News

Sheriff's contract with East Palo Alto ends

Today is the first day in 25 years that San Mateo County Sheriff's deputies aren't assisting in the policing of East Alto. After the city incorporated in 1983, the sheriff continued to provide police services.

As the city established its own police department, the role of the sheriff's deputies was reduced.

San Mateo County informed the city in May 2005 that it would end the contract for police services, although it was extended as the city prepared for the transition.

As part of the transition, the city established its own investigations unit of detectives more than a year ago. The sheriff's deputies have been providing supplemental patrol assistance since then.

"I knew the city needed its own crime investigations," Police Chief Ron Davis said, which is why he established his own unit before the end of the contract.

The end of the contract will free up money to hire additional officers. Four open positions had been frozen to pay for the contract, Davis said.

The city is currently budgeted for 39 sworn officers and has seven vacancies. Davis said he hoped to fill those positions by the end of the year.

The department has two recruits in training now, Davis said, while he just made a job offer to a third potential officer. In addition, five candidates have completed oral interviews and 10 more applied at a recent job fair that Davis held.

After the hiring process, the recruits attend police academy (if they haven't done that already) for six months and then spend four months in the field with a training officer.

The city has seen homicides decrease since the 15 in 2005 to six in 2006 and seven last year. The 2006-07 numbers included a deadly period in December 2006 and January 2007 that included several homicides and a spate of non-lethal shootings, prompting new community efforts to reduce violence. Davis has vowed to continue to reduce the number of homicides.

— Don Kazak

Comments

Posted by Very concerned, a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 31, 2008 at 5:49 pm

What a deal???. EPA needs all the assistance it can get. The city is NOT doing its task of enforcing the LAW. It would be a very very rare ocassion to see anyone speeding on University Avenue on the "Palo Alto" side of 101, BUT VERY VERY FEW DRIVE BELOW 35 ON THE EPA side of the same road. Stop signs are ignored or barely acknowledged. There are vehicles driven at fast speeds on many of EPA roads.

When suspected drug activities are called in EPA police take their time and ofcourse go with sirens blasting to warn of suspected offenders that police are on the way.

Vehicles stay parked on the same spot for weeks and nothing happens, some of these vehicles do not even dispaly current tags. These vhicles do NOT belong to residents within the local community.

The city has been taking its time to address policing activities. Now with the Sheriffs unit gone, what next. Back to being the murder Capital of the country.


Posted by livesOnUniversityAvenue, a resident of Crescent Park
on Apr 1, 2008 at 1:54 pm

"It would be a very very rare ocassion to see anyone speeding on University Avenue on the "Palo Alto" side of 101"

Bad choice of example there. Take it from someone who lives on the "Palo Alto" side of the 101. It is a very rare occurrence for cars to be driving under the 25mph speed limit. Just look at the sign as you enter PA and see if it ever says "speed limit: 25" as opposed to flashing "your speed: 40".

The police on the Palo Alto side do little to slow traffic on University Avenue. They have given it up as a lost cause.

Lots of other problems and EPA should get all the help they can.


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