespect another poster. Don't be snarky or belittling. All postings are subject to our TERMS OF USE, and may be deleted if deemed inappropriate by our staff.

See our announcement about requiring registration for commenting.


Get the most important local news stories sent straight to your inbox daily.

How to Buy a Used EV
By Sherry Listgarten | 6 comments | 3,186 views

Gates sets an example for local billionaires to emulate
By Diana Diamond | 5 comments | 1,725 views

Pie Brings People Together
By Laura Stec | 3 comments | 1,462 views

Couples and Premarital: Personal Weather Report (TM)
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,004 views

Tree Lighting Ceremonies
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 855 views

 

Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund

For the last 26 years, the Palo Alto Weekly Holiday Fund has given away more than $7 million to local nonprofits serving children and families. When you make a donation, every dollar is automatically doubled, and 100% of the funds go directly to local programs. It’s a great way to ensure your charitable donations are working at home.

DONATE HERE