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.