Crime down in East Palo Alto; police chief to host meeting tonight

Ron Davis to discuss new program to bring gang members face-to-face with community leaders, police

East Palo Alto Police Chief Ronald Davis will host a meeting Tuesday evening (Feb. 22) to discuss the progress his department has made and the challenges still to come.

Over the past five years, crime in East Palo Alto dropped considerably, department officials said.

With 120 shootings and 15 murders in 2005, the city had the fifth highest murder per-capita rate in the U.S. and the second highest in California.

2010 ended with four murders and 40 shootings, and overall crime dropped by 22 percent, police officials said.

Davis attributed this change to the department's work within the community to implement prevention intervention, and enforcement programs as well as the passing of Measure C, a public-safety parcel tax, police officials said.

He also noted that these reductions in crime were made with no increase to the department's general fund.

They did, however, use more than $9 million in grants and alternative funding to increase the number of officers in the field, advance crime analysis and technology, and launch new anti-crime initiatives, according to the department.

Davis is scheduled to report and outline the department's goals for 2011 Tuesday during the first "Chat with the Chief" meeting of the year with community members.

He plans to address the current state deficit and the national economic downturn, which has decreased the availability of grant funding while increasing the competition for these grants.

Davis will also provide an update on Operation Ceasefire and the first gang "call-in," which is scheduled for March 1.

During a call-in, known gang members are summoned to meet with the police, community leaders, and representatives from local, county, state and federal law enforcement, police officials said.

The gang members are offered the choice to either stop the violence and receive assistance from the participants of the call-in or become the primary target of law enforcement.

Tuesday's meeting will be held at 6 p.m. at East Palo Alto City Hall at 2415 University Ave.

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Posted by declines to state
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2011 at 10:35 am

This is a remarkable opportunity to participate in community services. Good for Chief Davis. I hope the Palo Alto police and human relations commission will also attend.

Like this comment
Posted by Wha?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2011 at 10:45 am

And crime is up in Palo Alto. Easy math there.

Like this comment
Posted by Member
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 22, 2011 at 11:54 am

Dear Wha? People suggest that the economic downturn is to blame for increased crime in Palo Alto and not subtly suggest that people from East Palo Alto are responsible. Your suggestion that this is easy math is in fact overly simplistic because you have not considered all the factors to your equation. Please allow me to explain something to you. Folks who live in lower income neighborhoods, such as East Palo Alto, are already accustomed to living with less. The recession is nothing new to low income families. It's just another day. To suggest that recent crimes in Palo Alto relate to the decrease in crime in East Palo Alto and ignore the measures that have been taken over several years to reduce crime in East Palo Alto, is ignorant. If 100% of the crimes committed in East Palo Alto were committed by East Palo Alto residents, I *might* consider that as a possibility, but that has never been the case. People come from other communities and commit crimes in East Palo Alto. People from outside East Palo Alto commit crimes outside our city and then come hide out in East Palo Alto. EPA is an EASY target. Be more creative and have more facts when you generalize and make rash assumptions and arrive to easy conclusions. Good people live in low income neighborhoods. Educated and intelligent people live in low income neighborhoods, and not due to necessity i.e. because we have no other choice. Your math is funny if you do not consider all the factors. Since you leave it up to math, may I offer another possible factor to your equation? Please consider the newly poor that can't handle their new economic position. That may very well be a factor in neighborhoods such as Palo Alto.

Like this comment
Posted by tiredofthebs
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 22, 2011 at 12:28 pm

Wha? What people seem to forget is that there are a lot of good hard working people and families who live in East Palo Alto. Its is the minority of trouble makers and criminals who get all the attention. When the police can target the trouble makers, that leaves the good people who we don't hear about on the news.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 22, 2011 at 2:51 pm

And let's not forget about the criminals who reside in Palo Alto who prey on people there. Drugs are a problem, too, as drug abuse drives the abusers to commit property crimes for their habit. The crime spike on the peninsula has been tied into the unfortunate increase in meth addiction, which still has many in its thrall. Sure, criminals in EPA commit crimes in other cities as well, just like criminals everywhere do the same - including Palo Alto's criminals, juvenile as well as adult. Palo Alto's wealth and disconnectedness makes for easy pickins' and it's always been that way.

Like this comment
Posted by Follow-the-Numbers
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Feb 22, 2011 at 8:22 pm

> crime is going up in Palo Alto ..

Palo Alto Part I Crimes:
Web Link

The posted crime statistics don't support that claim. The total crime incidence is lower in 2010 than in 2009. By-and-large, there has been a continuous decline in crime in Palo Alto for over twenty years.

> people come to East Palo Alto to commit crimes.

Maybe. But who's to know? Unless the police department were to release stats on resident vs non-resident crime, no one (outside the police) would know for certain.

The police departments should provide this statistic.

Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Feb 22, 2011 at 9:56 pm

Who's to know that a lot of non-residents commit crimes in EPA? Actually, a lot of the EPA residents who are plugged in do know that many outsiders come to EPA & commit crimes, from drug dealing to violent crimes to dumping. It's common knowledge as well as info available via the cops. We hear it from them at community meetings. I have personally observed arrests of out of towners committing crimes. I was also privy to info given out at community meetings and among nonprofits who partner w/law enforcement & community groups to reduce crime. It took me awhile to adjust to the fact that there are a significant number of out of towners who commit crimes in EPA. I'm not saying we don't have our share of criminals, but it was quite startling to learn how much non-resident crime occurs. You can also read it in the police logs published in the press.

Like this comment
Posted by Mr.Fischer
a resident of Menlo Park
on Feb 22, 2011 at 11:26 pm

I remember when there was hundreds of of drug abusers and alcoholics wondering the streets of EPA, only 2% active in thier addictions,...via,..."meth,heroin,..cannabis",..THANK GOD it's a lonely place (at night),..for a practicing addict. So therefore,YES people are watching the mentality of the addict before the crime occurs or committed by these very few individuals so the community is doing exactly what it should watch !!! em. Crime is down. An addict is slick and do not like to be embarrased by society. We go to sleep at night in EPA,...Palo Alto is moving at night like EPA was in the Nineties,... Now we need the government to clean up the rest of East Palo Alto. Palo Alto you wanted cheap labor now take the crime that goes with good luck with your endeaver. By the way the meeting great,GOOD JOB Chief Davis.

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