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Nordhoff: City Transparent on Crime Reporting

City Manager Ken Nordhoff says his office doesn't 'control' information that comes from the police department, as alleged by the Walnut Creek Police Association.

The local union for Walnut Creek police officers is critical of the process, but City Manager Ken Nordhoff said Monday the city manager's office does not "control" the information that comes out of the police department.

"We do a pretty good job of being transparent about crime reporting," Nordhoff said, responding to allegations that came out over the weekend from the Walnut Creek Police Association that "information related to crimes occurring, officer staffing levels and anything deemed a little too scary is usually filtered or prevented from being released." The association posted the criticism on its Facebook page in the context of the unreported arrest of a robber who had wielded an assault rifle at the Palos Verde Mall.

"The information that comes out of the police department is controlled by the police department chief and his command staff," said Nordhoff. "The chief and I talk about things that will be press releases. He keeps me informed. There's always a judgment call." Nordhoff said he sometimes keeps City Council members informed about crime items that will become news releases.

"When it's released, that rests with the chief and the police," Nordhoff said. "It's important that communications stay connected."

The city manager said the city puts out information about good things officers are doing. He noted that the City Council had public discussions about crime trends on Aug. 7 with a report from Chief Joel Bryden and several discussions of staffing levels in public sessions on the budget in the spring.

Well.... August 27, 2012 at 10:36 PM
Well, not really a conspiracy theory but you could ask why the Police Department’s 50 page strategic plan was shelved by the City Manager’s Office right after Elisabeth Nardi from the Contra Costa Times wrote an article mentioning it. A plan that the Chief of Police and Command Staff signed off on and was suppose to go to print the same week (this was months ago). Or why the Police Department’s Succession Plan was kicked back by the City Manager’s Office after being signed off by the Chief of Police and Command Staff. Or why the City Manager’s Office has the Chief of Police routinely justify press releases. Or why the tightening the release guidelines is occurring. And so on and so on…….
Eugene McGrane August 28, 2012 at 03:51 PM
and the first is delivered...
Michael R. Hansen August 28, 2012 at 08:28 PM
The comment above seems specific and substantive Eugene. Does MccRealty Group in Walnut Creek have any inside information worth sharing? I do not but my feeling is I'd like some answers. “Conspiracy theories” aside if this is occurring on any level it is bad for Walnut Creek and needs to be addressed. I can’t see how anyone would come to a different conclusion and be in such a hurry to immediately dismiss the manner.
Eugene McGrane August 28, 2012 at 08:45 PM
Michael, I was waiting for your comment. Thanks for googling me... please proceed with your normal comments. I have no inside information, except what you can read in the paper and what is distributed via the mail. If you have specific instances and reasons for the city manager withholding info please come out with them.
SR August 28, 2012 at 09:43 PM
You must have missed the second comment regarding the "specific instances" Eugene.
Charles schwartzmunde August 28, 2012 at 09:56 PM
MccRealty Group- is just across from City Hall. Is there more to this story?
michael frederick August 28, 2012 at 10:49 PM
Eugene, You seem to be under the misperception that this is a court of law, as opposed to a court of public opinion. The standard is "the avoidance of the APPEARANCE of impropriety." Mr. Nordhoff crafting a rosy 10+ page state of the city for Nutshell months before an election smells about as attractive as Mayor Simmons' West Downtown Plan months before an election -- there's a stench of political desperation. These are right up there with Skrel's secret bar owners meeting -- there's a recent history here, Eugene, you seem to be conveniently ignorant of. It's really not necessary to prove that folks like Simmons and Nordhoff left bloody fingerprints, as you promote -- just that they exercise poor judgment. If they can't present plans and information in a manner that doesn't make them look like they bath in garbage -- they aren't meeting WC performance standards. You need "reasons"? OK, Bryden reports to Nordhoff and Nordhoff reports to Council. It's called an employer / employee relationship. I don't know to what degree Nordhoff is interjecting himself politically to massage police reporting. I do know that his state of the city in the latest Nutshell indicates a strong desire to serve employers politically by swapping professionalism for advocacy. For those who want to address Michael Hansen, I'd like to suggest you go to the Michael Hansen Patch instead of the Walnut Creek one.
Eugene McGrane August 29, 2012 at 01:22 AM
And the hits keep on coming, thank you for proving that nobody would ever want to come on here with full disclosure and debate any of these policy issues.
SR August 29, 2012 at 03:51 PM
Taking your ball and going home huh. You started the "debate" by completely prejudging the story in the very first post Eugene.

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