Chief Spagnoli

Jul 222013

slpdbadgeThe San Leandro Police Department should send its press releases directly to The Onion.  They don’t even need to be edited.   This latest one is a prime example.

First of all, has anyone at the SLPD looked up the meaning of the word “proactive” in the dictionary?  What exactly is proactive about arresting someone who has committed a crime? “Proactive policing” would mean setting things up so that crimes are not committed in the first place, and that is something that the SLPD certainly is not doing.  Crime has gone up significantly since Chief Spagnoli took over in 2011.

But that is not the actual funny part.  The SLPD is trying hard to make the case for installing surveillance cameras, and their strategy seems to be to talk about the needs for technology.  So in this press release they talk about several arrests which “would not have been possible without the use of technology”.

So, what technology are we talking about? Well, the first case involved a policeman patrolling and seeing a guy he knew had committed crimes in the past, whom he then arrested.  It’s not clear what the technology is, but maybe the police officer was wearing contact lenses and he couldn’t have identified him without them? I’m sure the car was helpful to transport him to jail, but I’ve watched enough westerns to know horses work as well.

In another case, a witness heard the noise of glass breaking, went outside and saw someone breaking into a vehicle. He called the police, and the police was able to find him walking nearby.  I guess here the technological marvel known as the telephone saved the day, though I can’t help but note that there wouldn’t have been a crime if cars had not been invented 🙂

Finally, in an incident Police Chief Sandra Spagnoli denied having taken place (I think from now on I will call her Chief SpagLiar), police stopped a man for no apparent reason, chased him around the vehicle, tackled him rendering him unconscious (hopefully not dead, as witnesses believed).  I’m not sure what the technology here is. Maybe the ambulance that took him to the hospital? A witness did capture the incident with her camera phone, but the Police took it.  If they do release the video will actually have a fairly good idea of what took place, so perhaps here, they will be proven right in their invocation of technology.
Doublespeak was a very powerful tool in George Orwell’s 1984, and I can understand why the SLPD is working so hard to try to adopt it.  They just shouldn’t be so obvious and pathetic at it 🙂