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Resident raises concern Atherton police officers are flouting mask rules

Original post made on Jan 15, 2021

A local resident says she has witnessed Atherton Police Department officers not wearing face masks while on the job, potentially putting themselves and the people they encounter at risk of contracting COVID-19.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, January 15, 2021, 10:00 AM

Comments (6)

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 15, 2021 at 3:48 pm

CyberVoter is a registered user.

Our local merchants are going out of business & losing their life savings with little help from local Gov't, crime is escalating, our schools are failing to educate our children to meet even CA's reduced standards and THIS rises to the "Investigative Reporting" standards of the local paper?

Posted by Brian
a resident of Menlo Park: The Willows
on Jan 15, 2021 at 7:44 pm

Brian is a registered user.

I seem to recall reading stories in the Almanac about the Local businesses and what they were going through as well as what the city is trying to do to help them. I also recall reading about the schools and the struggles of the student and the rise in property crime, especially in Atherton. This is one more facet of Covid-19 that the community is dealing with, I think this is a fine topic to report on.

Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 15, 2021 at 9:32 pm

Thoughtful is a registered user.

Something seems wrong with this picture. Citizen comes forward, says officers are pulling people over without wearing masks, and two of them tested positive for COVID in December. Chief doesn't confirm or deny, but talks about the generic policies. REPEAT violations of the mask policy lead to…counseling? When a citizen's health could be seriously endangered? That's nuts, since there's nothing subtle about this that would require training or counseling. It's simple right vs. wrong.

Posted by CyberVoter
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 16, 2021 at 10:06 am

CyberVoter is a registered user.

Thoughtful, Brian & Others:
I understand your concerns & the issues of "setting an example". However, my points are:
1) Is "Social Media" really the way to handle this? IF these allegations are true, shouldn't the observer contact the Police Chief directly - rather than escalate an allegation though Social Media immediately? All that does is create an adversary relationship from the "get go". I have never had a problem contacting & talking with the Police Chief. If I saw this occur I would call the Chief & follow-up with a note documenting the times & locations to him for his action. At least give him a chance to address the issue without turning it into a neighborhood, & beyond, kerfuffle! If it continues, then escalation to Social Media may be appropriate.
2) Crime, School Performance, Local Economy: These deserve to be escalated & continually reported on. A simple story in the Almanac can easily be filed by a "Repeater" (i.e. merely repeats press releases & quotes). We need local "investigative" Reporters that follow-up on the issues & probe & report as the real cause of the problems and what is being done (especially locally) to solve the problems. It should be a continuing story.
The Almanac can do better & it should.

Posted by Thoughtful
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 18, 2021 at 4:34 pm

Thoughtful is a registered user.

CyberVoter – we can agree to disagree on some of your points, but I would like to emphasize, again, that an informal approach could not possibly have worked because this article spells out the consequences of officers repeatedly declining to wear their masks: no actual consequences, even for serial infractions. Therefore I have to conclude there's nothing the chief can do, and it's an appropriate item for fourth estate advocacy.

Posted by Jessica
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jan 19, 2021 at 8:56 am

Jessica is a registered user.

To Angela Swartz, you are an amazing journalist and you do your best to maintain the integrity of local news and the spread of valuable information. However, covering this as an article is ridiculous. Please think next time of whether doing this wasted anyone's time, especially yours, when you could've covered the efforts that the Atherton Police make in ACTUAL crime prevention, regular community outreach, and how they are the most responsive Police Department whenever ANY single individual reaches out. The Atherton Police Department aren't the rambunctious group of cops or vainglorious jerks who seek to raise their arrest quotas - these are police officers who will take their time to genuinely help out not only the Atherton Community members, but even assist their neighboring cities. As Chief said, they are so short staff and that even 2 officers down impacts them greatly. How they got COVID - so you think that anyone who gets COVID should go through an entire background ? That's ridiculous ! They have no luxury of staying in to quarantine, they have lives outside of work, they also interact with people who probably don't wear a mask but yet they do - so many ways to get it. So to this person who "fears retaliation," get over yourself ! The only way you can demonize cops and get your 15 minutes of attention is by knocking them down for masks ? What proof ? Which officers ? What efforts did you do in order to report them ?

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