Police from Alameda and a host of other agencies wrote dozens of tickets during a pedestrian decoy sting Wednesday.

Officers issued 168 citations during the operation, which took place at eight of Alameda's busiest intersections. About 80 percent of the tickets were written for pedestrian violations, with additional citations issued for distracted driving and excessive speed.

The sting was part of a broader effort to educate drivers and reduce the number of pedestrian and vehicle collisions here and in other Alameda County cities where similar operations have taken place in recent months, police said.

A spate of deadly police shootings in cities across the country – and the city’s recent settlement of an excessive force case here at home – have prompted questions about when and how police use force.

The answers? Rarely. And, it depends.

Alameda police used force during one out of every hundred arrests between 2010 and 2014, data provided by the department show. And the department’s chief said that it has systems in place to train and guide officers in their use of force and to monitor whether officers used too much force during a call.

Friends of one of the suspects in a string of early-morning fires Sunday are expressing disbelief he was involved in starting them.

Police announced Monday that they had arrested Stephen Michael Petersen, 27, of Alameda and Andrew Resto Gutierrez, 22, in connection with seven fires set at homes and businesses early Sunday, which caused an estimated $3 million in damage. No one was injured as a result of the fires.

The pair were scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday and were being held in Santa Rita Jail in lieu of bail.

Police arrested a 19-year-old Alameda man and cited a 15-year-old youth in connection with the Wednesday evening stabbing of a 23-year-old man in Jackson Park.

Police have arrested a student who they said brandished a BB gun near the Esperanza housing complex Thursday morning. The suspect's name is not being released because he is a juvenile.

Visitors to a crowded corner of Park Street said they got a scare Saturday when police drew their weapons on a man they said they believed to be armed with a gun, sending some scrambling for cover.

Police are urging East End residents to be vigilant and to lock their doors and windows due to a rash of thefts from cars and also, a series of burglaries that occurred while residents were at home.

Alamedans reported roughly the same number of crimes in 2013 that they did the year before, newly released data show, after two years of seeing crime numbers decline.

Police received 2,079 reports of violent and property crime in 2013, compared with 2,069 in 2012, uniform crime reporting data released by the Alameda Police Department show. In 2010, Alameda police received 2,147 reports of violent and property crime.

Last week the Alameda Police Department initiated a field test of an automated license plate recognition system. Within 60 minutes, the officer using it reclaimed a stolen car.

Photo courtesy of Cendrine McNeil.

Police are continuing to investigate a man who they said crashed his Dodge Ram truck into cars along Fernside Boulevard and Windsor Drive on Monday evening. The man's actions damaged 10 cars, including his own, but no one was injured.

"The good part of it was, nobody was in any of those cars. Nobody got hurt," Alameda Police Lt. Jill Ottaviano said.