Town Square

Police hunt for groper following afternoon assault

Original post made on Sep 13, 2012

A Stanford University student became the most recent victim in a series of sexual assaults by a groper on Wednesday afternoon.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, September 13, 2012, 5:47 PM


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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 14, 2012 at 9:21 am

While the City of Palo Alto continues on its hard-to-understand campaign to build a huge police building, there seems to be nothing in the way of this same police department demonstrating how this big building will reduce crime in our town.

The FBI is, on the other hand, using technology to create a large database of biometric data that will be useful in indentifying suspects of crimes from data that has not been used in the past, such as pictures of people taken from surveillance cameras—

FBI's Facial Recognition Program/ Better Security Through Biometrics:
Web Link

The FBI is moving ahead with a nationwide facial recognition program scheduled to be fully deployed by 2014, according to New Scientist and testimony delivered to the Senate in July. The program could lead to faster, more efficient law enforcement--but nabbing crooks after a crime is only part of the appeal. The technology also foreshadows upcoming security enhancements that will stop many offenses before theystart, including several that plague businesses.

Stanford, as a private entity, is not under the thumb of the Palo Alto Police Department. Stanford could, if it wanted to, install surveillance cameras and feed data to the FBI in order to provide better protection than the Santa Clara County Sherriff’s Department, and its own police department, can provide.

Since students are also customers of the University’s various services, they have a certain leverage on the University management that ordinary residents of Palo Alto do not. If the students were to begin to demand that the University install these cameras—it’s difficult to believe that the University would simply ignore them like the City of Palo Alto ignores is residents and business owners.

Stanford has the opportunity to put a step forward in the 21st Century’s new models for service delivery of law enforcement. Whereas Palo Alto, will probably do nothing until it is forced to do so. With Stanford taking the lead, perhaps the Simon Property Group might do the same thing—offering a new level of security to the people who shop at Stanford Shopping Center, and depend on the Simon Group for their physical security while in the Center. The recent spate of vehicular burglaries at the Shopping Center should be a wakeup call to Simeon.

Stanford has a chance to provide a clear example of what “leadership” is all about, as do Stanford students—who should be expecting the best security that their very expensive tuitions should command. Hopefully, Stanford will step up and commit to better security for its students. And maybe, in a decade or two after that, Palo Alto will sheepishly follow suit.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 14, 2012 at 9:33 am

This is typical. Perverts like this guy will of course hang around college campuses in order to find a woman alone. It has nothing to do w/PAPD's ambition for a new building.

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Posted by Wayne Martin
a resident of Fairmeadow
on Sep 14, 2012 at 9:37 am

> w/PAPD's ambition for a new building.

You seemed to have missed the point about Stanford's having an obligation to provide better security for its students. Strictly speaking, Stanford is not under the jurisdiction of the Palo Alto Police, although the PAPD often provide support to Stanford, via various mutual aid agreements.

Try reading before commenting.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 14, 2012 at 9:51 am

Try getting my point - that your points about PAPD aren't relevant to what happened at Stanford. What did I miss? Did you want to contrast PAPD's ambition for a new building w/FBI techniques & that was it?

Of course I know about Stanford's responsibility, probably better than you do. Of course I know it's a separate public safety entity. It's an open campus, which means criminals have access. Cops can't be everywhere. Do you think that Stanford may have considered & rejected - for good reason - the use of cameras? Have you asked them to consider surveillance cameras?

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Posted by Ha
a resident of Old Palo Alto
on Sep 14, 2012 at 12:31 pm

OOOOOoooooo! Wayne Martin, shot down.

You have to admit it is quite odd that you opened your original comment with a sentence regarding a current issue in PA for an article about something that happened in Stanford, and is, for the most part, unrelated. You then continue your comments with nothing relevant to the opening sentence. If you wanted to comment on the PAPD building initiative, perhaps you should have done so in the comment thread for the PAOnline article that actually discusses it. I think that Hmmm, East Palo Alto totally received your point, made theirs, and then shed light on the discontinuity in your remarks. Perhaps, you should take your own advice and try reading before commenting, and maybe even thinking before as well.

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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Sep 14, 2012 at 1:12 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

What's relevant to me, a female, is that I'm on campus constantly & constantly scan for danger (which is usually bad drivers & dangerous cyclists). It's not often that I see any law enforcement north (west?) of Campus drive, or around the science/medical buildings. Maybe there have been staffing cutbacks? Sure, these areas have fewer undergrads, but that doesn't mean crime can't happen.

As for Mr. Martin's comments, it's fairly standard that PA residents pull in info & opinions that only make sense to them & their area of interests. The recent threads re auto burglaries is an example - people started commenting on home burglaries. They're very different crimes - the auto burgs affect more than city residents than home.

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Posted by peacemaker
a resident of Palo Alto High School
on Sep 14, 2012 at 1:47 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

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Posted by Why The Delay?
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Sep 14, 2012 at 5:49 pm

3.5 hours between the incident and a call to the police seems to be a long delay if one is seriously expecting to apprehend a suspect. What was she thinking? Ladies, please call the authorities immediately!