Home Brentwood Brentwood Mayor and Police Chief Issue Statement to Community

Brentwood Mayor and Police Chief Issue Statement to Community

by ECT

BRENTWOOD, CA – To our valued citizens: As a result of this unprecedented and worldwide pandemic, our community has been affected in ways we’re still understanding and addressing as best as we can.   Please read these messages from Mayor Robert Taylor and Police Chief Tom Hansen

Brentwood residents:

The latest Contra County Health Services health order requires sheltering in place through May 31, continuing with essential travel, businesses, and face coverings whenever in public, although it has lifted some restrictions previously in place.  Please become familiar with the health order at: https://www.coronavirus.cchealth.org/, and call the Coronavirus Call Center: (844) 729-8410 during business hours with any questions.

Our current situation has thus forced us to adapt to a variety of operational procedures outside of what we’re used to.  These procedures may seem contrary to our mission but we have to remember, they are temporary and in the best interest of our citizens’ health and safety.

We can’t even begin to understand the individual personal and professional struggles our community is enduring, but please know we sympathize with those directly and indirectly impacted by this virus; people out of work, parents trying to home school young children, those still working who lost their day care and our seniors who have been isolated from their families in order to mitigate risk.

City Manager Tim Ogden has asked Police Chief Tom Hansen to answer questions we are hearing about how law enforcement is responding with certain changes implemented by the California Judicial Council generally, and from the State and County health orders affecting our efforts specifically with homeless individuals.  Please accept the statement that follows.

Your Mayor,
Bob Taylor

Brentwood has been impacted far beyond what we ever would have imagined; but this city is known for its tenacity and resilience when faced with challenges that appear unfathomable.  I want to reassure all the community that your elected officials and city staff are working tirelessly to preserve the quality of life our residents deserve.  Public health and public safety remain priorities as we join the rest of the world to combat the invisible enemy.

The police department remains highly visible fighting crime, responding to calls for service and trying to protect businesses forced to close.  Changes throughout the county have impacted our ability to ensure criminals will be held in custody as long as possible, but we remain committed to doing all we can within what we control.  Jail operations have been modified to mitigate the spread of the virus.  They will not turn arrestees away, but without the presence of certain criteria (felony offense, domestic violence, court order violation) they will be immediately released. The California Judicial Council adopted 11 emergency measures (http://www.cc-courts.org/local-rules/local-rules.aspx) one of which set bail at $0 for misdemeanors and most felonies.  The District Attorney’s Office has postponed most hearings until after the courts reopen.  These are mere obstacles our public safety professionals are forced to navigate, and we’re hopeful for a stabilization of best law enforcement practices soon.

The Health Order issued April 29, 2020 continues to exempt homeless individuals from the order and urges them to obtain shelter.  The homeless population has been identified as high risk for contracting and spreading the COVID-19 virus. Regardless, our police officers continue to respond to calls for service associated with homeless individuals and will enforce criminal violations they encounter.  Homelessness is not a crime in and of itself.  Without going into recent legislation and case law, there are deeply rooted social issues contributing to this growing problem.  Our police department is constantly contacting our homeless and offering the services of the Contra Costa Crisis Center (211). The services offered include shelter referrals, daytime drop-in care centers, the CORE (Coordinated Outreach Referral and Engagement) team, emergency food, job training, healthcare, mental health counseling, transportation and substance abuse treatment.  Until we can get these people the treatment they need, the problem will not be solved.

I sincerely appreciate the feedback we get from members of our community.  It shows how committed you are to keeping things “Better In Brentwood”.  Your concerns are at the forefront of what we do every day and we will continue to work within the parameters of the law and the Constitution to find solutions.  The COVID-19 pandemic may have caused some procedural modification, but our commitment to providing topnotch service remains uncompromised.

Chief Tom Hansen

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Leonard graham May 2, 2020 - 6:54 am

The chief of police sounds more like a social worker instead of an individual who took an oath to enforce the laws of the land. Last tune I checked possession and use of narcotics and under the influence is against the law

Sean May 2, 2020 - 8:34 am

I believe you are incorrect when you state that guidelines require one to wear a face mask while in Public!

Better to say, “while in a public place where business is conducted, while on Public Transportation and while waiting in line for Public Transportation”!

I am not required to wear one while walking, jogging, on a bench in the park, etc.

Teresa Hernandez May 2, 2020 - 9:21 am

Its nice to hear a statement fromthe police stating the facts. Thanks for their service. Maybe this pandemic will help our communities through the efforts our police and first responders are making. They see the carnage and humanity first hand. Hopefully our elected leaders will show their worth instead of giving us political opinions and using this time to get re-elected. They have an opportunity to do good things. People need to chill and support them.

Sunny May 2, 2020 - 10:40 am

You are infringing on my rights protected under the constitution! I will be voting every one of you out of office next election!

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