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on Oct 21, 2009
Hey, there's 4 guys beating up on 2 guys ... let's help the 4 guys.
Isn't Liz Wylie embarrased YET by all these horror stories, tasers in the Shoreline movie theater parking lot, carjackings at Rengstorff, stabbings at the Community Ctr in Mtn. View---I will ask AGAIN, WHERE IS LAW ENFORCEMENT?? We are paying 6 figure salaries to these men and women! How many of them were playing "desk jockey" at 11 pm on Monday night, filling out forms, just 2 blocks away, rather than POLICING! Citizens of Mountain View, speak up!!! Call your City Council members and police chief and say something. This has gone beyond ridiculous. The city is lawless and we have about $30 MILLION per year going to law enforcment. Obviously money down the drain. Clean out the police force and get some beat cops in there who will actually go out and deter crime, stop it in progress, and make Mountain View a better place to live.
Liz Wylie shouldn't be embarrassed, she should be proud. If it weren't for her consistently excellent reporting to us here at the Voice about what happens on the street, you would have no basis for your complaint. Other cities are not so lucky to have someone like Wylie. And blaming the police for not being everywhere all the time isn't going to do much good either.
Well I guess here's another great reason to legalize marijuana.
I'll second what Daniele said. The mere fact that The Voice and Liz get information out to us is great; even thought it's not a nice story to read, it's informative.
It's pathetic how people like localmom only opine when tragic things like this happen but refrain from commenting when the police deter or intervene in criminal behavior, which happens much more than most would think. Localmom, you must be a bitter, bitter person who is obviously suffering inside. How about saying something like: Kudos to the police for catching the scum! Great job MVPD....
Ned nailed it... also, a boot to the head apparently is not a hate crime.
What bar? Was this the breezeway near Mervyn's?
A little follow-up for you sceptics about what a GREAT job the MVPD Is doing!! I made a call to the police dept to find out who is responsible for the patrol beats, left a message and was promised a call back by a captain (they make $190,000/year as of 2008, Palo Alto Daily, 4/2009), and never even received a return call. Your tax dollars at work!!
Wouldn't you all feel a little tiny bit better if there were at least a patrol car or two cruising around A) downtown, B) Shoreline movie theater, C) Rengstorff/community center? Mountain View is QUITE Small compared to other "cities" and has a huge budget with hundreds of cops. There have been multiple crimes discovered after the fact in these locations. Perhaps they WOULD have been preventable. We'll never know. Pre-emption is the foundation of "community policing", and I've lived here 10 years, and I've honestly never seen it. It involves being openly visible and involved in everyday events at the level of the individuals, not just showing up with your lights blazing after someone has been stabbed or shot.
It means breaking up fights, crowds, and getting the drunks off the street BEFORE the trouble starts. Our cops are obviously not doing enough of that, regardless of what you think of my "attitude". We all want the same thing, a safe community, and trust me, we are being TAXED And we are PAYING for it, but we are not GETTING it. You must insist on it, don't cut people slack for not doing their jobs! You or I would be reprimanded or fired if we were this sloppy!!!
A few more datapoints lest you feel our police force is underpaid and underappreciated:
P.A. Daily Post 4/7/09:
2008 Salaries: Scott Vermeer Police Chief: $224,592
Kenneth Leal (Seargent): salary $202,002 (incl OT), OVERTIME: $58,219
Manuel Lopez (Liet): salary $193,302 (incl OT), OVERTIME: $871
Max Bosel (Capt.): salary $190,708
Michael Hamlin (Capt.): salary $190,660, OVERTIME: none
OK, are you getting the picture?? These guys make more than MOST people you know if MV. They are police and they should be policing! I can drive in my car to where a crime has occured 15 minutes later and take evidence. But that is not the essence of policing. Thanks for listening. BTW, there is lots more data where that came from; VERY few MVPD make under 6 figure.
MVPD probably has a few good cops, but for the most part they suck. Have another donut boys.
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I would be curious to know what facts "local son" uses as a basis to say that "for the most part the MVPD sucks?" And really, "Have another donut boys - is that a productive addition to this conversation? Really!!!
Daniel -- That is some serious brown-nosing, but both of your points are well taken. The police are like teachers in that they cannot fix society's problems; they just have to deal with what is given to them. This YouTube video (Web Link) helps to clearly explain it.
I see a lot of police cruisers around town but not many downtown. Having more uniformed and plain clothes officers on and around Castro late at night could help cut down the problems with outsiders who come here late at night to drink and cause trouble.
Read the Police Blog in MV Weekly. There is always an incident occuring around the bars in the late evenings. There should be routine patrols at that time.
Personal observation: I often fequent DTMV during the day. There are a comfortable amount of patrol officers around. The ones I do see most active are the ones camped out by stop signs to stop the unsuspecting California Stoppers. It does seen that they are doing something by ticketing during the day. At night, i'm lucky to see one patrol car especially on Friday and weekends. Where are the ones who have Castro as there beat? Are they really being effective? Why do they not return calls promptly? When I received a parking ticket, why are they more responsive to that? I want to know. For those who don't work for the police force, I would like to rather hear from some representative of their office instead. Thank you.
I COMPLETELY AGREE WITH LOCAL MOM. Mountain View is an absolutely beautiful city that is now plagued with crime and problems. I was born & raised in Mt. View (24 years old!) and it makes me sad that people around my age are going around screwing up this city. Unfortunately, we cannot teach these losers how to act civilized BUT we do have something called "Law Enforcement"...and these officers of the law are supposed to protect us and make sure the streets are safe!! I sometimes go to the restaurants and bars downtown MV and have recently noticed that there are a lot more gaberlunzies wandering the streets of Mountain View. These lunatics should be watched and the police should start patrolling around making sure the residents of Mt. View are safe. Don't get me wrong now, I love the police and think SOME of them are doing a wonderful job! But, the ones that are patrolling around downtown....ehhh.. not so much.. PLEASE MVPD.. GO OUT THERE AND DO YOUR JOB!!! We are tax-paying citizens and DESERVE TO BE SAFE!!!!!!
Everyone should keep up on the local news / police logs for the surrounding cities and see how good we have it.
All you people out there with your so called statistics, why don't you look up the statistics regarding the the relatively safe community we have versus other communities. You can gripe about what the police is NOT doing, why don't you look at what the police IS doing. Yes, maybe the salaries are high but I don't see YOU out there facing the criminal element on a daily basis. Thank your police every time you go to bed in you safe little homes and don't have to worry about the criminal element coming into your homes. And yes, maybe I am a "brown noser" but I am a safe brown noser thanks to the police.
Gina, you live in a bubble. There is crime ALL OVER THE WORLD, but Mt. View is a nice area and WE PAY TO LIVE HERE!!! Most places, ie. Oakland, Richmond, Detroit, the Bronx have HIGH crime and the median home price is $200,000. The median price of homes in the area I live (Gemello in Mt. View) is $1.2 million!! You cannot compare Mt. View to other cities. ALSO, yes we can gripe about what the police is not doing because WE ARE TAX-PAYING CITIZENS and WE PAY THEM TO PROTECT US!!! Maybe you're okay with crime and the fact that there are crazy people running around the city, BUT I AM NOT OKAY WITH IT!! I do whatever I can to keep my street safe and I thank God you do not live on my street. Lastly, if I do not see law enforecement out tonight or tomorrow night, I will personally call MVPD and tell them to come out and patrol. I want to feel safe while walking around downtown Mountain View and I don't feel safe after reading an article like this. I hope someone from MVPD is reading this and feels like making a difference!! We're counting on you!! =)
Holysmokies - You raise valid points, and I bet you pay taxes. But I pay taxes too. I also bet you were amongst the people that forced budget cuts on the city. You say you want to do something. Then give them back the financial resources they need too put more patrolmen out there.
As a tax paying resident, we can complain about what the police are not doing. Remember, this is a paying job they chose to do. We are asking them to be more responsive. Crime is up in our city. The council and police dept. need to address these issues. The council should spend less time planning to increase the population of our town and take care of the citizens already here. City resources cannot handle more people.
AvgSam - Finally, someone with an unemotional, logical comment.
If Santa Clara County were in compliance with the Second Amendment of the American Constitution, citizens would be able to defend themselves.
Actually Gina, I am against budget cuts but thanks for assuming. And I agree with AvgSam,
"The council should spend less time planning to increase the population of our town and take care of the citizens already here."
Couldn't agree more.
localmom: you have done lot of good work in your analysis. I agree with most of your comments. One thing where I would disagree is...irrespective of whether the cops get paid obsene amounts of money, they have an obligation to protect the citizens especially at night time. The fact that they make tons of money and then you see all these things happening is what makes this worse. The Police need to realize that they need to spend more time in places of crime where they are most likely to occur.
I suggest businesses install cameras in parking lots so that these criminals are caught and punished.
The businesses community in downtown should be riled up by this. They should rise this before this becomes a regular issue. If this doesn't get a closure pretty soon, i suggest the mountain view residents should boycott all the busiensses in downtown.
I have never seen beat cops in Mountain View and think that is an interesting idea. If there were two cops that walked up and down Castro Street every evening as soon as it got dark that might make a difference in crime.
I wonder if there is a reason we don't have beat cops?
I agree with localmom and kanank and I am sure both will agree with what I am adding below.
Perhaps the police should beef up patrols at night when all this senseless crime takes place. For example Rudulph Guliani cut crime in New York City because he made police work when the criminals work. On top of the comfortable salaries I'll bet most of the higher paid officers work 9-5. If there is a police presence, then crime will go down. If you are tough on crime the criminals will go away. In this case the suspects were caught becasue they are plain stupid becaase they came back to the scene of the crime, hardly can credit the apprehension to the police.
I had my a bunch of stuff stolen from my car a few years ago... cops had it back in my possession in 24 hours... MVPD does a good job -- can you really expect them to be on the scene every time a crime goes down?
@Old Ben - "If Santa Clara County were in compliance with the Second Amendment of the American Constitution, citizens would be able to defend themselves."
Yeah, that's a great solution. Loosen our gun control laws so that we flood the streets with more guns. That way incidents like this which, while incredibly unfortunate, are currently resolved with fists and feet will escalate into gun battles. That way the first drunken hothead who gets involved in a fight will pull out a gun and turn it into a homicide rather than a beating.
steel toed boots and two can of the maximum size allowed by law of O.C.
That's how you roll downtown
When I've gone out to eat with my wife and family at downtown M.V. restaurants in the past, I've never felt safe if it's dark and I've parked in the back parking lots. The lighting is bad, there are many spots for bad guys to hang out or hide and attack, especially if nobody else is around. I've decided, after reading this sad story that I will not bring my family downtown until something is done to protect us and others from this dangerous situation. Come on MV staff, Council Members, and Police; you can prevent this from happening in the future if you put your minds and ideas together to remedy this dangerous but correctable situation. Doing nothing is unacceptable!
Mountain View police are professional and they do care. They just can't be everywhere all the time. They might be more effective if they got out of their cars,and did some good old fashion foot patrol. They know where the trouble spots are.
From reading all these comments so far, it seems to me that people living in the richer part of Mountain View are happier with the security. Downtown and the poorer side of Mountain View are not that safe, perhaps because there is not enough patrolling where it is definitely needed at nights, especially during this economy. Mountain view is not Oakland or Newyork or East PaloAlto..but criminals are same everywhere and they should be treated just that way.
Ted, the danger and crime does not happen downtown at the hours you and your family are out having dinner. Pay attention, these hideous events are happening late night, when you and your family are safe at home and in bed. MVPD NEED to be out there in parking lots behind the bars, out in the alley ways (especially at Mervs) and out on the street from about 10:30-11 to past 2:00 am. Especially on monday, friday & saturday nights! I am glad these folks got caught! I have a family member that was assaulted in the same manner two years ago by ~6 men. THIS HAS GOT TO STOP!! MVPD GET TO WORK!!!
Ha. Same opinions here a there were about Lytton Plaza in PA.
"oooh it's a lovely place for lunch and a spot of tea"
Do any of these folks go outside at night EVER?
NOTE TO CHIEF VERMEER - We need cops on foot patrol on Castro Street, especially in evenings until the bars close. We spend a lot of time on Castro and I can not recall ever seeing a cop on foot (other than those at Starbucks).
Here's my 2-cents worth -
There is definitely a need for Mountain View police to focus on this serious,
Here's one suggestion to divert their high-paying time better.
Stop harassing residents who stop their vehicle for ONLY a FEW SECONDS
in a handicap zone to mail a letter at the main post office, unload heavy
luggage at the Cal Train station, etc. when there is obvious non-interference with
the need of another person.
My own experience for a 20-second stop in heavy rain while feeling ill on
a late Sunday night resulted in a $300 ticket that took the policeman 20
minutes to write. FYI, I have seen how common it is for residents to
just run into the main post office to drop a letter & have taken it upon
myself to warn them of the pitfalls.
COME ON POLICE - JUST GIVE A WARNING & move on to keeping Mountain View
safe from violence.
Maybe we'll see some more police on patrol when downtown businesses find they're being hurt economically by people staying away from the area because of crime reports like this. Also needed during nighttime hours is more/better enforcement of pedestrian/jaywalking laws; now they wander around the streets like unfenced cattle.
I have lived in Mountain View for 14 years, not in one of the "nice" neighborhoods, and have generally felt safe and not worried about crime. Nevertheless some of the recent incidents are disturbing such as assaults at the movie complex and downtown.
I don't know if we need more police patrols but I know this: if we *do* put out more police an equal number of people will start complaining here about "oppressive, fascist, racist" etc. Maybe even some of the same people.
Let's not play the Blame Game, let's identify the problems and come up with solutions:
1. Increase in crime due to the economy, gangs, popularity of our city, etc.
2. MV PD patrolling only in cars.
3. MV PD tasked with duties other than crime prevention (i.e. tickets)
4. MV residents that believe that PD are responsible for their own protection.
1. Make 50% of the PD "beat cops" only and have them patrol on foot, bicycle, horseback, and Segway's. Have them patrol all the walkways, alleys and parking areas. Leaving them in cars makes them too easy to spot and they can't patrol area's you can on foot. Have them concentrate on the populated area's: downtown, Shoreline/Century Theater/Google, Malls when they are busy and then shift to residential problem area's when the high traffic area empty out.
2. Stop tasking MV PD with revenue generation aka writing tickets and other non-essential tasks. PD are "encouraged" to write many tickets even thought they won't admit it. This is a fact "straight from the horses mouth".
3. The reality is that no PD in the world can be everywhere at all times. In the end, we are all responsible for our own security. So, be prepared to respond to an attack at all times. PD can only really respond to crime and investigate/arrest. No way they can be there in the first few minutes to help you when you need it most.
4. We need to lower our expectations a bit, in the end we are not a sleepy suburb aka Los Altos. MV is a transportation, recreation, entertainment, dining and employment hub. We welcome hundreds of thousands of people into our community to work, play, dance, dine, and imbibe every year. We benefit greatly from this and need to expect there to be a few bad apples.
MV is just going through the growing pains of becoming a "little big city". Yes, MV is no longer the city "you remember". But, it is a better more vibrant place to live even with the increase in crime.
Anyone recall the incident with the two women fighting outside a downtown bar while onlookers cheered them on and would not let police officers break through the crowd? At that time many people commented and called for the end of this sleazy downtown bar scene in favor of things like a art film house. Doesn't this incident underscore that argument even more? Enough of the crime and the sleaze. Mountain Viewans deserve a better downtown.
POLICE ARE NOT LIABLE TO PROTECT YOU.
"Castle Rock v. Gonzales, By a vote of 7-to-2, the Supreme Court ruled that Gonzales has no right to sue her local police department for failing to protect her and her children from her estranged husband."
Her children were murdered.
In 1982 (Bowers v. DeVito), the Court of Appeals, Seventh Circuit held, "...there is no Constitutional right to be protected by the state against being murdered by criminals or madmen."
You can google the cases.
Also to "Great Solution". When you want to criticize someones comment you might want to add your own "Solution".
I heard these sleaze bags also like to dine in our local restaurants too. Those restaurants could be made into wine stores and art galleries. Let's shut all restaurants down on Castro St!
Bruno, did they cause a food fight? I don't accept slippery slope arguments. The bars are irresponsible. They don't police themselves but overserve and spill a mess of trouble onto the streets at night.
I haven't been able to figure out the MV police priorities. The gang problems keep getting worse, for one thing. And over two years ago, someone hung several pairs of "drug shoes" over phone lines on Gladys. I called the MV non-emergency line twice in 2007 and the man who answered wasn't very interested. During one call, he said he'd hang up & I should call back & leave the info on the answering machine. Which I did, but the machine message said the tape was full. The drug shoes still hang over the street in late 2009. Yet, also in 2007, I hadn't renewed my old dog's license tags because I was considering spaying her & I was possibly going to be moving to another city. I got a phone call from a MV cop warning me that I was going to get a ticket for $200 because I had let my dog's license expire!! I told *him* about the drug shoes & the gang graffiti and asked how the police had time to be making calls about dog licenses. He mumbled something about being on desk duty due to disability!!
A cop pulled me over for hesitating a little too long when a light turned green at CA and Rengstorf, a very busy and dangerous intersection. Didn't give me a ticket, but was itching to. What a waste of time and effort.
"The drug shoes still hang over the street in late 2009."
and if you put magnets around your fuel line, you'll get a 30% increase in MPG...
No wonder MVPD is too busy to respond to "real crime" People are wasting their time with nonsense
"Drug shoes" are a form of tagging by gangs to mark their turf and send a sign that they control that area's drug traffic. I don't think that is nonsense at all. This gang turf marker has been explained in the press and other communities take it very seriously. Any sign of drug dealing should be investigated and these shoes should be removed. I am surprised that the Mountain View Police just let the shoes stay on the lines. I just hope they are not so naive to think this is nonsense.
First... there should be police patroling on foot downtown, if not just the weekends when these clowns come out to cause harm. Next, marijuana is not the reason for this crime. You are quite ignorant if you feel that way. Do you realize alcohol related crime is a much bigger issue? Typically people that smoke marijuana are not aggresive, in fact quite the opposite. People that leave bars drunk are the aggresive type. Now, as far as this beating. Sure it would be nice to have police at every corner of every street but we know that's not reality. Reality is they pulling drunk drivers over, answering domestic disturbance calls, responding to medical emergencies, and a lot of time they respond to non issues but people have it imbedded in their heads to call 9-1-1 no matter what they situation. There was a 9-1-1 call sent out from a mother who couldn't get her son to eat vegetables. Wonder what else was going on that the Police could have been doing instead of answering this desperate reach for police help?
I'm not a huge fan of MVPD but I am also a realist and know they can't be everywhere all the time.
Folks need to quit perpetuating rumors and urban myths.
Sounds like folks here want a "Police State" as long as you are not the one being ticketed or stopped.
I wonder how a disabled person feels when they can't park at the post office because you did not want to get wet? I am glad you got a ticket because you deserve it.
I wonder if the cop was looking to see if you were drunk when you did not go when the light turned green.
So where should the cops put all their resources? Downtown, the neighborhood where that woman held hostage in her house, areas where drunk drivers might be, the movies where gang members from others cities might run into each other, Rengstorff Park during the day to make it safe for families, responding to domestic violence incidents, schools in the event of mass shootings, around Google, MicroSoft or other big companies in case of shootings by fired employees? How many cops or on duty at any time? I think they have just under 100 to cover 24/7.
Reality is that there will never be enough cops to satisfy some people and no matter what they do some people will be unhappy.
After 2 1/2 years, the drug dealer marker shoes on Gladys have finally been taken down, after my original comment appeared here. Thank you to Gelpe for explaining so well why this is a serious issue and noting that the shoes mark gang turf. I assumed our MV neighbors knew the meaning and was surprised to read Dave of West Shoreline's snarky comments, belittling my concern about advertising (and warning off enemy gangs) for neighborhood gang drug dealers. Are MV residents really this nonchalent about gangs, drug dealing and related violence??
It's me again. Wanted to share that I did get through to a police Captain on the phone and he was very open to dialog. He spoke to the fact that not many police are in the station at any one time, most on duty are on patrol. However I do agree with some comments above that it would be great to see more on foot, or Segway, or bike! I don't think horses are allowed on Castro...the open discussion is very insightful and I am learning so much. Communication is key, and the MVPD is receptive to hearing from the public. Also our Council is responsible for this town, so I would urge citizens to email them (City of MV website has links to City Council and MVPD) and if possible, go to meetings (it is hard to leave home at night, too tired!!) and keep the ball rolling. Great to see people care so much about Mountain View!
lol! Doesn't anybody at this paper cite their sources??
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I heard reference to this brutal beating at the Zen Lounge. Maybe the police ought to patrol nearby the Zen lounge where a lot of young hoodlums hang out. I will not be in that neighborhood at night. Isn't this a sad statement.
Apparently, these gang members all had previous records, why don't the police keep them locked up and punish them properly. I read that one of the hoodlums with a criminal record, was underage in the Zen lounge. (Eric Allen was 19 in the drinking establishment, should not the Zen club be held responsible to some degree).
I heard that one young man was beaten after the bouncers escorted him out and the other young man tried to stop the onslaught as the girl was left to watch the animals beat on her friends, she too was at great risk.
This kind of thing cannot happen. Period. Punishment must be severe and longlasting to drive home the evil of this incredible wrong done in our community.
Kicked into unconciousness, that young man may suffer brain damage forever. Both could have been killed.
If there was no security at the Zen lounge to safeguard their patrons, then the Zen lounge must be held responsible.
The MVPD does a great job at arresting but the DA and Judges need to follow up with harsh sentences that have teeth!
People describing Mountain View as "lawless" and a "plagued with crimes" town. What is this 1880? Is Wyatt Earp our Sherriff and is that Doc Holliday I see over there? When did Mountain View become Tombstone, AZ anyways?
Zen club does not have a history of drug dealing, back your statement up with proof! This lounge has been around for a while and does not promote violence. The security staff does their best to protect the patrons. You can't point your finger at the venue and point out the manger as well, your are just plain stupid to do that. History of drug dealing?...what a dumb ass!
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