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City Council to review Pleasanton police update on school officers, staffing, 'stop data' collection

Also: City officials will ask for approval of ADA accessibility ordinance for multi-unit housing

The Pleasanton Police Department is set to present its biannual report to the City Council on Tuesday and review key topics such as school police officers, "stop data" collection and hiring initiatives.

School resource officers (SROs) are police that are assigned by the city and by the Pleasanton Unified School District to help in any school-related crime or emergencies.

The district and city have employed SROs since 2002 as "a joint effort to keep our schools safe and establish a positive police presence in Pleasanton schools," according to the PUSD website.

According to the city staff report, Tuesday's update on the SRO program includes information about recent arrests made at schools, the implementation of the Alternate Response to Mental Health Unit and outreach efforts aimed to develop a better relationship with the students.

"Since March 2022, officers have made three arrests at Pleasanton schools," according to the staff report. "Then in May, the SRO made three additional arrests of students (two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old male) for theft of other student's bicycles. The cases were diverted to Horizons Family Services. All of these arrests were made in private (not in front of other students)."

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The arrests in March involved two 15 and 16-year-old males who were caught fighting and one 15-year-old student for drug sales after an SRO discovered the drugs after the students was, "searched by a school administrator for being in a bathroom with other students who had been vaping."

"The suspect in this case was arrested and booked at Juvenile Hall due to the seriousness of the crime on campus," the staff report read.

The implementation of the Alternate Response to Mental Health Unit has, however, helped in handling non-crime related situations, according to the report.

The unit was established in January and has since conducted 32 mental health evaluations for students who may have been in crisis.

"Of those calls, only two students were placed on a mental health hold," according to the staff report. "This is in comparison to seven students out of 32 instances as noted in the prior update to council."

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Apart from the SRO program update, the council will be reviewing the police department's stop data collection.

Stop data allows the council and police to assess the existence of racial disparities and use the findings to acknowledge and respond appropriately to any disparities.

"In 2016 Governor (Jerry) Brown signed Assembly Bill 953 titled the Racial and Identity Profiling Act (RIPA)," the staff report reads. "RIPA requires peace officers in California to collect data on all instances where a person is stopped and has been phased in during the past five years based on the number of sworn officers. "

According to the report, PPD has been collecting stop data for more than 20 years, but the new RIPA requirements for collecting data are much greater.

The department began collecting RIPA data on Oct.1, 2021. Staff reviewed data up to Aug. 15 for this report and have collected 9,605 records.

Hiring more police officers is the other big-ticket item that police will be presenting to the council. The main challenge here, according to the report, is finding more police officers to apply for a job in the city.

"The 83 sworn positions include three administrators, five managers, 13 supervisors and 62 officers; of those, 13 are presently unable to perform the daily work of their assigned role due to injury or training status," the report states.

It also stated that in the last two years, two officers left the department to move out of state, another resigned to run a family business and two left to continue their careers in cities within Placer County.

"Law enforcement agencies regionally, statewide and nationally are challenged with officer recruitment and retention -- fewer applicants are applying, and more people are leaving the profession prior to retirement," the city staff report read. "The Police Department is not immune from this trend as the department has seen fewer people responding to job postings and current officers moving to other police departments or leaving the profession entirely."

The council's regular meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 20). The full agenda can be accessed here.

In other business

* The police department will also be asking the council on Tuesday for the approval to purchase two crime vehicles for a total of $1,326,711.

Officers are asking the council for a command vehicle and crime scene investigation vehicle, each of which are owned by other police departments in Alameda County, according to the staff report.

The command vehicle would serve as a remote command post during a wide range of incidents, special events, operations and natural disasters. It would also serve as a backup dispatch center when the Police Department's dispatch center is inoperable.

"Pleasanton is susceptible to a variety of needs for a dedicated command vehicle," according to the staff report. "Large command posts have been established in Pleasanton for fires and evacuations occurring on the Pleasanton Ridge. In 2021, a multi-week search and rescue operation occurred in a rural area of Pleasanton requiring multiple command vehicles for multi-agency coordination."

On the other hand, the crime scene investigation vehicle will be smaller than the command vehicle and will include storage dedicated for equipment needed during major crime scenes and traffic collision investigations.

"The purchase of a crime scene investigation vehicle will enhance the integrity of evidence and the subsequent investigation," the staff report states. "The vehicle will reduce staff time spent on evidence processing and the reliance on other agencies."

Funding for these vehicles, if approved, would come out of existing and future Citizens' Option for Public Safety funds. The $1,326,711 from the account will be appropriated to purchase the vehicles in the next fiscal years' budget.

The vehicles will also have to be included in the Department's list of authorized military equipment per Assembly Bill 481, which requires police departments in California to keep a running list of what is defined as military equipment for oversight by local governing bodies.

* The council will be reviewing a proposed "universal design" draft ordinance for new single-family, duplex and triplex units developments to improve accessibility conditions.

In a work plan from 2021, the council included an action to amend the city's code and development standards to enhance minimum Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility requirements.

"The description of the project is to ensure a higher level of accessibility standards, such as roll-in showers, universal design elements, for new apartment construction," the staff report states. "The intent of this work plan item is to ensure, as new residential development occurs, opportunities are provided for persons of all ages and abilities to access and enjoy housing suitable for their needs."

In April, the City Council directed staff to draft the universal design ordinance, which includes recommendations on mandatory versus voluntary features to be included.

Some of the features include developing and implementing a "Universal Design Checklist", which through a condition of approval would "require developers of single-family projects of 10 or more units to provide a list of universal accessibility features available; and update the current condition of approval for multi-family residential development over 15 units."

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Christian Trujano
 
Christian Trujano, a Bay Area native and San Jose State alum, joined Embarcadero Media in May 2022 following his graduation. He is an award-winning student journalist who has covered stories in San Jose ranging from crime to higher education. Read more >>

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City Council to review Pleasanton police update on school officers, staffing, 'stop data' collection

Also: City officials will ask for approval of ADA accessibility ordinance for multi-unit housing

by / Pleasanton Weekly

Uploaded: Mon, Sep 19, 2022, 11:58 pm

The Pleasanton Police Department is set to present its biannual report to the City Council on Tuesday and review key topics such as school police officers, "stop data" collection and hiring initiatives.

School resource officers (SROs) are police that are assigned by the city and by the Pleasanton Unified School District to help in any school-related crime or emergencies.

The district and city have employed SROs since 2002 as "a joint effort to keep our schools safe and establish a positive police presence in Pleasanton schools," according to the PUSD website.

According to the city staff report, Tuesday's update on the SRO program includes information about recent arrests made at schools, the implementation of the Alternate Response to Mental Health Unit and outreach efforts aimed to develop a better relationship with the students.

"Since March 2022, officers have made three arrests at Pleasanton schools," according to the staff report. "Then in May, the SRO made three additional arrests of students (two 15-year-olds and a 16-year-old male) for theft of other student's bicycles. The cases were diverted to Horizons Family Services. All of these arrests were made in private (not in front of other students)."

The arrests in March involved two 15 and 16-year-old males who were caught fighting and one 15-year-old student for drug sales after an SRO discovered the drugs after the students was, "searched by a school administrator for being in a bathroom with other students who had been vaping."

"The suspect in this case was arrested and booked at Juvenile Hall due to the seriousness of the crime on campus," the staff report read.

The implementation of the Alternate Response to Mental Health Unit has, however, helped in handling non-crime related situations, according to the report.

The unit was established in January and has since conducted 32 mental health evaluations for students who may have been in crisis.

"Of those calls, only two students were placed on a mental health hold," according to the staff report. "This is in comparison to seven students out of 32 instances as noted in the prior update to council."

Apart from the SRO program update, the council will be reviewing the police department's stop data collection.

Stop data allows the council and police to assess the existence of racial disparities and use the findings to acknowledge and respond appropriately to any disparities.

"In 2016 Governor (Jerry) Brown signed Assembly Bill 953 titled the Racial and Identity Profiling Act (RIPA)," the staff report reads. "RIPA requires peace officers in California to collect data on all instances where a person is stopped and has been phased in during the past five years based on the number of sworn officers. "

According to the report, PPD has been collecting stop data for more than 20 years, but the new RIPA requirements for collecting data are much greater.

The department began collecting RIPA data on Oct.1, 2021. Staff reviewed data up to Aug. 15 for this report and have collected 9,605 records.

Hiring more police officers is the other big-ticket item that police will be presenting to the council. The main challenge here, according to the report, is finding more police officers to apply for a job in the city.

"The 83 sworn positions include three administrators, five managers, 13 supervisors and 62 officers; of those, 13 are presently unable to perform the daily work of their assigned role due to injury or training status," the report states.

It also stated that in the last two years, two officers left the department to move out of state, another resigned to run a family business and two left to continue their careers in cities within Placer County.

"Law enforcement agencies regionally, statewide and nationally are challenged with officer recruitment and retention -- fewer applicants are applying, and more people are leaving the profession prior to retirement," the city staff report read. "The Police Department is not immune from this trend as the department has seen fewer people responding to job postings and current officers moving to other police departments or leaving the profession entirely."

The council's regular meeting is scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Tuesday (Sept. 20). The full agenda can be accessed here.

In other business

* The police department will also be asking the council on Tuesday for the approval to purchase two crime vehicles for a total of $1,326,711.

Officers are asking the council for a command vehicle and crime scene investigation vehicle, each of which are owned by other police departments in Alameda County, according to the staff report.

The command vehicle would serve as a remote command post during a wide range of incidents, special events, operations and natural disasters. It would also serve as a backup dispatch center when the Police Department's dispatch center is inoperable.

"Pleasanton is susceptible to a variety of needs for a dedicated command vehicle," according to the staff report. "Large command posts have been established in Pleasanton for fires and evacuations occurring on the Pleasanton Ridge. In 2021, a multi-week search and rescue operation occurred in a rural area of Pleasanton requiring multiple command vehicles for multi-agency coordination."

On the other hand, the crime scene investigation vehicle will be smaller than the command vehicle and will include storage dedicated for equipment needed during major crime scenes and traffic collision investigations.

"The purchase of a crime scene investigation vehicle will enhance the integrity of evidence and the subsequent investigation," the staff report states. "The vehicle will reduce staff time spent on evidence processing and the reliance on other agencies."

Funding for these vehicles, if approved, would come out of existing and future Citizens' Option for Public Safety funds. The $1,326,711 from the account will be appropriated to purchase the vehicles in the next fiscal years' budget.

The vehicles will also have to be included in the Department's list of authorized military equipment per Assembly Bill 481, which requires police departments in California to keep a running list of what is defined as military equipment for oversight by local governing bodies.

* The council will be reviewing a proposed "universal design" draft ordinance for new single-family, duplex and triplex units developments to improve accessibility conditions.

In a work plan from 2021, the council included an action to amend the city's code and development standards to enhance minimum Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessibility requirements.

"The description of the project is to ensure a higher level of accessibility standards, such as roll-in showers, universal design elements, for new apartment construction," the staff report states. "The intent of this work plan item is to ensure, as new residential development occurs, opportunities are provided for persons of all ages and abilities to access and enjoy housing suitable for their needs."

In April, the City Council directed staff to draft the universal design ordinance, which includes recommendations on mandatory versus voluntary features to be included.

Some of the features include developing and implementing a "Universal Design Checklist", which through a condition of approval would "require developers of single-family projects of 10 or more units to provide a list of universal accessibility features available; and update the current condition of approval for multi-family residential development over 15 units."

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