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By Tim Hunt

The chief's LOL moment

Uploaded: May 23, 2013

Speaking to a group of Centerpointe Church men this week, Police Chief Dave Spiller observed that he is still asked whether BART increases crime perpetrated by non-residents.
Certainly, BART parking lots can be targets, but those are patrolled by BART police and are not Pleasanton's responsibility.
Dave, like yours truly, asks just how likely it is for a thief to scoop up an armful of jeans at JCPenney and then run across the parking lot and into the BART station to wait for the next train to get out of Dodge.
That said, he related his latest LOL moment (that's laugh out loud for non-texting folks of my generation). Reviewing his email for the latest updates one morning, he broke out laughing when his officers reported arresting an ambitious thief who had heisted a 50-inch TV set from Walmart and was dragging it toward the Dublin-Pleasanton BART station along Owens Drive.
As the chief says, "we do catch the dumb ones."
It reminded me again to never say never.
During his visit with the men, Dave also related the challenges of running the department with the six frozen positions that he agreed a few years back when the city was feeling financial pressure from the recession. That is saving more than $1.2 million a year because paying for an officer with fully loaded costs is $202,000 a year—less than half of that is salary.
The challenge is that through normal attrition there are five funded positions (the authorized number of sworn officers is 87 positions with six frozen) that are currently vacant and being actively recruited. Mix in the typical temporary disability from work-related issues and covering patrol shifts can become challenging.
IN OTHER NEWS, Las Positas College President Kevin Walthers officially is headed for Allan Hancock College in Santa Maria.
Walters, as I reported earlier, was the top candidate and was formally approved by the board on a 4-1 vote this week. The dissenting trustee, as reported by the Santa Maria Times, based her vote on her doubt as to whether Walters, an Anglo, had enough experience with Hispanics to serve a district with a high student population of first-generation students and a majority of Latinos.
What was unusual was the contract was for just one year, starting July 8.