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A government's inherent responsibility is to protect the people it governs. The recent increase in Bay Area crime, however, has raised concerns about the efficacy of our criminal justice system. In March 2022, for instance, ten store owners in San Francisco's Chinatown cited robberies in the span of 24 hours, pleading for "more help from police and tougher consequences for criminals."
Moreover, although theft is rampant in Palo Alto's Altaire Walk, police have not been able to offer much help and residents are now urging a more proactive approach to crime prevention. I brought this issue to attention before the Palo Alto City Council by making it a priority. Since then, crime at Altaire has plummeted. We must listen and change.
Chyi-Shan Suen: "I cannot represent my whole neighborhood community (~100 households) without asking permission from every single one of them, but I want to say that from our community discussion group, the majority, if not the whole community is supporting Greg. Greg was the ONLY city council member who made his time available, showed up at our request to meet city officials when the community needed help and continued to guide the community to channel the request to get proper attention. I want to say that the effort is highly recognized and appreciated."
BOLSTER POLICE TO PROTECT OUR FAMILIES
A potential first step is to bolster our local police force, which has recently been reduced in size due to budget cuts. Another option, which I proposed on the Palo Alto City Council, is to widely install automated license plate readers—which have already helped reduce crime in Atherton and Danville. Automated license plate readers capture all license plate numbers that come into view and upload them to a central database, allowing the police to apprehend criminals faster. These devices enable law enforcement to screen plate numbers, comparing them against those of stolen cars or those driven by people suspected of criminal activity.
Further, we must bolster federal oversight of police departments in order to allow them to examine and reform their practices for maximum effectiveness. Community safety may also be achieved through greater federal policy regarding crime, such as the recent dedication of 1.6 billion dollars to crime prevention and President Biden's Executive Order on Advancing Effective, Accountable Policing and
Criminal Justice Practices to Enhance Public Trust
and Public Safety. Such measures provide the nation's law enforcement agencies with mechanisms that are essential to ensuring the safety of all Americans.
We must strive to create a society in which citizens
feel safe and can expect adequate protection from law enforcement. Consequently, we should appreciate our law enforcement, not detest them. As such, I also support establishing tougher penalties for criminals
and giving police the tools they need to do their jobs
safely and effectively, such as through the Office of Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS). COPS awards grants to law enforcement in order to assist them in hiring policing professionals, providing
training for police officers, and developing and testing new policing strategies. These measures are necessary for local law enforcement to better protect the people.
Let's work together to protect families and neighborhoods now.