Eight new East Palo Alto police officers sworn in

Additional staffing will address crime investigations, traffic and beat patrols

The East Palo Alto Police Department will beef up its patrols, traffic enforcement and criminal investigations with eight new officers, who were sworn in during an Oath of Office Ceremony on Wednesday night at Costano School.

The new officers include: Robert Weigand, Loren Wutzke, Jose Lua Orozco, Daniel Cancilla, Travis Draeger, Kevin McAlindon, Andrew Wong and Siu Green, .

The department is budgeted for 36 sworn members, according to a police department press release. Police Chief Albert Pardini, who took the reins in 2014, said he began filling vacancies last May.

"The new officers filled vacancies in the patrol division, and the department and community will benefit by having officers assigned to each of the four police beats in the city," he said in an email to the Weekly. "During training, the new officers will rotate around the city so they learn the city and have an understanding of problems that are unique to each beat.

"After training, they will rotate through all of the beats, eventually settling into an assigned beat. By then, they will have a general understanding of the entire city and they can focus on meeting the residents of their beat and working on community policing problems," he said.

After getting the first few officers hired, Pardini was able to fill vacancies in the criminal investigations division. The department now has staffed the four budgeted positions in that division, he said.

"Bringing these officers into our ranks has allowed me to assign officers to address traffic problems in the city. While the new officers are working the beats, incumbent officers have been working on traffic and other complaints," he said.

Pardini added that he plans to "continue working with the community to solve crime and resolve quality of life issues."

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4 people like this
Posted by Creole54
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 14, 2016 at 1:35 pm

East Palo Alto is returning to the area it was in 1959. The crime didn't make history, children could play outside until the street lights came on because it was safe and everyone seem to get along. The only difference today is MORE Police needed for what crimes cause with the redevelopment, taxes and cost of housing none of the elder, children of the elders are around. East Palo Alto is a ghost town for the kids that grew up in the late 1950s through the 1980s. I just don't understand why more police for the taxpayers who lived there for years. Let's protect the rich and famous of the tech world who's changing home towns all over the Bay Area and send them to the hills or valleys.

5 people like this
Posted by dennis
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Apr 14, 2016 at 6:46 pm

This is great and much overdue good news. The "kids" of the sixties through eighties literally destroyed the city, Ravenswood High school, the grocery stores and banks, and affected crime into neighboring cities. I saw it, lived it, was the victim of it, and I hope that the increased policing of East Palo Alto will insure that the city will never return to being the "h-ll" hole it once was. I sure would like to the many residential areas with bars on every door and windows be a community that didn't need them anymore. If it takes new development to finally make the city respectable, so be it, and I am so glad of it and proud of the officers that want to take on the much needed police work that is still needed there.

Like this comment
Posted by Any more information?
a resident of Mountain View
on Apr 15, 2016 at 3:10 am

I guess the 8 additions bring the force up to the currently "budgeted" 36 sworn officers. Is that right? All 8 are male? Are any African-American or Hispanic? How many women officers are there?

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Posted by xdm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Apr 15, 2016 at 6:14 am

Robert Weigand, Loren Wutzke, Jose Lua Orozco, Daniel Cancilla, Travis Draeger, Kevin McAlindon, Andrew Wong and Siu Green Based on the names you have 1 female,2 hispanics, 1 Asian, and others.

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Posted by CitizenOfEPA
a resident of Midtown
on Apr 19, 2016 at 12:23 pm

Hmmmm...wondering if these would be the same officers who now are harassing youngsters at the parks, threatening them and pulling out their guns on them for no reason? They may be loud, play music and not look the way you might like but they for sure don't deserve the disrespect. I know these kids first hand. They were leaving the park when officers decided to call them bitches, punks etc. and then pulled out their weapons, for what? Some of them were scared because what has been going on in the news so they call their parents to come because they are afraid for their lives over and then the police leave?????

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Posted by Jack
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 6, 2016 at 4:47 pm

I recently noticed that the Palo Alto Daily Post, Police Report section, did not include East Palo Alto. It did include the surrounding towns. As a 16 year resident of EPA, I took offense, thinking it was some form of discrimination, i.e., crime there is not newsworthy. I wrote a nice and (I thought) logically persuasive email to the editor encouraging them to include EPA in their Police Report. I was surprised by the response. The news editor emailed me they didn't include EPA for 2 reasons (1) its outside their circulation area - they tried multiple times over the years to deliver papers there and the paper stands always get vandalized and they cannot find any delivery people willing to deliver in EPA (still most PA pizza places that do deliver, won't deliver to EPA); and (2) the EPA Police doesn't give the Press access as other mid-peninsula towns do - they don't have a daily activity log accessible by the press, they rarely return phone calls, and when their reporters show up at crime scenes, the police won't speak with them. The Daily Post editor said they would consider including EPA if they obtained the same Press access from the EPA Police Department, that they obtain from other towns. The editor suggested I call the relatively new police chief Al Pardini and ask him if they could do that. So I did - I called and was connected to his voicemail. I left a message over a week ago, and it has not yet been returned. Later I was told from another long-time EPA resident that prior police brass had an intentional policy of not giving access to the Press, because they wanted to wait until crime rates were down. It appears Chief Pardini is continuing this policy. To me, it doesn't help the city's reputation as regards to crime, instead, I see EPA conspicuously absent in the Police Reports and assume its because crime is so prevalent in EPA, that its not worthy of being printed about.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on May 6, 2016 at 9:25 pm

Dennis - it's not like the problems you outlined happened in a vaccuum. If you're going to take pride in the police dept., then take some responsibility for the policies, culture, attitudes and laws that helped create those problems in the first place.

As to your snotty words of "finally making the city respectable", you should be ashamed. Clearly, it's not like where you live promotes respect, understanding, or wisdom. Criminy.

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

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