Hayward and San Leandro got the lowest grade available, an F-, in an audit examining the openness of California police departments. The Alameda County Sheriff’s Department, which protects Castro Valley, San Lorenzo and places in between, also received an F- in the report published today.
The grades are the result of an investigation by a coalition of journalists, including the Review’s own Martin Ricard, who visited police departments across California to find out if they were releasing public information when asked. Many were not.
In San Leandro, according to the report, an “officer who wouldn’t give her name told the requester she wouldn’t accept a written request unless she knew what the records would be used for.” In Hayward, the requester was asked multiple times for identification and what the information would be used for. Similar problems arose at the California Highway Patrol branch office in Hayward.
The audit also gave departments a numerical ranking. Dixon, a small city in Solano County, did the best in the state with a score of 94; East Palo Alto was the worst in the Bay Area, with a score of 5. East Palo Alto Police Chief Ron Davis, who lives in Hayward, told a reporter he was dismayed by the score. Local scores were as follows: Alameda County Sheriff’s Department (20), CHP Hayward (10), Hayward police (25), San Leandro police (20).
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