Town Square

Post a New Topic

Community policing?

Original post made by Irritated on Jul 27, 2008

Imagine the scene...I'm pottering around at the front of my house putting out the garbage cans when a police squad car drives past. Its a quiet afternoon.

Car stops in street. Reverses 100 yards. Parks in middle of lane for 5 - 10 mins. I'm in full view of the squaddie doing my garbage thing, watering some dying plant or other, wondering what the emergency is. No movement from inside the car.

Then he gets out and approaches me. I'm thinking, "hope he's not lost...thats not a good sign", or "perhaps there's an APB out for the missing cat". Maybe I'm being too noisy moving my garbage cans.

Nope. This officer decides that the best way to build relationships in the community is to give me a ticket for my car not having a front number plate which he spotted in his rear view mirror while driving down our street, My car that is parked on the side of the road, mind you, by my house. Thats some sharp eyes. Apparently not sharp enough to spot me in the front yard however before he writes this ticket.

Here's a thought; how about winding down the window and letting me know thats even a law (it is, in case you wondered) and building some form of positive relationship with the community rather than automatically going the ticket route on a pretty minor issue.

"Thank you, sir"

"No, thank YOU officer!"

Comments (11)

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2008 at 10:24 pm

Removing the front plate is a common trick to avoid red-light running cameras. It's been illegal for a long, long time.

Posted by RS, a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 27, 2008 at 10:36 pm

I got ticketed for it once, when I got the ticket, it was just a fix it ticket, put the plate on, take by a police station and show them. Fine averted. Been many years since then though, about 20 years.

Posted by a long time resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2008 at 11:25 pm

At least there are police patrolling in Professorville.

In South Palo Alto there are no police giving out tickets for: High Speed driving thru residental neighborhoods, running red lights, convoys of the tandum giant earth houlers going thru, shortcut, residential streets, gasoline tankers driving to ElCamino on Residential streets, all of these posted "No trucks over 7 tons".

The police have told me repeatedly: No time to write up tickets, The truck laws the city laws are written so badly they are unenforsable and they lose in court.

This isn't true on Oregon Expressway as I read about trucks make noise and are stopped. This is a road, 4 lanes, no driveways facing the road. Important people live along there I guess.

One incident, illegal activity going on, the police took over an hour to go to Astradero Rd site and person was given hell, person who called police, for taking him away from downtown area. No officers even present in S Palo Alto.

Posted by fireman, a resident of another community
on Jul 28, 2008 at 6:25 am

It is called the PD shake down. He could inform you of this. Ask you to fix it and then drive by in several days.

Not in Palo Alto.

Posted by Observer, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 28, 2008 at 1:26 pm

Howzabout some of those sharp-eyed coppers ticketing all the morons who park the wrong way on the street? I understand that they are VERy important sili valley residents who are more important than you, me and the majority. They're so important they can take an extra few seconds to turn around and park the correct way on the street. Wowza, PAPAD could clean up financially and put a dent in their fundraising needs for the new dept. HQ>

Posted by Wrong priorities, a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Jul 28, 2008 at 8:08 pm

Observer: The PA police department has cut the number of Community Police officers, and wrong way round parking may not be at the top of their priority list. However, we have one community Police Office working full time on noise pollution from leaf blowers because that's what the residents of PA want.

Posted by Peter, a resident of another community
on Jul 28, 2008 at 8:59 pm

Observer: Yesterday, as a driver was getting out of her wrong-way parked car across from Mac's, I told her that she could get a ticket because of the way she had parked. Her response? "Am I too far from the curb?" I explained that her right-side wheels needed to be within 18" of the curb and she was faced the wrong way. "Oh." I guess not many people read the driver's handbook.

Posted by fireman, a resident of another community
on Jul 29, 2008 at 6:53 am

Peter, This is Palo Alto most people are above the law. Just take a look at the City government and Council. The laws just does not work for them. So they just do as they please.

Posted by To Peter From Observer, a resident of Midtown
on Jul 30, 2008 at 12:50 pm

This trend to park on th wrong side of the street is dangerous & elitist. Either the person you spoke to was playing dumb or actually was dumb! PA could clean up financially by ticketing these over-entitled, lazy drivers - great source of revenue & I'm sure the patrol officers see this all the time. Not sure why they don't ticket - easy pickins'!

Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jul 30, 2008 at 1:50 pm

Parking on the wrong side of the street is neither dangerous or elitist, but it is illegal in California. In many other States and countries, parking both sides of the street make sense in residential areas where parking is at a premium. I lived in one home where we had no offstreet parking and I was lucky to get a spot 100 yards from my home on either side of the street, if I had turned round and come back, it would have been taken.

So, for many people here parking either side of the street is a habit they have had from elsewhere. It does mean that when exiting the parking spot the driver has to be much more diligent about checking for traffic and pedestrians, but it can be done safely. Believe me, I did it for years and it never caused a problem.

Posted by Peter, a resident of another community
on Jul 30, 2008 at 2:07 pm


Parking on the wrong side of the street means that the driver had to have driven the wrong way, which is illegal. It is also dangerous, especially on Emerson Street in downtown Palo Alto during a busy time of the morning. Other drivers and pedestrians are not expecting a car coming from the wrong direction, and the person executing the illegal maneuver has to contend with traffic approaching in that car's blind spot, not an ideal situation. Your justification -- that you would have missed a parking place -- doesn't hold up. It is the same as people who hang an illegal U-turn to get a place, and being bad drivers tie up traffic while they back and fill several times to get the turn right; or people who can't be bothered to use turn signals. It is arrogant behavior.

If you were a member and logged in you could track comments from this story.

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

On Tour at Selective Schools: Chapman, La Verne, Redlands, Whittier
By John Raftrey and Lori McCormick | 1 comment | 1,880 views

The dress code
By Jessica T | 17 comments | 1,742 views

Two Days to Save This Dog?
By Cathy Kirkman | 15 comments | 1,160 views

. . . People will never forget how you made them feel.
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,136 views

It Depends... Disguising Real Characters in Fiction
By Nick Taylor | 0 comments | 379 views