Jul 27 2016

Public Safety: Disaster Prep and Police Chief Report

Public Safety Committee Meeting, Thursday, July 28, 2016, 5:30 p.m. – City Council Chambers, 120 Vista Avenue. 

Agenda includes:

  • Public Forum: an opportunity for members of the audience to speak on an item not on the agenda.
  • Discussion of Distribution of > Get Ready, Piedmont Guides and Checklists
  • Discussion of October 15, 2016 Disaster Preparedness Event 
  • Discussion of Chief Goede’s Opinion Piece in the July 20th Edition of the Piedmont Post Entitled “Piedmont Police Department and Recent Tragic Events”


Regular Meeting Minutes for Thursday, May 26, 2016

A Regular Session of the Piedmont Public Safety Committee was held on May 26, 2016 in the City Hall Council Chambers at 120 Vista Avenue, Piedmont.

Committee Members: Lori Elifant, Garret Keating, Sue Lin, Lyman Shaffer, Andrea Swenson, Lynne Wright, Police Chief Rikki Goede, and Fire Chief Bud McLaren Absent: Ryan Gilbert
There were no speakers for the public forum.

The Chair introduced Lynne Wright and Lori Elifant as new Committee members. They each provided brief descriptions of their backgrounds as they related to the Committee’s responsibilities under its charge.

The Committee reviewed the schedule of meetings through March, 2017 and confirmed the dates by consensus.

Chief Goede provided an update on the implementation of the AC Alert emergency notification system. It appears that signup for the system is consistent with the CodeRed system that it replaced. It was noted that Piedmont had more signups than any other city. It does not appear that there is any need for action by the Committee at this time but a more detailed briefing by Lisa Douglas will be scheduled for the July meeting.

Chairman Shaffer reported that Ace Hardware conducted a sale of earthquake supplies at a discount for Piedmont residents. The sale was well advertised in the POST and Piedmonter, as well as the Civic Association and the Portal. However, Ace management described the sales as less than expected. The Committee agreed that the idea had merit, and we should look for other opportunities in the future.

Chairman Shaffer and Chief McLaren reported on the May 14 Fire Extinguisher training event. They found that the event was poorly attended probably due to a lack of earlier promotion as it got very limited press coverage. Chairman Shaffer reported that many of those who attended were from recent neighborhood meetings where the event was promoted. The Committee felt that this activity had merit and should be explored in the future possibly as part of another activity.

Chairman Shaffer reported on his submission of the Committee’s annual report to the City Council on May 16. Committee members had previously reviewed the report and were encouraged to watch the presentation on KCOM.

Chief Goede reported on her presentations on sexual harassment and related matters to the entire student population of Piedmont High School. Unlike prior presentations which were done in assembly format, these were done on a classroom basis which resulted in over 20 sessions. This gave students an opportunity to ask questions and better understand consequences for inappropriate behavior. This was a joint effort with the PUSD management and was well received.

Chairman Shaffer reported that over 500 Get Ready, Piedmont Guides have been distributed, and an additional 500 have been printed. Over 700 of the supporting checklists have been distributed. Distribution was done through neighborhood meetings, promotion to existing neighborhood organizations, and pickup at the Police and Fire Departments. The Committee discussed other distribution ideas with the caveat that distribution should be limited, as much as possible, to Piedmont residents due to the cost involved. The Committee suggested that the Public Works and Recreation Department counters might offer additional distribution venues. Chairman Shaffer agreed to follow up on this.

Chairman Shaffer reported that 10 neighborhood public safety meetings were conducted in 2015. To date in 2016, there have been 6 Map Your Neighborhood (MYN) meetings and two general disaster preparedness meetings with one MYN meeting scheduled for early June. At this time, there are about 10 good possibilities for MYN meetings.

The Committee discussed ways to promote neighborhood meetings. Sue Lin suggested using Piedmont CONNECT as a means to reach out to residents. Garrett Keating agreed to provide the contact information for that group. Chairman Shaffer discussed providing a description of MYN to those seeking block closure permits for the 4th of July. A sample was provided to the Committee as part of the meeting package, and the Committee agreed by consensus that it should be provided to Public Works which Chairman Shaffer agreed to do.

Chief McLaren advised that, as discussed in the March meeting, the event is scheduled for October 15. He was able to reserve the county earthquake/fire trailer for that date. The Fire Department plans to staff the trailer and to also provide fire extinguisher training. They also plan to do “sidewalk CPR” training which is very brief and doesn’t involve certifications. There will also be a jumpy house for kids.

The Committee discussed other options. They agreed that PG&E electric and gas safety exhibits have been very well received in the past. Chairman Shaffer agreed to follow up with PG&E. Lori Elifant advised that she had been involved in a couple of game activities at a similar event in Emeryville and agreed to explore those activities. Garrett Keating offered to contact someone who promotes solar cooking to see if they would participate. Lynne Wright agreed to pursue food options that could support the event.

The Committee also agreed that it would staff a table to distribute the Get Ready, Piedmont Guide and supporting documents as well as promote neighborhood meetings. A subcommittee was appointed to work out the logistics of this event. Chairman Shaffer designated himself, Lori Elifant, Lynne Wright, and Andrea Swenson but later substituted Chief McLaren for Andrea Swenson as he was responsible for most of the activities.

The Committee agreed that the event needs to be well promoted in advance. In addition to approaching newspapers, the Civic Association, and the Piedmont Portal, the Committee discussed using Nextdoor to promote the event. The major reservation was the concern that this would attract a significant number of nonresidents which might impose a logistical and financial burden. Garrett Keating agreed to approach Nextdoor to determine if information could be restricted to Piedmont residents only.

Chief Goede reported that crime continues to decline but that they have observed an increase in street robberies involving young suspects. These are occurring primarily in Oakland and were increasingly directed at people getting off buses or BART at the end of the day when people weren’t as alert. She pointed out things that people could do to reduce their vulnerability such as not talking on their cell phones while walking, being alert and making eye contact with suspicious people. She particularly expressed the need for people to be able to provide good descriptions to police. The Committee felt it would be useful to provide that information to residents via the Safety Tips column that appear weekly in the POST. Chairman Shaffer and Chief Goede agreed to collaborate on that.

There being no further business, Chairman Shaffer adjourned the meeting at 6:57 p.m.

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