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Recap of Community Meeting with Police Chief Greg Finch

Here's a video and recap of Campbell Working Together's Community Meeting with Police Chief Greg Finch.

Campbell Working Together hosted a Community Meeting with Campbell Police Chief Greg Finch to address the late-night alcohol-related problems experienced by downtown residents (excessive late-night noise, vandalism, littering, loitering, fights, public drunkenness, public urination, etc) in the downtown neighborhoods.

Meeting Recap

The community room was packed with over 60 participants, including residents, and business, restaurant, and bar owners.

Chief Finch was well prepared with powerpoint slides that included the ideas and strategies provided by Campbell Working Together, though he wasn’t able to get through all of them as participants were very engaged with lots of questions, comments, stories, and ideas.

From our perspective this was an excellent meeting and exactly what needed to happen to bring the community together — with residents, businesses, and police sharing our perspectives and putting our heads together.

Chief Finch did a great job of presenting relevant information, addressing concerns realistically with grace, humor, and compassion, and being willing to listen and respond to everyone in the room.

Before we knew it, the time was up and we had to close the meeting with at least five hands up of participants wanting to speak. There is obviously a tremendous need for this kind of dialogue in Campbell.

We found the “meeting after the meeting” to be very interesting and informative as well. After everyone else had left, Chief Finch was surrounded by bar owners discussing the concerns of the residents and their interest in creating solutions. They appearred to sincerely want to be good neighbors. Chief Finch informed us that he will have follow up meetings with the bar and restaurant owners to address the alcohol related problems downtown and would keep us in the loop.

Meeting Highlights

Most important action item of meeting: CALL POLICE if you experience a problem.

Crime in progress: 9-1-1 from your landline, 408-378-8161 from your cell phone.

Non-emergency: 408-866-2101 or online reporting (coming soon).

  • Police Dept. stats currently don’t reflect what’s happening in community because residents have been reluctant to call.
  • Reasons given for residents' reluctance to call include: because they think the problems aren't big enough to bother the police, that the police have more important things to do, and by the time the police could respond the individual(s) causing the disturbance would be gone.  However, Chief Finch asks that residents call WHENEVER they experience a problem, and let the police department decide how to respond.
  • PD tracks alcohol-related arrests by asking where detainee had been drinking (see reports).
  • Visit www.Crimereports.com to see past incidents.
  • Register for emergency notification here.
  • Police officers cannot be victims of disturbing the peace (if they witness loud noise, etc): residents must call and complain for intervention.
  • Permit parking south of Downtown has not been enforced because residents have not picked up permits.
  • City is exploring “Impact Fees” to be paid by alcohol-serving establishments to fund two patrol officers downtown (safety and union contract prevent assigning just one officer).

Stats Provided by Chief Finch:

  • Campbell is 6.2 square miles, 42,000 residents.
  • Campbell has the most 9-1-1 calls per officer of any city in Santa Clara County (32% more than next closest city).
  • 81% of late night alcohol-related arrests are NOT Campbell residents (“late night” is 11pm-6am).
  • 90% of late night calls are outside of downtown.
  • 41 officers are currently on Campbell's police force.
  • Current alcohol-serving capacity after 11pm- 540.
  • Past few years Downtown has averaged 600 late night calls, 100 arrests (per year).
  • Only 2-3 late night parking violations per year (problem is behavior of people walking to cars and DWI, not parking).

RESOURCES:

PDF report of Downtown Campbell Late Night Police Activity 2008-2010

Campbell Working Together’s compilation of strategies and recommendations are here

Campbell Public Safety info card

The opinions expressed here are the blogger's and not necessarily those of the local editor's or anyone affiliated with Patch.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

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