Posted by IncreasethePoliceNow, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2012 at 9:34 am
Downtown Palo Alto has become very popular, like so many other cities that become popular along with that popularity more people are drawn to the downtown. There is a low police presence in our downtown. Police should increase the presence now early on to discourage this type of activity from growing. Getting a handle on the increased activity now may discourage more latter keeping the area safe for everyone for the long term.
Posted by Phil, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Mar 31, 2012 at 10:41 am
The demands that draw the police downtown, especially on weekend nights, are numerous. Not only is the downtown/north side of Palo Alto the area that generates the most calls, it is also where they experience the majority of violent incidents, fights, and drunken, destructive behavior. Anticipating those needs, the police department naturally provide a greater coverage of the downtown area, especially during the peak activity times. Having been on police ride-alongs through the Citizen's Academy, I can tell you first hand that the police maintain a presence throughout the city, despite their limited resources and staffing. For example, the police department already operates with 15-20% less officers than they did twenty years ago, and that doesn't include the 14 or so positions that they're trying to fill.
At night the officers operate at or near minimum staffing most of the time. That means 1 supervisor and 5 officers at its lowest level. Assuming that all of those officers are available and not already preoccupied, one can see how limited their resources are, especially if they have to deal with a significant incident.
At least for the time being the police department is having to do more with less. Budget cuts have already eliminated many positions and special assignments that in the past would have been utilized to combat the house burglaries we've been experiencing and a myriad of other special problems.
Posted by Prevent, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Apr 1, 2012 at 7:10 am
The violent incidents downtown speak for themselves. They appear to be more fequent and the community is noticing.
We need police presence not only for incident calls, we need tpolice presence on our streets to detour crime before it becomes worse. Other cities that grow in good ways and get popular also attract crime with time, addressing the crime now before it gets out of hand is worth the price.
Posted by Phil, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Apr 2, 2012 at 3:58 pm
Every additional witness is desired in order to build the strongest case possible, especially in the case of a serious crime like a robbery. Witnesses aren't always confined to inside the store either. There may have also been a witness outside, or just down the street, that might have noticed what type of car the suspect was driving. That's the hell the police might need more witnesses for.