Menlo Park hires interim police chief


Menlo Park has hired an interim police chief from outside the department as it searches for a replacement for the recently departed Bruce Goitia.

Ray Samuels, the former police chief of Newark, Calif., and a public safety consultant, has been on the job since Mr. Goitia retired June 1, according to City Manager Glen Rojas.

The city is in the process of setting up interviews, and hopes to hire a new chief by the end of July, Mr. Rojas said. He affirmed that the city's list includes candidates from within the department.

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Posted by confused
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jun 16, 2010 at 10:00 am

Why does MPD have to hire an interim chief, especially if they have
internal candidates that are being considered. It doesn't say much about the quality of candidates does it. Give them a chance to lead
now to see if they have what it takes, why hire them & find out they
don't have the leadership skills..This new chief needs to be more pro-active in the community, especially with the Fire District and
neighboring cities. Visibility and engaging is very important. Hopefully our internal candidates will come out on top, then they can hit the ground running. Good luck to all

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Posted by Bob
a resident of Menlo Park: Central Menlo Park
on Jun 16, 2010 at 10:42 am

Why does it take the Almanac two weeks to find out and report we have an interim police chief? Was the city keeping it a secret?

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 16, 2010 at 10:48 am

Peter Carpenter is a registered user.

Now would be a very good time for Menlo Park to consider consolidating its police services with Atherton or contracting with the Sheriff for police service ( which could be adopted to Menlo Park's needs and budget). Taking the lead on this would be a great job for an interim Police Chief.

Here is some comparative per capita cost data:

Agencies which have their own Police Department:


As of the census of 2000, there were 7,194 people

4.9 square miles (12.8 km²)

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

$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[4] of 2000, there are 28,803 people

The city has a total area of 19.9 square miles (51.6 km²), of which 3.8 square miles (9.7 km²) is

land and 16.2 square miles (41.9 km²) is water.

Police budget $9.6 M

$333 per capita


As of the census of 2000, there were 28,158 people

The city has a total area of 15.6 km² (6.0 mi²).

11.2 km² (4.3 mi²) of it is land and 4.4 km² (1.7 mi²) of it (28.19%) is water.

Police budget $9.5M

$337 per capita


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 km²), 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 km²).

Police dept budget $13,456,595

$485 per capita

Agencies which contract out their police services:


The population was 30,318 at the 2007 census.

The city has a total area of 12.1 square miles (31.4 km²)

Police costs via County Sheriff $4.34 M

$143 per capita


11.8 square miles (30.5 km²)

As of the census[9] of 2000, there were 5,352 people

Police services via County Sheriff $1.3 M

$242 per capita

Portola Valley

The population was 4,462 at the 2000 census

9.2 square miles (23.7 km²)

Police services via Sheriff $498,601

$111 per capita

Like this comment
Posted by OMG
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 16, 2010 at 12:39 pm

Who is this Peter Carpenter person, other than someone who has no life and nothing else to do but throw out quotes and numbers... Maybe he should do some volunteer work with the city.

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 16, 2010 at 1:43 pm

OMG asks:" Who is this Peter Carpenter person? Maybe he should do some volunteer work with the city."

I have just finished serving 8 1/2 years as an elected Director of YOUR Fire District and I am the President of the Atherton Civic Interest League and a very concerned citizen.

I don't throw out quotes and numbers - I do careful focused research.

And your contribution to our community is????

Like this comment
Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 16, 2010 at 1:47 pm

Here is a good opportunity for Menlo Park to explore police consolidation. Join with San Carlos and the cost to each community for this evaluation can be shared.

"San Carlos seeks 'second opinion' on outsourcing police and fire services

San Carlos officials say they want a second opinion from outside experts before proceeding with controversial proposals to outsource the city's police services.

In addition to the $63,182 agreement with TriData approved Monday, City Manager Mark Weiss last month quietly hired another consultant, Commonwealth International, for $17,500 to review separate proposals submitted by Redwood City and the San Mateo County Sheriff's Office to take over police service in San Carlos.

Commonwealth, the police consultant, will be comparing the strengths and weaknesses of those two proposals against the city's current police department. Officials say that report could be out as soon as next week.

"We want to make sure this is state of the art if we go down this path, and (that) we do it right," Weiss said.

Because the police consulting contract was less than $50,000 it didn't need to be approved by the council, Weiss said.

E-mail Shaun Bishop at

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Posted by James
a resident of Menlo Park: Menlo Oaks
on Jun 16, 2010 at 2:05 pm

Peter makes a good point for exploring shared services or consolidation especially since San Carlos is looking to outsource, Atherton is having some financial difficulties, and now Menlo Park is looking for a new chief.

However, it's too logical and makes too much sense, but the government agencies won't move in that direction for those very same reasons.

All you have to do is look around to see prime examples of illogical and nonsensical governmental decisions. Where are all the real leaders? But alas maybe I expect too much.

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Posted by truth
a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven
on Jun 16, 2010 at 3:09 pm

So let's consolidate with a city three cities away from our town? How does that work exactly? And Peter, you were a bureaucrat on a fire district board, now that makes you an expert on how to run police departments? Did you sleep at a Holiday Inn too?

Cut and paste an article about police consolidation now so that we can somehow give you credit for using google.

Our police are ten times the police of Atherton and neighboring cities. We pay a lot for them, a lot, and we don't need to spend our time bailing out San Carlos. I live in the Belle Haven, a great neighborhood, but one that could easily deteriorate without a strong police force. Peter in all his experience being on the fire district board (one step from the presidential cabinet) and all his time living in Atherton or Palo Alto, wouldn't really know this would he.

Cut and paste an article now about police costs Peter.

Like this comment
Posted by brother
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 16, 2010 at 3:22 pm


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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 16, 2010 at 3:23 pm

IF Truth ever read what other people actually post he would realize that I was proposing that Menlo Park use the same consultants at the same time as is San Carlos to evaluate what Menlo Park might do in terms of police consolidation or outsourcing. There would be particular economies in doing so because San Carlos is considering offers from both Redwood City and the Sheriff. I never suggested that Menlo Park consolidate with San Carlos.

Truth states:"Cut and paste an article now about police costs Peter."
clearly showing that he/she hasn't even read the research (mine)that I posted earlier in this thread gave per capita costs for police services for ten local communities.

But I do agree with Judge Reinhold that Truth should be made a ward of the court - he or she waste much too much or our time by not doing his/her homework and by simply throwing brickbats.

Like this comment
Posted by Joanna
a resident of Menlo Park: Downtown
on Jun 17, 2010 at 12:15 pm

Forbes has an article titled, "The Millionaire Cop Next Door"

Here is the link: Web Link

Here is the article:

The Millionaire Cop Next Door
June 1, 2010 - 11:45 am

It is said that government workers now make, on average, 30% more than private sector workers. Put that fantasy aside. It far underestimates the real figures. By my calculations, government workers make more than twice as much. Government workers are America's fastest-growing millionaires.

Doubt it? Then ask yourself: What is the net present value of an $80,000 annual pension payout with additional full health benefits? Working backward, the total NPV would depend on expected returns of a basket of safe investments--blue chip stocks, dividends and U.S. Treasury bonds.

Investment pros like my friend Barry Glassman say 4% is a reasonable return today. That's a pitiful yield, isn't it? It is sure to disappoint the scores of millions of baby boomers who will soon enter retirement with nothing more than their desiccated 401(k)s, down 30% on average from 30 months ago, and a bit of Social Security.

Based on this small but unfortunately realistic 4% return, an $80,000 annual pension payout implies a rather large pot of money behind it--$2 million, to be precise.

That's a lot. One might guess that a $2 million stash would be in the 95th percentile for the 77 million baby boomers who will soon face retirement.

That $2 million also happens to be the implied booty of your average California policeman who retires at age 55. Typical cities in California have a police officer's retirement plan that works as follows: 3% at 50. As the North County Times of Carlsbad, Calif., explains:

Carlsbad offers its police and firefighters a "3-percent-at-50" retirement plan, meaning that emergency services workers who retire at age 50 can get 3 percent of their highest salary times the number of years they have worked for the city.

City officials have said that in Carlsbad, the average firefighter or police officer typically retires at age 55 and has 28 years of service. Using the 3 percent salary calculation, that person would receive an annual city pension of $76,440.

That does not include health benefits, which might push real retirement compensation close to $100,000 a year.

Who are America's fastest-growing class of millionaires? They are police officers, firefighters, teachers and federal bureaucrats who, unless things change drastically, will be paid something near their full salaries every year--until death--after retiring in their mid-50s. That is equivalent to a retirement sum worth millions of dollars.

If you further ask the question: How much salary would it take to live, save a build a $2 million stash over a 30-year career, the answer would be: somewhere close to $75,000 more than the nominal salary, if you include all the tax bites associated with earning, saving and investing money.

In other words, if a police officer, firefighter, teacher or federal bureaucrat is making $75,000 a year, she is effectively making twice that amount. Implied in her annual pension payout is that she diligently saved half of her annual salary--after taxes--in order to save, invest and build--again, after taxes--the $2 million pot.

So when you hear that government workers now make, on average, 30% more than private sector workers, you are not getting the full story. Government workers make more than twice as much as private sector workers, on average, when you include the net present value of their pensions.

How long can this last?

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Posted by shocked
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 17, 2010 at 1:35 pm

geez ive been a cop for 20 yrs and upon retiring....will have to work another full time job to survive. I didnt get into the business to get rich..good thing i have a retirement or i would be on the street with the bums myself. A long 30 yr career is an amazing feat in this profession, not everyone makes it that long. How nice to have a rewarding career and know i may have helped someone along the away. You have no idea what goes on behind the scenes, its nothing like csi...I will be lucky to pay my medical expenses, but i would do it all over again in a heartbeat, and i deserve my pension, and i will never be a millionaire.

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Posted by e.grimley
a resident of Atherton: West Atherton
on Jun 17, 2010 at 4:51 pm

I do understand we, the public, (even cops, firefighters and teachers who pay their taxes) pay for 'some' of the pensions being tossed about today (discussed in the media)....BUT....the members of the California 'Public Employee Retirement System' (PERS) also pay into their own retirement system. (It's usually a matching of employee AND public entity dollars.) Is it totally their fault that they had the insight (many, many years ago) to develope their own pension plan....and have it administered by profesionals? I think most of what I'm hearing is sour grapes because too many of us are going to rely on something known as Social Security that is administered guessed it!!
And these same individuals in D.C. don't even use 'SS' for their own retirement. Why not? They aren't the fools....the fools are the one's who continue to put them into office.

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Posted by Menlo Park Resident
a resident of Menlo Park: Sharon Heights
on Jun 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm

What we also need is an interim City Manager.

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Posted by Blue Collar Public Worker
a resident of another community
on Jun 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm

Millionare Cops: Why does everyone take these articles as fact, go to this web site Web Link and get the facts from the people running the state retirement fund. They do not make things up to sell newspapers or magazines, they simply state the real facts. Peter here is some new info for you about the fund being "unsustainable"
Web Link

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Posted by Peter Carpenter
a resident of Atherton: Lindenwood
on Jun 18, 2010 at 1:01 pm

BCPW - I looked at the 'new' CalPers facts you cited and I didn't find anything new. CalPers simply continues to state that they don't think that anybody eles's analysis is any good.

Here is CalPers own statement:"In its fiscal year ended June 30, Calpers was down 23%, or $58 billion, the worst performance in the pension fund's 78-year history. It was up 12% for the year ended Dec. 31. Calpers's annualized return over the past 20 fiscal years is slightly higher than the 7.75% target."

Mr. Dear still feels comfortable that 7.75% "could be the right number, but he's not making that prediction."

Sorry, but further commenting on this topic has been closed.

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