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Police Chief: Hold Off On New Alcohol Permits

Because of staffing shortage, Bryden would like city to continue practice of not approving new full-service licenses.

Police Chief Joel Bryden said he is recommending against the city issuing any new permits for full alcohol service at this time due to police staffing issues.

This continues a city practice: "We have not issued a full bar license in many years," Bryden said. He said he has made his recommendation — which is not a formal moratorium — to the city attorney, city manager, City Council and planners.

Also, he added, "It doesn't mean places can't apply for a beer and wine license."

Because of the staffing issues, the city no longer has a downtown police team concentrating on downtown bars on weekend nights, as it did last year. It was effective in minimizing problems, Bryden said.

"If we had any further alcohol licenses, it could be detrimental to the safety of the public," he said. "Possibly … I don't know what the tipping point is but, when we get there, it's too late."

Walnut Creek PD had 80 sworn positions a few years ago, and 77 now. Seventy-seven includes 12 officers on disability or military leave or in police academy, according to a piece in the Contra Costa Times.

myra adams February 26, 2013 at 06:50 PM
walnut creek citizens need to wake up to the fact that our police department is extremely understaffed! No motorcycle patrol team exists anymore and not enough officers to cover a city this size. Maybe someone should talk to the city council!!! what is there opinion??hum...I wonder?
One more time with feeling February 27, 2013 at 01:04 AM
With a mayor who: * pushed the $43 million library funded primarily through the city's General Fund after voters twice did not pass the bond measures for its funding and THREE city managers said we could not afford; * now advocates adding the County Library operations expense to the city budget because the measure to fund the additional hours has sunset; * violently supports the Arts but can't make a statement about whether illegal guns should be illegal; * claims to drive "community" but divides the city; * claims to want to raise more revenue because we need money - and tells the Blue Ribbon Task Force on Finance that service level recommendations are off limits; * allowed the hideous storage containers at Liberty Bell Plaza that are rarely open... * cites the "state of the city" based on year-old data; * is not pushing the Police Department staffing levels; ... there's lots more... but the point is the mayor's priorities are not the priority of the taxpaying citizens and have nothing to do with "essential services" or public safety. There is a spending problem - not a revenue problem.
obiwan February 28, 2013 at 04:24 AM
You can be sure that when Brian Hirahawa is ready to open his new restaurant/bar on Cadillac Corner there will be no moratorium.
michael frederick February 28, 2013 at 09:51 PM
The info "city employee" cited is also available on the city's website, as presented at the last council meeting. When one tries to digest info pertaining to WC, it's vital to consider the source -- quite a few misrepresent themselves, usually via false credentials conveyed by political interests they conversely "partner" with and serve: Art Club, Library Club, Commissioners, Blue Ribbon Whatever, ... The Chief has announced his retirement, is unencumbered by omnipresent political B/S, and has little conceivable interest in recommending anything but what he believes best. Slowing the flow of new booze helps not aggravate an undermanned police situation and public safety concerns / bad press. This does not, however, address the elephant. The Chamber is promoting Hotels for visitors. The DBA is promoting rebranding for visitors. Downtown affluence makes for an ever more attractive target. City officials are renouncing local interest to site regional deference (ABAG and MTC), as Staff can't contain enthusiasm for building apts! It's there reason for being... The city is stock-piling visitors and high density renters, while maintaining in GP 2025 that policing needs will be tied to crime levels associated with historical SFH ownership. That's not where police are getting employed, is it? How contrary to public safety are the "partners" who promote building the cr*p out of the place, while RENOUNCING the need (and cost) to police it? Thanks, Chief.
david ashburn March 06, 2013 at 06:50 AM
Good. It is really not that hard to get a drink in Walnut Creek. We dont need our officers spending time policing locust and main for drunks. Next time a bar lobbies the city council to increase their ours maybe they will be denied.

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