Posted by Fuch's Neighbor, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Nov 3, 2009 at 10:27 am
I recommend that the Dept. report on all of their activity, for example, their 11-month investigation of the Rylan Fuch's murder case. Their "transparency" policy should not be limited to traffic stops! Unfortunately, the Weekly cannot be expected to report on those incidents. The 11-month delay does not capture their interest?
Posted by Fuch's Neighbor, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Nov 4, 2009 at 10:25 am
Your response is one more example of how you evade the subject.My reference to traffic stops was intended to point out that they and other minor offenses are the focus of this PD, not a homicide. Blaming the 11 months on the DA is easier than getting the Mayor, the Chief's boss,to put the necessary pressure on the DA to do something. Obviously, the Fuch's case is at the bottom of the pile which includes nummerous cases from across CCCounty. The Chief and Mayor should not accept that status.This case raises another question, why have a PD if the Sheriff is given the control of cases such as this one right from the onset because our PD does not have the capability to investigate a homicide?
Posted by 15-Year Danville Resident, a member of the Greenbrook Elementary School community, on Nov 6, 2009 at 10:02 am
A few comments before I go looking for my torch and pitch fork...
1) There's nothing in the "Police Log" above that states that this represents the sole or complete focus of the Danville police department. It's simply the dispatch call list for each day. The Fuchs' case is not part of the PD's activity for the week. That case in the hands of the DA's office so, even if this list was intended to be complete record of all PD/Sheriff activity, the Fuchs' case wouldn't be on it, it would be on the DA's list.
2) Traffic stops are a major tool for law enforcement. In many areas, traffic stops result in a non-traffic, criminal arrest 50-60% of the time. Please, Danville PD, keep it up.
3) The Danville police department is contracted by and serves at the pleasure of the mayor and town council. The PD is contracted from the Sheriff's department. They are one and the same. As part of the Sheriff's department structure (one favored by the town council), Danville PD primarily has patrol responsibilities, not investigations. If you think the PD's focus is wrong, don't blame the officers. If you feel strongly that the Danville police department should be working on more homicides and the like, you might want to consider moving to a city where there are more homicides.
4) Just because a story might look obvious and simple as reported in the press doesn't mean it is or that it's easily prosecuted or, when considered in the context of the full case backlog, should even be the top priority. Why people read a few news stories and decide that they *know* all the facts and intricacies is beyond me. If you really want to know what's going on in the Fuchs' case then go do something productive it about it. Seek out the DA's office or the town council or the mayor. Don't just whine about it from the comfortable anonymity of your computer.
There are a lot of people who like to comment on this site and speak in the most hyperbolic terms about how bad things are. Personally, I think this is a great town. Perfect? No. Way above average? Yes.
I'm glad that the majority of our crime is traffic stops, petty thefts, etc. It reads like a good, small-town, police blotter to me.
Posted by Fuch's Neighbor, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Nov 6, 2009 at 11:14 am
I have the benefit of having lived here for 38 years,a bit longer than your 15, and I respect the fact that there have been so few homicides over that time,public safety has been given due attention over the years.However, if that is to continue then we should give necessary attention to the PD'S performance. In this case the Chief announced within hours of the incident(in the Weekly)that he had 10 investigators working around the clock on the case.I've since learned that he only has 2 on his staff.Secondly, he turned the investigation over to the Sheriff,presumably with the permission of his boss under the contract,Mayor Arnerich. That means the case is managed by the Sheriff, not the Chief,and that it is prioritized within the CCCounty DA's typically busy homicide load.Should the Mayor be concerned after 11 months,absolutely,and he should make his concern known.Your notion that the PD and the Sheriff's Dept. are one and the same is novel,does that mean the Chief reports to both the Mayor and the Sheriff, as do his subordinates. They have 2 bosses,if so, who is the tiebreaker if they don't agree.If that is the contract language ,they should rewrite it- I've yet to see a 2-boss organization succeed ,makes for divided loyalties,etc.
Posted by Hans, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Nov 6, 2009 at 12:58 pm
Yes, 15 year resident, it's a good town with little crime, as it was before there was a DPD. I suspect that you're one of the DPD boosters who give credit to the DPD because Danville continues to be a good town with little crime. I, and many others, would respectfully disagree. Our position is that it was fine before there was a DPD, so why do we need one now, except to squander taxpayers' money?
Oh, and I've been living here for 37 years. Does that count?
Posted by 15-Year Danville Resident, a member of the Greenbrook Elementary School community, on Nov 6, 2009 at 7:08 pm
The argument that Danville PD should own the investigation versus the Sheriff's department is moot for two reasons. First, they are one and the same. That's not my personal notion - it's a fact which is easily verified by visiting the town's web site. Second, one of the most important tenants of our criminal justice system is the separation of policing and adjudication. Even if DPD and the CCC Sheriff's department were separate organizations, the question of which one should own the case wouldn't matter at this point. It would still be the responsibility of the CCC DA's office to pursue the case. There is no Danville DA's office and I hope we never need one, especially one with extensive homicide experience.
Regarding the two bosses question, the Chief of Police for Danville is a Lieutenant or Captain in the Sheriff's department and, in addition to his obligations as a peace officer in California, he is contractually obliged to perform services for his customer, the town of Danville. This is no different than any business process outsourcing arrangement and not substantially different from having a military that is ultimately responsible to the citizenry. Yes, the Chief has two bosses in that he has a chain-of-command boss as well as a customer/citizen boss. I don't really see this as being different from most situations in commercial or public service.
The intended benefits of this arrangement include: better mutual aid, lower administrative & retirement costs, ability to attract better officers, managed service levels, access to additional resources during exceptional times (like having 10 detectives on a homicide case in a town that could never afford to have 10 full-time detectives), among others.
So, if people want to complain about the police service, that's fine, but before they make calls for firing the PD they should look to the people who manage the outsourcing arrangement - the mayor and the town council. They were elected to manage the town's affairs including public safety.
Hans - I'm not a fan of DPD in particular, I'm a fan of success. Do I attribute 100% of our community's safety success to DPD? No. Do I think they contribute appropriately? Yes. You seem to be arguing that Danville should have no police force whatsoever because it was that way a long time ago and things worked fine. I'm not sure how long you'd have to go back to even analyze that (longer than my 15 years) but I don't agree with that line of reasoning.
As for tenure in the community, yes, I do think that the number of years that someone lives someplace helps to qualify that person's perspective on the community and I was simply communicating my time here to help frame my perspective. Is 37 years better than 15 for commenting on current issues? I don't think so but I think they're both better than 1 or 2.
Posted by Incontinentia Buttocks, a resident of the Danville neighborhood, on Nov 8, 2009 at 5:12 pm
I support our police department and I think that we need more police to make sure that everyone uses the crosswalks. I think that we should hire more police, even if we must let the class size in our schools increase to 40 students. The good small town police blotter referred to above is ok, but it can always be better. I'm all for having more bored police. Maybe the nice pensions and above average salaries they get is to compensate for a life of boredom.