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Atherton OKs policy for police donations

Original post made on Jul 20, 2012

Is it possible for residents to help support their town's police force through charitable donations without opening the door for preferential treatment and influence over department policy?

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 20, 2012, 10:41 AM

Comments (5)

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Posted by No Payoffs
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 20, 2012 at 1:16 pm

If the City Council wants to ensure that donations to the Police Foundation won't be used to buy favor, then ALL DONATIONS SHOULD BE ANONYMOUS. The Foundation members should be made to sign a legal confidentiality agreement, and forbidden under penalty of prosecution to disclose the source of donations nor give any credit to the donors.

Of course, if those restrictions happen no one will donate. Wny? Because it's all about public posturing and buying favor. Utterly nauseating. If Atherton doesn't have enough money to pay for police, then the town should create a dedicated tax for doing so. Asking for private donations is akin to asking for payoffs.

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Posted by +1
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 20, 2012 at 1:44 pm

Said better than I possibly could. Staggeringly bad judgment by Bill Widmer to expect "integrity" can overcome human nature.

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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 20, 2012 at 3:16 pm

"Policies may not be possible to prevent incidents of preferential treatment, however. "I think you've got to rely on the integrity of the town's employees," Mr. Widmer told the Almanac."

Well Mr. Widmer, it seems to me the town has tried that before with pretty bad results. Two building officials that suddenly "retired" under clouds of suspicion. A police chief that "retired" under a colud of suspicion. And a police officer that "retired" under a cloud of suspicion. Did I forget any?

One cannot rely on employee integrity. If it could, good accounting practices wouldn't require checks and balances to prevent theft. The same thing applies here. If the town can't create policies to prevent the possibility of preferential treatment, it has no business accepting the money.

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Posted by Irony
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jul 20, 2012 at 10:13 pm

If Widmer is right and we can assume everyone will do the rIght thing so policies aren't needed, there wouldn't be a police department in the first place. What a stupid and disgusting precedent to set. Police services are paid by all, not a select few. That's why it's called law enforcement, and the laws are supposed to apply to everyone equally.

On another note, what is this new telephone police survey about?

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Posted by Stev
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 21, 2012 at 8:39 am

to see if you will open up your check book

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