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Opportunity for the Danville Police to explain priorities?

Original post made by jrm, Vista Grande Elementary School, on Mar 9, 2011

Just asking...giving the abundand feedback...a simple question. Question for the Danville Police Force..an innocent question, on a Monday morning, who tell you where to go that week, how do you report in, who tells you "do more of this, do less of that" and how is that measured?...Is Calibrigo in charge of that feedback? Given the feedback what changes have been made recently? Are they doing whatever they want to? Who monitors this? I don't have an agenda here, as a citizen I am just curious. Are traffic infraction citations on the rise? What are the trends on infraction revenue over the last 3 years? Seems like logical questions from people like me that pay their salaries and lucrative pensions. What are the average tickets per officer? Logical questions...and if we are paying Calibrigo $310,00 per year we want an answer...

Comments (25)

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Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Mar 10, 2011 at 10:31 am

JRM: I think your questions are fair questions for any police department, whether in Danville, or Chicago. I certainly do not have an ax to grind, as in fact one of my relatives is a police officer, and knock on wood I have not received any citations or tickets while driving in the last 28 years. I also think in general the Danville PD do a very good job, although it seems like in the last 2-3 years they seem more focused on issuing traffic citations than in past years, but I am very bothered by the alleged criminal activities of the Danville officer who was recently arrested. I would hope, JRM, that the town and or the PD respond to your questions.


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Posted by Geoff Gillette
a resident of Danville
on Mar 10, 2011 at 1:44 pm

Geoff Gillette is a registered user.

Thanks for the questions and sorry for the delay. I wanted to make sure I had as much accurate information as I could find before trying to answer all of these.

We certainly appreciate that there is a lot of interest in how we do things and hopefully we can give you some good answers. I broke down what you were asking into a series of questions and then got the answers. Here is what we have:

1. Who tells police where to go, what to do? How is that determined?
I passed that along to Police Chief Steve Simpkins and this is what he had to say, "My responsibility as the Chief of Police is to establish a mission for the officers and their supervisors. There are two expectations that I place on my staff in regards to patrolling the Town. First, I ask officers to compare the response & assistance they give Town residents to what they would want their own family members to receive if their family had called the police. Second, I have zero tolerance towards criminals who come to prey on Danville residents. I ask the officers to seek out those criminals and ensure that Danville is not an attractive place for them to engage in their activities.

I expect officers to be productive. Measuring that productivity involves a total look at an officer's performance, not limiting that measurement to one specific activity. Officers are expected to engage in a wide variety of activities including, but not limited to, contacting residents & business owners to offer assistance, writing reports, issuing warnings or citations, making arrests and crime prevention.

Officers are assigned to patrol geographic areas of Town that are referred to as "beats." There is at least one officer patrolling each beat. Within those beats, officers are expected to follow the philosophies I have outlined in addition to monitoring current crime trends. Our crime prevention specialist tracks the occurrence of all property crimes by date, time & location. That information is then shared with the beat officer so that targeted patrols can be done. Otherwise, officers are expected to be actively patrolling their beats ensuring residents are safe, preventing opportunities for criminals and providing for a swift response time to calls for service from Town residents.

I welcome input from all residents in regards to ways the Police Department can provide service. Please contact me with any input you may have.

2. Does Town Manager Joe Calabrigo control patrol assignments or allocations of resources.
No. The Police Chief and Administrative Lieutenants handle assignments.

3. Who monitors what officers do on patrol?
A sergeant is in charge of each patrol group. They are overseen by the Administrative Lieutenant and the Police Chief.

4. Has there been a change in how resources are allocated?
No. Beat assignments are the same and officers are given the same instructions as they have over the last several months.

5. Are traffic infractions/citations on the rise?
No. Statistics provided by Chief Simpkins show that in fact the number of citations handed out has decreased slightly over the past three years. In 2008, there were 246 DUI arrests and 4,853 moving violations. In 2009 there were 211 DUI arrests and 4,591 moving violations. In 2010, there were 186 DUI arrests and 4,563 moving violations.

6. What are trends in infraction/citation revenues?
Those too have gone down. Revenue figures provided by Town Finance Director Elizabeth Hudson showed that in 2008 the Town received $254,578.74 in revenues from moving violations. In 2009 that number dropped to $200,875.42. And in 2010 the number showed a slight increase to $212,829.41. For the six months that we are into the 2011 budget year (our budget cycle goes from July 1 – June 30, the Town has received $95,189.77.

7. Average number of tickets per officer?
There is no "average number". Officers may or may not write more tickets depending on which beat, shift or patrol area they are working. Responsibility for traffic enforcement falls primarily upon our three traffic officers who are supported by the patrol officers. Officer productivity is measured based on a number of factors and their performance is not judged based on how many citations they write.

I would like to point out that not every traffic stop results in a citation. In many cases a verbal warning is issued. The PD will soon be rolling out a new system of written warnings to provide an alternative to citations. The revenues brought into the Town annually through citations equals around 1% of the Town's total Operating budget and 3% of the Police Department's Operational budget.

In regards to traffic enforcement: Traffic stops and DUI arrests have long been an important part of ensuring public safety in Danville. Some areas of Town are known for speeding or traffic accidents so we keep a closer watch there in order to try to prevent those from happening. The fact that accident numbers have gone down in the past five years shows that these efforts are having an effect.

Because Danville is a fairly large Town we need to devote time and resources to all of the neighborhoods. This is where we can partner effectively with the community. Keeping doors and cars locked, and letting the police know if you do see something out of the ordinary are ways we can work together to convince criminals to look elsewhere.

The bottom line is, trust from the community is the cornerstone of the Danville Police Department's effectiveness and, given recent events, we fully understand that it will take a considerable amount of time to regain that trust. This is something Chief Simpkins and all the officers under his command are committed to doing.

Finally, to get a bit more information and perspective in the ongoing situation, I encourage you to read the open letter Town Manager Joe Calabrigo has issued on the matter. It can be found online on the Town's website, www.danville.ca.gov.

If you have any questions or need further information, don't hesitate to contact me.

Thanks and have a great day.

Geoff.

Geoff Gillette
Public Information Coordinator
Town of Danville
(925) 314-3336
E-mail: ggillette@danville.ca.gov.




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Posted by American
a resident of Danville
on Mar 10, 2011 at 2:38 pm

Wow, Mr. Gillette, thank you for providing that information in such a quick, and comprehensive manner! I am also impressed that the Police Chief was so accessible in such a short time frame, and I also like his responses to the questions. Thank you for the factual information, and I also think this was an excellent use of this forum, and appreciate JRM bringing up these questions.


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Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 10, 2011 at 2:48 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Indeed, thanks for the thorough and prompt response! It was very interesting and I learned something. This transparency in our local government is important and refreshing. My thanks as well to Chief Simpkins for pausing from his busy day to assist in pulling together this informative response. Drive safe everyone and watch out for those California stops!


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Posted by sponge bob roundpants
a resident of Danville
on Mar 10, 2011 at 8:40 pm

There is no "average number"? Huh? Take the total # of citations written, divide it by the number of traffic and patrol officers, and that's the average # of citations written per officer. While you're at it, take the total # of hours worked for the year by all officers, divide it by the number of officers, and that's the average # of hours worked per officer per year. We'll figure out the rest.

Oh, and I do have one observation as a potential revenue generator. Seems like there are 4 layers (maybe 5 dependent on difference between traffic and patrol): traffic/patrol, then sergeant, then administrative lieutenant, then chief. Sort of excessive, IMHO. Why is that many layers necessary, how many individuals are positioned at each of those layers, and what is the average salary per layer? Also, are there paid administrators for each level and what is the average salary for those?

thanks so much for sharing this information with the folks who pay those salaries.


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Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 10, 2011 at 9:27 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Good question..from an organizational standpoint, are we paying "watchers watching watchers" as we say in the private sector. We know officer Watanabe was making $104,000 per year per the media disclosure...can the Chief respond to Spong Bob's logical question? And I guess we would want to know what their span of control is, i.e. how many "direct reports" do these additional layers actually supervise and how much do they make per annum? How are they evaluated and what is the criteria for their annual reviews. Just an innocent question from those of us who pay their salaries...all this tranparency is good.


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Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 10, 2011 at 9:28 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Good question..from an organizational standpoint, are we paying "watchers watching watchers" as we say in the private sector. We know officer Watanabe was making $104,000 per year per the media disclosure...can the Chief respond to Spong Bob's logical question? And I guess we would want to know what their span of control is, i.e. how many "direct reports" do these additional layers actually supervise and how much do they make per annum? How are they evaluated and what is the criteria for their annual reviews. Just an innocent question from those of us who pay their salaries...all this tranparency is good.


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Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 10, 2011 at 9:29 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Good question..from an organizational standpoint, are we paying "watchers watching watchers" as we say in the private sector. We know officer Watanabe was making $104,000 per year per the media disclosure...can the Chief respond to Spong Bob's logical question? And I guess we would want to know what their span of control is, i.e. how many "direct reports" do these additional layers actually supervise and how much do they make per annum? How are they evaluated and what is the criteria for their annual reviews. Just an innocent question from those of us who pay their salaries...all this tranparency is good.


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Posted by Don
a resident of Danville
on Mar 11, 2011 at 6:35 am

This is classic. The Chief has responded with his strategy for directing his team and real data in regard to accusations of excessive ticketing. Yet, despite a sound and professional response, detractors move to new ground to perpetuate their disdain.

These are all fair questions, but of all our government, not just the Danville PD.

Come one, do you really want, actually need, to know performance management details, or detailed org structure for levels below the Chief? We should hold the Chief accountable and do in forums such as this comment board (and our ability to attend public meetings on these topics). We should also expect he holds accountable all of his subordinates with the same rigor and without our challenge of every detail. I support transparency to the extent it is productive.

Hey, how about we ask for their work schedules, maybe challenge they took too much time for lunch last Friday...

Let's acknowledge the Chief's response as changing your perspective of excessive ticketing, etc. If you must, open a new concern over the costs to police and protect our great city...

I am a supportive citizen and small business owner who doesn't want to pay too much in taxes, get stopped without cause and understands the difficult balance of politics and policing you manage every day.

Thank you Chief for what you and your staff (all of them) do to protect our city.


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Posted by JCS
a resident of Danville
on Mar 11, 2011 at 8:53 am

This is good dialogue but is focused on the wrong topic - traffic citations... It should be more about how they spend their time and how are they increasing patrols and doing thorough investigation on a rash of criminal activity that is happening in our "false sense of security" neighborhoods. In my neighborhood within the past 3 weeks there has been a string of breaking into cars and stealing items thefts, a house broken into on Century Circle and a car stolen in broad daylight right off a driveway.. I wrote a few days ago on this topic of not putting the blame on the victims... I DID acknowledge that of course we should lock our car doors... but do not diffuse the situation by blaming the victims - step up the patrols!!! Do what Simpkins says, "Second, I have zero tolerance towards criminals who come to prey on Danville residents. I ask the officers to seek out those criminals and ensure that Danville is not an attractive place for them to engage in their activities." Back the talk up, stop blaming the victims and do something about it Danville Police!!!


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Posted by Barney
a resident of Danville
on Mar 11, 2011 at 8:59 am

I appreciate the feedback from the police chief. However the answers were not exactly to the questions asked. He can give us specifics on average tickets. He didn't give us revenue from DUI's. And it would seem to me that the "beats" seem to go away after dark. I never see police other than downtown. And instead of making a visible presence in front of the bars to promote more control, etc., they park in dark spots and wait for people to leave and then follow. If they want to keep Danville safer, prevent people from getting in the car to start with.

The story on what was happening at the Vine is amazing in one sense, and based on the pattern of the police to date, seems consistent with what they have been doing. I'd also suggest that we get our own police. Having a revolving set of sheriffs means they don't live here. We may be getting good and bad apples and the damage is done before we know it.


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Posted by Geoff Gillette
a resident of Danville
on Mar 11, 2011 at 10:55 am

Geoff Gillette is a registered user.

Thanks for the comments and feedback. A couple of thoughts in response:

@Spongebob: Yes, there is an average certainly. Statistics provided by Chief Simpkins show that on a monthly basis the Police Department writes approximately 400 citations. On average, the Traffic Unit writes 345 citations and Patrol writes 55. Keep in mind these are averages and vary from month to month.

However, the point I was trying to make is that it is an arbitrary number that doesn't reflect the job that each individual officer does. We don't 'keep score' on who is writing the most citations nor is anyone punished or downgraded as a result of writing few citations. There are many factors that affect the numbers of citations that officers write.

As for the org structure and the concern about layers of management, the layout is a fairly simple one. Each patrol unit is made up of officers who are supervised by a Sergeant. Think of the Sergeant as a 'shift supervisor'. Since we have units on duty 24/7 there needs to be oversight at all times.

The sergeants are overseen by an Administrative Lieutenant. Of which there is one. I accidentally pluralized it yesterday and I apologize for the misconception. Over the Admin Lt is Chief Simpkins. In corporate terms think of the Chief as the President and the Lt. as the VP of Operations. The Lt oversees the day to day operations of the department. The Chief is the final authority, but he is also responsible for the business operation of the PD, ongoing liaison with other police agencies, the Contra Costa Sheriff's Office, the Town Manager and the Town Council. In addition, he is the representative of the PD who is responsible for meeting with the community. He is very strong on outreach and tries to attend as many public meetings as possible.

As far as salaries of the officers/Lt/Chief are concerned, salaries are not set by the Town, since Police Services are contracted through the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Office. The County of Contra Costa sets those salaries. Figures on salaries can be found at: Web Link

Officers are held accountable for their actions and are evaluated every four months. As the Chief stated yesterday he looks at a broad spectrum of areas in gauging how an individual officer is performing.

@JCS – I spoke with Chief Simpkins regarding your comment and he said, "It was certainly not my intent to blame the victims. The Danville PD works hard to respond to every call as expeditiously as possible. In making those comments I was taking the opportunity to work on strengthening our partnership with the community. I want us to have a strong relationship with our residents and the best way to do that is to keep them informed, not only on what is happening but how to keep themselves safe."

Also, in regards to your comments about following up with the recent crimes you mentioned. Arrests were made just last night in connection with the thefts from auto. A press release was sent out just moments ago. The other cases are being worked on, on a daily basis and as arrests are made we will let the public know. Unless the criminals are caught in the act, the process of tracking them down and catching them takes some time. Our detectives are very good at what they do and have an excellent record of closing cases.

@Barney - the revenue figures provided yesterday were for all moving violations. DUIs comprise only about 4% of the overall citations issued.

I'd like to close by saying we have a well-trained and highly motivated staff of officers who are out on the street on a daily basis to serve Danville. We are happy to provide information to help residents understand how this is structured and how we do our best to be accountable to you, the community.

As I have said, trust is a valuable commodity with us, and both Chief Simpkins and his staff will be working hard to continue to earn that trust in the days, weeks and months ahead.

Thanks again, and have a good day!
Geoff.

Geoff Gillette
Public Information Coordinator
Town of Danville
(925) 314-3336
E-mail – ggillette@danville.ca.gov


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Posted by bay area officer
a resident of Danville
on Mar 11, 2011 at 12:37 pm

First of all, let me say THANK YOU to Geoff Gillette and Chief Simpkins for being so forthcoming and answering all the questions in such a thorough manner. It is so nice to get the information straight from the horse's mouth, so to speak, rather than listening to people spout off about things they know nothing about.

To those of you who are saying we should have our own P.D. rather than contracting with the sheriff's office, think about this... the second Officer Tanabe was kicked out of Danville, the city stopped paying for him. During the entire time that he will be on administrative leave, the county will be paying his salary, not the city of Danville. However, if he was truly a Danville employee, the cost of the lengthy administrative process would all fall on the citizens of Danville. Personally, I would much rather be able to wash my hands of the bad officers, rather than having to continue to pay their salaries while they sit at home being investigated.

To the person who suggested that Danville officers should stop harassing the citizens of Danville who choose to drink and drive, and instead go out and fight real crime, I say... "Really?" Last I checked DUI is a very real crime. I have a feeling you have never been the first one on the scene of a DUI accident where an innocent person was killed by a drunk driver. Police officers who work the graveyard shift normally make DUI enforcement one of their top priorities. As such, they tend to be in the area of bars at closing time. They don't stop every car leaving the bar... they have to play by the rules just like everybody else, and the law says they must have probable cause to stop the car. Tanabe knew that the people he was pulling over had been drinking, but even so, he had to wait until they gave him a reason to stop their cars. I am not sticking up for Tanabe in any way, because he obviously was acting unethically if he received money for making the arrests. But the bottom line is, nobody forced those people to drive after they had been drinking. They chose to commit a crime, and they got arrested for it.

@Barney, who suggested we should stop the people as they leave the bars but before they get in their cars... there's a little thing called the US Constitution which says we can't do that! And can you imagine if we did??? Holy cow, you think people are upset now, just picture that for a minute.

I don't see any comments on here about the great auto burg arrests Danville P.D. made last night. It is too bad that people like to complain so much more than they like to give thanks. I'm glad I don't work for Danville P.D. right now. I would be very discouraged to read all these comments.


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Posted by Barney
a resident of Danville
on Mar 11, 2011 at 2:32 pm

To Bay Area Officer

Wow to hear that from you! I've had several former police officers comment that the best way to moderate the bars and such is to have a "presence". There is nothing wrong with suggesting to someone that they might not want to drive. Making someone one think twice before getting in the car. What's happening is Danville is cowardly police action. Sit behind a bar, and follow someone simply because they left an establishment that serves alcohol. How about my constitutional rights on that one smart guy? I've lived here for 15 years and everyone I know has been stopped for literally no cause, or some ridiculous cause and ironically after leaving a restaurant! Never during the middle of the day! Isn't that interesting? They say that there's a very fine line that defines which side of the law you are on criminal or those that oppose it. And it's no doubt we have a lot of police officers that aren't exactly model citizens and are abusing their power. Drunk driving is a major issue, however, you can be proactive about it, or reactive. Make this town a shining example of what good police work looks like. Not how a bunch of lazy cowards follow people around and thus tarnish the reputation of our fine town. Get off your rear, get out of the car, and spend time among the people. Isn't spending time with the people one of the nice propaganda tenants the police chief stated earlier???

This is a nice town, and we have high expectations of our neighbors, and those whose salaries we pay.


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Posted by Barney
a resident of Danville
on Mar 11, 2011 at 2:39 pm

@Geoff

I do want to thank you for your involvement and timely responses. Great to see, and I hope the community sentiments are making it to people willing to listen.


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Posted by barney
a resident of Danville
on Mar 11, 2011 at 2:48 pm

@Geoff,

A couple questions:

- How many police cars do we have on patrol between the hours of 6PM and 3AM? What about during the day?

- You mentioned that DUI's represent a small percentage of the citations. What percent of the revenue?

Again, I'm not against keeping our roads safe, but it seems so obvious that there must be some other agenda at play here given the number of police cars downtown at night vs. the rest of Danville, and the actions. I live downtown. I walk whenever I can, and it's amazing what you see sometimes from these guys. At the same time, I never see them patrolling the neighborhoods. Have't seen any serious interest in solving some of the rimes in my neighborhood. Maybe it's just some young cops wanting some excitement and action vs. doing the hard work of tracking down leads on more serious crimes.

I may sound very negative but I can honestly say I don't know a sole in town who does not have the same opinion I am sharing. They just aren't taking the time to speak out.


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Posted by j
a resident of Danville
on Mar 11, 2011 at 5:39 pm

First of all I would like to thank all the Officers for keeping Danville safe and the great service for those in need.
Second the Chief is new to Danville and he didn't choose these officer's , they pay or promotions. Please give him a chance to do his job.. Also if you would like to learn more about the Police Departments they have a citizens workshop where you can learn about the department, how its run, what the officers do everyday. If you really want to help you can volunteer...


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Posted by Derek
a resident of Danville
on Mar 11, 2011 at 7:05 pm

To Bay Area Officer and Geoff, as well as the non-law enforcement people posting here, a couple of divergent comments:

1) Please, all Danville residents - and especially those on the east side of 680 - stop leaving your garages wide open at night. We ride bikes frequently in the evening between twilight and 9:00pm, casing houses.... er, I mean exercising, and I would say that about one out of 25 houses have the big doors wide open with the lights off. I say "east side" because for some reason the folks on the west side seem to have more common sense. We rarely see door open there at night.
If you complain that criminals from other cities find us an easy target, and then leave your GPS in plain view inside your curb-parked car, or leave valuables within easy reach in an open garage (and often we see this in poorly lit areas), how can you be surprised that the burglars come here? There are not enough officers to park in front of every house.

2) On a completely different note to our police department, unless an intersection has shown to be very dangerous regarding drivers running lights, stop signs, or speeding, please do not waste our money with your patrol car parked near some obscure intersection.
For example, a couple years back, one Danville constable used to often plonk down on Paraiso about 50 feet from Camino Ramon. And I am pretty darn sure there was no provocation from a nearby complaining household regarding drivers running the stop signs there (we know one of the families at the corner). This cop would sit there weeknights munching twinkies between 7:30pm and 11:00pm. Why? There is not that much traffic on Camino Ramon at that hour. No bad accidents have occurred there in recent memory. And if someone rolled through the stop sign at 10mph and struck another vehicle, a serious injury would be highly unlikely. On the other hand, people drive like complete lunatics on several of the main east-west roads in Danville & Alamo. Yet I rarely see speeding tickets being given out there.
Please, don't waste precious resources staking out stop signs. And spare me the lame excuse why you might have been doing it. PATROL. Pull over oblivious idiots on cell phones. Cruise neighborhoods and parking areas. Parks and school grounds often host nefarious activity at night. And if you are in charge of officers who are wasting time, there is always another policeman or police-woman who can take their place.

3) Lastly, great job nailing burglars the other night. Isn't this type of work more fun than staring at stop signs?


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Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2011 at 12:13 am

jrm is a registered user.

Okey dokey...chief...again innocent question...what percentage of the overall salary expense we pay to the county for the fine service your team provides is classified as "overtime" ? Simple question. And if we have any, why?


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Posted by Bud
a resident of San Ramon
on Mar 12, 2011 at 6:48 am

@ Barney. Calling Danville Police "lazy cowards" pretty much defines your mindset towards law enforcement. Your logic/rational about police being "cowards" makes little or no sense if you think about all of the scrutiny police officers face these days. True, a bad apple appears from time to time, but one bad apple does not define those that are willing to put their lives on the line. And the part about your "constitutional rights" makes me laugh because you don't have a clue as to what you are talking about; that is unless you have graduated with a Constitutional Law degree from Cal (which I know you have not because you failed to cite a specific amendment). So, Bullhorn Blarney, the next time you step out for a night on the town, be a good citizen and limit your alcohol consumption.


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Posted by jrm
a resident of Vista Grande Elementary School
on Mar 12, 2011 at 9:20 pm

jrm is a registered user.

Agreed...Barney's comments are a bit beyond the pale...."lazy cowards" is pretty much out of line...but I do hope my inquiry regarding overtime pay is responded to. My question is not without basis, acording to the media abuse of overtime is a real issue in a number of police and fire departments...I like you guys, I just want to have the facts and don't want to be attacked for being "anti police" for simply asking an important financial question in a time of overdue transparancy. I must say there was no direct answer regarding a number of direct reports each layer of the police force supervises. Why not tell us?


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Posted by Bill
a resident of Danville
on Mar 14, 2011 at 8:38 am

After reading a few of the comments , I have some ideas. First, if you dont want to take the risk of receiving a citation, obey all traffic laws. Second, if you don't want to get arrested for DUI, don't drink and drive.


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Posted by Barney
a resident of Danville
on Mar 14, 2011 at 10:34 am

The reference to "Lazy Cowards" was actually a comment by a police officer from another city when he heard from a group of people about the actions (or lack there of) from our police officers in Danville. The point being, get involved, get out of your car, be present. As opposed to - sitting behind restaurants and bars and following random people like my 80 year old grandmother who just finished having tea with her friends. 8 out of 10 people I talk to have been pulled over for no apparent reason other than leaving downtown Danville, and I'm not talking about midnight to 2AM kind of stuff. There have been comments to this very point earlier and there is a pattern.

@jrm - so maybe in your job you are't under scrutiny but for most of us professionals, we live in a world where scrutiny is a part of daily life. So I don't give them latitude based on this. There is a real issue with how they are making their stops, outside of the recent corruption reported on in the last two weeks. If they can't do the job right, then find people that will. There are certainly plenty out there.


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Posted by psmacintosh
a resident of Danville
on Mar 14, 2011 at 2:43 pm

jrm: Enough with the "innocent question" routine. You wouldn't know any innocent question if it hit you in the head repeatedly....and you definitely have some AGENDA in mind behind your questioning.
Why not just have the guts to come out and make your accusation(s)!?!
Just asking...
...a simple question.
Logical question...logical....never illogical.....never had an ulterior motive in my life.
I don't want to cause any trouble......I like you guys......just want you to drop everything that you're doing to spend time (and taxpayer money) giving ME the facts so that I can twist them into something to cause you more trouble with....as one of my political points. ANSWER my question!


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Posted by Geoff Gillette
a resident of Danville
on Mar 14, 2011 at 5:24 pm

Geoff Gillette is a registered user.

Good afternoon folks,
In trying to answer your questions I spoke with several people at the Town and here is what I have:

@Barney: As for your concerns about police downtown when the bars are closing, Chief Simpkins said that it is a public safety issue. It's a preventative measure and not for DUI arrests. When the bars close, occasionally there are altercations. If patrons see an officer standing by when they leave, they are less likely to have a confrontation and also hopefully more apt to take a cab or other safe ride home. The police presence should not be misconstrued as out of balance, officers spend the vast majority of their 10 or 12 hour shift throughout the Town and in accordance with the latest crime analysis statistics.

In reference to staffing, there are three geographic areas that comprise the 'beats' that our officers use. 24/7 there is at least one officer in each beat. Those numbers will increase depending on the time of day, day of the week and so forth. Chief Simpkins has asked that we not print our exact patrol schedule as that would be something that criminals could use to their advantage. He added that he is happy to discuss these issues one on one and anyone interested to do so may contact the PD at (925) 314-3700.

Revenues from DUI arrests…as I mentioned, DUIs are only 4% of the overall annual citations handed out. I asked Finance Director Elizabeth Hudson if she could break it out only by DUIs and she said that they don't track it in that fashion. She is continuing to look and if I get any specifics on revenue dollars I'll post them here.

@JRM: I spoke with Chief Simpkins on your overtime question. He explained to me that use of overtime is heavily dependent on Mandated Training Days/Sick Days/Vacation Backfill. There will also be times when an officer is working a case or investigation and has to work past his scheduled shift end. As such the overtime will ebb and flow depending on the season and the month. Overtime is only paid when necessary to maintain our minimum staffing requirements; for example, a traffic unit may be reassigned to cover a vacancy in patrol before overtime is paid. Overtime pay accounts for only 4% of the total police budget for this year. In addition, overtime is not compensable towards retirement.

And as for the direct reports, I'm not sure what else I can tell you. The organizational structure is patrol officers report to their shift sergeant, the shift sergeant reports to the Administrative Lieutenant and the Admin Lt. reports to the Chief. There are other divisions, such as investigations and their setup is similar: Officer>Sergeant>Lieutenant>Chief. There are a total of 23 officers, 6 sergeants, one lieutenant and the Chief. I hope this answers your question.

As someone mentioned on this forum, if you'd like to get a better idea of how the PD operates, we encourage you to join the Citizen's Police Academy or get involved with the Volunteers in Policing (VIP)program.

Thanks for the feedback and dialogue. If you have a specific question or would like to have an opportunity to talk directly to someone in the Town, don't hesitate to contact either Chief Steve Simpkins at (925) 314-3700, e-mail ssimpkins@danville.ca.gov or myself.

Have a fantastic night!

Geoff.

Geoff Gillette
Public Information Coordinator
Town of Danville
(925) 314-3336
e-mail: ggillette@danville.ca.gov


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