Town Square

Very long police response time

Original post made by Joe on Dec 27, 2011

There was a traffic accident with injuries last night at the intersection of Hacienda Drive and Gibraltar Drive (Monday, December 26th, approx 5PM or so). The accident involved two vehicles, and they were both damaged so badly that they couldn't be moved and were sitting in the middle of the intersection with broken glass and vehicle parts everywhere.

I came upon the accident about a minute or so after it happened, and I called 911. For some reason, my 911 call went to CHP and not Pleasanton PD. I know that CHP handles cellular 911 calls on the freeway, but I thought that the new technology directed cellular calls to the local jurisdiction now? Anyway, I reported the accident to the 911 dispatcher and she told me that there had been several calls on this incident already. Just for the heck of it, I pulled into the parking lot of a business located adjacent to the intersection to watch what was happening. As I did this, I saw a woman in one of the vehicles get out of the car, hold her head, and then lay down on the lawn--she was obviously injured. I called PPD again to update them that this is a confirmed injury accident.

I then sat there for what was probably 7 to 10 minutes--waiting for emergency vehicles to show up. In the distance, I could hear a fire truck siren (the fire trucks have a much different sounding siren than the police cars). The fire truck was way in the distance, and I thought to myself, "I guess they are sending a backup engine, because the fire station that is closest is not responding".

As the fire truck siren got closer, and as I sat there saying to myself, "WHERE ARE THE POLICE???", I finally saw a PPD officer arrive. He came from the Stoneridge Drive area as he approached the scene on Hacienda Drive. But here's the shocker---the police car did not have their emergency lights turned on or their siren! As I said, I only heard the fire truck siren coming, and when the first police car arrived, he did not have his emergency equipment turned on. My question is WHY? Does PPD have a policy that you are not to use lights and siren for a confirmed injury accident? It is my understanding that an injury accident is an "emergency", and lights/siren are appropriate for these situations.

The reason I'm writing this is because of my concern on their response time---it was VERY slow. The vehicles involved in the accident were blocking traffic, they had no lights on (it was dark out), and there were several "near miss" accidents before the first police car arrived on-scene. Why did the first responding officer not respond with lights and siren? This makes no sense to me at all, and I would appreciate an explanation. The response time for this incident is very worrisome.


Posted by do something, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 27, 2011 at 8:43 am

Let me get this straight -- you sat in your car while an injured person climbed out and laid down, so that you could "watch what happened"? What's wrong with you? Ever hear of giving aid or at least trying to comfort this person?
Your estimate of the time is just that, an estimate. Time always seems to stand still during a crisis. You could have saved a lot of time by calling the PPD directly. If you live here, learn this number -- 925-931-5100. You were close enough to the freeway that the cell signal went to the CHP and you lost valuable time. Who knows how long they took to relay those messages?
And next time, try being a help not a hindrance. Just talking calmly to the injured person would have contributed something positive to the whole thing.

Posted by Arroyo, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2011 at 8:51 am

I could be incorrect, but I believe that the officers are directed by dispatch as to when they can proceed with lights and sirens.

I went on a "ride-along" one night and one of the most frustrating things I experienced was waiting at multiple traffic signals while responding to an "emergency" call.

Responding with lights and sirens is not the officer's decision.

Posted by bob, a resident of Foothill Knolls
on Dec 27, 2011 at 9:05 am

Well said do something. Joe should have been a real citizen and helped out someone in need. Instead of trying to point a finger, Joe could have been part of the solution.

The only thing that needs to be explained is why Joe sat in his car and did nothing.

Perhaps Joe thinks that police, fire, rescue are just waiting around and don't have any other emergencies to take care of?

Wake up Joe!

Posted by Bill, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 27, 2011 at 9:15 am

Good idea to put all the local emergency numbers into your cell phone. Dialing the local dispatch number gets a quicker response then going through the central CHP dispatch, i.e. 911.

I called in a single vehicle accident the other day, and two Pleasanton Police officers were on the scene in less then 1 minute.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Siena
on Dec 27, 2011 at 9:38 am

What a bunch of ridiculous responses so far, with nobody addressing the question.

To address "do something", here is my response to you:

1) The 911 system is set up so that cellular calls go to the local jurisdiction. It did not used to be this way. It used to be that *all* 911 calls went to CHP, no matter what. However, technology has changed and the way it works now is that your 911 cellular call is routed to the local jurisdiction. When I called the first time, it went to CHP and that surprised me (which is why I commented about that in my original post). When I called the second time, I *did* dial the seven digit number so that it went directly to PPD.

2) When I first called in the accident, I did not see anybody injured--so there was no need for me to stop. When I was in a SAFE location and out of everybody's way sitting in a parking lot, that is when I saw the woman get out of the car and go lay down on the lawn. At that point, the best thing I could do is call PPD and update them as to what was happening. There were already several vehicles that had stopped to help. By me driving back over there and getting into the mix would have been totally irresponsible and I would have created more chaos than anything.

So climb off your high horse and understand what is being asked here. Their response time was long, and they did not respond with lights and siren. Why?

Posted by Mike , a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 27, 2011 at 11:32 am

Police officer can only roll Code 3 under certain circumstances. It depends what their General Orders are. I know that most departments DO NOT allow code 3 for injury collisions unless there additional facts that would lead an officer to
Believe that by going code 3 would save a life such as, vehicle vs pedestrian. Driving code 3 is very dangerous for everyone.

It's always easier to complain without having knowing the facts.

Posted by Concerned Resident, a resident of Jensen Tract
on Dec 27, 2011 at 12:55 pm

The 911 calls in this are directed to the Vallejo Dispatch. As stated earlier by Do Something, it is best to program the Local PD's in your phone for better response time.

Posted by Stacey, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 27, 2011 at 2:22 pm

Stacey is a registered user.

931-5100 is the non-emergency number. Use 931-5122 for emergencies like this.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Siena
on Dec 27, 2011 at 2:39 pm

"Concerned Resident":

No, that is not correct. Cellular 911 calls USED TO go to CHP (which is in Vallejo, at the Golden Gate Communications Center on Benicia Road). But the technology has changed, and when you call 911 from your cellular phone, the system knows which cell tower you are using and it directs your call to the LOCAL agency--not to Vallejo. Again, that is why I am raising this point.

When you say "do something", what specifically would you have liked me to do? I called 911 to report it, and it was not necessary for me to stop and get in the way. The parties looked like they were exchanging information and there were at least three people talking on their cell phones as they stood next to their vehicles. Several vehicles had already stopped. Now what the heck would it accomplish by me stopping? I would only be contributing to the mess, and I would be placing myself and my vehicle in harm's way. Trust me, if somebody needed help, I would have offered it. So I again ask the question: What SPECIFICALLY do you think it was that I should have done?

"Mike": You are correct in that police departments have policies under which they can use lights and siren. As long as I've been alive, a traffic accident with injures means "emergency", thus, lights and siren. I've never known it to be any other way. Thus, the purpose of my post. I'm sure Admin at PPD has read this by now. Hopefully they will provide a response (or Pleasanton Weekly will ask them, since I provided the date, location, and time).

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm

can we all get along?

Posted by Better program the number, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 27, 2011 at 6:40 pm

From the CHP website

"When I dial 9-1-1 on my cell phone, who answers?
A. Well, that depends. When a wireless 9-1-1 call is made from a cell phone, that call is transmitted to the nearest cell tower. The cell tower then sends the call to the Public Safety Answering Point designated to receive wireless 9-1-1 from that area."

A public safety answering point is not the local PD, and if you want more information go to this site
Web Link

Joe if you want information from the PD call them and ask, putting it here then getting upset when you get called on it is your issue.

And no Cholo, we can't all get along.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Siena
on Dec 27, 2011 at 7:02 pm

"Better program the number":

Thanks for posting that information, but it doesn't address what I'm asking. Pleasanton PD *is* a PSAP (Public Safety Answering Point). For those who don't understand what a PSAP is, here is a very brief and basic description:

When you call 911, whoever answers the first time (before you are transferred anywhere), that is the PSAP. So in the case of Pleasanton, if you dial 911 from your home telephone, it will ring at Pleasanton PD's dispatch center. An example of a 911 center that is *not* a PSAP, the closest example to us that I can think of would be San Ramon Valley Fire Department. Their dispatchers answer 911 calls, however, you can not call 911 and have them answer---you must be transferred to them first. In other words, every 911 call that a dispatcher answers at San Ramon Valley Fire has already been answered by someone else (the local PSAP)--and that local PSAP transferred it to San Ramon Valley Fire.

So back to the question at hand: I guess I am to assume that if you call 911 from your cell phone, and a cell tower that receives your signal happens to be located adjacent to a freeway, then your 911 call is going to get routed to CHP in Vallejo? I don't know the answer to this, but it seems like this might be the case. I obviously was not on the freeway, but I suppose the nearest cell tower might have been along 580 somewhere (I have no idea though--I'm just throwing out a guess).

And regarding me posting this question on a TOWN SQUARE FORUM, au contrarie, it's perfectly acceptable to post it here--this is one of the reasons that this local forum exists. And I'm not getting upset--what makes you think that? I'm trying to get an answer, and so far, nobody can provide one. I find that very interesting.

Posted by Pro-Law, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 28, 2011 at 2:56 am

Hi Joe,

You are correct as to why CHP answered the call. Cell phone tower triangulation isn't a perfect science (or even close) and cannot pin point you as good as we all may hope so. The 911 system thought you were on the freeway so that's why it went to CHP.

As far as being concerned about the PPD response tactics, why don't you call them and ask for the watch commander or something similar to get an answer? They are a public agency and it won't be a secretive things in how they respond to injury accidents. I'm sure they'd be happy to explain it to you what happened in this case.

In regards to the accident - I wouldn't be surprised if the first couple people who called didn't know it was an injury accident and therefore the officer didn't know. If people did call back to report there was an injury then it probably wasn't dispatched before the officer got there. It takes time to wade through the 30+ callers, gather the information, and then articulate useful information. What you see happening in front of you is not going to be immediately known to the officer, if ever.

Depending on the way the callers articulated what they saw the officer may have only known there were cars blocking the road and the fire department was called out because the engine fluids were leaking (all minor things).

Posted by Joe, a resident of Siena
on Dec 29, 2011 at 6:43 am

Hi Pro-Law,

Thank you for the thoughtful response. I apologize for not getting back to you a little quicker, but I was overwhelmed with work yesterday.

Okay, so the 911 call makes sense. I knew that our calls now go to the local jurisdiction, but I didn't know that the system was so specific that it would ring CHP's GGCC in Vallejo if a call was made from a cell tower that is positioned alongside a freeway. I guess this means I will go back to the way I used to do things, which is to direct-dial the proper agency by using the seven digit number.

The answer to your question as to why I did not call PPD and ask them these questions is because I wanted to get the answer anonymously. If I called them, they would take my name and number and eventually someone would call me back. I did not want to identify myself, and I did not want to get a boiler-plate response (which is what I suspect would have happened).

Now, regarding the accident and how many phone calls were received and the lag time in advising the officers, I will admit that I am fairly knowledgeable in this area. I can assure you that they did not receive 30 calls. In taking an educated guess, I'll say they probably received more like 5 calls. And in the case of PPD, there really is no lag time in between a dispatcher getting information and then the info being put out on the air for responding officers. In many cases, the person you are speaking with on the 911 line is the same person who is talking on the police radio. PPD is small, and their dispatch center is not exactly heavily staffed with lots of personnel. From the time a caller advises that an accident is now a confirmed injury accident to the time that it goes out on the radio, the time delay should be anywhere between 1 second and 5 seconds. It's not like a big county operation or a large consolidated comm center, where a delay as you describe could very well happen. But not here in Pleasanton.

So now the only questions I have that are remaining are why did PPD take so long to respond, and why did the first arriving officer not respond with lights/siren? I think the ball was dropped somewhere--that is my concern. If any of us were involved in an injury accident, we would not want this to happen to us.

Posted by I'm The Light, a resident of Foothill High School
on Dec 29, 2011 at 9:18 am

"Cell phone tower triangulation isn't a perfect science (or even close) and cannot pin point you as good as we all may hope so. The 911 system thought you were on the freeway so that's why it went to CHP."

Joe, the other problem this raises is that Pleasanton residents have only allowed one cell tower to be built in Pleasanton and it's close to the freeway, so of course your 911 call will directed to the CHP. I'm surprised you even had enough reception to make the call.

Posted by Mal, a resident of Del Prado
on Dec 29, 2011 at 10:15 am

Hmmm, 5:00p.m. On a monday, prime commuter time in the business park, wonder if this was all caused by another red light runner? Is it time for those cameras at all those bad intersections around town? Hope nobody was seriously hurt, people need to slow down and focus.

Posted by Resident, a resident of Downtown
on Dec 29, 2011 at 1:50 pm


Give it up, you were more focused on being a critic rather than being a life saver. I think you learned your lesson on this one. PPD does a great job keeping you safe in your Siena neighborhood, maybe you should give them a little more respect than your giving them here.

Posted by Mike, a resident of Highland Oaks
on Dec 29, 2011 at 2:06 pm

Another timely reminder of the need to increase your own safety by "driving for every car around you."


Posted by annonymous, a resident of Amador Estates
on Dec 29, 2011 at 2:16 pm

I can't believe all these nasty responses. You guys weren't there, it's not fair to judge. And I'm glad Joe posted this because it made me think that I better program the PPD into my cell phone.

If there were already other bystanders helping the person in need, having another pedistrian hanging around may just have caused more chaos than good. Joe called for help (twice). That's a good thing and probably more than a lot of people would have done.

Posted by Pro-Law, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2011 at 3:54 pm

"Now, regarding the accident and how many phone calls were received and the lag time in advising the officers, I will admit that I am fairly knowledgeable in this area. I can assure you that they did not receive 30 calls. In taking an educated guess, I'll say they probably received more like 5 calls. And in the case of PPD, there really is no lag time in between a dispatcher getting information and then the info being put out on the air for responding officers. In many cases, the person you are speaking with on the 911 line is the same person who is talking on the police radio. PPD is small, and their dispatch center is not exactly heavily staffed with lots of personnel. From the time a caller advises that an accident is now a confirmed injury accident to the time that it goes out on the radio, the time delay should be anywhere between 1 second and 5 seconds. It's not like a big county operation or a large consolidated comm center, where a delay as you describe could very well happen. But not here in Pleasanton."


With all do respect - how are you "fairly knowledgeable" in this area?

I know of no department that can wade through any amount of phone calls (1 and above), dissect what the important information is, and provide it to officers within 1-5 seconds as you say. It isn't humanly possible in my eyes. The majority of the time people do no provide useful information immediately to dispatchers. Once they do, it takes time to physically type something and/or say it over the radio. Try listening to 911 calls on youtube and you try typing only the essential info into a Word document as fast as you can and then saying it out loud too.

With that said, the forums here will never know what truly happened unless you call and ask yourself. We don't have the answers here for you - just speculation.

Posted by ridickulous, a resident of Civic Square
on Dec 29, 2011 at 7:52 pm

You sound like a typical Pleasanton resident "me me me"..what did you do to actually help the lady that exited her vehicle holding her head and laying on the ground. You sat in a parking lot accross the streeet to monitor the situation and you did NOTHING to help that poor should be ashamed for even posting this. RIDICKULOUS!

Posted by Truth, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 29, 2011 at 8:33 pm the PD and ask. If you are going through life thinking you know the answer to ever questions before you ask it you are living in a bubble. It is the Officer and the Officer alone who decides when code three response is warranted...not the dispatchers....they work for the Officers. Perhaps you should listen to ProLaw and grow a set....or ever better request a ride a long with an Officer so you can educate yourself....just a suggestion.

Posted by common sense, a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Dec 29, 2011 at 9:30 pm

Well said Truth!

Posted by Joe, a resident of Siena
on Dec 30, 2011 at 1:07 pm

The nasty responses are actually kind of funny, because you have totally missed the point. Maybe I've made my point a little too "hidden". I'm sure there are others who have not posted here yet who have figured out the real reason why I have made this post.

For those who are telling what my "experience" is, you are funny.

And for those saying I should have "done something", I'm still waiting for someone to get specific and tell me EXACTLY what I should have done (beyond calling PPD initially, and then calling back with an injury update). Do you honestly think I should have driven back over to a chaotic scene, with NO PLACE to park, in a dark intersection at night, with two smashed cars sitting in the middle of a busy intersection?? If so, then you are nuts and are talking out of your you-know-what. That is the most dangerous thing I could have done. I took the safe route, and let the OTHER PEOPLE who had stopped to help do their thing. By the way, it turns out that the woman who was holding her head and then laid down on the lawn---it was nothing. She only did that because she was upset at being in an accident. Do you still think I should have created a hazard and a danger because of that??? You people need to THINK before you type.

Regarding the intersection of Hacienda and Gibraltar, several years ago that intersection was covered by green arrows. Meaning, when the left turns lanes got the green light, they were the ONLY cars to get the green. The traffic going straight still had a red light. But for whatever reason, Pleasanton Traffic Engineering changed that and they got rid of all of the green arrows and just made it a generic round green light. When the light turns green, EVERYBODY goes---left turns and straight ahead traffic. We have a serious accident at this location approximately once a month. I don't know why they don't change it back.

Pro-Law: Since you brought up your expertise first, I'd like to ask you how you have this knowledge on 911 dispatching and how long it takes (in a small dispatch center) to get information out over the radio. I know how it works, and you are not correct in this specific situation. As I said previously, in a larger (County) operation, your assumption of how things work is a bit more accurate--but not in this situation. And as I mentioned already, I'm not calling PPD because I don't want to be identified. Hopefully the department has already looked into it, and has questioned the officer as to why he did not respond with his lights and siren turned on for an emergency. The fire truck was responding from out of district, and had an extended ETA. It is unacceptable to have that long of a response time in our city.

Posted by Reality, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 30, 2011 at 8:26 pm

For starters, I am always shocked to see how people form their opinions before knowing the facts. Joe, you really think 10 minutes is a long time? You are living in a bubble. There are departments (Oakland for example) where sometimes a shooting can take 15 minutes to get an officer to due to other hot calls.

While Joe is talking about his knowledge, I will put my 2 cents in here. By the way, I am a former police communications dispather who worked for a nearby (probably busier) department prior to changing careers.

Joe, you said you know how it works? You are mistaken. Generally there are 2 to 3 dispatchers working at a time. One usually answers phones, one is on the radio channel and one helps out where needed. At times when I worked, I was the only dispatcher. I know Pleasanton does not run their center without at least 2 on at a time. They are already answering tons of phone calls, everything from the person calling because a cat is stuck in their tree to a medical emergency.

With PPD, the call taker is NOT the same person who is on the radio. The call taker types the info into the call and the dispatcher broadcasts the info to field units. Sometimes information can be delayed getting out to officers because of many reasons. There could already be radio traffic that the dispatcher cant interupt, there may be a restricted radio channel or another unit might have priority radio traffic. Having taken hundreds of these calls years ago, you dont know what the telephone calls consisted of. The possibilites are endless.

There are different types of crashes. Property, injury, complaint of pain, major injury, solo vehicle, etc. Since other people had called, the dispatcher could have spoken with the injured party. The injured party could have told people calling she was fine. She could have told the dispatcher she had a complaint of pain but thought she was going to be fine. You would be surprised how many people decline medical attention to avoid an expensive ambulance bill. Everything the dispatcher obtains over the phone is used by the officer to determine their response.

If the dispatcher received multiple calls of a crash but both parties are out of their vehicles and declining medical attention, officers will likely not risk their safety and the publics safety responding with lights/siren. If the dispatcher received calls of a crash with someone trapped and one of the vehicles on fire, the officer might decide to expedite their response by using lights/siren. Many things are in their mind that dictate their response level. Will driving "code three" benefit this situation by me getting there sooner? Will the the medics and fire beat me there? Traffic is too heavy to drive with lights/siren. I am near a school zone, I will respond priority but not with lights/siren. We received multiple calls with different locations given for the same incident... which one should I respond to first? In all reality, the fire department is usually the unit who should be responding lights/siren. They have all the equipment and can help far more than the officer can. Despite what was said earlier, only the officer decides when to drive with lights/siren. The dispatcher works for the officer. They drive desks and dont decide how officers respond.

Without knowing any of the facts, it is unfair to judge the men and women policing your city. PPD (like every department) has a strict policy for responding with lights/siren. It is a possibility the information relayed to dispatch simply did not justify a lights/siren response. For you to say the officer should be questioned as to why he did not use emergency equipment is beyond me. If you want to make these decisions, pass the testing, the 6 month academy, the 4 month field training program, the 2 year probation period and have at it. You say their response time is unacceptable? The only thing unacceptable to me is you posting this rant and slamming the department that risks their a__ daily for their citizens without knowing the facts.

Come out from behind your computer and contact the PD if this is such a concern to you. Better yet, go on a ridealong! I am proud of the PPD and am confident they did not drop the ball here. If you dont want to be identified, make an anonymous email address and email the department and ask for an explanation. I am sure they would be willing to help you AND explain why their actions were justified and why their response was "slow" in your book.

Posted by Reality, a resident of Livermore
on Dec 30, 2011 at 8:27 pm

Please excuse my typos, spell check is not an option on here-

*former police communications DISPATCHER

Posted by An Outside View, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Dec 30, 2011 at 8:52 pm

All you responders are "dolts". Obviously, "Joe" is known by PDD, he's probably more familiar with the workings of the department and dispatch than even "Reality". Read through his posts people! And yes in Pleasanton 10 minutes is a long time for police to respond to an accident, especially when there was a call back of "confirmed injuries". I won't even degrade myself to respond to the posts of people who expected Joe to do more than what he did. As someone trained in emergency procedures and assessment I think he did the correct thing.

Reality is correct that Joe will not get his response on the forums. It would be admitting there was a problem. But I can guarentee that someone at the PDD has discussed this in a briefing. We have a very astute department of individuals who do a wonderful job in keeping Pleasanton a safe town to live in. All the officers I have met have been more than fair, courteous, and concerned for the individuals involved. Yet, officers and dispatchers are only human.

Posted by Kay, a resident of Birdland
on Dec 31, 2011 at 1:06 am

Okay, we don't live jn Oakland. Quit saying we should be thankful for quick PPD responses as compared to Oakland. We pay a hell of slit of money to live here and in a small town with minimal crime so there's no reason there should be ten minute delays for PPD to respond to anything let alone an accident with injuries. Watch the police logs so you can see for yourself. Mostly shoplifting at the mall and Walmart and almost always petty theft and not grand theft.

PPD sucks. They do everything they can to avoid having to make reports about anything and you have duspatchers who think the are qualified to make legal decisions and provide legal advice. And of course it's pretty much always a civil matter in their view as the more people they can convince this is the case, the less work they have to do. You can't even imagine what I went a few years ago to enforce a protective order as they believe that they can decide on their own bug an order should be enforced when it's up to the courts to make these decisions, not the officer. The officer is supposed to carry out the orders of the court and not decide on their own if the order should have been issued. Again, enforcing the order is more work than not so I have found they always take the easy (on them) way. I could go on and on, But won't. But trust me, I've not encountered the "eager to protect and serve" members some speak of.

So back to the main point..... It is ridiculous that it took ten mins for them to respond. And knowing they didn't come with sirens and lights suggests to me that once again their dispatch is making decisions about seriousness when they shouldn't be.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Siena
on Dec 31, 2011 at 6:02 am

"An Outside View": Thank you, thank you! You are the only one who has picked up on the real reason I am writing. I can't thank you enough for seeing what it is I'm trying to get out there.

"Reality": You make some good points, and I wish I could say more, but I can't (regarding my experience). You might be surprised. I am very familiar with how dispatching works, the call taker, the person on the radio, etc. In dispatch centers, call are prioritized. A cat in a tree takes the back burner to an injury accident. You should know this. The person doing the call taking is very capable of pushing the little red button and saying, "Unit 2, we now have a report that this is an injury accident with one person on the ground", and typing it in after transmitting. This happens all the time and is routine. The presumption of information going through this huge maze of computers and personnel simply does not apply to Pleasanton. Oakland? Yes. Pleasanton--no.

I haven't mentioned this yet because it really hasn't been too relevant, but I will throw out the comment that I have always been 100% behind cops and other public safety workers. I defend them all the time on forums such as this. But that doesn't mean they are incapable of errors---THEY ARE. In our city where the police officers are paid a very handsome, competitive salary (and benefits, and nice equipment and training), we deserve to have the best service possible. When the fire department is responding from out of district and they have a longer than normal ETA, yet we still have the cops driving to the call like they're responding to a barking dog complaint? Come on now, that's not even using common sense. It does not take "inside knowledge" to figure this out. And even if the dispatchers were busy, SO WHAT. It's their job to prioritize calls, and emergencies go to the top of the list. It is their job to relay information quickly, and the confirmation of an injury is a priority one detail. I think it's safe to assume that PPD has a policy of "use lights and siren" responding to injury accidents. I can almost guarantee this to be the case. Which brings us back full circle to my original question: Why did they not respond appropriately?

Posted by Henry, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 1, 2012 at 10:29 am

I believe the cops earn every bit they make. Many other cities in the county pay more than pleasanton (Hayward, Berkeley, Oakland, san leandro, Newark, etc) so the excuse they make a "handsome" salary can be laid to rest.

Back to the original question. You asked why they did not respond appropriately. How do you know they didn't? Maybe based on the info they had and the totality of the circumstances, they did respond appropriately. You have not acknowledged that you don't have all the facts which appears to be the point a few people are trying to make above. Why are you sitting here on a public board making these assumptions without doing your homework first? If identifying yourself is such a big deal, go to the precinct and speak with a supervisor. I doubt you would have to id yourself for that.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Siena
on Jan 1, 2012 at 11:11 am

Henry: A street cop in Pleasanton makes about $100K per year. With overtime, even more. I think that qualifies as a "handsome salary". I think their pay is fine--I did not say that I think they should make less. They also have top-shelf equipment, training, and benefits. Again, that's fine with me and I have no issue with that. But they ARE awarded handsomely. (By the way, the agencies that you cited are all much busier than Pleasanton, so if they are paid more, wouldn't you say that makes sense?).

How do I know they didn't respond appropriately? Well, you must have missed my question that I have been asking all along. I will state it one more time: If PPD policy is to respond with lights/siren to injury accidents, and they did NOT, which resulted in a long delay until ANYONE arrived on-scene (fire, police, medics), then why did they not respond appropriately? That is the question I'm asking. And as I have stated several times already, I am not going to ID myself to get this answer. This forum is the appropriate place to ask this question. I feel confident that police Administration has seen this, and they have looked into it. That works for me.

(PS: If a loved one of yours was in an injury accident, and you discovered that emergency help was delayed---as was the case here since the fire department was responding from out of district---and that the police did not respond to this as an emergency, how would you feel? I suspect you would be singing a different tune).

Posted by Anonymous, a resident of Birdland
on Jan 1, 2012 at 5:44 pm

There's a thought. You have a problem with the police department so you write it on a newspaper forum. Do you put a note on a billboard if your car has a problem? No, you deal with it logically by speaking with the people in charge.

I disagree with your thought they should make more if they are busier because regardless of where they work, they take the exact same risks. And I doubt Newark is less active than ptown but I could be wrong.

My question is how do you know they have a policy which dictates "all accidents involving any type of injury" require a full out lights/siren response? They very well might not have such a policy therefore nothing was violated. Wouldn't you want the ambulance there first? And why are you only questioning the cops and not the Pleasanton fire department? I would like some clarification from the cops about this policy if it even exists. I'm sure there is a justifiable reason. And lastly, if you believe their admin is aware of this debate, why has nothing been written on here by them?

Posted by Unknown, a resident of Downtown
on Jan 2, 2012 at 11:45 am


If you have a problem with the response time go down to the PPD station and ask them. While you are there in the lobby you can observe the the front people taking calls, greeting walk-ins and the dispatching room looks like because you are so wrong. Pleasanton doesn't have a call center!!! Just tell them your name "Joe". They're not going to arrest you for your concern. You might learn something about the PPD.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Siena
on Jan 2, 2012 at 10:22 pm

I never said that they have a call center-----you must have read someone else's comments, because I said just the opposite of that. I said that oftentimes, the person answering the 911 line is the same person that is talking on the radio. I also said that they are a small agency, and they are not large like a County operation is.

It's getting old correcting people from saying things that they THINK I said.

Posted by unknown, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 2, 2012 at 10:33 pm

Joe-It's time to move on with your day to day life. You are sounding like Cholo....

Posted by Reality, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 2, 2012 at 10:47 pm

Hoping to clear this up, I was at a Pleasanton Starbucks yesterday and spoke with an officer who was in line. The officer said PPD does not have a policy which MANDATES lights/siren response to every single traffic collision. As I suspected, they base their response off of the information provided to dispatch as well as many other factors (severity of the injury, if the fire department will get there first, how many calls, etc). He explained if their response was delayed, there is usually more to the story (incorrect information or location being reported to dispatch, call not coming directly to their dispatch center, 3rd party info, etc).

Unlike Joe, I was able to come out from behind a keyboard to find an answer.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Siena
on Jan 3, 2012 at 7:41 am

Unknown: Really? Well, this topic is interesting enough for you to read AND comment on it...maybe it's you who should move on, no?

Reality: So then my assumption is correct. The fire department was responding from out of district (extended response time), and it was a confirmed injury accident. Several callers gave the location of the accident. All of that sounds to me like "use lights and siren".

So for those of you who have vilified me, just remember this: If you are involved in an emergency in Pleasanton and you are not happy with the response time, just remember this thread and tell yourself, "A slow response time is a-okay in my book!".

Posted by Reality, a resident of Livermore
on Jan 3, 2012 at 12:11 pm

Joe, did you read something else? No, your assumption was not correct. You thought they have a policy which mandates they respond with lights/siren to all injury collisions when in fact they do not.

Posted by unknown, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 3, 2012 at 6:02 pm


Your topic is not interesting to me at all. I have lived in P-Town my whole life and I know how the PPD works. My uncle retired from the PPD. You are crying over spilled milk.

Also, at least "Reality" was not SCARED to talk to an officer to get the answer for you.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Siena
on Jan 3, 2012 at 8:20 pm

You guys are funny!

Posted by Refused, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 4, 2012 at 12:05 pm

Joe, you are the funny one. Nice try at slamming the pd when you have no idea what you are talking about. Go back to hiding behind your keyboard, this debate is over.

Posted by Joe, a resident of Siena
on Jan 4, 2012 at 7:14 pm


This is why you are so funny! I haven't slammed the police ONCE---not a single time. I am simply raising an issue of concern.

Nice insult, by the way...but I've heard so much worse. Come on, you can do better than that. Ask your friends tomorrow at the playground.

Posted by whatever, a resident of another community
on Jan 4, 2012 at 10:24 pm

Joe Joe Joe: You are slamming the PPD,fire dept,and paramedics in all your postings!!!!!! Just because there was a fender bender you are all bent out of shape because you didn't get see any flashing lights. Maybe you're the one that caused the accident and left the seen drove around the corner hoping to see the lights flashing.YOU ARE A SICKO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Joe, a resident of Siena
on Jan 5, 2012 at 11:00 pm

There you go again---you are cracking me up!

Posted by whatever, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jan 9, 2012 at 12:18 am

Joe-YOU ARE A JOKE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted by Gina Channell-Allen, president of the Pleasanton Weekly
on Jan 9, 2012 at 10:52 am

Gina Channell-Allen is a registered user.

This thread has strayed so far from the original topic, and any worthwhile conversation, that I am closing it.