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About this blog: A longtime newspaperman, I have been editor of the Pleasanton Weekly since it was launched Jan. 28, 2000. I was a reporter and Neighborhood News editor at the Chicago Tribune for 13 years, and previously a reporter for the Advance...  (More)

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As Dublin grows, so does its police force

Uploaded: Apr 5, 2017
Chief of Police Dennis Houghtelling told Tri-Valley Realtors and real estate associates at a recent meeting of the Valley Real Estate Network that they can assure their clients that Dublin is a safe, virtually crime-free city with abundant public amenities for families to enjoy.

Its law enforcement capabilities are as strong as Alameda County’s since it’s the county sheriff’s department that contracts to provide Dublin’s police protection, he said.

Dublin began contracting law enforcement services with the county when the city was incorporated on Feb. 2, 1982. At the time, the contract was for $1.1 million and the city’s population was 14,520.

Today, Houghtelling said his contract amounts to $17-million, serving a population of 53,747 that continues to grow. The police department, still part of the Alameda County sheriff’s office, has a staff of 61, up from 20 in 1982, with the city's population expected to climb in the coming years to more than 80,000.

“We’ll be growing law enforcement along with the population,” Houghtelling said, “and with all of the advantages of being county contracted service.”

Unlike a city-directed-and-financed department, Dublin’s county contract gives the city automatic replacement of any officer off duty for more than 10 days because of illness or an injury; an ongoing complement of fully trained and experienced officers from the sheriff’s department, and additional help from the sheriff’s office immediately in the event of a major incident and priority access to the sheriff’s specialized units when needed.

Because of its contract, Dublin has the help of the sheriff’s globally-resourced investigation division into any crimes occurring in the city, ranging from property crimes to forgeries, auto thefts and narcotics.

Along with performing regular police duties in Dublin, the contracted force also handles other typical city services such as providing on-campus resource officers to Dublin schools, citizens’ and youth academies and volunteer opportunities for extra patrols during sports events and for St. Patrick’s Day weekend activities.

Besides his public outreach efforts to the Valley Real Estate Network and other organizations in the area, Houghtelling makes it a point to enjoy a cup of coffee and conversation with the public. Just a week ago, he met with a group at Starbucks at Persimmon Place.

“It’s part of my ongoing commitment to openness, responsiveness to the community, and our efforts (in Dublin) to enhance citywide communications,” he said.

Houghtelling has more than 40 years of experience in law enforcement. He spent the first 27 years of his career with the Hayward Police Department, serving as a deputy police chief for three of those years and as interim chief in 2003.

He joined the Alameda County Sheriff’s Office later that year and was promoted to commander in 2010. In that capacity, he was charged with managing the Department of Homeland Security’s Bay Area Urban Security Initiative where he assisted with regional preparedness efforts.

The Valley Real Estate Network is a Tri-Valley organization committed to helping real estate industry professionals promote and grow their business.

The group meets at 8:30 a.m. Fridays at Inklings Coffee and Tea, 530 Main St., Pleasanton.

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