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Please provide your feedback to help select the next Police Chief for Palo Alto.


1. What issues facing Palo Alto should the new chief be aware of?

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2. What leadership qualities and characteristics are most important to look for in Palo Alto’s next Chief?

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3. What are the top three things you would like the new Chief to focus on during the early stages of his/her tenure?

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Virginia Smedberg in Old Palo Alto
August 5, 2017, 1:33 AM
  • 1. What issues facing Palo Alto should the new chief be aware of?

    Proximity to East Palo Alto and thus HELPING that city help its citizens.
    Traffic speed vs speed limits on Middlefield Rd - right now the speed limits are generally completely ignored which makes scofflaws out of a lot of people. I do understand some of the issues (discussed it w/ someone in the dept), esp that you can't enforce w/ radar because the average actual speed is too much higher than the speed limit - which says to me the limit should be increased to something the residents can tolerate and then enforcement done which will actually SLOW the average speed and thus help the residents.

  • 2. What leadership qualities and characteristics are most important to look for in Palo Alto’s next Chief?

    Ability to lead his/her officers both by example and by training so that s/he and they all follow the following points:
    Recognition of human rights, of the value of each and every citizen no matter how they look or talk. Recognition of innocent until proven guilty. Recognition that ultimately every human can be brought back to an awareness of social values, and so only those who are really dangerous to the public should be kept out of the public (i.e. behind "bars"), all others should be "sentenced" to community services. Recognition that there are programs to help people get off drugs without putting them on other drugs. (Check out Criminon.org for a very successful program for those who have offended against agreed-on social values.)

  • 3. What are the top three things you would like the new Chief to focus on during the early stages of his/her tenure?
    • Ensuring that all his/her officers are effectively trained both in accurate weapon use (so as to avoid killing) and in evalutating people's reactions to being stopped by an officer.
    • Ensuring that the police officers become well known to the community - I don't know any of them; I don't break laws so have not had reason to come in negative contact; but I think it would be great if we knew them and felt we and they belonged to the same community.
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