September 14, 2011

Cops Answer Community's Questions during "Coffee with the Cops"

Tuesday morning, San Leandro Police held the first "Coffee with the Cops" meeting with about two dozen community members and 13 police officers at Main Street Bagel.

The meeting was standing room only as San Leandro Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli started by addressing a question about the legality of using medical marijuana in an apartment building where children were present. Spagnoli and other members of the police department answered questions on medical marijuana, the recovery of a gun at the high school, loud car stereos and the Nex Cycle recycling facility at the Bancroft Avenue Safeway parking lot.

In response to a question additional safety measures being implemented in response to the gun incident at San Leandro High School, Spagnoli first stated that an additional School Resource Officer will be assigned to the high school, where there is currently one. She added, "You could actually use 3 or 4 School Resource Officers just at the high school." "We're going to be revisiting our daytime curfew which is the curfew that says that kids need to be in school, right, based on the education code. We know that when kids are out of school, they can become victims of crime or they can commit crimes or they can just be away from school, which is obviously a concern from a public safety standpoint. So, we're working on making some revisions to that ordinance, have some teeth in it, that parents have responsibility."

The San Leandro City Council unanimously adopted a daytime curfew for children on July 30, 2007. It applies between 8am and 3pm on days when school is in session. A similar curfew was already in place between 10pm and 5am.

When Stephen Carbonaro asked Chief Spagnoli about police staffing levels, she said that the department had 89 officers but that "you could have over 100 police officers and that would be great." She then asked Captain Stephen Pricco for the highest number of officers that the police department previously had and Pricco responded that the maximum number of police historically was 94. [Editor's note: San Leandro had 98 police officers in 2000 and 96 officers in 1997 and 1998.]

Spagnoli noted that the implementation of e911 has resulted in thousands more calls to local dispatchers, leading to installation of an automated phone system for callers to San Leandro's local non-emergency number. Prior to implementation of the e911 system, 911 calls went to the California Highway Patrol's dispatch center in Vallejo.

One resident complained about traffic near Muir Middle School, especially parents and children who crossed the street outside of crosswalks.

Near the end of the meeting, Captain Pete Ballew noted that, "last year, in San Leandro, crime was at the lowest level it's been in 30 years, but if you were burglarized last night, it's not the lowest level in 30 years." Ballew noted that robberies and burglaries are up a little bit this year. Detective Isaac Benabou said that burglaries were up largely because of a person who was burglarizing multiple houses each day.

For those who were not able to ask questions, before time ran out, forms were available to submit questions.

Coffee with the Cops was first announced by Chief Spagnoli at a June 30, 2011, Town Hall Meeting. The next Coffee with the Cops is scheduled for October 11, 2011, from 8 to 9am at Dick's Restaurant, located at 3188 Alvarado Street.

Posted by Mike Katz-Lacabe at September 14, 2011 8:21 PM | TrackBack
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