EPA police triples force for New Year's Eve

'Maximum effort' to stop celebratory gunfire, department says

East Palo Alto plans to add more than three times its usual police patrols in a major effort to reduce New Year's Eve celebratory gunfire, the police department announced Wednesday (Dec. 28).

Officers will be assigned to specific areas of the city where the highest levels of gunshots and fireworks have been recorded by the ShotSpotter gunshot detection system in the past three months and last New Year's Eve.

ShotSpotter is a collection of sensors that detect and locate gunshots in seconds, sending an immediate signal along with the precise location of the shots to police dispatchers. East Palo Alto is the only city in the United States that employs ShotSpotter technology citywide, according to the department.

Officers will respond to all activations in these areas and will arrest anyone caught discharging a firearm in public. Additional officers will patrol throughout the city to maintain the peace, prevent crime and violence, and arrest drunk drivers, the department said.

"I am confident that by working together we will end 2011 safely and achieve even greater crime and violence reductions in 2012," police Chief Ronald Davis told residents in a Dec. 9 announcement.

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Like this comment
Posted by Blake
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 29, 2011 at 12:41 pm

Judging from the news coming out of East Palo Alto these days, they should triple the number of officers patrolling their streets every night of the year.

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Posted by Watcher
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 29, 2011 at 8:36 pm

Blake, respectfully, I suggest you don't believe everything that you read. The reporting is slanted - from the latest stories, it would seem that this town is full of danger, but that's just not the case. Most of what's going on now is criminal on criminal crime. If you're not a criminal, you're much less likely to run into trouble.

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Posted by Blake
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 29, 2011 at 10:46 pm

I'm sure that's true Watcher, but I would hate to get caught up in the crossfire. That will sadly be the case, respectfully, as long as there is a disproportionate number of gangs, drug dealing, and street crime in East Palo Alto. I know that the majority of your citizens are hard working and law abiding, however, the facts and circumstances cannot be rationalized away.

Like this comment
Posted by old resident
a resident of Meadow Park
on Dec 30, 2011 at 4:23 am

They will not patrol as they say, what they have been doing for a number of years is shutting the power off from residents for a few hours and that ends all partyies going on...

happy new years !!

Like this comment
Posted by Watcher
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Dec 30, 2011 at 10:53 am

How many crime victims are the ones who get caught in the crossfire? Thankfully, very few. EPA is much better than it was 15-20 years ago during the holidays. This story is one more way for the police chief to get attention, to warn the public not to misbehave and of course, to build EPA's mythology - even if that's unintentional. In many cities, people complain about the police budget being so high, but here no one blinks due to the crime rates, so headlines like these go hand in hand with that perspective.

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Posted by Blake
a resident of Crescent Park
on Dec 30, 2011 at 11:32 am

Watcher, tell that to the parents of the three month old child that was shot and killed in his car seat earlier this year. Again, with all due respect, it's hard to minimize or justify the widely disproportionate level of street crime and gang activity that still exists in your city. It wouldn't provide me with any sense of comfort or peace of mind to believe that the majority of shootings and other violent acts take place exclusively amongst criminals.

With that said, I agree with you that East Palo Alto has made some progress over the past decade in becoming a more stable, safer community. It is very apparent however that there is much more work to be done. The role of your police department and their ability to mobilize the community will undoubtedly play a pivotal role in this process. I really don't believe that your police chief is using this as just an opportunity to get attention or build a mythology, but to respond to a legitimate public safety concern. This seems like a very reasonable approach that you as a citizen should be supporting wholeheartedly.

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Posted by 2nd ammendment
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Dec 30, 2011 at 11:42 am

What's the point of owning a gun if you can't have fun with it? All those scrooges are trying to make our life miserable. It's not like I'm intentionally shooting at someone.

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