Alameda Police Department

When Police Chief Paul Rolleri was hired as an officer for the Alameda Police Department, in 1992, he competed with nearly 500 other test takers for the same job.

“It was almost like winning the lottery if you got in,” Rolleri said.

Today, though, he might only see 100 to 125 applications come across his desk – and not all of those are from qualified people, he said.

The department has advertised open police officer positions for months, and Rolleri said the department hasn't been fully staffed for five years.

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.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your weekly, two-sentence news review. Here’s what happened in Alameda this week.

Students at Bay Farm School recently responded to First Lady Michelle Obama's #GimmeFive dance challenge by learning this dance, featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. The challenge is part of the First Lady's Let's Move! campaign, which aims to boost Americans' physical fitness.

The City Council signed off on budgets and police body cameras on Tuesday. Here's the tweet by tweet.

The City Council is set to consider a contract to purchase body cameras for Alameda police and access to a system that will store all the video they record.

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.

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your two-sentence weekly news review. Here’s what happened on the Island this week.

Californians are being asked to conserve water in the face of a stubborn drought. Here’s what your neighbors are doing to save water.

An eagle-eyed regular reader who noticed that we hadn't updated our development map since December asked if we could revise and repost it. Well, ask and ye shall receive.

 

The city has settled a lawsuit accusing Alameda police of using excessive force against a disabled man they arrested on suspicion of stealing a cell phone charger from a local phone store.

The City Council approved a settlement Tuesday to pay Jeffrey Navarro $450,000 to settle Navarro’s claims arising from the July 27, 2012 arrest. City officials said they’re not admitting any wrongdoing in the case.

The City Council offered preliminary approvals for a plan to build up to 380 new homes on the 11-acre Del Monte warehouse, a development that one council member said could offer the last new housing the Island will see for years.

Alameda police are rescinding a ticket they gave a homeless veteran on a charge he was illegally living in his car.

On October 1, the department asked the Alameda County Superior Court to dismiss a ticket issued to Aaron Colyer after police found him sitting in a parking lot in his van. And Alameda’s top cop confirmed the city may revise the ordinance that Colyer, 34, was cited under.

“I'm happy that the City of Alameda has agreed to stop violating the constitutional rights of homeless persons and hope that all homeless people will now come park in Alameda where they will be safe from harassment, threats and intimidation for existing,” Colyer said.