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Original post made
on Oct 13, 2008
Whatever happened to the increased police presence as a result of the earlier incidents?!!!
Now the attacks happen is broad daylight. Have criminals figured out they can act with total impunity in this town, which is too politically correct to conduct more agressive searches of suspicious looking individuals?
Clearly the criminals are very comfortable in Palo Alto! Not only was it broad daylight but one of the busiest times down town - lunch time.
What the heck is going on with the City of Palo Alto's police dept? Not enough officers on duty each shift? Do we need a new police chief? The increase in robberies, muggings, car break-in's, etc. is becoming intolerable! Yet once again, Agent Dan Ryan encourages us to walk in pairs...right, as if every time I want to go out now (even in BROAD DAYLIGHT) I need to find someone to go with? Okay..."Hello, police dept. I need to run to the store, can you send someone over to escort me?"
Walkable neighborhoods mean that we should be able to feel safe walking alone in our own neighborhood in the middle of the day. Now it seems the police are telling us to walk in pairs no matter what time of day. Soon will we have to get in our cars and drive everywhere just to feel safe?
I assume what's going on with the police department is that they're not large and street crime hasn't been this kind of issue.
What I'd like to know is why is it this kind of issue? Armed robberies, muggings? Is it drugs? I assume most of the criminals are from out of town, but what do we actually know if anything?
It's just the manifestations of liberalism. From the local "green" City council, to the federal government's refusal to enforce immigration law.
It's not that we are becoming a 3rd world country, libs completed that task in terms of public safety years ago. Case in point, by the statistics, I am safer walking through the "Tondo" slums in Manila, Philippines, than I am walking down California Ave..... Yeah, been there, done that....
The "recommendation" to walk with someone is absurd in a civilized society. It is, in fact, a declaration of Palo Alto's status as a 3rd world city.
.... But having said that I do walk with two companions in the Bay Area. Mr. Smith, and Mr. Wesson.
How about putting video cameras in those tunnels? And in the Cal Ave one as well. Muggers tend to avoid places where they'll be on candid camera.
Your thesis doesn't hold water. The City Council has nothing to do with crime and punishment.
California has a three-strikes law--we're not "liberal" when it comes to crime.
More "liberal" places such as Canada have lower murder rates, more conservative places, such as Texas have relatively high crime rates.
And if you're walking around with concealed weapons and no permit, I want you in jail.
Those #@$ tunnels are an archaic misplaced urban affectation that should be filled with dirt. They are difficult to navigate with a bike or luggage or a wheelchair to boot. Surface crossings work perfectly well at other stations and would work in Palo Alto.
Increased density usually results in increased crime.
Destination Palo Alto -
1) Bring along mace
2) Make sure you have good insurance (as if you are traveling overseas), since it is unlikely that our city will admit any liability for your injuries.
A few years ago I arranged a meeting with the Police Chief to convey an idea for increased security in Palo Alto. Midway through the meeting I concluded that the Chief was incompetent, and gave up. I now rely on myself to provide my own security in Palo Alto.
"Fill in the dirt at California Ave"??
Years ago, the City closed and fenced off the street at the railroad crossing there by what was a Cement factory.(Now and has been for years~just the empty lot remains). That is where some people suggested that a new Police station be built...know where I mean?? They also closed off the California Ave.crossing.
The crossings there onto Alma were overly used and dangerous..so the tunnel was dug by the train station for safe foot traffic passage from California Ave via the tunnel. And Oregon Expressway was dug right there for the cross traffic. (That is where Indian bones were found when the workmen were digging up the Expressway.)
Maybe the engineers should have made it an overpass instead of the underpass, that way exposing who is doing what to who for all to witness...............Little late. I would like to see those barrier bars removed as you are right about trying to get a bike through there...let alone a wheelchair.........and if the kids want to use it at their own risk for skateboarding, so be it. Maybe that will keep them buzy having fun and out of trouble ;) The City will just have to add another lane to the underpass for wheelchairs and slow older people so they can be safe too.......And also add a policeman at one end to wish everyone a "good day" while smiling and keeping the town in check................................
put VIDEO CAMERAS in tunnels and other secluded places ASAP!!!
This problem has been going on for 30 plus years...you just now are hearing more about it now. Why so many robberies, probably a combination of events.
Hear this, the economy is hitting hard and even people who are making individually up to $70K plus per year are finding it hard to survive what with the rent increases and the tax increases...What do you expect from the lower eco levels that had crime to support their lives in the first place many years ago, why would it not increase?
Isn't it scary what is going to be in the future with the bailout of Wall Street, now even more taxes will hit the "middle class", and I predict the "lower class" will strike out even more. There is a price to pay for greed in this nation.
Y'all should reevaluate your priorities.
If you fracture a man's arm with a baseball bat to get his cash, aren't you in fact being greedy?
For what it's worth, video cameras seem like a good, inexpensive idea. Does the city ever read these forums? How do we get this done?
OhlonePar, I think we are in fact "liberal" when it comes to crime - we aren't that far from San Francisco, and I gather the prosecution rate is very low up there. (D.A. declines to pursue prosecution a lot.) A spillover effect is likely - and this area is perceived as rich pickings.
It is time, more than ever, to start attending your city government meetings. Do not take for granted that it is known what and how to do anything.. that it is all being taken care of for you. If you have a good idea please share it with your community. In this economy, services may be cut or scaled back. Basic psychology here folks: the more success is had @ achieving these attacks... the more the behavior is reinforced.
Destination NOT, How can one spray mace after being clubbed by a baseball bat? And how can one expect the city to pay for the injuries resulting in a robbery?
The police need to be more visible. Maybe the PAPD standards are too high. They want 4 year degrees, polite personalities, intelligent conversation. I'd rather have thugs who have no problem with racial profiling. Screw the niceties. Protect us.
Of course this town is way too liberal. The attitude of let's take care of everyone and we can be one big happy family is so beyond reality. A poster on this board a few months ago said that if we were nice to everyone then we wouldn't have any crime. It blows me away that someone truly believes this.
I do agree that the police need to be more visible. I find it laughable the number of police they sent to the accident at High and Lytton yesterday ...at least three patrol cars and a motorcycle cop... a bit over kill don't you think. They were all there for more than an hour.
Hey, that accident didn't happen at around 11:40am did it? That would explain the lack of police response.
Video cameras are cost effective solution for now. Can the city act fast for this simple task?
"Can the city act fast", "How do we get city to notice these forums" -- any thoughts on the action items for the city? Was there a similar situation in the past where the citizens had to draw city's attention - if so, what worked?
Is there a way to get the Police chief to hold a press conference that is open to public?
(We are relatively new to the city and hence don't know the ways to get the city to operate)
I just find it unfortunate that somebody got injured. I don't mind the idea of getting robbed, as I'm okay with losing my 2 year old cell phone. In this world of haves and have-nots I'd consider it lucky to get off with losing some cash. I donate a lot of money anyhow.
I might start carrying some cash just so that I'm not in that uncomfortable situation of telling my assailant that I don't have any money. I'll also clean out my wallet to remove all non essentials so I lose less if they take the whole thing. And backup my cell phone.
It's still something we should look to curb, but I'm not as outraged or dumbfounded as some people seem to be.
a town hall meeting with the police chief and camera's are a great idea. How do we arrange this meeting?
There is a police services meeting tonight 7pm in city hall:
See the following: cityofpaloalto.org/knowzone/agendas/policy.asp
1.Administration & Community relations: city.palo-alto.ca.us/depts/pol/news/details.asp?NewsID=639&TargetID=120,94
Police can't stop random crime, you would need an Patton's army to do that. What we need are deterrents, both from the city and it's residents. PA should put in cameras, and the police should start profiling. Citizens should arm themselves with mace, and guns for those who are willing. Criminals need to know they are being watched, and there are possible reprisals from victims.
I have said it before and I will say it again:
Carry an old wallet with a few dollars in the place where people normally carry a real wallet. Stick some expired and/or fake credit cards in there too. If confronted, hand that over.
Carry an old cell phone in a visible location, hand that over too.
Don't get hit (as if the poor guy had a choice in this case,) don't get shot, and don't carry a gun. (If this poor gentleman had been carrying a gun, he would never have had the chance to use it, and it might have been taken, used on him, or used in the next holdup.)
It isn't just unfortunate that someone got hurt: that's rather the pattern. We have imported folks to do the jobs that Americans won't do, and they do them. Approximately half of Palo Alto murders have alien connections. They also make it impossible to rehab our lowest classes (taking thier jobs, lowering their wages, driving up their rents, ruining their schools), hence promote citizen crime as well, which is what this seems to be.
Liberal? I'm as far right as you can get, and I just used the "society made them do it" argument.
Our police force does not cooperate with INS/ICE in spite of above stats.
cops should be more worried about this kind of stuff instead of sting operations on kids who smoke pot. and lytton plaza/.
Mayor Rudi Juliani succeeded in significantly decreasing crime in NYC, Palo Alto police should learn from this.
My solution: PA police should distribute to women who volunteer to carry them in their backpack an item of some value that contains a tiny tracking device...
I think cameras in such "bad" areas should be a good idea, as well as some sort of SOS phone/alarm. I also find ridiculous the advise of NOT walking alone! The goal of police should be to make us feel safe whether or not we choose to walk alone at any time of the day.
As for the comments blaming these crimes to immigration, most of the crimes in Palo Alto are committed by Americans. Just because some of these criminals have some non-English name or last name doesn't mean they're immigrants; they can be as American as you are. In fact, the majority of illegal immigrants in this country are here to make a living and provide for their families, and have no problem working their ass! As for the crimes in Palo Alto, seems to me that we can just point to East Palo Alto.
Some posters seem to have the attitude that these types of vicious attacks/crimes are inevitable; but there are differences in crime levels in different cities. I DO think it is worth considering how these crimes can be discouraged and reined in.
Anonymous - you ask how these crimes can be discouraged and reined in. It all starts in the home and how childern are being raised. It's not about privilege, it's about irresponsibility.
[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]
I agree Josh. This is not about a down-turn in the economy, or immigration, or being too liberal, etc... it's about parents raising their children to be respectful and responsible.
Unfortunately, for the punks out there, we'll have to resort to cameras or neighborhood watch!
What's the betting that these villains are being raised or have been raised by single mothers. The problem is that the fathers are not around or are in jail themselves. I agree that better parenting may help, but we have already got a generation of males who have nothing to do with their sons and now these sons are raised without strong good male role models. Get the girls on contraception from the age of 12, get some male responsibility and we may see a difference.
I'm betting that the muggers have been criminals for many years. Their parents were most likely their victims. Criminals choose to be criminals at an early age.
Palo Alto residents becoming more and more target for tags.The city was sheltered and safe for long time not prepared for this.Times are changing unfortunately not for the better.The city needs figt back to show more police presence also put more plain cloths officers on streets ASAP.
I came home from a Giants game on the train a few weeks ago, and had to use those tunnels late at night. It is a very spooky place, with some bums sleeping it off, and some very shady characters down there.
I never thought I would come to this position, but I think it is time to allow us to carry concealed weapons. We need to be able to protect ourselves. Maybe, just maybe, the thugs will get the message and be less confident that they can prey on us. The police cannot protect us, becasue they cannot be all places at all times.
I think the Supreme Court ruled that we can have personal weapons, but there is some kind of hang up about us carrying them. Whatever the issue is, it is time to allow us to protect ourselves.
I am shocked that no one has commented on Statistical Blunder's posting. Forgive me if it was entirely tongue and cheek, but if not: WTF.
We are supposed to accept that crime is inevitable and when we decide to go out for a walk just carry some loose change that we can give to the poor thief??? There are some ridiculous posts here, but nothing beats this one. Concealed firearms are a bad idea, but better than this pan-handling-by-bat is okay.
I am reminded of Neil from the "Young Ones," "Oh man, don't get so down on them, life's hard, we should just like, eat some lentils and carry only enough money for the felons to get some crack and a Big Mac when they hit us with a 2x4, and do be happy and nice when you come to."
"Not Going to ROI" - yes I had a similar reaction to that posting. Look at Justme's posting - pretty much the same. Sad thing though is they are right - I learned this years ago 35+, my Grandmother used to live in Detroit (wonderful comparison to PA huh) but she at age 80 was beaten with a crowbar because she only had a couple of dollars in her purse. After that she carried at least $10 and the rest she hid on herself. One of the biggest problems we have here is that we don't really have a police force - come on what are these guys actually equipped to handle - its Palo Alto - I'm guessing they don't really want to be around when there is trouble.
It would be 'rather comforting" if the PA City Council would get as upset about this crime wave as it is about plastic sacks!! Why make Palo Alto a tourist destination if tourists get
robbed when them come here? When is there going to be some tough talk - and action - from City Hall and the PAPD? Sorry about this - new city manager - but the problem is on your door step. Don't just sit there - do something. The Council is too busy being 'green".
On your door step...I guess they were all on vacation when there was a murder on their doorstep. What more do they need to get them upset. Its their place of work and there was a murder right under their noses.
I support the idea of installing surveillance cameras around town, but I have some questions about their real effectiveness. What is the actual success rate of identifying criminals with them? I know that London had good success with them in connection with the terrorist attacks there. But on the other hand, the camera footage shown on TV from the Oakland restaurant robberies was almost worthless, as far as I could tell. San Francisco installed some, but I remember reading that half of them didn't work, and some of the others were pointed in the wrong direction from where the 'action' happened to be. So what are the factors that make for success or failure with camera installations? And how do we best assure that the money and manpower investment will pay off?
This poor man certainly has my condolences, but after reading the news items here and in the Daily News, I am recalling the alleged mountain lion attack in Foothills Park last July. That story, too, set off quite the spate of heated on-line commentary here. I just find it odd that "the victim checked into Stanford Hospital before contacting police" [Daily News, 10/14]. He could have told any number of people with cell phones during the intervening half hour. Also, who actually witnessed the assailants "running east on University Avenue," the victim himself or anybody else? Is the shoulder injury consistent with a baseball bat? Either way, we all lose. Palo Alto is patently unsafe, or we have people inciting fear (and racism) by making things up.
"musical" - you are kidding!?!?! Denial is the place we are coming from....no need to perpetuate the problem!
Next you will tell us that the murder this summer is just a conspiracy, to escalate fear and racism! Nice! Good luck to you!
It is a shame that with the amount of money we pay in local taxes that we have to be afraid in our own houses. I can't even walk downtown anymore since I have to pass the City Hall location aka Police Station that a murder robbery happened in front of. I would gladly pay a parcel tax so my kids can go off to school without worrying about being jumped on the way home. Why vote for a new library when our kids cannot even walk or bike there in safety to use it?
Hey city council members - are you afraid to come outside and do something? Do anything? We have not heard your voices. Make a difference for us for now - not just for bonds for future projects.
The problem is that as a society we are quickly losing our culture and our roots. Many many African American people of grandma and granpa age have class, have faith, have values, respect for hard work, but somehow they failed to pass it to their sons and daughters, let alone grandkids.
I don't know what it was that made the generation of grandparents so great, maybe it is a combination of strict upbringing and religion, but liberals have succeeded in destroying the value of both to a point when the new generation knows none. So if one has no faith, then where do values come from. From school to government agencies, these kids hear that someone else is to blame for their problems. We need to work on reinstating culture of values, personal responsibility, we need to welcome religions (of all kinds), and put an end to racially divisive demagogy.
I see officers driving around but not any stationed at vulnerable spots- train stations, underpasses, parks during early or at dusk, no police at all. It is shocking to me that in my east coast neighborhood ( where I spend part of my time) I can look out the window (it's 1:24 in the morning where I am in the east coast) and see some people walking in safety. I myself could go out now if I had to and feel safe. The city itself is a high crime one, but only in certain areas which are suburban in nature. How do they do it? How does the police here keep the center neighborhoods safe (an area bigger than Palo alto)?
There are cameras in some spots to be sure but the major thing is police swarm the vulnerable spots ( which include bars, entertainment parks, the subway and stations,bus terminals, etc ) and STAY THERE patrolling on foot , while police cars circle around. Like many cities, this one doesn't have enough police for its needs but they deploy the force they have in an intelligent manner. I do wish that Palo Alto police could be more pro active and make themselves more visible. I am returning to Palo Alto this week end and I will have to say goodbye to walking around at my heart's content specially coming home from a movie or a restaurant. Being a suburb Palo Alto is not compact enough for easy patrolling, but is police making a concerted and thoughtful effort? I don't want to second guess their work, but I wish they could explain it to us.
As has been mentioned here - our PA police are not police- they are...maybe boyscouts! Although, I risk insulting the boyscouts!
Of course, cameras are helpful in identifying the offender after the fact.
But they are also are extremely effective (both traffic and hot spot cameras) in deterring habitual perpetrators and criminals- they know not to commit offenses where there are cameras. The habitual offender will go somewhere else but the somewhere else maybe not as good for the commission of the offense. Where cameras are less effective or not at all is in the commission of impulsive offenses, because the offender doesn't even think before she/he commits it.
There is nothing, nothing at all that's more effective than a police officer patrolling on foot. Our underpasses and stations should have cameras but only if somebody is looking at them 24/7 and in addition they should have regular random checks by police officers.
Oh puleez, give me a FREAKIN break. What a pack of HYPOCRITES. I see you all screaming bloody murder about a 'fascist state' regarding the police coverage when the Anarchists decide to march in Palo Alto, despite the fact they did destroy property (and marched in their Doc Martens and Coach purses, Anarchists my BUTT)...you scream BIG BROTHER every time you perceive that the cops are stepping on your larger than reality ideals...but now some really creepy people are coming into our City and robbing individuals and you are the first people to screech HELP WHERE ARE THE POLICE? Y'all need to make up your minds. Slam the police department at every turn then expect them to magically solve the problem of these scumbags attacking us. Great policy. Hm, disrespect, attack, then ask for help. That works. What's wrong with advising people to walk with others? That is good solid advice that has been used as a cautionary measure for years by most public safety outfits, police and ANYONE WITH GOOD SENSE. Stop whining and get proactive. Report anything you see that is out of the ordinary. I would think some chump with a baseball bat rolling through downtown would be a hint...women, walking alone at night, STUPID. Take some personal responsibility for your own behavior. Let the police do their jobs in this very difficult situation in this very difficult City where most of it's denizens treat the cops like the downstairs help.
And about the murder downtown? And Herbert Kay's murder too? See any SIMILARITIES? You all want to be so politically correct, you all wanted racial profiling to be abolished. There is a certain element invading our City, our COUNTRY, and they only bring ill will and a lack of the soceital mores to which we supposedly aspire. They have little regard for human life, and a desire to obtain what we have with a minimum of effort. Take it, by robbery or murder. Yet, you all go whining about protecting the rights of such people, keep 'handcuffing' the police department, and because of this; KNOW that you will never again be able to walk the streets of downtown Palo Alto as safely as you once did. The citizens of this City are in part, responsible for what Palo Alto is today. GROW UP. You can't have it both ways. We are under seige here, time to take extraordinary measures.
Theres and old saying; "After all is said and done, more is said than done". We can complain all day of what is not being done right by the police, but how can we really make a difference? The answer to this is simple: We as citizens of our great town need to come together to take it back. We pay a premium to live in this beautiful city. I for one will not be terrorized by these low life bottom feeders who are terrorizing us. Make no mistake about it my fellow neighbors, we are under attack. If I wanted to worry about carrying protection while being out and about and locking up my house while I'm gone down the street to get dinner, I'd cut my living expenses by 1/3 and move to the east bay. We need to send these dirtbags a very clear message: NOT IN OUR TOWN. How do we do this you ask? Simple. We have to help our police identify these people. What ever happened to community watch? If you see a vehicle or character who looks like they have no business here, guess what- they probably don't. This is still a small enough community that we know what belongs here and what doesn't. If everyone did their part of looking out for each other instead of worrying about themselves, this will stop.
Agreed! The problem is that our "community" just doesn't care anymore. I guarantee that if I went into these thugs neighborhood yielding a bat and did the same thing, I'd be surrounded by an angry mob who would tear me apart before I could say fishizzle. They look out for their own, why can't we? Wake up people!
BornAndRaised...how do you get bleeding heart liberals to agree to racial profiling?
I grew up here in the 70s while EPA was a bad area, and there wasn't as much crime then in PA. Must be the management at the PAPD?
"I'd rather have thugs who have no problem with racial profiling. Screw the niceties. Protect us."
"This is just proof that the Palo Alto police need to use more ethnic profiling. We're smart people and we should realize that the vast majority of these recent crimes have been committed by African-Americans, Hispanics, and Pacific Islanders.These groups of individuals should be more closely watched and pulled over for random searches for the safety of our town."
Wow. I wonder what the resentment level here is going to be like in thirty years when whites are a minority country-wide...
I read all the comments, with the exception of ones by the guy who ought to go get a blog or something, and, you know, Palo Alto is rich pickings, for one thing. You all have created that yourselves (for good or ought) and have to live with it. Be a little more careful. Definitely get rid of that tunnel, or think of a way to secure it.
Mike, in California, "whites" are a minority right now. Racial profiling by "whites" is ridiculous and not a little obnoxious. There's your resentment level.
The same thing happened to me about 10 years ago but I wasn't hurt, they just took my money. I started carrying a stun gun after that and ended up using it at the same exact spot. This is nothing new
So you put camera's in the tunnels. They will be stolen, or if you put them in protective plexiglass, spray painted over. Put in smaller more difficult to detect spy cams, bad resolution. Hardly enough of a picture to hold up in a criminal prosecution. Low light tunnels, infrared won't be as effective. Put the camera's on poles at the exits and entrances of these tunnels, and we have fuzzy pixillated lego people coming and going...same problem, no resolution worth a damn.
So, brilliant minds..suggestions?
Did anyone make it to the Police meeting earlier this week? Did they even acknowledge this incident ( I am not expecting any actions ! )
Did this increase in crime start when the Opportunity Center located right behind the University CalTrain station open a year ago?
The police department has been a disaster even since the current chief was installed. She is just plain incompetent and should have long since been replaced.
Now we're paying the price of political correctness.
The only way to make a community safe is to have people living in the community unwilling to tolerate crime. Then, you enlist thousands of intermediary forces ready to fight back and work with police to get the criminals behind bars. That works. The woe is me, come save us, blame the police approach doesn't. We are all police representatives the instant crime happens in our vicinity, and we need to work with the police to get the job done.
Hey Debbie, re: video cameras in the tunnels.
What about putting video cameras everywhere, on every street corner, even in every classroom & office. That way, no one can get away with anything. Freedom? Just another word for "liberalism." Debbie, maybe you might read a book (NOT the films- too ironic!), titled, "1984" and think about the ramifications of your public suggestions.
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