Crimson Crusader takes a hit

Ouch. The Red Phone is still licking its wounds after calls from
loyal readers chastising it for a recent column. Following is one
call that sums things up for all of them.
Ouch. The Red Phone is still licking its wounds after calls from loyal readers chastising it for a recent column. Following is one call that sums things up for all of them.

Bad Red Phone, bad!: “I’m calling about two recent Red Phone calls regarding the police department and I think the Red Phone kind of dropped the ball on the answers. One of them a caller was commenting about the law in 2005 about motorists need to have their lights on when they use their wipers. The Red Phone should have called the police chief and asked him why the officers aren’t using their headlights and setting a good example … I know I’m not the only one in Gilroy who has seen police officers not setting a good example … If you or I had done that, we’d have gotten cited. They have to set the example.

“The other one was about the officer taking down signs on lamp posts … Why aren’t officers citing these people? Why are officers spending time taking them off when all we have to do is call them up on the phone, find out who they are and then give them a citation, and then make them take it down. That’s my two cents worth of comments. Thank you.”

Hindsight is 20/20, caller, and looking back, the Red Phone indeed, without a doubt, dropped the ball. Sometimes it gets caught up finding solutions to some calls and without realizing it, lets others slip by the wayside. It humbly apologizes.

It contacted Gilroy Police Department Chief Gregg Giusiana for comment on the previous calls regarding officers using headlights and officers taking down garage sale signs.

“We do not now have any department policy that the officer must turn on their lights while driving with the windshield wipers on,” Chief Giusiana said. “We do encourage our officers to use their headlights whenever the weather conditions warrant it. It takes time to change habits and remember to turn on the lights in bad weather and turn them off when you park the car. We will of course comply with the law when it goes into effect.”

When that new law goes into effect on July 1, he said GPD officers won’t immediately be ticketing offenders.

“As to the issuing of citations, I don’t anticipate that we will be going out and writing a bunch of tickets during the first few rains next season,” he said. “We understand that people will need some time to adjust to the new law. Our past practice has been to issue warnings in order to educate the public before starting to issue citations.”

Regarding signs on lamp posts, Chief Giusiana said that officers are not required to remove them.

“It is not a normal practice of the police department to do removal,” he said. “It is possible that there was some graffiti on the pole or a sign on the pole. We do have a graffiti aide who does remove graffiti from public places as a part of her duties.”

Chief Giusiana continued and said, “The city code violation … must occur in the presence of the officer for them to take action. In other words they must see the person putting up the sign. Because of this, we don’t get much enforcement on this section. If we find a particular address that seems to be overdoing it on posting signs we will make contact at the home to explain the section to them.”

Pothole problems: “I’m calling a second time about the potholes in the alley behind Rosanna and Hanna streets, bordering Fourth and Fifth streets. Could someone please fill in the potholes? Thank you.”

The Red Phone tried to contact the city’s Operations Department and has left messages about the above mentioned potholes, with no return calls. If the potholes haven’t been filled, try calling the Operations Department at 846-0444.

Good job: “I just want to compliment you again and again. Now you’re putting in these interesting articles from the Christian Science Monitor and we know which books and movies are the best, and your pictures and photography are wonderful. This has really become a fantastic newspaper. Thanks.”

Whew. Even though the Red Phone was slammed by other callers, it’s pleased that the photographers and Dispatch staff are getting their props! Thank you for the comments.

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