News

Palo Alto police officer topples light pole

Officer suffers minor injuries after driving into light pole, which then hit another car

A Palo Alto police officer drove into a light pole on Alma Street Tuesday morning, toppling the pole and causing it to hit another car.

The officer, whose name police declined to release, suffered minor injuries after the collision, which occurred at about 8:30 a.m. on Alma Street near Oregon Expressway. The officer was on duty at the time of the collision, police said.

Police said the officer's car had moderate damage while the other vehicle had minor damage. The occupant of the other car wasn't injured, he said.

Police are still investigating the cause of the crash.

— Palo Alto Online staff

Comments

Like this comment
Posted by JT
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2011 at 9:56 am

Why isn't the cop named? Any of us non-cops do a boo boo like this, and our name goes out. Special rules for cops?


Like this comment
Posted by PA Resident
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:00 am

I was hit by a cop a few years ago while making a legal maneuver -- turning right when I had a green light. Somehow the officer who investigated the incident (from Menlo Park -- PA cops don't investigate their own accidents) figured out a way to make it my fault. It took me 2 years to get that off my record, but I also incurred numerous physical injuries that I had to pay for out of my own pocket (including 2 surgeries and a LOT of physical therapy).

I'm sure that, somehow, this accident will be blamed on the poor sap who just happened to be in the way of the pole that the PA cop hit.


Like this comment
Posted by Big Al
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:05 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:13 am

Wonder who pays for the damage in a case like this? Let's assume that this vehicle-pole "collision" turns out to be the officer's fault. Will he be expected to pay, or does this become an "accident in the line of duty" and the taxpayers pick up the tab (one way or another)?


Like this comment
Posted by Andrea
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:14 am

Big Al, let me guess are you a comedian in your spare time?

To all of you who LOVE to jump to conclusions you have no idea what happened. For all you know the officer was rushing to a call with wet roads from the rain to thank some thankless civilian like you and got into a minor accident.

I think the main thing here is how great it is that no one was seriously hurt.


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:20 am

Where do we upload photos? I took a couple while on my morning walk.


Like this comment
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:24 am

We all have accidents. Happy he/she is ok. Probably they held back the name because so many people in this City treat our City employees like indentured servants.


Like this comment
Posted by coverup
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:26 am

Very easy to jump to conclusions about a coverup when the PAPD refuses to name the officer.


Like this comment
Posted by sue
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:27 am

Agree with JT & Big Al. I saw a cop once cut thru a corner gas station to avoid waiting behibnd other cars for a green light to make his right turn. Ran over an elderly pedestrian. His name never got in the papers either.

OT should be banned. Pilots have work time limits & mandatory rest intervals. Cops should too.


Like this comment
Posted by sue
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:32 am

I disagree with Enough. PA city employees are very well paid, with generous retirement plans & get expensive benefits as well as lots of holidays, for which they are paid extra if they work. How does this make them "indentured servants"? For what they get, there should be some hustle.


Like this comment
Posted by Resident
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:33 am

I am so glad nobody got hurt from this accident.

I did find this highly amusing, particularly in light of the comments I expected to read.

I hope that when this cause is discovered that it will be disclosed to the public. The fact that this cop was on duty means nothing unless he had his emergency lights on, otherwise he should be driving the same as the rest of us and treated as such. If he was on his computer at the same time as driving, his radio, or anything else distracting him, it should be treated the same as if he was on his cell phone.


Like this comment
Posted by the watcher
a resident of another community
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:52 am


While it is a relief that the officer did not sustain life threatening injuries, not posting his name is a priviledge that few have. IMO, the officer's name should be posted. Are police officers
exempted from the freedom of information act(The Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) is a federal law that allows for the full or partial disclosure of previously unreleased information and documents...etc).
If we tax payers are allowed the city's taxable responsibility to foot the medical cost of the officer's injuries and time off from work, why are we not privy to his/her name. Inquiring minds wish/want/need to know.
Well here's an after thought under the Freedom of Information act regarding law enforcement officers: records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes, but only to the extent that the production of such law enforcement records or information (A) could reasonably be expected to interfere with enforcement proceedings, (B) would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication, (C) could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, (D) could reasonably be expected to disclose the identity of a confidential source, including a State, local, or foreign agency or authority or any private institution which furnished information on a confidential basis, and, in the case of a record or information compiled by a criminal law enforcement authority in the course of a criminal investigation or by an agency conducting a lawful national security intelligence investigation, information furnished by a confidential source, (E) would disclose techniques and procedures for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions, or would disclose guidelines for law enforcement investigations or prosecutions if such disclosure could reasonably be expected to risk circumvention of the law, or (F) could reasonably be expected to endanger the life or physical safety of any individual.
Per-chance the accidentee fits under one of the exemptions.


Like this comment
Posted by Linda
a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:02 am

It was my husband's truck that was struck by the light pole, causing damage to the cab roof and the lumber racks. He was not hurt, just inconvenienced by the work time lost, having to completely empty the truck (which houses tools, storage, and paperwork necessary for his business) to get the necessary repairs, and the time it takes to get those repairs. PAPD took full responsiblity, but I doubt they'd recover more than the physical damages.


Like this comment
Posted by Tyler Hanley
digital editor of Palo Alto Online
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:09 am

Tyler Hanley is a registered user.

Nayeli:

You can add your photos to the online photo gallery by clicking the link below. We can then add them to the story, if you'd like, giving you full credit for the photos. You can also e-mail them to me if you'd prefer (thanley@paweekly.com).

Link to photo gallery:

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by John
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:26 am

I hope the cop was not talking on the cell phone, otherwise he should get a citation for that.


Like this comment
Posted by Enough!
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:26 am

@Sue: Go on a ride along with the PAPD and see for yourself the supercilious condescending attitude that many exhibit to our officers. Talk to a City crew and see if they will give you an honest answer. There is a term for Palo Alto attitude, but the Weekly deletes it whenever it's used in this forum...but the fact there IS one shows where there is smoke....and yes, they are well paid. How much do you think YOUR life is worth? In the case of the PD, losing your life is a very real possibility, far more than most jobs.


Like this comment
Posted by carlito waysman
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:40 am


Obviously there are some public servants that strongly believe in keeping information secret from the public(taxpayers) they serve, of all of them, what troubles me the most is the " I am above the Law" and " I know what is the best for you" attitude that law enforcement agencies and their officers exhibit. In my opinion the Laws should be specially applied to their full extent to all employees of Law Enforcement Departments, of all of us citizens of this great country, they are the ones(other than lawyers)who know the codes, ordinances, laws etc, and how to defeat them; point in case, remember how many times they been trying to cover each others butts when they ran afoul of the same laws they get nicely paid to enforce? How about the time a cop stops an off duty cop for a DUI, and the wayno cop refuses to take a sobriety test and breath test; his reason was that he knew that the sobriety test is rigged and didn't want to go with the breath test which would incriminate him, talk about knowing the system to defeat it, the other cop lets him go with a ticket for reckless driving, except that a citizen saw it and followed up with inquiries later on, that is how it made it into the press.

One of the reasons why they not release officers names to the public is due that the cops union is strongly against it, as always the public employees union are the ones who have the last word.

There is a female cop in the Palo Alto Police Dept that has the knack for eating a big size burrito while cruising down Alma st, I had seen her at least 2 times doing the same thing, I wouldn't mind if she was in her private car.


Like this comment
Posted by mom
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:41 am

like others here, i am glad no one was seriously injured.

i would like to comment on the driving habits of the palo alto police.
in my own observation, they believe they do not have to adhere to the law.

while i was driving with my son (he was practicing to get his license) on 2 separate occasions he commented on their poor driving skills. one officer did not use his turn signal (not great for a new driver to see). the other time the officer did not come to a complete stop at a stop sign.
(on both occasions the officer was not responding to a call, although i feel that is no excuse for not using a turn signal which could have caused an accident)

we all know we would have received moving violation tickets for these infractions. i had no answer for my son when he questioned the lack of respect for the law my a law enforcement officer.


Like this comment
Posted by Jim Garry
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:41 am

Has anyone else noticed that the PA cops are always talking on cell phones while driving. I guess that in addition to being able to have their name withheld when they mess up, they also get to break the laws that they are supposed to enforce.

No wonder so many people are hostile towards them. The double standards are Orewellian.
"The creatures outside looked from pig to man, and from man to pig, and from pig to man again; but already it was impossible to say which was which."[Animal Farm]


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:41 am

Glad nobody was seriously hurt. I heard the officer was on his way to clear a shopping cart off the roadway that was reported further down Alma.

I'm not completely sure, but I believe the officer is same one who saved the injured motorist that hit the tree on San Antonio last December. If so, he deserves a break. He and a passer-by put of the small fire, pulled the injured man from the car and performed CPR on the driver, saving his life.


Like this comment
Posted by tired of the BS
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:51 am

You guys are hilarious, do you always look to find fault with the police?

Okay they did not list the officer's name. I don't ever recall reading the name of the driver involved in an accident unless it was one where someone was arrested, such as a DUI. Considering there will probably be some type of review by the officer's superiors, they cannot disclose his name while there is a pending investigation. This is normal, it happens with all police incidents, and they say so in every article, so please don't act surprised.

All that being said, it is not unusual for people who drive for a living to have a higher number of accidents. Taxi drivers, delivery drivers, police officers, etc... They are on the road more often. Accidents happen, it is not a crime.


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:54 am

@ Tyler Hanley:

Thanks! I uploaded one of the pics that I took from my cell phone camera while out on my morning stroll.


Like this comment
Posted by Dunkin'
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:57 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Andrea
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 16, 2011 at 12:15 pm

Honestly you people are ridiculous, no one respects the police anyone. @Sue-I would love to see what kind of high-horse you are riding on.

This was an accident…..A-C-C-I-D-E-N-T…….the fact that everyone has spent their morning complaining about an officer running into a pole is ludicrous. You complain and complain but if anything happens I bet 911 is the 1st number you call.

Try a little respect Palo Alto because this is EMBARSSING!


Like this comment
Posted by svatoid
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 16, 2011 at 12:18 pm

"Honestly you people are ridiculous, no one respects the police anyone."

Read what is happening in SF now with the undercover cops--then you will understand why people do not respect the police anymore.
The officers name should be made public. Period.


Like this comment
Posted by Andrea
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 16, 2011 at 12:26 pm

I am pretty sure I am reading about an officer in Palo Alto @ svatoid....so if you have such an issue don't go to SF.

Lumping all officers is a sign of ignorance.....


Like this comment
Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2011 at 12:26 pm

> everyone has spent their morning complaining about an officer
> running into a pole is ludicrous

Most people here are not complaining about the fact that the officer hit a pole, but they are commenting on the secrecy surrounding the identify of police officers who are involved in traffic accidents here in PA.

To the lady whose husband was involved: Do you know the name of the officer? If so, why haven't you identified him to us?


Like this comment
Posted by Wondering?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Mar 16, 2011 at 12:28 pm

> Lumping all officers is a sign of ignorance.....

Then how come police officers from coast-to-coast get "the blue flu" from time-to-time? If they aren't similar, why is it that this "infection" is so contagious?


Like this comment
Posted by svatoid
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 16, 2011 at 12:31 pm

"Lumping all officers is a sign of ignorance....."
I gave an example of why people, in general, do not respect the ploice
We have had incidents in PA, as well as incidents in other cities.
The police close ranks and think they are above the law--it happens everywhere.
[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] They feel that the law does not apply to them. When they are caught they hide behind their union reps.


Like this comment
Posted by Les
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 16, 2011 at 1:05 pm

This sounds like a simple accident. I can't believe the level of disrespect or understanding that goes on in this forum regarding the police. More examples of petty sniping, cyber-bravdao, and how the least informed are often the loudest critics. The police aren't perfect, they are going to make mistakes, and are prone to the same human weakness that we all are. They are also held to a much higher public standard than most, as they should be. You've never read a headline that says "Software Engineers Topples a Light Pole."

For those that speak in absolutes, such as, "no one respects the police", well that simply is not true. I believe the vast majority of people do, and in anyone who covers their statement with "no one, or none, or all, is simply revealing their lack of understanding and balance. Some officers make mistakes, even ones that are serious and tragic, but the vast majority are caring, dedicated, and professional men and women.

As for the privacy issue, which appears in this case as a fairly minor situation, I do not believe that the officer's name needs to be published. No different than anyone else. I do not recall seeing the names of drivers being published for minor incidents, and it should be no different in this case, and please spare us the conspiracy and cover-up theories. If you think this merits a cover-up, then you need to stop watching so much TV and get a dose of realtiy.

Fact is the police, even here in what you may perceive to be sleepy Palo Alto, are faced with more than their share of challenges and difficult, dangerous situations. I would venture to say that many of their critics would be unqualified and unwilling to take on the responsibilities that they so freely mock and criticize, never once thinking how demoralizing that can of disrespect can be.

A ride-along through the citizen's academy, in just one shift, met the PA officers with a teen suicide, death notifications to the parents and family, the arrest of armed suspects in a robbery, the search of house robbers running and hiding throughout a neighborhood, injury accidents, and other calls involving domestic violence and people with mental disorders.

Again, the police are not perfect, but in the grand scheme I feel very fortunate to have the kind of men and women we have representing Palo Altans on our police department. They do a tremendous job overall and I choose to express what I believe represents the silent majority.


Like this comment
Posted by Les
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 16, 2011 at 1:19 pm

Svatoid, fact is the police are held to a much higher standard of professionalism that I'm sure you and I and most will ever be. The scrutiny and qualification for hire and retention is rigorous. You state that police departments are comprised of ignorant people, however the facts reveal that the police department is made up of those holding college and advanced degrees.

You may have your opinion, no doubt. I choose to put a different take on your claim that people become police officers because they cannot integrate into the regular work force. I smile and reply, I am grateful for and respect those who have the unique ability to seek a career beyond what most of us would be unwilling to consider ourselves. If that separates them somehow, then again, for that I am grateful.


Like this comment
Posted by Nayeli
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2011 at 1:22 pm

Yes, I agree that this was nothing more than a simple accident. There is no reason to make a mountain out of a molehill.

Our local policemen deserve our respect rather than our suspicion or scorn. They have a job that is often granted less respect than is deserved.

Instead of lumping all of the policemen into an often flawed stereotype, why not buy them lunch sometime? I imagine that their jobs would be easier if they believed that the community is behind them.

While you're at it, why not purchase lunch for a veteran? Those men and women are in jobs that don't pay very well -- but we all benefit from their service. After all, a little act of kindness can go a long way.


Like this comment
Posted by Midtown guy
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2011 at 1:23 pm

What is wrong with you people?? So what if the officer's name was not included in the story? It's not a big deal. It is not a state secret. I'm sure they know who it is. What would it help you to know his name? How would you be better informed if you read that the officer's name was "Bob Smith"? Suppose I know who he is and I am telling you now his name is "Bob Smith" Does that make you feel better??

I think some of you are secretly hoping his name is "Juan Garcia" or "Vincent Wong" or "Betty Chan" so you have something else to comment on!


Like this comment
Posted by svatoid
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 16, 2011 at 1:25 pm

"Svatoid, fact is the police are held to a much higher standard of professionalism that I'm sure you and I and most will ever be. "
If only they were held to a higher standard, then we would not have issues arising with police misconduct. Truth is police hold themselves to their own standards which are way different than for other people

"why not buy them lunch sometime? "
I thought police are not allowed to accept gifts from people.


Like this comment
Posted by Mr. Ironic
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2011 at 1:26 pm

Wow, nice to see some PA residents aren't happy with the police's special treatment. One thing EPA and PA can both agree about. I work in Menlo Park and often see cops driving while talking on cell phones and one almost ran me and another lady over as he talked on his cell phone as we were crossing the street (in a marked crosswalk) on Santa Cruz Ave near Starbucks. I stuck my arm out to block the lady from continuing and by the time the cop stopped the front of his car blocked the crosswalk and his side mirror was literally half a foot from my waist. The cop then motioned for us to cross with an angry face and we both declined and refused to continue until he drove past. I can understand if he had his lights or sirens on and was responding to a call but he was just cruising talking on his cell phone. I grew up in EPA in the 80's before they fired the whole police force so i've seen my fair share of shady cop activity. They are above the law IMO.


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 16, 2011 at 1:44 pm

My brother was once hit by a Menlo cop while walking his bike in the crosswalk when he was a kid. The cops didn't even replace the bike. I constantly see PA cops on their cell phones while driving. Maybe they're exempted from the law? But it seems safer for everyone if they use a headset.

Accidents do happen, but it's when people are aware of coverups that they become suspicious, even if there is not coverup, such as the cop's name not being made public.

PA Resident, it was a real bummer to read about what happened to you. I am very sorry for your pain, discomfort & related problems from that accident - not to mention the coverup & manipulations.

I have unfortunately witnessed & experienced bad PAPD behavior, to a surprising degree. Some of it was just lame thoughtlessness & some of it was deliberately nasty, unnecessary behavior, such as from former officers Benaderet & Verbera.

Hey, the SM County sheriff who got busted in the hooker raid w/the undersheriff came from PAPD, as did the undersheriff.

Cops have to continually be held to a higher standard & the public has to learn to be a bit tolerant of real accidents - a difficult balance.


Like this comment
Posted by Bruce
a resident of Greater Miranda
on Mar 16, 2011 at 1:45 pm

In a more general sense, it happens so often than government agencies say they can't release the name of an employee in an adverse situation because it's a "personnel matter." What is this, written into the Constitution or something? Of course, private companies do the same thing. "It's a personnel matter." But government employees work for us, so we should know who's involved.


Like this comment
Posted by Bruce L.
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 16, 2011 at 4:26 pm

FYI, there is an exemption for the use of cell phones and viewing of computer screens while driving for on-duty law enforcement officers. Look it up in the California Vehicle Code if your uninformed about the law. And when was the last time a minor traffic collision, with no injuries, made the local news, with the names of the involved parties. Cops have historically been the target of public scrutiny of those not satisfied with the "government" because they are the most visible representation of our "government". But they are also the first ones you call when you are the victim of a crime or in need of immediate help. I'm glad nobody was seriously hurt and hope the officer has a long and successful career, writing tickets, making arrests and keeping Palo Alto safe!


Like this comment
Posted by Linda
a resident of Menlo Park
on Mar 16, 2011 at 4:41 pm

No, I do not know the officer's name.


Like this comment
Posted by Food for thought ...
a resident of College Terrace
on Mar 16, 2011 at 6:37 pm

Ever wondered - We have given police so much power - we are really a "Police State". Please comment only if you are familiar with the definition of "Police state"



Like this comment
Posted by Gaston O
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2011 at 6:50 pm

My wife was driving behind the patrol car that crashed yesterday at the intersection of Oregon and Alma.

She was driving from Page Mill to the underpass and then turned right to take Alma to the south, heading home. As she was going to the underpass she noticed the patrol car turning towards Alma south. She slowed down a bit. And after tuning right about 50 ft behind the patrol car. She saw how the patrol car veered a bit to the right and slammed the light pole. The pole and wires came crashing down between the patrol car and her car. She stopped. she dialed 911 to report the crash. She saw that the officer was conscious. And then slowly advanced to take Alma. She did not stopped due to the fact that she is 9 months pregnant and her due date is any day now.

She thinks that the cause of the crash was that the officer was distracted either by the phone or the on board computer, since the patrol car was moving at very slow speed.

I hope the investigation is completed and fair... My wife and unborn son were 5 feet from ending in the ER due to this distraction.


Like this comment
Posted by Pissed
a resident of Charleston Meadows
on Mar 16, 2011 at 6:55 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.] Didn’t you learn in life to have respect for the people who protect you? Comments above make me SICK. You have no clue what these officers go through on a daily work basis.

These men and women who are officers in our town go to work and risk their lives for US. AGAIN, please don’t call them when you need help. I would like my husband home more often than working overtime to protect you.


Like this comment
Posted by KIDDING ME
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 16, 2011 at 8:38 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Like this comment
Posted by Gaston O
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:02 pm

I find interesting that the people who post rants and attacks do not choose to use their real names.

Just think how different your comments would have been if the headline was: "Pregnant Palo Alto woman ends up in the hospital due to an officer distraction"


Like this comment
Posted by Les
a resident of Charleston Gardens
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:23 pm

And Hmmm, exactly what are you basing your perception of what the police do in PA? Have you attended the citizen's academy, have you bothered to look at any data, have you had any personal conversations or experience with any of the officers, have you been on a ride-along. I'm guessing no. More biased comments from someone with an axe to grind. Again, the loudest critics are usually the least informed.


Like this comment
Posted by SafetyAddict
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:24 pm

Truly, I certainly don't want to get in a car crash, and especially as a pedestrian. We ALL need to keep important things in mind regarding SAFETY. Lives are busy and some push it too far, and get tired, frustrated, etc. Sometimes you just need to slow down, take a big deep breath if traffic is driving you crazy, or stop for a quick soda or coffee. It is NOT worth having a crash!! Anyone at the Trauma Center would support that fact I AM SURE.


Like this comment
Posted by PA resident
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 16, 2011 at 10:57 pm

...."Forced to work O.T for us, rather than being at home with their familiies"... for us?? are you kidding me, be real. Working over time making MEGABUCKS as a Police Officer in the City of PA,is a privilege that is not extended to the average worker anywhere. I know it won't happen in a million years but just wondering if he was given the breathalyzer before he was allow to signed off his shift, as they do it to the average civilian during the most insignificant accident. Per the news paper, he was not responding to any call at the time of the accident.

Just one man's opinion. (shared by many)


Like this comment
Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Mar 16, 2011 at 11:07 pm

Hey Les, just because I don't agree w/you doesn't mean I have an axe to grind or am misinformed. My sarcastic comment was to the poster who acted as if PAPD work their fingers to the bone, which they do not.

Yes, I know a number of PA officers & have watched them for many years do their jobs, incl when I was a long time resident of PA. I have been on several ridealongs & did volunteer work which involved being trained by PAPD. Like many people, I have had both positive & negative experiences w/PAPD. Some of the best officers I knew are now retired & of course, some of the worst were forced out or fired, thankfully. I still know a number of them, from rookies to the old timers. I also find abuses by these authorities inexcusable, whether it's Greg Munks & his pal visiting a nasty, illegal bordello or a cop truly using unnecessary force or lying about a political activist.

I have been pretty surprised on a number of occasions about how lame they were in PA, made obvious, dumb mistakes & were lazy, complacent & looked the other way when they shouldn't have. I also wonder about some of their closing ranks on questionable acts committed by other officers. This isn't to say all of them did these things all of the time, but enough of them have done it enough of the time that I have noticed & made note of it. I would prefer not to have had these experiences & suspicions because I am generally pro-law enforcement & have a number of close friends in law enforcement, incl city, county & federal levels. But it's also because of my knowledge, relationships, training & experience that I am at times a more cautious supporter of law enforcement. Obviously, living in EPA, being a supporter of law enforcement has, in my informed opinion, kept me safer.

I think the mistake made here was a rookie one, caused by radio or computer distraction, perhaps not, but indeed, a rookie mistake that luckily didn't have dire consequences. I also believe that some personnel privacy is important for city employees, espec in an instance when no one was hurt. I would love to NOT see cops driving w/cell phones glued to their ears, though.

And yes, I have been through the citizens' academy & while it's educational, it's also a tool for PR, which I am very careful about buying into.

Sometimes the critics you need to pay attention to understand the complexities of the profession being discussed better than most & that's why they don't believe in either extreme, but that patterns mean that attention should be paid.

I suggest that instead of rushing to judge what a poster here says, you reserve your judgement & politely ask why they think what they do. There are opinions & there are informed opinions; we're entitled to both, but it's easier to respect the latter. I am more informed than the general populace, for reasons I won't disclose here.


Like this comment
Posted by M
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Mar 17, 2011 at 12:30 am

Lighten up, accidents happen. Police officers are humans too.


Like this comment
Posted by Anon.
a resident of Crescent Park
on Mar 17, 2011 at 12:51 am

I wonder if it was the same guy who flipped his car a while back?
Kind of hard to search back in these message boards, but there was a police officer that flipped his car some time back.


Like this comment
Posted by missing Accident report
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Mar 17, 2011 at 3:15 am

Posted by Anon., a resident of the Crescent Park neighborhood, 2 hours ago

I wonder if it was the same guy who flipped his car a while back?


Kind of hard to search back in these message boards, but there was a police officer that flipped his car some time back.


------------------------------

Ur right i was looking if someone was going to mention that, i never saw any posting or newspaper relating to that of a sunday morning flip over, this car must have veered off from san antonio headed to 101, looks as before it headed to the overpass it just missed it and went literally downhill flipping and landing in the on the freeway.

i was driving north bound 101, unless i was seeing a filming of a movie or movie props, this accident did occur...but yet nothing read about the next few weeks after the accident...

there does need to be some cut backs on OT or there sould be a cap on OT given to officers each month...believe me it does wear and tear a person, they might be less grouchy also


Like this comment
Posted by Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Mar 17, 2011 at 10:48 am

Not sure which accident you're referencing. Earlier this year, a CHP patrol car flipped on San Antonio at 101 on a rainy Sunday morning. I don't think PAPD even did traffic control at that incident, although PAFD dropped by to check on the officer.


Like this comment
Posted by MIA
a resident of South of Midtown
on Mar 17, 2011 at 7:59 pm

missing accident report---I would be grumpy if I had to deal with all the type of people that write these horrible comments, especially those who think they know what other people's problems are and how to fix them. Maybe this was just an accident. We have bigger problems, budget, etc to deal with right now in our town than an accident. Let's put things in perspective here....


Like this comment
Posted by Fed Up With it
a resident of Midtown
on Mar 18, 2011 at 1:34 pm

Palo Alto online is a very substandard source of news, covering up the names of the officers in the majority of the articles where police are involved. Also not posting the pictures that someone sent, it would have made this article just a little more up to par, but no... Just living in this city where things that are a concern to the citizens of this town are just covered up. Where 'mistakes' made by police officers are just a.o.k and shouldn't be punishable. A lot of this is not making much sense to me, what is Palo Alto online getting for withholding the names of officers? Nothing but a good amount of harsh criticism, and a negative reputation for for writing incomplete and misinforming articles. Complete facts or none at all, and what type of online news source allows commenting but deletes all comments they don't like? I go on SFgate and I don't see them deleting any comments. You guys need to work on a couple things, if you want to take pride in what you do.


Like this comment
Posted by Antoine Dodson
a resident of another community
on Mar 19, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Last I checked, federal law supercedes the general public's curiosity. He was injured. He is entitled to privacy under HIPAA. Knowing his name will serve no purpose to anyone.

Web Link


Like this comment
Posted by OY!
a resident of St. Claire Gardens
on Mar 19, 2011 at 3:08 pm

OY! To those concerned citizens, there is no local, state, or federal law that prohibits law enforcement officers from talking on their cell phones while driving or otherwise while on duty. Goosfraba....


Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

He said – she said – who is lying? Justice Brett Kavanaugh or PA resident Christine Ford
By Diana Diamond | 71 comments | 3,334 views

Global Warming Diet
By Laura Stec | 6 comments | 1,351 views

Couples: "Taming Your Gremlin" by Richard Carson
By Chandrama Anderson | 0 comments | 1,237 views

Preparing for kindergarten
By Cheryl Bac | 0 comments | 684 views

 

Pre-registration ends today!

​On Friday, September 21, join us at the Palo Alto Baylands for a 5K walk, 5K run, 10K run, or—for the first time—half marathon! All proceeds benefit local nonprofits serving children and families.

Learn More