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New police auditor contract to exclude internal conflicts within department

Original post made on Dec 16, 2019

In its final meeting of the year, the Palo Alto City Council is preparing to approve a new contract with the city's independent police auditors that explicitly excludes investigations of conflicts between officers.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, December 13, 2019, 9:53 AM

Comments (4)

Posted by Joe
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2019 at 11:15 am

>In explaining its reason for excluding internal personnel matters
>from audits, the City Attorney's Office cited an interest in
>"protecting the privacy of sworn personnel so that these employees
>can do their work without concern about risk or intrusions into
>the personal and family affairs,"

This seems like a sure-fire recipe for ensuring that corruption will never see the light of day in the Palo Alto Police Department. As pointed out in today’s Post editorial—what’s to keep every complaint against police officers becoming an “HR” matter and never leaving the closed-door offices of Police commanders?
Some years ago, one Sergeant Luis Verbera was accused by one, then several, young women of being detained during a police stop and then sexually assaulting them. The Police Chief (one Pat Dwyer) at first refused to believe the first complainant—but when several young ladies came forward, he begrudgingly commenced an investigation that led to Verbera’s arrest and conviction (although he pleaded “No Contest”).

The Council (if memory serves) never discussed this matter in open Chambers. As “representatives” of the public—they stood mute. The public was only represented by the Press. For all intents and purposes—the Council is useless when it comes to police misconduct, or criminal acts committed under color of authority—as the Verbara matter demonstrated.

Luis Verbera:
Web Link

Palo Alto City Councils too often walk away from their responsibilities to the public when they take their seats on the dais—demonstrating more concern for the wellbeing of employee unions and police unions than the public. Allowing the police to tell the public what the public can, and can not know about police affairs is certainly a predictable actions of this Council – but it would not be in the public’s interests.

Posted by Anon
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Dec 16, 2019 at 12:12 pm

I understand the stated reasoning for this particular effort, but, what is missing is a clearly stated process for dealing with the elephant in the room -- actual serious misconduct by uniformed officers. And, I'm not talking about shift assignments, although that certainly could be a serious issue in some cases. Serious misconduct, like sexual harassment and misconduct, assault, threats and intimidation, and so on. We, the public, need to know that officers who can't bring themselves to behave will be dismissed. At some point, serious infractions by police need to be made public.

Posted by sbw
a resident of Menlo Park

on Dec 16, 2019 at 1:38 pm

sbw is a registered user.

Due to violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are only visible to registered users who are logged in. Use the links at the top of the page to Register or Login.

Posted by Trish Bubenik
a resident of University South
on Jan 1, 2020 at 8:13 pm

Please identify what "OIR" stands for. Thank you.

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