San Mateo Police Department
The City of San Mateo citizens service academy spent an evening at the Police Department. These are some of my notes and pictures...
Most of this evening was spent discussing things with the John Stangl, Chief of Police. Chief Stangl has been a police officer in the City of San Mateo for 29 years rising through the ranks.
The evening started off by Capt. Greenman offering donuts ("you can't start any meeting at the police department without donuts") -- ah well, being on a diet is never easy... but somehow I didn't even taste a donut.
Looking back at my notes I did find a few interesting items. The minimum number of patrol officers on duty at any one time is 6 (plus 2 sargeants). This of course might be 4 a.m. mid-week. It takes 5 full time officers to cover one slot 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. The PD has a total of 5 Captains, 18 Sgts, no Lieutenants, with a total of 107 sworn officers. There are two teams of officers that work 12 hour days, 4 on and 4 off. And there are 5 functioning street gangs in the city.
At the beginning of the evening we had our "mug shots" taken. Well, we didn't actually have official mug shots taken, but Carol Stangl did take a picture of each of us --- holding a placard with our name on it.
At the end of the evening we were taken on a short tour of the police department. The communications room handles 911 service for San Mateo and one or two other cities nearby.
The jail at the police department is no longer used for long-term "customers". It's now used more as a holding area until people can be transferred to the County jail. I don't know why John Belforte thought it was funny to be behind bars... Has he been to the Police Department before?
During the tour of the investigation offices we happened upon a detective working after hours. He had recently given a talk on fraud. He showed us some of the fake IDs that were used in a case with which he was involved. The IDs included FAA, United Nations, NBC, US Air, a few drivers' licenses from a few states, a few other pilot licneses, the FCC. The detective didn't have the fake FBI and Secret Service IDs to show us, though.
In San Mateo County, the current fraud to watch out for are people stealing checks from the US Mail -- not checks you receive... Rather, thieves are breaking into corner mailboxes and stealing payments (e.g. your checks made out to PG&E, Pac Bell, TCI, etc.); then they alter the checks (both "pay to" and amount); and cash checks for huge sums. One of the members of BHNA found that someone took one of their payment envelopes and tried cashing a $400 check (that had originally be a few dollars).
The BHNA (Beresford/Hillsdale Neighborhood Association) was well represented at this service academy. Here are a few of us who are attending this academy (of course, I'm not in the picture). From the left: Pat Hines (BHNA Secretary), Susan Litvak (BHNA President), John Belforte (BHNA Vice-President), Chief Stangl, and Capt. Greenman.
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