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Menlo Park police chief leaving after 23 months

Original post made on Jul 5, 2012

Describing it as "an agonizing decision," Menlo Park Police Chief Bryan Roberts said he's taken a new job in Draper City, Utah. He starts Aug. 6. Hired a scant 23 months ago by Menlo Park, Chief Roberts started here in September 2010. He was chosen from a pool of more than 30 candidates nationwide and started with a salary of $179,500.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Thursday, July 5, 2012, 11:33 AM

Comments (30)

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Posted by Arch Conservative
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 5, 2012 at 3:58 pm

Draper City sounds like a great place to live and to raise a family- 40,000+ population, couple of good companies located there- and the Utah State Prison. Appears to have everything that Menlo Park used to have- except a state prison.
Definitely not a Mayberry, USA, location.
Have a great time!


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Posted by Yawn
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 5, 2012 at 5:30 pm

Sure, sure, he "agonized" over it. Yawn. Don't let the door hit ya on the way out.


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Posted by Lessons Learned
a resident of Menlo Park: Allied Arts/Stanford Park
on Jul 5, 2012 at 9:24 pm

When are we going to learn not to hire these up and comers......The hint should have been he never really lived or moved here! Nice choice Glen R and using Bob Murray and Associates.......Wait, did they pick you too Glen. I hope we don't use Bob Murrray again. Let's pick a police chief that has some interest in our community. We have a lot of locals to pick from in San Mateo county.


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Posted by Dissappointed
a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2012 at 8:01 am

The police chief's decision to leave the City of Menlo Park in less than two years may do irrevocable harm while showing the same arrogance, self-serving, money grabbing habits of his predessors. What's getting city's in trouble are senior staff that think of themselves first and the public dead last.

Senior staff are supposed to set the example and be a role model, Chief Roberts is saying "what's in it for me". While this is a common quest, the public wants more from their leaders. Afterall, we are putting our trust, confidence and loyalty in them.

What I'd like to know, is how many tax dollars went into hiring him in the first place? What type of perks, benefits, financial pension, health benefits and other take aways will this early departure result in? What will it cost to hire his replacement? More questions than answers. Maybe Chief Roberts should show good faith and disclose some of these answers.

When many governments at multiple levels are straining to keep the doors open, when individuals are facing foreclosures or worse, it seems inappropriate for our community leaders to put their own needs first. If Chief Roberts has family in Utah, let him visit them. Let him email them. Let him keep in touch in a variety of ways. Perhaps he should have thought about this long and hard before accepting the Menlo Park job.

Yes, I'm dissappointed. When will the bleeding stop? Will Menlo Park become another Vallejo, or more recently Stockton? These high ticket positions result in a huge drain on the communities limited resources.

Will Chief Roberts departure result in a moral issue within the police department? Stablity is often a virtue. High turnover oftentimes defeats this goal.

Thus, allow me to ask, Bryan Roberts, will you reconsider staying? We liked you and perhaps you can find a way, somehow, to make Menlo Park your home for perhaps another 3 years or more.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 6, 2012 at 8:09 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

It is time to stop the bleeding - outsource police services to the Sheriff. This will substantially reduce the total cost, remove any future unfunded pension liability and, increase leadership stability. With the much large force the Sheriff's department can more easily promote leaders from within ensuring community knowledge and avoiding relocation costs.


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Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 6, 2012 at 8:23 am

That is a fantastic idea Peter. Outsourcing is a good idea.


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Posted by Aquamarine
a resident of another community
on Jul 6, 2012 at 10:21 am

So who fights the outsourcing idea, and why? No way does Munksie Skunksie deserve more power but at least he can be voted out.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 6, 2012 at 10:58 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Agencies which have their own Police Department:

Atherton
As of the census of 2000, there were
7,194 people
4.9 square miles (12.8 kmē)
Police budget $4.9 M
$681 per capita

Redwood City
As of the census[1] of 2008, there were
75,508 people
34.6 sq miles
Police budget $31.7 M
$419 per capita

Palo Alto
As of the census of 2000, there were 58,598
people
23.7 sq miles
Police budget $29M
$494 per capita

Foster City
As of the census of 2000, there are 28,803
people
The city has a total area of 19.9 square
miles (51.6 kmē), of which 3.8 square miles
(9.7 kmē) is land and 16.2 square miles
(41.9 kmē) is water.
Police budget $9.6 M
$333 per capita

Burlingame
As of the census of 2000, there were 28,158
people
The city has a total area of 15.6 kmē (6.0 miē).
11.2 kmē (4.3 miē) of it is land and 4.4 kmē
(1.7 miē) of it (28.19%) is water.
Police budget $9.5M
$337 per capita

Hillsborough
As of the census[5] of 2000, there were
10,825 people
The town has a total area of 6.2 square miles
(16.1 kmē), all of it land.
Police budget $8M
$739 per capita

Los Altos
The population was 27,693 according to the
2000 census.
6.3 square miles (16.4 kmē).
Police dept budget $13.46 M
$485 per capita

Menlo Park
As of the census of 2000, there were 30,785
people
17.4 square miles (45 km2), of which
10.1 square miles (26 km2) is land
and 7.3 square miles (19 km2) is water. Police services budget $14.69 M
$477.148 per capita

East Palo Alto
As of the census of 2009, there were 35,791 people,
2.6 square miles (6.7 kmē), of which 2.5 square miles (6.6 kmē) are land and 0.04 square miles (0.1 kmē) of it (0.78%) are water.
Police budget $10,262,651
$287 per capita

Agencies which contract out their police services:

Saratoga
The population was 30,318 at the 2007 census.
The city has a total area of 21.1 square miles
(31.4 kmē)
Police costs via County Sheriff $4.34 M
$143 per capita

Woodside
11.8 square miles (30.5 kmē)
As of the census of 2000, there were
5,352 people
Police services via County Sheriff $1.3 M
$242 per capita
new contract 2012/13
The Woodside Town Council approved a budget that included ■ Sheriff's contract: A council majority approved a three-year $1.45 million law enforcement contract with the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office. Unlike the annual jumps of 10 percent in previous contracts, this one rises by 4 percent for the first year and 3 percent after that.
The population of Woodside is 5287 as of the 2010 census or a cost of $274 per capita.


Portola Valley
The population was 4,462 at the 2000 census
9.2 square miles (23.7 kmē)
Police services via Sheriff $498,601
$111 per capita

San Carlos
The population was 27.238 in 2008
5.93 square miles
Police services via proposed Sheriff's contract
$6.8 M
$248.62 per capita








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Posted by Scholar
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jul 6, 2012 at 12:16 pm

If the Sheriff Dept. are that much cheaper it sure looks better. Would converting to the Sheriff mean some startup expenses to change the PDs' headquarters and the 911 centers or their radio systems? Or does it just entail changing their uniforms and repainting the cars?


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Posted by Jim
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 6, 2012 at 12:34 pm

Peter makes a great point. The Sheriff system is spread so thin, no crime prevention just crisis management. But one gets what they pay for, and deserves. You won't get to know local officers, just windows up, cell phones on.
Good for Chief Roberts to smartly go where he is appreciated and compensated. The comments above from the tomato throwers don't make Menlo a friendly place. Who would stay for the verbal abuse?


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 6, 2012 at 12:57 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

The change over costs would be quites small. San Carlos went through the process last year:
Millbrae Patch -
"Before contracting out services, San Carlos employed 32 sworn officers, and the city spent about $8.9 million per year on its police department. After outsourcing, there are now 19 sworn officers, and its annual costs are about $2 million less.


The Sheriff's Office hired all San Carlos police department employees – many of them work in the county jail now. Nine original officers remain patrolling San Carlos.

Although there are fewer officers in San Carlos, the level of service has remained about the same, according to a Sept. 12 City of San Carlos study.

Rothaus said it is because the city does not need to hire extra cops to cover shifts for those sick or on-leave.

The average emergency response time has not changed, and Part 1 crimes, such as rapes, murders, aggravated assault and robbery, have decreased slightly.

The San Carlos Police Department had a better property crime solving rate, while the Sheriff's Office is more effective with violent crimes, according to the study.

Felony arrests increased about 35 percent since the transition, in part due to more regular checks of probationers and parolees conducted by the Sheriff's Office, Rothaus said.

San Carlos conducted two surveys measuring resident's satisfaction with the Sheriff's Office. Out of the 102 surveys completed, citizens were 98 percent satisfied with services. "
**********
The County already operates a county wide dispatch system that serves both the Sheriff and ALL of the fire agencies in the county including MPFPD (which started the county wide fire dispatch consolidation movement)so there would be zero cost of adding MP police.

However 'thin' the Sheriff's service may be in the unincorporated areas in the contract areas each contracting city gets to choose its own level of service - Woodside contracts for more officers and pays more, but still far less than Menlo Park. And the same officers are assigned to Woodside on a continuing basis.

Next argument against police outsourcing - other than fear of change?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 6, 2012 at 7:44 pm

As you look at the various cities and town which have a contract with the Sheriff each contact varies depending on the type of service. When contracting for services there are always pros and cons.

San Carlos decided to retain its former chief who is now a Sheriff's captain, but Millbrae decided to go with a lieutenant. Woodside and Portola Valley have patrol units; supervisors are part of the regular department's structure.

Atherton could have opted to go this route before it promoted its new chief.

Centralized and semi-consolidated services are an advantage and can be a cost saving option. Menlo Park ought to consider this before doing another search. How many chiefs have they had in the past 15 years?


 +   Like this comment
Posted by Good Timing Now
a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle
on Jul 6, 2012 at 8:02 pm

Good timing for the Sheriff's Office to take over services at Menlo now. A public safety model as many counties have done makes sense. Sheriff (Public Safety Director), who commands all public safety to include police services, fire, communications and emergency management. This includes all the admin functions. Great point Peter, but let's think a little further. Money is always a factor, but a unified effort for public safety completes the task.


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Posted by Jim
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 7, 2012 at 5:41 am

Yes, more consolidation. The sheriff, RC police and MP all have rubber fire boats? Too many taxes are going into office salaries and the costs for 1 old fire truck to occupy an otherwise vacant building on El Camino! If more money went into education now, we won't need a new jail nor trained patrol officers demoted and reassigned there.


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Posted by Jim
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 7, 2012 at 5:48 am

"However 'thin' the Sheriff's service may be in the unincorporated areas in the contract areas each contracting city gets to choose its own level of service - Woodside contracts for more officers and pays more, but still far less than Menlo Park. And the same officers are assigned to Woodside on a continuing basis"

The definition of social injustice. All deputies should cover the county equally.


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Posted by TSKtsk
a resident of another community
on Jul 7, 2012 at 8:38 am

SUCH a response from a grateful group of similar personalities according to the KEIRSEY group.


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Posted by menlovoter
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jul 7, 2012 at 12:20 pm

Peter, if you want the sheriff's dept. so much, why aren't you pushing for it in your own neighborhood of Atherton? Why not try it out there, before trying to push it on a much larger much more diverse area? I am glad that Menlo Park has a real police force and think we have a much larger populous that needs real interaction not just a drive by response from the sheriff.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 7, 2012 at 1:01 pm

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

"Peter, if you want the sheriff's dept. so much, why aren't you pushing for it in your own neighborhood of Atherton"

I have advocated this for Atherton for years.

The Sheriff already serves areas much larger and more diverse than Menlo Park and does it very well at a much lower cost per capita. And, if you want extra services those can be added without incurring any long term commitments.


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Posted by sosdd
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 7, 2012 at 1:13 pm

Peter has been in everyone's hair in Atherton for the last several years and has posted the above fiscal comparison at least ten times or more. Basically the council has rejected outsourcing,realizing Atherton residents want to have (an pay for) a high service level by their own police department. They have just contracted with Chief Ed Flint for a three year contract, and he is doing remarkable things with the Atherton police department bringing it to higher response times and aiming at complete satisfaction with citizen contact. He is a true professional and Menlo Park will a like replacement
So Peter the outsoucing dog won't hunt but I am sure you will keep these simple ill-conceived comparisons going because you can't help yourself. Even the Sheriff has stated he cannot duplicate Atherton service.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 7, 2012 at 3:31 pm

"Even the Sheriff has stated he cannot duplicate Atherton service."

Nor should he. Nor should any police department be doing the ridiculous things Atherton PD does. Picking up peoples mail? Watering their laws? Taking in their mail? What a joke. Those aren't the duties of a professional police force. The citizens of Atherton have turned their police force into a highly paid private security service. They could accomplish the same thing at lower cost by outsourcing the real police work to the Sheriff's Department and paying a private security firm to provide the non police services. It's absurd what the people of Atherton have done to their police force. If you want a professional police force, allow them to be professional police officers not security guards.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 7, 2012 at 5:13 pm

The outsourcing dig has hunted very well.
Over the last decade a dozen communities in San Mateo County have either extended existing contracts or initiated contracts with the Sheriff. There are zero counter examples.


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Posted by Michael G Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jul 7, 2012 at 5:45 pm

"Even the Sheriff has stated he cannot duplicate Atherton service."

One service that would be cut is the keeping a set of KEYS to your house by the police department.


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Posted by Split Vote
a resident of another community
on Jul 7, 2012 at 9:17 pm

Peter Carpenter has been quite vocal about the library in the park. He advocates an election to decide, particularly with a 3-2 split on the Council. He will apparently get his way. The Council has succumbed to the pressure and will place this issue on the ballot in November.

Assuming another 3-2 vote on the issue of outsourcing the Atherton Police Department, would he advocate a similar ballot? Why or why not??


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 7, 2012 at 9:52 pm

When and if such a split vote occurs I will let you know.


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Posted by Joan Q Citizen
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jul 8, 2012 at 11:25 am

Does anyone else who actually lives or works in Menlo Park feel that a citizen of Atherton should mind his own business?? How about letting people who actually live in Menlo Park decide if we want to keep control over our local police department or outsource to a faceless organization run out of Redwood City.

How in the world did this discussion devolve into one about outsourcing?? So a chief of police is leaving...big deal! I have had CEO's of my corporation change numerous times for all sorts of reasons. We find a new one and go on! Enough. Let's find a chief who will stay a while!


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Posted by sosdd
a resident of Atherton: other
on Jul 8, 2012 at 11:42 am

Peter states, "When and if such a split vote occurs I will let you know." Come on Peter, the bright and principled guy that you are should be able to answer with a simple yes or no.


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Posted by Menlo Voter
a resident of Menlo Park: other
on Jul 8, 2012 at 12:04 pm

Joan Q:

given the close proximity and interrelatedness of our towns there is nothing wrong with someone from Atherton having an opinion on Menlo Park or vice versa. I and many others often comment on what is going on in Atherton. Those of us that live in Menlo Park often have to drive through Atherton. As such the recent goings on and especially the presence of a corrupt cop there gave me a great deal of concern when I was driving through that town. If they would do what they did to a wealthy resident of the town, what could or would they do to me?

Likewise what happens in Menlo Park, especially regarding law enforcement, would naturally be of concern to those living in Atherton. Criminals don't stop at city borders. So what is happening with the law enforcement in one town can easily have effects on adjacent communities.

All Peter has done is make a suggestion. One that does have merit. It is up to those of us living in Menlo Park as to whether we act on that suggestion or keep the status quo. I have no problem with those outside our community offering suggestions. Frankly, sometimes those suggestions are great given the greater perspective distance from the issues offers.


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jul 8, 2012 at 12:54 pm

Quit changing your user names and stay on topic.


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Posted by Lurker
a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2012 at 1:10 pm

I wonder if San Mateo Deputy Police Chief Mike Callagy would be interested in the job? Callagy's also an attorney; he was one of a select group picked from around the country for specialized training at the FBI in Quantico a few years ago; he was head of the Dr. William Ayres investigation. He was interested in becoming police chief of a department at one point.


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Posted by Michael G Stogner
a resident of another community
on Jul 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm

Usually the few people who are disturbed by just the thought of outsourcing the Police Department to the Sheriff's Office are Union Leaders, not the Police Officers because they seem to get equal or better salaries and benefits from the change.

The more that law enforcement is on the same page in San Mateo County could have benefits in an area that I am interested in....Reducing to ZERO Citizens killed by Police Officers

We should have a County wide policy with all law enforcement.


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