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Despite calls for defunding, Mountain View keeps its annual police budget intact

Los Altos and neighboring police departments blocked traffic in intersections as the Black Lives Matter protest made its way through Los Altos on June 5. Photo by Adam Pardee.

The Mountain View City Council approved a $44.8 million budget for the city's police department Tuesday, holding firm on law enforcement spending following hours of impassioned calls to divert money from cops to social services.

City leaders spent most of the approval of the 2020-21 city budget -- typically an uncontroversial process -- talking about anything but line-item expenditures. Instead, they grappled with the best way to address issues like racism, unconscious bias and rethinking policing and public safety. Residents have hammered the city in recent weeks with demands to defund the police department, and say changes to the annual budget are the first and best ways the council can show it takes seriously the problem of racial injustice.

The regional groundswell for change in local law enforcement comes directly on the heels of numerous large-scale protests throughout the Bay Area -- including Mountain View and Palo Alto -- in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Residents were galvanized to take part in the public demonstrations following the killing of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, which has sparked international protests against systemic racism.

Seeking to turn the protest into policy change, numerous residents have called on the Mountain View City Council to create a citizen-led commission to review existing police department policies and make changes aimed at preventing unnecessary police violence, particularly against people of color. They also called for the "demilitarization" of the police department and a complete revamp in the way the city responds to emergency calls related to nonviolent incidents, including homelessness, drug abuse and mental health crises.

While council members said they were largely sympathetic to the cause throughout the June 23 meeting -- passing a resolution supporting Black Lives Matter earlier in the evening -- they were reluctant to make significant changes to the police department's budget. The budget takes months to draft and was set to pass following a public hearing earlier this month, and they argued it would be hard to make strategic cuts on such short notice.

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Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga said the change residents are seeking cannot happen overnight, and that the end result won't look like a wholesale disbandment of the police department either. She said this month marks the beginning of a longer conversation about how the city spends its resources on mental health, policing in schools, health care and responding to the city's growing homeless population.

"To me, frankly, tonight I don't feel comfortable saying let's cut positions, let's freeze positions," Abe-Koga said. "I think we just have to look at the model as a whole and figure out what's most effective."

Councilman John McAlister said it feels like speakers have attempted to "bully" the council into making a quick decision on police spending over the last two weeks, yet were silent on the policing issues in Mountain View for years -- something he said has been part of the problem. Expecting immediate shifts in the way the police department functions does a disservice to the public process, he said.

"You don't just defund a police department," he said.

Many of the speakers slammed the council for taking what they described as a milquetoast approach to a serious problem, and said that the plan for soliciting public input doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. Facing calls for a citizen-led commission, the city is planning to convene a council subcommittee on "race, equity and inclusion" as well as a civility roundtable discussion on "unconscious bias," and it's unclear to what extent residents will be able to make recommendations of their own.

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"You're going to do a civility roundtable on unconscious bias?" one speaker asked. "You think George Floyd would still be alive if Derek Chauvin had gone to a civility roundtable on unconscious bias?"

Resident Dana Pede said it was disappointing to see the council steer away from a citizen-led committee on policing during, of all things, an item on the 2020-21 city budget. She worries that a council subcommittee puts the city on track to protect people in power, and said the public has no reason to trust council members to lead the conversation.

"This city looks cowardly," she said. "It doesn't look like you're taking the time to get it right, it looks like you're taking the time to stall and wait for the public outrage to die down and hope that we don't come back as strong after the summer break, so that you can host a couple of events and call it a job well done."

Some council members pointed to small changes in the police department budget as a good-faith effort that the city is taking the public's concerns seriously. Originally proposed by Councilwoman Alison Hicks earlier this month, the city dropped plans to spend $125,000 on parking enforcement, vehicle towing, police drones and the purchase of 30 patrol rifles.

Hicks suggested that the city could take it a step further and freeze hiring for the police department, holding off on filling vacant positions until the city holds a public process on policy and budget changes for the Mountain View Police Department. The proposal didn't gain traction among other members of the council.

The changes so far amount to a rounding error, and show the council isn't listening to its residents, said Kelsey Josund. She said the budget process has "failed" if it cannot respond to the changing political climate, and that the proposed police department budget is bloated for a smaller suburban city.

"There is no conscionable reason for the police, in a city the size of Mountain View, to have a budget of $44 million," she said.

While Mountain View appears to be on track for a larger, more nebulous approach to policing and how it relates to racism, other agencies in the Bay Area are taking a more narrow approach. Santa Clara County's Board of Supervisors backed a plan Tuesday to reform the sheriff's department and its use of force policies, including a restructuring of the emergency response system so that officers aren't responding to calls related to mental health emergencies or homeless people.

The city of Palo Alto also signaled its support for adopting police use of force policies consistent with the "8 Can't Wait" campaign, as well as a possible longer-term goal of merging its police and fire agencies into a single department of public safety.

Mountain View police officials have insisted in recent weeks that the department largely follows "the spirit" of policies advocated by the 8 Can't Wait campaign, and that the department recently banned the use of chokeholds in order to better align with those goals.

In a town hall meeting earlier this month, Police Chief Max Bosel said he is open to the idea of civilian oversight when it comes to police accountability and organizational discipline, but that it's a fairly new idea that hasn't come up in the past. Regardless, Bosel said the department does hold its officers accountable, and noted that "internal" complaints had been investigated and led to the separation of two police officers.

"The challenging and difficult job of enforcing the law means we need to have the highest standards," Bosel said. "We are very open to ensuring that we make the necessary changes to secure the trust and support of our community."

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Despite calls for defunding, Mountain View keeps its annual police budget intact

by / Mountain View Voice

Uploaded: Thu, Jun 25, 2020, 1:56 pm

The Mountain View City Council approved a $44.8 million budget for the city's police department Tuesday, holding firm on law enforcement spending following hours of impassioned calls to divert money from cops to social services.

City leaders spent most of the approval of the 2020-21 city budget -- typically an uncontroversial process -- talking about anything but line-item expenditures. Instead, they grappled with the best way to address issues like racism, unconscious bias and rethinking policing and public safety. Residents have hammered the city in recent weeks with demands to defund the police department, and say changes to the annual budget are the first and best ways the council can show it takes seriously the problem of racial injustice.

The regional groundswell for change in local law enforcement comes directly on the heels of numerous large-scale protests throughout the Bay Area -- including Mountain View and Palo Alto -- in solidarity with the Black Lives Matter movement. Residents were galvanized to take part in the public demonstrations following the killing of George Floyd by Derek Chauvin, a Minneapolis police officer, which has sparked international protests against systemic racism.

Seeking to turn the protest into policy change, numerous residents have called on the Mountain View City Council to create a citizen-led commission to review existing police department policies and make changes aimed at preventing unnecessary police violence, particularly against people of color. They also called for the "demilitarization" of the police department and a complete revamp in the way the city responds to emergency calls related to nonviolent incidents, including homelessness, drug abuse and mental health crises.

While council members said they were largely sympathetic to the cause throughout the June 23 meeting -- passing a resolution supporting Black Lives Matter earlier in the evening -- they were reluctant to make significant changes to the police department's budget. The budget takes months to draft and was set to pass following a public hearing earlier this month, and they argued it would be hard to make strategic cuts on such short notice.

Mayor Margaret Abe-Koga said the change residents are seeking cannot happen overnight, and that the end result won't look like a wholesale disbandment of the police department either. She said this month marks the beginning of a longer conversation about how the city spends its resources on mental health, policing in schools, health care and responding to the city's growing homeless population.

"To me, frankly, tonight I don't feel comfortable saying let's cut positions, let's freeze positions," Abe-Koga said. "I think we just have to look at the model as a whole and figure out what's most effective."

Councilman John McAlister said it feels like speakers have attempted to "bully" the council into making a quick decision on police spending over the last two weeks, yet were silent on the policing issues in Mountain View for years -- something he said has been part of the problem. Expecting immediate shifts in the way the police department functions does a disservice to the public process, he said.

"You don't just defund a police department," he said.

Many of the speakers slammed the council for taking what they described as a milquetoast approach to a serious problem, and said that the plan for soliciting public input doesn't inspire a lot of confidence. Facing calls for a citizen-led commission, the city is planning to convene a council subcommittee on "race, equity and inclusion" as well as a civility roundtable discussion on "unconscious bias," and it's unclear to what extent residents will be able to make recommendations of their own.

"You're going to do a civility roundtable on unconscious bias?" one speaker asked. "You think George Floyd would still be alive if Derek Chauvin had gone to a civility roundtable on unconscious bias?"

Resident Dana Pede said it was disappointing to see the council steer away from a citizen-led committee on policing during, of all things, an item on the 2020-21 city budget. She worries that a council subcommittee puts the city on track to protect people in power, and said the public has no reason to trust council members to lead the conversation.

"This city looks cowardly," she said. "It doesn't look like you're taking the time to get it right, it looks like you're taking the time to stall and wait for the public outrage to die down and hope that we don't come back as strong after the summer break, so that you can host a couple of events and call it a job well done."

Some council members pointed to small changes in the police department budget as a good-faith effort that the city is taking the public's concerns seriously. Originally proposed by Councilwoman Alison Hicks earlier this month, the city dropped plans to spend $125,000 on parking enforcement, vehicle towing, police drones and the purchase of 30 patrol rifles.

Hicks suggested that the city could take it a step further and freeze hiring for the police department, holding off on filling vacant positions until the city holds a public process on policy and budget changes for the Mountain View Police Department. The proposal didn't gain traction among other members of the council.

The changes so far amount to a rounding error, and show the council isn't listening to its residents, said Kelsey Josund. She said the budget process has "failed" if it cannot respond to the changing political climate, and that the proposed police department budget is bloated for a smaller suburban city.

"There is no conscionable reason for the police, in a city the size of Mountain View, to have a budget of $44 million," she said.

While Mountain View appears to be on track for a larger, more nebulous approach to policing and how it relates to racism, other agencies in the Bay Area are taking a more narrow approach. Santa Clara County's Board of Supervisors backed a plan Tuesday to reform the sheriff's department and its use of force policies, including a restructuring of the emergency response system so that officers aren't responding to calls related to mental health emergencies or homeless people.

The city of Palo Alto also signaled its support for adopting police use of force policies consistent with the "8 Can't Wait" campaign, as well as a possible longer-term goal of merging its police and fire agencies into a single department of public safety.

Mountain View police officials have insisted in recent weeks that the department largely follows "the spirit" of policies advocated by the 8 Can't Wait campaign, and that the department recently banned the use of chokeholds in order to better align with those goals.

In a town hall meeting earlier this month, Police Chief Max Bosel said he is open to the idea of civilian oversight when it comes to police accountability and organizational discipline, but that it's a fairly new idea that hasn't come up in the past. Regardless, Bosel said the department does hold its officers accountable, and noted that "internal" complaints had been investigated and led to the separation of two police officers.

"The challenging and difficult job of enforcing the law means we need to have the highest standards," Bosel said. "We are very open to ensuring that we make the necessary changes to secure the trust and support of our community."

Comments

Don
Shoreline West
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:23 pm
Don, Shoreline West
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:23 pm
10 people like this

City Council Members, as candidates, are endorsed by the police and fire unions whose members, in turn, are overpaid and not questioned.


Reality vs fantasy
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:24 pm
Reality vs fantasy, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:24 pm
15 people like this

"Councilman John McAlister said it feels like speakers have attempted to "bully" the council into making a quick decision on police spending over the last two weeks, yet were silent on the policing issues in Mountain View for years -- something he said has been part of the problem. Expecting immediate shifts in the way the police department functions does a disservice to the public process, he said."

Exactly. Changing longtime policies requires time, commitment, knowledge, and openness: learning about aspects that you didn't know about, and won't learn in a week or two from headlines, emails, or social-media posts.


Tanks and Assault Rifles
Old Mountain View
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:28 pm
Tanks and Assault Rifles, Old Mountain View
on Jun 25, 2020 at 2:28 pm
6 people like this

Mountain View is such a dangerous, scary place. I'm glad we're spending $44 Million tax dollars, so our police can be militarized against us. "Just in case".


TheRealCriminals
Cuesta Park
on Jun 25, 2020 at 4:29 pm
TheRealCriminals, Cuesta Park
on Jun 25, 2020 at 4:29 pm
1 person likes this

If they would just start shooting the Squirrels and Crows, this money would be justified.


Liberalguns
Rex Manor
on Jun 25, 2020 at 4:30 pm
Liberalguns, Rex Manor
on Jun 25, 2020 at 4:30 pm
23 people like this

@ Tanks and Assault Rifles

In the first place, the MVPD do NOT have "assault rifles".
Assault rifles are fully-automatic machine-guns!
UNLIKE the SEMI-AUTO AR-15's, which millions of ordinary Californians own.

The AR-15 (thanks mainly to Bill Clinton's "1994 assault weapons ban") has become the single most widely-owned style of firearm in the USA by civilians and has become the standard for USA law-enforcement. Which is a VERY GOOD thing, because what the police commonly carried in their trunks before the AR-15 were very much more powerful military-surplus rifles and extremely high-powered hunting rifles.

"Mountain View is such a dangerous, scary place."

I see sarcasm just dripping off those words...

I wonder (a little sarcasm) if the, oh-I-don't-know, MVPD as it is trained, supplied and even generally RESPECTED by the law-abiding residents of Mountain View might have something to do with why Mountain View is actually so safe (no sarcasm there).

"I'm glad we're spending $44 Million tax dollars, so our police can be militarized against us."

Clearly, you have not bothered to READ what the MVPD budget is being spent on, NOT on military machine-guns, NOT on military tanks, not on cannons nor bombers nor missiles nor nukes.

The MVPD has a few armored personnel carriers so group of cops can get to a scene safely and so the vehicle can be used as a mobile communications and command post.

The MVPD has a bunch of old AR-15s that their expert armorers have said are no longer viable for police duties.

I would guess that in the past the cops had not been trained on how to properly take care of their AR-15s AND that as time has passed, there are better versions which allow for new gadgets like rifle-mounted cameras so the scene-commander can see exactly what the officer is seeing, etc.

Due to all the attempts to ban the private ownership of AR-15s, countless companies have popped up since 1994 to innovate on the AR-15 style rifle. There are now literally thousands of improvements in AR-15 technology since the AW bans began.

By any measure, the AR-15 is a DE-militerization of the local police forces compared to what they had in their trunks before the AR-15.

"Just in case".

Isn't that the whole point of having a police force, the "Just in case" factor? Same reason why we have a Fire Dept. Same reason why we have building codes.


MV Resident
Blossom Valley
on Jun 25, 2020 at 4:38 pm
MV Resident, Blossom Valley
on Jun 25, 2020 at 4:38 pm
27 people like this

What statistics, data, evidence was brought forward that supports the contention that the MVPD is racist and needs to be defunded? Or that other agencies are capable of handling an escalating situation arising out of a mental health or homeless person disturbance? What happens when a mentally ill or impaired person responds with violence or a gun to a victim’s call for help? Who is signing up for that job?!?


Liberalguns
Rex Manor
on Jun 25, 2020 at 4:55 pm
Liberalguns, Rex Manor
on Jun 25, 2020 at 4:55 pm
19 people like this

@ Reality vs fantasy
"Changing longtime policies requires time, commitment, =>knowledge<=, and openness: =>learning about<= aspects that =>you didn't know<= about, and =>won't learn<= in a week or two from headlines, emails, or social-media posts."

Hey, Reality vs Fantasy, what a great and insightful idea you have there!

Our policy-makers, our politicians, our Mayor and City Counsel members have pretty much zero factual understanding of firearms.
I have had some casual conversations with some of them at various events over the years and it is crystal clear that none of them knew anything factual about firearms.
Do we even have an ex-cop on the counsel?
Not that most cops are firearms experts either, but you got to start somewhere.

I would be quite happy to educate first-hand any willing local politician (or reporter) about firearms, from how they function, to what they are and are not capable of and to let these policy & opinion makers actually fire various types of firearms. Then MAYBE they can make informed decisions about policy.

How are people who are totally ignorant about firearms supposed to make rational decisions about firearms policies?
I mean, seriously, have our City Counsel members even done ride alongs with our police? Every one of them should do that each year.

Have our City Counsel members ever even fired a gun in their lives?
Have they ever read a non-fiction book about how firearms work?
Do they have a clue how low-power the AR-15 actually is?

Do they know why the police wear the badly misnamed "bullet-proof-vests"?
Properly known as "soft-body-armor", they can stop any handgun bullet fired from a handgun. But, not if that same ammo is fired from a rifle.

Do they know why the police ALSO NEED to have available, the "trauma-plates" and "heavy-body-armor"?
Heavy body armor stops rifle and shotgun rounds as well as handgun rounds.

Not that I expect any politicians or reporters to willingly learn anything factual about firearms. That would make it more difficult for them to lie with a straight face.


another resident
The Crossings
on Jun 25, 2020 at 4:58 pm
another resident, The Crossings
on Jun 25, 2020 at 4:58 pm
9 people like this

@MV Resident

Just replying to the parts of your comment I know the answer to --

MVPD is over-funded relative to other CA cities by percent of city budget and city size, so we should be able to trim the cost. The rejoinder is that it's expensive to live here so we have to pay police officers a lot, but this overfunding includes other Silicon Valley cities that are also expensive, and we don't similarly pay other municipal employees a lot, so we shouldn't pay police officers so much necessarily. It just shows where our priorities are.

Finally, in response to who will sign up to respond to mentally unstable people -- recall that nurses/doctors/psychiatrists deal with such people all the time and are not armed! We expect some people in our society to learn how to de-escalate situations, but do not expect the same of police. It IS possible. And note also that it's more dangerous to be a cab driver than a cop! If we're deciding who to arm based on who is most likely to deal with someone who will hurt them, we should be arming nurses and cab drivers... and to be absolutely clear, we really should NOT be doing that. Just like we should not expected armed police officers as first responders most of the time.


John Lashlee
North Whisman
on Jun 25, 2020 at 6:42 pm
John Lashlee, North Whisman
on Jun 25, 2020 at 6:42 pm
9 people like this

Kevin, please credit the multiple Mountain View groups which are organizing for BLM support, opposing Sneaky Repeal of rent control, and for police defunding. I attended, participated, and helped organize because of Silicon Valley DSA’s involvement.

You might even contact us for quotes in the future if you’re feeling particularly journalistic


Reality vs fantasy
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 6:46 pm
Reality vs fantasy, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 6:46 pm
19 people like this

I was amazed to recently witness, over a week or two, some fellow residents suddenly writing as if they thought themselves expert overnight on police policy, budgeting, criminology; advocating fantastic sweeping changes apparently simply on the basis of liking how they sounded ("before we can get into the real work of phasing out cops and reallocating funds to the community..." -- from a recent "Voice" comments page); sometimes earnestly trying to defend Orwellian contradictions (like, "defunding police" doesn't actually mean what the words say); all throwing around faddish catch phrases (that one and several others) they'd never used before.

Such a quick acquisition of radical proposals and new terminology made me wonder if it might pass off just as quick. If the same people in six months or a year will even remember any of it, or will instead be all rapped in some new shiny thing that has come along and captured their passion.


Retired Military
Castro City
on Jun 25, 2020 at 7:20 pm
Retired Military, Castro City
on Jun 25, 2020 at 7:20 pm
9 people like this

Do any of the experts here even know the range of an AR-15 or M4? I can assure you they ain't needed for policing Mountain View at close range. Under 50 meters and you'll be aiming low to hit high given the initial velocity of the round leaving the barrel. Over 50 meters and that weapon has no business being used in a peaceful civilians suburban setting. Fire one and the round ain't stopping. Besides that cite the last time any of these weapons were actually used by a suburban police force. I suspect such weapons are mostly sought after by the po po to pump up their egos. Little people that they tend to be, they feel they need to impress and intimidate rather that just police peacefully. Like some one else has said on here recently, make them paint their dear weapons bright orange or pink and will see just how bad they pine for them.

Other than that, the council is clearly composed of a group of cowards. They had a real moment here to do something and they chose to turn their backs. Shame on them all.


pretty simple
Rex Manor
on Jun 25, 2020 at 10:35 pm
pretty simple, Rex Manor
on Jun 25, 2020 at 10:35 pm
8 people like this

The request made by Mountain View residents to the city council is simple: create an independent, citizen-led commission to review existing police department practices and budget and to recommend changes.

Nobody's claiming to be a newly minted expert in policing. Nobody's saying that we need to make drastic changes without due consideration. We're just asking that the city council create this commission so that citizens can participate in the process of rethinking public safety in our community.

The city council doesn't have a great track record of accomplishing change through subcommittees, and it doesn't have representation from members of the communities most targeted by police. We also can't expect the police to review themselves impartially. We need this commission so that citizens of Mountain View can hold their government accountable.


Greg David
Old Mountain View
on Jun 25, 2020 at 10:49 pm
Greg David, Old Mountain View
on Jun 25, 2020 at 10:49 pm
26 people like this

Never mind

Anything I might say will fall on dead ears or get misconstrued.

I am an old white racist after all. At least that is how this brave new world views me.

The police DO have fully automatic M4 rifles by the way. This is a GOOD thing, in case they ever need them.

The city council did a good thing for once and did not cave to extremist activists. Who in their right mind would defund the police???

This world has gone mad. And those entrusted to protect us are caving to the demands of LUNATICS.


Fiscal Discrimination
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 11:46 pm
Fiscal Discrimination, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 25, 2020 at 11:46 pm
21 people like this

These people making this noise do NOT represent the voters of Mountain View. They are a loud strident view whereas the majority would endorse a measured response to the turmoil of today.

The city does not fund social services apart from recreation. The county spends billions operating public healthcare facilities, welfare, social work, homeless outreach and the like. Mountain View taxpayers pay for this huge social services budget. There is no need to duplicate that effort by diluting the minimal policing efforts in use in Mountain View. It's interesting that these protesters are so self important that they discount the vast number of citizens who are not out to mess with the budget at the drop of a hat.


JustSaying
Rengstorff Park
on Jun 26, 2020 at 1:50 am
JustSaying, Rengstorff Park
on Jun 26, 2020 at 1:50 am
8 people like this

@Retired Military, Castro City.
No yer not. Nice try. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯


Liberalguns
Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:06 am
Liberalguns, Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:06 am
11 people like this

@ Greg David
"I am an old white racist after all."
You forgot the worst offense of all, you are a genetic male.

We are now only judged by the color of our skins.
Martin Luther King Jr. is spinning in his grave and Malcome X is saying to MLK, "See, I told you so!"

"At least that is how this brave new world views me."
Hey, join the club...oh wait, if such a club were to form it would be instantly attacked from all sides and burned down. Never mind.

"The police DO have fully automatic M4 rifles by the way."

Here in the MVPD? The MVPD has actual machine-guns?
The officers I know personally say otherwise.
History lesson here:
In 1956 a company named Armalite released for civilian sale a new CIVILIAN Rifle called the AR-10. Armalite Rifle => AR the -10 was simply a marketing name. It sold well, but not a block-buster. Some military people saw one, got one, tried one and then the military submitted a request for the basic design be changed to fit certain criteria, including be fully-automatic. The rifle Armalite came up with was the M16 fully-automatic machine-gun for the military.

Armalite also went a simpler path starting with the AR-10 and made the AR-15 as the semi-auto civilian rifle. The military did not choose to go with the M16 at first, so Armalite was forced to sell the entire AR-10, AR-15 and M16 platforms to Colt for further development.

The military eventually adopted the M16 and went through various versions before they wanted a close-combat full-auto capable rifle. Colt gave them the M4. The M4 is much shorter than the M16 (too short to be legally owned by civilians) it has select-fire able to fire 3-round bursts or to be switched into full-auto or to semi-auto.

Does the MVPD really have full-on M4s? Or are they crippled versions?
Maybe they cannot do full-auto, but they do have the short barrels?

Anyway, AR-15s are a good idea for all police forces, but the full-on M4 should only be used by highly trained police specialists.


Liberalguns
Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:24 am
Liberalguns, Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:24 am
7 people like this

@ pretty simple
"create an independent, citizen-led commission to review existing police department practices and budget and to recommend changes."

Thus letting the politicians duck any and all responsibility for the results of anything related to police work.

It always ends the same way. The "review board" just becomes another knee-jerk political "virtue flag" to show the rest of the world how Politically Correct we are. In the mean-time, the review board become nothing but another set of power-mad individuals who care about nothing but their public image. The can't be voted out of office either, they are "selected" based mostly on who will be best at controlling one group of complainers or other.

"Nobody's claiming to be a newly minted expert in policing. "

Actually, that is EXACTLY what is going on that is exactly what BLM wants, to be seen as the only group willing and able to stop the violence, but only IF you hang over POWER to them.

"Nobody's saying that we need to make drastic changes without due consideration."

That is EXACTLY what these protest groups are doing all over the USA, like Seattle.

"The city council doesn't have a great track record of accomplishing change through subcommittees, and it doesn't have representation from members of the communities most targeted by police."

Well, MAYBE because the people most targeted by police are the criminals and the criminals certainly don't want the police to get better at their jobs. Mostly, the criminals hate cops and would never participate.

"We need this commission so that citizens of Mountain View can hold their government accountable."

It's called voting and participatory citizenship.

Behave the laws, behave properly when contacted by a cop, never lie, never run, never fight, never resist arrest, never pull a weapon or do anything else to scare a cop and you will get the best possible outcome. Violate any of those basic rules and your outcome will be worse.

I was taught these basic rules when I was a kid, why is it that some parents seem to teach their kids to do the opposite?


Liberalguns
Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2020 at 4:05 am
Liberalguns, Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2020 at 4:05 am
9 people like this

@ Retired Military
"Do any of the experts here even know the range of an AR-15 or M4?"

I do, but so what, that is meaningless information, but since you asked.

The AR-15 civilian rifle has several barrel lengths, so the open-air range is anywhere from 600-800 yards. Interesting only to long-range target-shooters.

The M4 has a shorter 14.5" barrel, so it's range is about 500 yards.

But open-air range is pretty meaningless. That's not the issue that matters.

" I can assure you they ain't needed for policing Mountain View at close range."

No, the AR-15 is for medium range beyond the safe and accurate range of their handguns. For close range cops have handguns. A Glock 17 9mm has an open air range of about 55 yards, but again, not the relevant point. The bulk of all handgun shootings take place under 20 feet, most under 10 feet, many 5 feet or less. The AR-15 is for that medium range 30-100 feet

Some longer Glocks have a range out to 75 yards. I have a Glock that is effective in open air out to about 500 yards. Again, irrelevant.

" Under 50 meters and you'll be aiming low to hit high given the initial velocity of the round leaving the barrel."

No, that is not a problem with the semi-auto AR-15. It can be an issue with a military M4 or M16 on full-auto.
" peaceful civilians suburban setting. Fire one and the round ain't stopping."

No again. Anything can knock it down.

The most common AR-15 bullet is a tiny 55 grain (aka 3.6grams), but they go as low as 35grains. At the high velocity, low weight of the .223 bullet, it is highly unstable and any little thing can disrupt it's path and drop it to the ground.

The prior rifles were all at least .30 caliber with triple the powder or more. The .30-06 was pretty common. If a .30-06 hit something, it went right through and continues for miles before it runs out of steam. Some cop rifles were .41 magnum, some .45-70, some bigger. These days we have Ruger .480, .454 Casual, .500 S&W. Cops used to carry .357 magnum revolvers. They pack a huge wallup, makes a 9mm look like a wimp.

For a .30-06 standard rifle police used before the AR-15, those .30-06 rounds would fly true and lethal beyond 1,000 yards, even after passing through a house or car (as long as it did not hit the engine block). And those were not even the much higher-powered hunting rifles that police used as sniper rifles.

" Besides that cite the last time any of these weapons were actually used by a suburban police force."

Ever seen real police recorded live for the TV?
Ever seen helicopters over an active shooter scene?

Don't you remember the Northridge bank robbery?
Those guys had stolen M16's from military bases and bought from China smugglers some AK-47 style rifles. All of which were full-auto.

The cops were getting torn apart, then one of them went to a civilian gun store and "borrowed" some AR-15s and then took down these robbers.

"they feel they need to impress and intimidate rather that just police peacefully."

The most peaceful way to stop the violence is to show the suspects that they have no chance of getting away alive.


Retired Military
Castro City
on Jun 26, 2020 at 8:19 am
Retired Military, Castro City
on Jun 26, 2020 at 8:19 am
3 people like this

@Liberalguns

"The most peaceful way to stop the violence is to show the suspects that they have no chance of getting away alive."

Sorry, but you just gave yourself away. The police do not have a mandate to kill under the excuse of preventing suspects from getting away alive. Such comments and beliefs have led us to where we are today.

"The AR-15 is for that medium range 30-100 feet"

That is the most ridiculous statement. First of all learn the difference between yards, meters and feet. The AR-15 / M4 is not intended for what you call medium ranges of 30-100 feet. That would be like taking a chain saw to a tomato plant.

"I have a Glock that is effective in open air out to about 500 yards."

Ridiculous.

Go back to your basement, turn of "Cops" reruns, and play with your toys. I'm just thankful there are robust gun laws to keep you in check.


Reality vs fantasy
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2020 at 10:19 am
Reality vs fantasy, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2020 at 10:19 am
8 people like this

"pretty simple" (Rex Manor) wrote:
"Nobody's claiming to be a newly minted expert in policing."

Not in those words. (That might make the absurdity obvious even to them.)

But they exactly, inescapably, imply it when, in writing, in these same pages, they advocate things like "Mountain View policing needs to change" and "defund the police" and "before we can get into the real work of phasing out cops and reallocating funds to the community" and "It is time to change the old way of policing and reevaluate every single thing the Department does" and "Why are police officers handling homeless outreach?" and "we have a firm belief in addressing public safety, health, and social issues with non-punitive and community-led restorative measures." And even, incredibly (in a guest Voice opinion), characterize police departments generally as "institutions that were set up to dehumanize and keep power out of the hands of Black Americans."


John Lashlee
North Whisman
on Jun 26, 2020 at 12:19 pm
John Lashlee, North Whisman
on Jun 26, 2020 at 12:19 pm
2 people like this

This comment section is a cesspool of anonymous hyperviolent gun fanaticism.


SRB
St. Francis Acres
on Jun 26, 2020 at 12:46 pm
SRB, St. Francis Acres
on Jun 26, 2020 at 12:46 pm
2 people like this

I was hopeful when I read the City press release about the Black Lives Matter resolution and the promise of a "path forward". I'm far more skeptical now after seeing council members speaking and writing so defensively, letting MVPD continue its self-policing without community participation,..... The "Path" might technically be forward but it'll be at snail pace (don't want to lose those MVPD endorsements in November) and will likely be circular (to maintain the status quo).


Liberalguns
Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2020 at 2:52 pm
Liberalguns, Rex Manor
on Jun 26, 2020 at 2:52 pm
6 people like this

@Retired Military

"@Liberalguns"
""The most peaceful way to stop the violence is to show the suspects that they have no chance of getting away alive.""

"The police do not have a mandate to kill under the excuse of preventing suspects from getting away alive."

I never said that and you know it.
I said the most peaceful way, NOT the most lethal way.

The point is about the "show of force" that convinces violent people to stop being violent and comply with the lawful orders of the police. It's a matter of changing the risk/benefit calculation being made in the mind of the suspect so that they decide to comply.

""The AR-15 is for that medium range 30-100 feet""

"First of all learn the difference between yards, meters and feet."

I used the correct unit of measure.
Generally speaking, I would not want anyone but a trained sniper to shoot at suspects, at say 100 yards for example, with an AR-15. In fact, I would not want cops in an urban setting shooting at a target that far away except in truly extreme circumstance and preferably with a rifle designed for that job.

"The AR-15 / M4 is not intended for what you call medium ranges of 30-100 feet."

The original design intentions of a tool does not preclude it being quite capable of doing some other job well.

Police don't reliably hit their targets with their handguns at medium or longer distances, meaning, that they have to fire more shots and that the shots that miss end up going somewhere the cops did not intend. This is bad for everyone.
With an AR-15 it is not difficult for the average officer to accurately hit their intended target under 100 FEET.

"That would be like taking a chain saw to a tomato plant."

How so? Range to impact makes very little difference to the person hit until you get way out to the maximum effective range.

""I have a Glock that is effective in open air out to about 500 yards.""

"Ridiculous."

Welllll, to be fair, it has a barrel extension.

"Go back to your basement,"

Don't have one.

"turn of "Cops" reruns,"

I prefer Survivor and shows by Shondaland, like Grey's Anatomy.

"and play with your toys."

Firearms are not toys, they are tools and like any other tools, people can misuse them, but like any other tool ever invented, there is never just one valid way to use a tool. I never "play" with firearms.

"I'm just thankful there are robust gun laws to keep you in check."

What have I done that requires the government keeping me "in-check"?

In all the times I have been pulled-over, never once did I do anything to make the cop feel afraid of me, nor has any cop ever felt the need to detain me longer than it took to write me a ticket.

On the streets, I would never be disrespectful of a cop, or disagree with a cop, or demand anything of a cop, on the streets. If I objected to what a cop has done, I would talk to a lawyer and file a complaint and go to the news media. On the streets, I would NOT resist arrest, NOT steal an officers weapon, NOT fight to prevent the cops from shoving me in a cop car.
Such things get people dead.

You cannot "win" a fight on the streets against police, all you can do is break more laws and potentially get dead. That helps nobody.


Rodger
Sylvan Park
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:11 pm
Rodger, Sylvan Park
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:11 pm
14 people like this

I can’t think of anything more scary than defunding the police department.
If this silly idea had happened there would be a mad rush to get guns to carry around with us. Crime would go way up along with shouting deaths. The old and weak would have to contend with criminals in their house and breaking into cars.
I am so glad that the City Council didn’t get pushed into defunding the police
This idea should go back to the dark ages


Reality vs fantasy
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:36 pm
Reality vs fantasy, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2020 at 3:36 pm
4 people like this

Further to my previous comment above: A comment posted a few minutes ago to a new (related) Voice article suggests:

"First and foremost we should dispan every city police force and streamline the department's into county police."

See, you don't even have to spell or punctuate right to propose sweeping changes in policing policy.

There's the whole current situation, in miniature.


Michael A
Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2020 at 6:53 pm
Michael A, Another Mountain View Neighborhood
on Jun 26, 2020 at 6:53 pm
Like this comment

@another resident
"We expect some people in our society to learn how to de-escalate situations, but do not expect the same of police."
Actually, I expect this of police. They should be trained for deescalation (if they were not, this would be a big problem, indeed).


Alex
North Bayshore
on Jun 26, 2020 at 11:17 pm
Alex, North Bayshore
on Jun 26, 2020 at 11:17 pm
10 people like this

Strong police department is always better than a weak one.
Well funded police department is always better than underfunded one.
Crime level dictates the size and budget for police department.


mimosa
Rex Manor
on Jun 27, 2020 at 3:55 pm
mimosa, Rex Manor
on Jun 27, 2020 at 3:55 pm
16 people like this

I recently bought a condo in Mountain View after comparing multiple condos from multiple other cities in the Bay Area. The reason I decided to settle down in Mountain View is because it has the lowest crime rate compared to all other cities I could afford (San Jose, Santa Clara, East Palo Alto, etc). I am very happy that my expensive property taxes go to fund the police to keep me and my family safe.


MV resident
Jackson Park
on Jun 28, 2020 at 3:52 am
MV resident, Jackson Park
on Jun 28, 2020 at 3:52 am
9 people like this

Mountain View police is great


Tom Halstrom
Martens-Carmelita
on Jun 29, 2020 at 11:14 am
Tom Halstrom, Martens-Carmelita
on Jun 29, 2020 at 11:14 am
1 person likes this

Even police departments agree that there are many functions that they perform that could be better performed by other professionals.

The issue that no one seems to talk about is that defunding the police department means funding new, replacement departments, that can respond 24/7 to mental health emergencies, noise complaints, domestic violence incidents, and a plethora of other things that the police have been tasked to respond to.

Establishing and operating these new 24/7 departments is NOT going to reduce costs, it’s going to increase them. That’s not to say that these changes should not be made, but given the current budget constraints that all cities are facing, it’s unlikely that creating new departments, to offload some of the work that the police are now performing, is going to happen quickly.

You can’t tell a resident that calls 911 that their problem is not really that serious and that someone from another department will get back to them within a week, you need to have a way to respond immediately.

So let's plan to create a 24/7 mental health response team, a 24/7 domestic violence response team, a 24/7 code enforcement response team, etc., to let the police concentrate on serious crimes. But those need to be done BEFORE the police department's budget is cut. And let's pass a tax measure to fund these new departments.

What would be really useful is to copy Sunnyvale's approach where their public safety personnel are all cross-trained as paramedics, firefighters, and police officers. This saves the city money, increases the salaries of the public safety officers, raises the standards of the officers, and increases public appreciation for the jobs they do. Everyone loves a firefighter!


Vee
Cuesta Park
on Jun 29, 2020 at 3:03 pm
Vee, Cuesta Park
on Jun 29, 2020 at 3:03 pm
2 people like this

As the entire country is calling for police reform, our Blue MV is doing nothing significant to address the issue. i am embarrassed by our city council and our mayor. I will do everything I can to work with other groups to vote this worthless, do nothing city administrators. I was until now a proud MV resident. I want to get that pride back again by having a more progressive and forward thinking set of administrators. I urge you all to make your voices known in this election and get these people out of here. We need serious police reform in this country and when a blue city like ours can't do it, we should change the make-up of the city administration. CHANGE is long overdue.


LongResident
Monta Loma
on Jun 29, 2020 at 5:07 pm
LongResident, Monta Loma
on Jun 29, 2020 at 5:07 pm
Like this comment

Those calling for the establishment of a parallel response force to
deal with non-police emergencies are quite naive. First, for medical
issues we have the fire department which will respond for emergencies
with their paramedics. But police may still go out as well as a backup.

But the Mountain View police call logs are published and readily available.
In a typical day there will be 20 service calls, across all shifts. Of
these most involve a crime or are indiscernible without first being there.
E.g. the caller reports a trespasser. Are you supposed to assume this is
a mental health issue? A homeless person? Can you relay on the caller to
always know this?

So, you'd be lucky to find a single call per day that could be reasonably
identified as a non police matter. So for that, there's this proposal to
have a 3rd responding force besides fire/paramedic and police?

It certainly would cost more, and in a small quite place like Mountain View it
would be a total waste of funds!

To see police call logs check here: Web Link

Amazing that people making these critical statements don't do research first.


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