Safety

Mental health team will now handle some 911 calls in Contra Costa County

Mental health emergencies account for more than 1 in 10 of the 911 medical calls in Contra Costa County. A new program will now address those calls with crisis teams that include behavioral health professionals. This week, Contra Costa Health Services unveiled the Anyone, Anywhere, Anytime program, which will get clinicians involved in accessing medical calls and determining when a crisis response team is needed. The county is now hiring for the A3 pilot program, with plans to have the…

Boxes, buckets, Buicks and Chevies: Sideshows are at a crossroad

Tires screech and cars dance on the streets of Oakland as sideshow culture fills the air, along with the smell of burning rubber.   Originating in Oakland in the 1980s, sideshows have gained traction in the Bay Area, exciting audiences, frustrating motorists and irritating police. Oakland recently unveiled a bold plan to crack down on sideshows, which are classified as reckless driving and punishable as a misdemeanor. Richmond City Council recently took action to deter sideshows. And a state law signed…

Police Chief French put on administrative leave amid investigation

Richmond Police Chief Bisa French was put on leave Wednesday, after being accused in court documents of attacking a relative and threatening to kill a man. French’s husband, Oakland police Lt. Lee French, also was put on leave, pending an internal investigation. A family member requested restraining orders against Bisa and Lee French on Oct. 7, according to Contra Costa County court records. A hearing is set for Oct. 25. In court documents, an 18-year-old relative accused the Frenches of…

Biden gives shout out to Richmond crime prevention program, citing it as model

When President Joe Biden introduced his crime-prevention strategy to reporters in late June, he highlighted the community intervention efforts that DeVone Boggan launched in Richmond in 2010 and encouraged other cities to invest in such programs. Boggan, former director of Richmond’s Neighborhood Safety Office, started the Advance Peace nonprofit five years ago to introduce his Peacemaker Fellowship program to other cities. The program is similar to Ceasefire and Cure Violence in that it addresses the root causes of gun violence….

Biden taps former Richmond chief Chris Magnus to lead border patrol

The former Richmond police chief credited with drastically reducing the city’s murder rate is in line to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection. President Joe Biden on Monday said he will nominate Chris Magnus as the agency’s commissioner. Magnus led Richmond’s department from 2006 to 2015, when he took his current job as police chief in Tucson, Arizona. Pointing to Magnus’ time in Richmond, the White House said, “Magnus played a key role in rebuilding community trust in law enforcement…