Desperate Times
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Desperate Times
I don’t usually like to write or even think of negative thoughts however……these desperate times make desperate people do desperate things.

I’m referring primarily to burglaries that are seemingly hitting the bay area. Foster City is not exempt. Even though we have the best police officers ANYWHERE!!!

I’m asking all of you to start making it your job to be diligent in paying attention to what is going on around you and your neighborhood. Be mindful of your surroundings when you leave your house and return. One of my best friend’s home was burglarized last week when she just ran over to Target for a bit……upon returning her garage door was open. She noticed pieces of wood on the floor and realized the side door of the garage had been forced open. She very wisely went out on the street and called police.

Their M.O. is to drive their car in the garage and then empty what they can from your house, open the garage door and drive off!! I’m not trying to scare anyone but this was a very anxious moment for my friend and I certainly don’t want this happening to anyone else.

I don’t get a kick back from any alarm companies so I will recommend an alarm system. Mine is on at all times, even when I’m on a walk. There is such peace of mind to return and open your door TO the alarm and knowing no one has been in my house. You do get a break on your homeowners insurance if you install one which probably wipes out the monthly fee however peace of mind is priceless.

I read with interest that Piedmont just hired a woman as their Chief of Police and the day before there had been a home invasion which is much worse because the people were home. My friend and Police Chief from San Mateo, Susan Manheimer has had similar problems. Susan believes in addition to the desperation of people that the realignment of our jails is a contributing factor. We are not punishing these kinds of crimes (non-violent) with jail time because of overcrowding. Without those stiffer punishments, more people get into this arena. These people know no boundaries. My neighborhood two years ago organized a Neighborhood Watch program……we now all have each other’s emails and phone numbers in case we see something suspicious. If my garage door is open at night for instance they know something is wrong…….it’s probably because I forgot to close it but at least they would alert me. It is a great way to meet your neighbors as well.

I consider Foster City these last 36 years so safe that I have left my door unlocked on many occasions but as I said……the world has changed and when folks are out of work or have too much time on their hands they do some crazy and desperate things.

Our Police Chief, Matt Martell, reminds us that we all need to take an active role in our Community’s safety. Of the 17,100 municipalities (with populations over 25,000) in the US, Foster City is one of the safest anywhere. In fact we just received a National award proclaiming that we are in the top one hundred safest cities in America, 81st to be exact. The credit for this achievement belongs to everyone who lives, works and plays in Foster City. We all have great pride in our community and most of us take an active role and personal responsibility to do everything in our power to help keep our friends, families and neighborhoods safe. However, even in a safe community, staying safe means exercising common sense precautions to help minimize the chances that you will be a victim of crime; such as not leaving valuables in plain sight or unattended, making sure our homes are relatively secure and, most importantly, by calling the Police (911) when we see something that is wrong or suspicious. Our Police Department works hard to be a valued resource for this community. The Department offers a wide variety of programs to educate folks about what they can do to help protect themselves and our police officers provide fast, courteous and professional police services when bad things do happen.

Please go to to read about this study that named us 81st in the country……a quote from the article: This accomplishment not only reflects the efforts of a vigilant police force, but of a whole “community bonded in prideful citizenship.”

Another great resource to protect yourself and those you love is to sign up for the next CERT (Community Emergency Response Team) being held at our fire station. Please email to sign up. This class will teach you how to react to an emergency if/when one might occur. It is also a great way to again meet your neighbors and make it a “team” effort for a safer environment. You can also go the to learn more.

The bottom-line is that even in these “Desperate Times”, if we all do our part, Foster City can continue to be one of the safest cities in America, the envy of other cities on the Peninsula and a great place for all of us to Live, Work and Play!

Be mindful, be alert and be safe!!! And while you are in this generous mood… kind to one another.

I would welcome your comments at

Council Corner

February 20, 2013
Desperate Times

City Hall - 610 Foster City Blvd.
Foster City, CA 94404
(650) 286-3200