Blogging Bayport Alameda

January 11, 2021

How many cops do cops need to cop

Filed under: Alameda — Lauren Do @ 6:01 am

Hey, remember during the campaign in the throes of the Black Lives Matter issue coming to the forefront of the national consciousness and the spotlight being shined on police oversight and conduct specifically related to Black folks and there were some candidates trying to rehabilitate their images by saying they were on the vanguard of asking for police oversight? Of course I’m talking about Trish Spencer and the crime commission she wanted in 2017 in response to social media freaking out over an “increase in crime.”

In 2020 when she was running for City Council Trish Spencer attempted to spin this referral into a police oversight commission, which it was not.

But once seated Trish Spencer’s first Council Referral is to revisit the whole crime thing again and definitely not from a lens of “how can we reimagine public safety in Alameda in 2021 and beyond” which is what the established steering committee and subgroups are working on. No, this is a question about our police force and what we are doing to beef it up. The referral title: Consider Directing Staff to Provide a Police Department Staffing and Crime Update.

And the full referral:

Request an update from the Interim Police Chief including, but not limited to:

  • the status of hiring new officers,
  • the number vacant positions,
  • the current number of Officers,
  • the number of anticipated retirements in the near future (up to 5 years from now),
  • if the City is currently recruiting and how, and
  • the Department’s goal regarding the number of Officers needed for effective policing.

Community members are expressing concern about increased crime and the types of crimes being committed.  The update should include, but not be limited to: 1) how crimes are being addressed, such as shootings, robberies, breaking and entering, speeding, sideshows/donuts, auto/catalytic converter theft, and shoplifting, 2) the status of fixed camera License Plate Readers (LPRs), and 3) any other training, equipment or tools, which would be beneficial.

So for all those who were trying to rehabilitate Trish Spencer’s law and order image into one where she cared about social justice and reforming public safety she just proved you wrong. Again.

Perhaps that’s why folks started parachuting off the Gig Codiga law and order bandwagon, because they had Trish Spencer to carry their water for them in a more palatable woman of color package.


  1. The quoted referral seems like pretty typical city/municipal gov’t stuff

    Comment by MP — January 11, 2021 @ 6:07 am

    • It’s not.

      Comment by Lauren Do — January 11, 2021 @ 6:23 am

      • What about it is atypical?

        Comment by dave — January 11, 2021 @ 6:54 am

        • Because usually people who want to serve in elected positions would pay attention to city business during the time that they are not holding office or not actively running for office because if they did they would know that a lot of the information being requested was available in December of 2019 (specifically 12/3/2019) when the sitting City Council approved a lateral incentive hiring program because of the difficulties in hiring and recruiting.

          Given the ongoing and sustained pandemic which kicked off three months after that presentation not much has changed in the hiring universe other than some public retirements that were already accounted for in discussions around police staffing.

          Comment by Lauren Do — January 11, 2021 @ 8:45 am

        • It will be fun to apply this standard to a referral from a council member you like, probably fairly soon.

          Comment by dave — January 11, 2021 @ 8:59 am

        • Sure ok.

          Comment by Lauren Do — January 11, 2021 @ 9:11 am

  2. Spencer is just talking common sense. Let’s make sure we have enough officers.

    Meanwhile, look who thinks desperate California business owners and citizens are doing just fine?

    Daily Caller
    “Siri, show me the most tone deaf statement of all time”
    Quote Tweet

    NBC Los Angeles
    · 19h
    Gov. Gavin Newsom forcefully pushed back on criticisms that California is becoming unfriendly for business, pointing to “all the new billionaires” created by initial public offerings and noting that its richest people are “doing pretty damn well.”

    Comment by Nowyouknow — January 11, 2021 @ 7:45 am

    • BTW, every single one of you who supported Trump are in part responsible for what happened last week. And you should be ashamed.

      Comment by john doe — January 11, 2021 @ 1:10 pm

  3. Do people not recall that our hiring issues long predate the summer? That Rolleri had difficulty hiring officers?

    I wonder why there’s no mention of following through on selling the armored vehicle in this referral.

    Comment by Gaylon — January 11, 2021 @ 8:17 am

    • Yes, the hiring issue is known, including by Spencer one assumes. One hopes that the point is not simply to flog the PD for not hiring people who don’t want to be hired, or for not drafting people into the job.

      Comment by MP — January 11, 2021 @ 8:30 am

  4. Jim Oddie: “I know [the idea of a police commission] came before us a couple years ago, and I thought it was a bad idea because I thought it was motivated by retaliation by the former mayor for her husband getting pulled over by the police or a crime of driving under the influence.”

    Comment by Reality — January 11, 2021 @ 8:50 am

    • Said the guy who proposed a retaliatory cut to APD’s staffing by 42% cuz racism…

      Comment by Nowyouknow — January 11, 2021 @ 10:21 am

  5. I specifically remember Chief Police Rolleri saying the shortage of police was due to the difficulty of hiring officers. I went to the City of Alameda Open Jobs/Career Opportunities page and the City is recruiting for both a Chief of Police and Police Officers. They are paying a bonus to recruit for Police Officers, which suggests it’s still challenging to fill the shortage.

    A recent article about Alameda crime in the SF Gate is probably prompting Council member Spencer to try and get ahead of the issue:

    Looking ahead:

    In light of whats happening locally, regionally and nationally on the issue of police protection, (see recent articles on the DC mob attack on Capital Police and the two Capital Police deaths), we may need to think out of the box on how to attract, train, and retain police. This issue could end up becoming a statewide and national emergency issue.

    Comment by Karen Bey — January 11, 2021 @ 10:30 am

    • When you’re having trouble recruiting, pay more.

      The FD has no trouble hiring because of its outsize pay. The school district has the opposite problem: great difficulty hiring because of low pay (mitigated somewhat by last year’s PT). Price cures all, as the saying goes.

      Comment by dave — January 11, 2021 @ 11:08 am

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