Posted by Anna, a resident of the University South neighborhood, on Sep 26, 2007 at 9:23 pm
What in the world is going on in our town?! Seems like every other day, we have a major crime in town. The woman hit in the face and robbed downtown. The Safeway. Tiffany's at Stanford.....
Is this another result of our City Council focusing on everything except the basics of running a small town government? The streets are in awful shape. We can't build a library, it seems. Finances are in shambles...and the police can't seem to protect us from violent crime.
But we do have an environmental commissioner...and we might take over the airport...
Posted by Answer, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Sep 27, 2007 at 11:11 am
I agree. I can't really care much about the Mandarin Immersion topics or how green we are when there are major crimes in our town. Does anyone really say to themselves "This is Palo Alto, and that kind of stuff doesn't happen here." anymore? This town isn't Mayberry and it sits in close proximity to areas that are agreed by all to have large crime problems. I suggest we put more cops on the street and make sure our citizens know to not bother them with the trivial stuff. If our residents need to call someone about noise complaints or leaf blowers, I suggest the City needs more non-police officer code enforcement type folks. That way the cops can just be cops and hopefully catch the bad guys.
Posted by Mike, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Sep 27, 2007 at 11:50 am
We need more coordination between municipalities, relative to public safety (and other issue, but that's another post).
For instance, we should not be letting the EPA police department handle their far more significant crime and ganag problems by themselves. The only way this region will be successful is if we find more powerful ways to coordinate our actions, create efficiencies, and work as a team. It's a challenge, but we'd better be up to it, or we will see criminals taking advantage of gaps in the system.
Posted by Resident, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 27, 2007 at 11:58 am
I strongly agree with Answer. Our police should be policing and keeping PA safe. Yes, we need road safety officers and those who can deal with what I can petty nuisance laws (the ones that if we were nice to each other we wouldn't have to have) and the like. Can't we have a two tier police system, those who deal with civil disobedience and those that stop and fight crime.
Posted by janet, a resident of the College Terrace neighborhood, on Sep 27, 2007 at 12:47 pm
I thought it was just me thinking the crime rate must be going thru the roof. I would like to know why this is happening and what is going to be done about it.
Unfortunately, it seems to me that it coincides with the current police chief arriving. I hope that is not the case. But the racist incident against the Chinese-America happened on her watch, and she did not seem very disturbed about it. It makes me question her judgment.
Posted by Peter, a resident of the Southgate neighborhood, on Sep 27, 2007 at 7:20 pm
It might be instructive to check the crime statistics. From my cursory research, up to 2006 crime in Palo Alto was well below national rates. I suspect it remains there, despite some fluctuations that probably mirror national trends.
Posted by Danny, a resident of the Old Palo Alto neighborhood, on Sep 27, 2007 at 7:40 pm
The fact that Palo Alto is well below national crime rates is of very little relevance to those of us who moved here in part because we thought the police protected us against the random violent crime we are seeing more of in the papers - especially if the crime rate is increasing.
I have lived here for 30 years. We have had fluctuations in crime. And we had the horrible College Terrace Rapist 20 years ago. But the current spate of crimes seems much more pervasive. The man who was brutally beaten a few months ago while walking through a residential neighborhood at night never would have happened a while back.
I don't know the cause. But I do think the theory that the Council is putting more emphasis on feel-good global issues and ignoring what it takes to run a city makes some sense.
Posted by Ed, a resident of the Downtown North neighborhood, on Sep 28, 2007 at 1:44 am
If the city council and the pro-criminal activist stopped "handcuffing" our police department and allowed the department to hire more officers, maybe I would feel safer. I think the council has wasted enough money with the ridiculous taser task force and police auditor. With that money we could hire a community service officer to handle the "minor" calls instead of sending a police officer to mediate two neighbors who can't get along.
Posted by Me, a resident of the Fairmeadow neighborhood, on Sep 28, 2007 at 10:48 am
As annoying as the cops are w/their often-petty traffic stops, how do you folks suggest they stop crime before it happens? How do you know how much they prevent? There's no way to measure that. Violent crime in PA isn't that high. A deli getting robbed isn't unusual at all. No one was hurt. While it's not close to being ok, robberies happen. Predators are everywhere, and the police cannot be.
Posted by Danny, a resident of the Professorville neighborhood, on Sep 28, 2007 at 11:02 am
Violent Crime in Palo Alto, may not be "that high", but casual observation seems to indicate it's getting worse. Every day, another merchant or citizen is robbed, beaten or threatened, it seems.Web Link
Do we need to become like New York City in the 70's before we stop being blase about cime to the extent that we say, "robberies happen".
Robberies happen in part because the police aren't effective in stopping them. There is copious law enforcement knowledge about effective ways to prevent crime.
If the city council told our police department to focus on that, rather than responding to politically motivated audits, if they closed the Opportunity Center freeing up police resources that are spent there, and if citizens would show some intolerance for the increase in crimes, we'd go a long way toward making our city safer.
Posted by Terry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 28, 2007 at 12:53 pm
Casual observation can sometimes be misleading, so it would be great to have stats. The city web site's link to police stats is a dead link. The info on the site only goes up to 2005. And of course, it needs to be in the context of towns around here, since social/economic trends often drive crime independent of local actions.
Posted by Terry, a resident of the Midtown neighborhood, on Sep 28, 2007 at 2:53 pm
Thanks Peter, that is very helpful, as it shows both YTD vs. YTD last year and this month vs. this month last year.
Looks like residential and auto burglary is down YTD (by a lot), as is larceny and auto theft. Commercial burglary and robbery is about flat. Commercial vs. same month last year is up, but the monthly stat I image is prone to fluctuation.
Traffic citations are way down for the month and YTD - did they have have had a push on last year?
Overall, it does not appear that we are experiencing an increase in crime...
Posted by k, a resident of the Duveneck/St. Francis neighborhood, on Sep 28, 2007 at 7:42 pm
The San Jose Mercury News (which I used to read) used to have articles comparing peninsula and south bay cities with regards to crime statistics(per capita). I just recall that my old city, Sunnyvale, as well as San Jose rated better than Palo Alto with regards to crime...maybe someone is up to date on this type of comparative analysis of crime in cities in our region?
Posted by Mayfield Child, a resident of the Green Acres neighborhood, on Sep 29, 2007 at 9:16 pm
NO, No, No, robbery happens people because the money is plentiful on this section of the map.....Times are getting hard for the underdogs and they WILL come looking for a bone...
I have suggested in the past that the police dept. here in Palo Alto start up the old FLATFOOT PATROL. Let the police get acquainted and know the local merchants (by name!), also the occasional passerbyers and those in our neighborhoods in general.
AM I WRONG?????????? I don't think so. How about it, new Chief??
Posted by c me around, a resident of the Ventura neighborhood, on Oct 24, 2007 at 12:38 am
It's called armed robbery...minimum 5 years prison time if I'm correct on that. Wish it was more.
Wouldn't you think that the mere presence of a policeman (with his gun in tote, of course) would make a person have second thoughts about committing ANY crime???????
The last horrific robbery crime that ended in a death in Palo Alto was caused by a gang drive-by who attacked a jogger..ironically only two blocks from the police station, at night. THAT was a satistic from hell. Hard to clarify how THAT one could have been avoided.....