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Guest Editorial: Fortunate to Have the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department

Recent arrest of four suspected home burglars showed the importance of having our own law-enforcement agency in town.

Four criminals were caught burglarizing a home the afternoon of Feb. 15 in the Almond Grove District.

As much as we may believe we are somewhat immune to this type of criminal activity in our fine town, the reality is, we are sometimes the target of these villains.

In this case, four minutes was the magic number. That's all it took to have officers on the scene from the time the reporting call was initiated. And in the end, they caught all of the bad guys. And they were real bad guys. Members of a notorious San Jose gang. 

We are fortunate to have a police department that can respond so quickly and efficiently.

Before moving to Los Gatos, We lived in a municipality that did not have a local police department. We relied on the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office for this type of public-safety response.

For almost any call, response times were closer to between 30 and 60 minutes—if at all. Due to the limited number of deputies covering our area and lack of a dedicated local dispatch center, it was the best they could do.

The people you called at the dispatch location when you needed assistance and the deputies responding, more often than not, had no local connection and were constantly changing.

Sure, it costs less, but absolutely at the expense of services to residents. Unless there was an individual or larger public safety issue, standard operating procedure was to send someone to take a report after the fact or ask you to stop by a sub-station to file the report yourself.

You certainly get what you pay for. Needless to say, I am not a fan of outsourcing and contracting law-enforcement dispatch and response personnel to outside agencies.

One of the reasons we were attracted to Los Gatos was the fact that the town had its own local police department. We didn’t know how lucky we were at the time. Turns out, they were a nationally, and even globally recognized law-enforcement agency staffed by nationally recognized law-enforcement professionals and led by one of the most respected Chiefs in the State of California.

My wife and I have personally experienced their commitment to our community and the professionalism they consistently exhibit. The vision of our police department is, "to know everyone in our community." I believe that a police department that knows everyone in the community is a very good idea.

The best way I know to help to continue this excellent level of service is to get involved. That is why we joined the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Foundation. For many years Los Gatos has been referred to as "the gem of the Valley of Heart's Delight." The Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Department is one of the things that continues to make this true.

Thank you Chief Scott Seaman and all of our officers, dispatchers and professional staff, thanks to Campbell Police Chief Greg Finch and the responding Campbell officers for being so neighborly.

Jonathan Knowles is president of the Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Police Foundation.

Mary Lindsay February 17, 2012 at 05:30 PM
And thanks as well to Jonathan Knowles for heading the Police Foundation, which helps to raise funds for valuable tools, technology and the things the police department needs to maintain this kind of rapid response and level of community safety.

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