Town Square

Post a New Topic

Shortage of officers in Palo Alto

Original post made by Adel2012, South of Midtown, on May 3, 2012

In the road show column of SJ Mercury, today I read that there are only three or fewer officers in Palo Alto enforcing the traffic laws. At least two of these officers mostly hang around the schools (which is ok). Apparently part of the reason for the low staffing level is that the city and public employee unions did not come to an agreement on salary and benefit concessions (again from SJM news). So, our city cannot afford more officers at the current level salary and benefits. Here are a couple of solutions that comes to my mind:
1) Privatize more city services (like Half Moon Bay, I think). With the current level of State unemployment, I am sure it would not be very hard to find new recruits.
2) Put something in the ballot to reform the government worker contracts (like San Jose).
3) Use cameras and sensors to control speed, red lighter violators and rolling stoppers.
So, unless people start voicing their concern, we are not going to see any meaningful reform in the city government. BTW, I am not an activist or a politician. I am just a law abiding tax payer, who really scared to cross the streets these days when I know there is no one watching and enforcing traffic safety rules.

Comments (8)

 +   Like this comment
Posted by Parent
a resident of Duveneck School
on May 3, 2012 at 11:49 pm

The two are around Duveneck often on their motorcycles during drop-off and pick-up.

I know of a Paly student who was slapped with a $250 ticket today for not wearing a bicycle helmet.

These traffic cops should really enforce red-light running, which occurs frequently on Oregon Expressway/Louis Rd., Louis Rd./Embarcadero Rd., St. Francis Dr./Embarcadero Rd. They really should put red light cameras on those intersections but City Council probably doesn't want the headaches from outspoken residents.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 4, 2012 at 12:02 am

"Privatize more city services (like Half Moon Bay, I think). With the current level of State unemployment, I am sure it would not be very hard to find new recruits." Only a sworn Officer can give you a ticket and testify against you in Court.

"Put something in the ballot to reform the government worker contracts (like San Jose)." We just did and repealed Arbitration.

"Use cameras and sensors to control speed, red lighter violators and rolling stoppers." Remember all the red light runners caught on video whose evidence has been thrown out of Court!!

Police Officers cost a lot of money I'm all for our City cutting back on their numbers. There will still be the same number of Officers on regular patrol as there always were.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Midtown guy
a resident of Midtown
on May 4, 2012 at 7:17 am

University Avenue and Lytton are the worst streets during
midday. Three of us pedestrians were legally crossing in a
crosswalk near Starbuck's last Friday when an SUV barreled
through against the light. I shouted, to no avail. The driver
didn't even look at us. Later, driving home, around 1 p.m., another SUV started tailgating me as I left the Bryant street garage,
driving inches away from my bumper on Lytton and honking its horn
to try to force me to move faster--I was doing the 25 mph.
This driver kept riding my rear aggressively all the way
up to Middlefield. My heart was pounding and I felt attacked.

There is alsolutely to traffic enforcement on University. It is
like the wild west there. You take your life in your hands.
Be careful, even try to avoid the area at lunchtime. The cops
might show up after a collision, or they may say they only
investigate injury accidents!


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on May 4, 2012 at 8:15 am

The Police Departments, like Fire Departments, should be run at the county level not the city level, this would mean less admin costs, less top jobs, and more of the rank and file out there doing what they are supposed to be doing.


 +   Like this comment
Posted by T
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 4, 2012 at 8:24 am

Seriously, where are all these PC hiding all day? Waiting for phone ring? Seldom I see any anywhere on patrol. But a bunch of overweight guys would show up after a minor accidents!@


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Adel2012
a resident of South of Midtown
on May 4, 2012 at 8:54 am

With all these incidents that people are reporting in Oregon Expressway and Embarcadero, you may assume that a responsive police department would increase the enforcement in these areas. But this is probably too much to ask!

Does anyone in the city hall read these posts? Who is setting the city priorities?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by To Adel
a resident of Meadow Park
on May 4, 2012 at 9:29 pm

@ Adel

Have you read the following article?

Web Link


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Frustrated
a resident of Barron Park
on May 4, 2012 at 11:40 pm

The City seems to have plenty of money to pay top executives six figure salaries and has plenty of money for pet projects, but is planning to cut traffic cops? This is ridiculous. Palo Alto cop salaries are the same as anywhere else in the Bay Area so don't blame it on that. The city management needs to spend money on whats important first, like public safety.


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

King of the Slides
By Cheryl Bac | 4 comments | 1,223 views

Standardized Test Prep: When to Start and Whom to Hire?
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,218 views

Finger Food and a Blood Lite?
By Laura Stec | 0 comments | 904 views

Subverting open, fair and honest debate (Measure D)
By Douglas Moran | 6 comments | 617 views

The Future of our Parks: Public Workshops this Week
By Cathy Kirkman | 0 comments | 615 views