Claremont Insider: Policing Claremont

Friday, August 29, 2008

Policing Claremont

The Claremont Police Department will be hosting another DUI checkpoint tonight from 6pm to 2am Saturday morning at an undisclosed location somewhere in town.

The CPD website

The Claremont Police Department will be conducting a DUI/Drivers License checkpoint on Friday, August 29, 2008 from 6 pm until 2 am, at an undisclosed location within the city. In an effort to reduce the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol involved crashes, DUI checkpoints are conducted to identify offenders and get them off the street, as well as educate the public on the dangers of impaired driving. Funding for this operation is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

Claremont doesn't seem to have the sorts of problems with these things that Pomona has had, where there's been a real community debate over how the checkpoints are conducted. On Thursday, August 21st, a Pomona community forum to discuss traffic checkpoint policies turned ugly and resulted some heated words between off-duty police officers and some civilian participants. The Daily Bulletin reported:
POMONA - Hours after off-duty police officers engaged in a shouting match with participants at a community meeting, members of the Pomona Habla/Pomona Speaks coalition began taking steps Friday to file formal complaints against the officers.

Coalition representatives met Friday and decided to file complaints with Police Chief Joe Romero's office and the City Council in addition to seeking an independent investigation of Thursday night's incident, said coalition member Arturo Jimenez.

The coalition will also file complaints at the state level, he said.

"We are going to be filing a complaint with the state Attorney General's Office and calling for his involvement," Jimenez said, adding that various state agencies will also be contacted.

Thursday evening's actions on the part of the officers were out of line, Jimenez said.

"What happened (Thursday) was a horrible intimidation tactic," he said.

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Policing of a different sort may be in order for Claremont parks after yesterday's meeting of the Claremont Community Services Commission Parks and Facilities Committee meeting. The committee yesterday discussed a proposed ordinance to ban smoking in city parks. Daily Bulletin reporter Wes Woods II, who seems to be the new Claremont beat reporter, had an article that laid out the party line on the issue:
Colin Tudor, senior management analyst in the City Manager's Office, said he composed the ordinance after council members and staff had heard concerns from people about second-hand smoke in parks.

"It was not a specific instance," Tudor said. "I think it was more a general concern that had come up."

If the ordinance is approved today, it would go before the Community Services then the City Council at the end of September or early October.

An agenda report from Community Services Director Scott Carroll and Assistant City Manager Tony Ramos said Mayor Ellen Taylor had presented the idea to the commission.

On Wednesday, Taylor said the idea came to her after she attended a spring conference and "I thought, 'Wow.' I thought it was a good idea. I asked our city if we could do it, and they said sure."

Taylor said she was concerned about the health of children from second-hand smoke and people who drop cigarettes that wash into storm drains.

As we've noted before about Mayor Taylor, whose image needs some burnishing, it's all about the kids.