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Pleasanton city leaders mull changes to local policing

Original post made on Aug 25, 2020

Pleasanton residents asked the city for more change to the Pleasanton Police Department's use-of-force policies and to establish a mental health response program at a special online meeting Thursday night.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Monday, August 24, 2020, 3:18 PM

Comments (11)

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Posted by LanceM
a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Aug 25, 2020 at 12:00 pm

LanceM is a registered user.

All studies that I have seen have shown DARE to have no positive effect in the long term. I'm glad that is being analyzed, and even if you ignroe the science residents don't put much value in it ("it scored very low on having value" in a previous survey of residents").

As for SRO officers, if most students feel like this ;"Please remove school resource officers from our schools; they don't make us feel safe, they scare us." then the police are doing something wrong. Perhaps we should look into why the police are scaring the students. It goes back to that community policing, where the police need to be part of the community not be the punishing overlords. But of course these same students will go to a concert with a few thousand people and see no problem with dozens of police officers.


8 people like this
Posted by Rishabh Raj
a resident of Las Positas
on Aug 30, 2020 at 5:40 pm

Rishabh Raj is a registered user.

@LanceM I agree with your comments on DARE, but I would like to clarify some things about your comments on the SROs.

The article didn't cover this, but there are far more reasons we students dislike our SROs aside from the fact that they are intimidating. For one, they are ineffective. A 2018 study by the Washington Post found that out of 200 school shootings since 1900, only *1* had been ended by a school resource officer (that being in 2001). This was brought up by multiple speakers at the meeting to address the views of those in the community who continue to hold the belief that "school resource officers are good for us" because of positive experiences they personally had with the police in the past, instead of looking at the actual data.

The other, perhaps more personal reason that other speakers at the listening session brought up is that school resource officers are not helpful in the slightest. For instance, one of my friends at Amador Valley High School, suddenly had a seizure during lunch one day. In response, he was pinned to the ground by our school resource officer, instead of receiving the medical attention he needed. There are countless other stories like this in Pleasanton and in other communities across the US, and in other communities, there's a track record of school resource officers being the start of the infamous "school to prison" pipeline.

Those are the reasons we called for the end of school resource officers. We were disappointed that certain council members opted to side with their own personal experiences to make policy decisions instead of listening to data and facts and stories from the communities, but that just goes to show how important this upcoming election is.

Your comment about kids going to concerts and not being bothered by officers makes no sense, by the way. We still recognize the need for police in every day life (ex: ensuring safety at a concert), but we don't want them where they're not needed (ie, schools).


11 people like this
Posted by paine
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 1, 2020 at 10:34 am

paine is a registered user.

So much wrong with the thoughts above.. Your take from the study you cite is misleading, and factually incorrect. By "ending" the threat, they are citing being killed by law enforcement. There are studies that provide many concrete examples of the effect of law enforcemtn response on and active shooter.

Intimidating? that's your perspective. Pinning down a kid with a seizure? I just plain don't believe that, stop relying on rumors and fourth hand off-base anecdotes to draw your conclusions. If that was the case where is the lawsuit?

Don't drink the koolaid


10 people like this
Posted by MichaelB
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 1, 2020 at 12:35 pm

MichaelB is a registered user.

"There are countless other stories like this in Pleasanton and in other communities across the US, and in other communities, there's a track record of school resource officers being the start of the infamous "school to prison" pipeline."


In other words, we just can't have accountability for students who may pose a threat to others/disrupt the learning process? We just need to make excuses for it - and let them go. Sounds just like what happened with Nikolas Cruz in Parkland. He was a known threat and was sent to an Obama era diversionary program vs. being criminally charged and/or involuntarily committed. If he'd been charged/committed, he would have failed a firearms background check.


Posted by Name hidden
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows

on Sep 1, 2020 at 1:14 pm

Due to repeated violations of our Terms of Use, comments from this poster are automatically removed. Why?


5 people like this
Posted by Rishabh Raj
a resident of Las Positas
on Sep 1, 2020 at 7:12 pm

Rishabh Raj is a registered user.

@paine

Here is the link to the article I referenced: Web Link

Please tell what part of my take was "factually incorrect." Yes, I acknowledge that there are other ways of ending the threat that school resource officers have used in the past — but the fact remains amount of times school resource officers across the US have failed to successfully stop or end a school shooting far outnumber the amount of times they succeed.

The idea that school resource officers are intimidating is not just my own perspective. It is also the perspective of many of the youth who spoke at the last city council meeting. And given that we students, you know, go to the schools with school resource officers, our perspective has to be considered and shouldn't be discounted.

My story about my friend being pinned to the ground by an SRO rumors and "fourth hand off-base anecdotes." I'm talking about a friend who had to go through that and event that countless of my peers witnessed firsthand. I would tell you his name, but he was a minor at the time of incident and I want to respect his privacy. Choosing to not believe this anecdote because there wasn't a lawsuit in response makes no sense. If you know about qualified immunity, you'd know that a lawsuit would have likely failed to hold that officer accountable for his actions at all. I cannot speak on behalf of my friend, but in many other cases, victims do not have the means or even the desire to go through the long and arduous process of a lawsuit because they would have to re-live through that trauma.

You, my friend, should stop drinking the kool-aid


4 people like this
Posted by Rishabh Raj
a resident of Las Positas
on Sep 1, 2020 at 7:12 pm

Rishabh Raj is a registered user.

@MichaelB Your comment is unfortunately the exact point-of-view that has prevented meaningful police reform from happening in this country. You're stuck with the idea that incarceration and policing have to be the solution for every problem. We are not advocating for a world where we get rid of police and do nothing else to fix societal issues — that would obviously be bad. We are advocating for preventative measures, in the form of mental health counselors and other social services, that never let the mental conditions of say, Nikolas Cruz, reach a point where they become a threat to themselves or others around them. School resource officers are inherently a reactionary measure. They do not deter future behavior, especially for kids going through a mental health crisis. The police are useful in many instances, but not in schools. The best way to address students "who may pose a threat to others/disrupt the learning process" is be proactive, not reactive.

And while we're on the topic of Nikolas Cruz, your idea that charging with a crime and incarcerating him would've prevented him from obtaining a firearm ignores crucial facts around the incident. Broward County Sherriff Scott Israel was removed from his job for not addressing the loopholes that allowed Cruz to obtain a firearm, despite his record of threatening behavior. Nothing would've changed if Cruz had gone to jail — the second he would get out, he would've been able to get a gun just as easily because of both the mass proliferation of firearms and the corresponding lack of gun control in this country. Incarceration is, yet again, not the solution.

And please provide a source for the "Obama era diversionary program that he went to" — he did receive help from social services, yes. But none of these services were signed into law or created by Obama, and they were clearly quite inadequate.

Oh, and guess how school resource officer Scot Peterson responded to the Parkland shooting? He hid behind his vehicle for 5 minutes and failed to confront Cruz. That is exactly what the article I referenced in my comment above proves to be a national trend and evidence for why we shouldn't want SROs, because they are very clearly ineffective.


6 people like this
Posted by Mike
a resident of Del Prado
on Sep 1, 2020 at 10:40 pm

Mike is a registered user.

Raj:

Two things:

I've taken a few first aid course and combat care courses. When someone is having a seizure, the proper and only thing to do is to keep them from hitting anything around them. That's it. Maybe call 911. Was the RSO holding your friend down to keep him/her from moving around and possibly getting injured? To your friends it might have looked like the RSO was holding them down.

As far as the RSO only once stopping a shooting. How many shooting were prevented because a RSO was on sight. We will never know.

As a former cop with 20 years of experience, I know the RSO was an easy Mon-Fri gig for the cop.


8 people like this
Posted by MichaelB
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 2, 2020 at 5:04 am

MichaelB is a registered user.

"And while we're on the topic of Nikolas Cruz, your idea that charging with a crime and incarcerating him would've prevented him from obtaining a firearm ignores crucial facts around the incident. Broward County Sherriff Scott Israel was removed from his job for not addressing the loopholes that allowed Cruz to obtain a firearm, despite his record of threatening behavior. Nothing would've changed if Cruz had gone to jail — the second he would get out, he would've been able to get a gun just as easily because of both the mass proliferation of firearms and the corresponding lack of gun control in this country. Incarceration is, yet again, not the solution. "


More misguided reasoning. If he's in jail, he can't commit a school shooting. Guns (objects) "cause" violence - but criminals somehow do not. Firearms have been around in this nation for years, criminals are not going to comply with new gun laws/bans, and the "mass proliferation" (whatever that means) claims as a cause of violence do not hold up under closer scrutiny. There are millions of citizens who own/have permits to carry guns - and do absolutely nothing wrong with them.


8 people like this
Posted by MichaelB
a resident of Pleasanton Meadows
on Sep 2, 2020 at 5:12 am

MichaelB is a registered user.

"And please provide a source for the "Obama era diversionary program that he went to" — he did receive help from social services, yes. But none of these services were signed into law or created by Obama, and they were clearly quite inadequate."


Web Link


16 people like this
Posted by Juan Hidalgo Garcia Jr
a resident of Amberwood/Wood Meadows
on Sep 2, 2020 at 1:07 pm

Juan Hidalgo Garcia Jr is a registered user.

Rishabh Raj -

I’m glad you posted because your position seems very similar to the 40 debate club members that called the city council. Nobody really had a chance to flesh out their position, beyond not really liking school resource officers and a lot of talk about the “school to pipeline.”

I think it is fair to assume that officers who are stationed at the school full time will necessarily be more familiar with the students, the staff, the parents, and other school issues. When they respond to crimes at the school, they have the benefit of this information, as well as the additional training discussed in the meeting. If we were to remove school resource officers, the schools will continue to contact the police to deal with criminal conduct (removing school resource officers will not change this fact). Rather than an officer who is familiar with the school, the students, the staff, the parents, etc, a regular beat cop is going to respond to these situations. Without there benefit of the additional training and resources of the school resource officers, these officers will be far more likely to revert to traditional police strategies - enforcing the law.

How do you see this dynamic improving the “school to prison pipeline” or improving relationships between students and the police?

From first glance, it appears your solution would further exacerbate the problems you are hoping to solve.


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