CAN'T MP PATROL OFFICERS TAKE THEIR COFFEE BREAKS AFTER 8AM WHEN THE KIDS ARE SAFELY IN SCHOOL? Menlo Park, posted by juswondering, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Jan 17, 2007 at 7:51 pm
I'VE NOTICED WITH REGULARITY THAT MULTIPLE SQUAD CARS ARE PARKED AROUND DOWNTOWN STARBUCKS ON WEEKDAYS AT 8AM. CAN'T WE GET THEM OUT BY THE SCHOOL GROUNDS TO ENHANCE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY/TRAFFIC CONTROL AND HAVE THEM TAKE THEIR COFFEE BREAKS AT 9 WHEN THE KIDS ARE SAFELY IN CLASS? HOW ABOUT WE PARENTS ENTICE THEM WITH HAND DELIVERED STARBUCKS (OR PEETS) WITH A BAGEL/ROLL/DONUT TO THEIR PATROL CARS AS A GESTURE OF OUR APPRECIATION FOR THEIR "ON SITE" PRESENCE. ANY VOLUNTEERS?
Posted by Concerned, a resident of the Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park neighborhood, on Jan 19, 2007 at 8:30 am
Where is Menlo Park traffic enforcement? Santa Cruz Avenue is a free-for-all at 8am. Today there were several cars zipping up the center from San Mateo Drive to Olive Avenue, mostly to turn left on Olive, but one cut back into the traffic lane. At the same time, another car drove three blocks in the bike lane to turn right on Cotton forcing a pedestrian to get out of the way. I have called the police business line several times but have not seen any police presence yet. We really need to get this fixed before someone gets hurt!
Posted by Copout, a resident of the Menlo Park: Belle Haven neighborhood, on Jan 19, 2007 at 6:03 pm
Menlo Park police officers are way too highly paid to handle mundane tasks like traffic control. It's beneath them! So you can speed with impunity, and as for stop signs, no need to do more than slow down, especially if you see a kid on a bike or a pedestrian.
In fact, I'm not sure what the MP police actually do. Probably hold a lot of union meetings trying to figure out if they'll be able to extra their full pensions before the city goes bankrupt.
Posted by Pedestrian, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, on Jan 20, 2007 at 10:31 am
I would like to offer my thanks to the Menlo Park Police Department for the recent ticketing of vehicular offenders on Santa Cruz Ave and Menlo Ave. I have noted your presence in both marked and unmarked cars at intersections in those areas where drivers take frequent liberties with safety. Also, thanks for pursuing potentially armed suspects of the frequent violent crimes that occur in the area and enduring the ongoing uncertainty of what might happen on even a seemingly routine call.
If you feel the need to pick up a coffee or take a bathroom break, please continue to do so. I certainly don't feel less safe for it or believe you are ignoring the duties of your job.
Posted by Copout, a resident of the Menlo Park: South of Seminary/Vintage Oaks neighborhood, on Jan 20, 2007 at 10:30 pm
I stop completely at stop signs. But I see many people who don't, and I don't see them get tickets. Drivers regularly drive 40-50 mph through residential neighborhoods where the limit is 25 mph. I won't go over the limit, so I have had people tailgaiting me or passing me illegally. I don't remember the last time I saw a speeder, tailgaiter, or reckless driver get a ticket. It doesn't happen; if it did, we wouldn't see so many of these kinds of incidents.
Menlo Park is safe because the people who live here are generally well mannered, not because of the non-existent policing of our city. I'm wondering how many of you defending the police are on the receiving end of those generous police salaries or pensions?
Posted by Pedestrian, a resident of the Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park neighborhood, on Jan 21, 2007 at 8:04 am
Seems you are jumping to many conclusions...sounds like you come from a perspective of "If I don't see it, it doesn't exist." Thus, I won't spend much time on any debate. For the record, I am a law abiding citizen in the healthcare field with a young child and do not benefit from any public servant salaries or pensions. Also, my understanding is that many of the MP officiers cannot afford to live in Menlo Park proper on their "generous" salaries and pensions. Do you honestly believe that if we cut out funding for our police force that "well-mannered" vigilantism would work?
Posted by A Cop, a resident of another community, on Jan 21, 2007 at 10:04 am
Police Officer compensation is set by supply and demand, not the poor decisions of Menlo Park administrators. There is a finite pool of people who can pass the background check, complete the academy, and actually perform on the street. There are many agencies in this area competing for those employees. If Menlo Park's compensation isn't competitive, cops simply move to another agency. Redwood City PD and the Sheriff's Office both pay considerably more and they are always hiring.
Menlo Park's financial mess may be tied, in part, to government employee pension plans. But, there's also clearly a revenue component to the problem.
As for cops hanging out at Starbucks during commute time, I think the original poster to this thread has a point. I can't defend what they're doing -- it just looks bad. I sure the command staff would agree that there are better times to congregate and have a cup of coffee.
Posted by beentheredonethat, a resident of another community, on Jan 23, 2007 at 10:28 am
I agree with Cop from other community. Since I have lived in PA and MP, I have noticed the town's citizen's sense of entitlement instead of having a sense for the greater good is a contributing factor to the traffic problems around the MP schools. Parents are not thinking about "all" the children when they are speeding to and from school and/or disobeying parking rules in their rush to get their own child(ren) to school on time.
When the officers have been at the schools during rush hour, nine out of ten times they are handing out warnings versus tickets. Now think of your own children when you do not follow through with a punishment....they learn to push the envelope.
The solution is simple: schools need to set-up a better process for pick-up and drop-off; parents must obey the rules of the school and traffic laws created by the government; the police should not take breaks during school rush hours; and when the police are at schools they should feel comfortable or brave enough to give parents tickets.
Posted by jl, a resident of the Menlo Park: Fair Oaks neighborhood, on Mar 2, 2007 at 2:41 pm
i dont have a problem with a cop making a living wage, which you know, could be reasonable defined a variety of ways, but the idea of paying a cop enough to live in the cities in which they reside is not particularly feasible. In exclusive communities, is the rationale going to be that you have all city employees, or persons working in the city, making enough to live there? That doesnt make any sense.
If you paid a cop in MP 100K a year, which is very generous and certainly well above the salary offered by competing agencies, that cop still wouldnt be able to afford to own a home in MP. So whats the argument?
There are always going to be supply/demand forces at work for labor, thats just the way of the world. I do object to public servants being eligible for excessive overtime amounts, and I object to the abuses of the system that result in the inflated earnings (meaning all the OT) being included in the calculation for pensions. This is what is bankrupting cities across the state.