What’s my dateline?

A little late in the day for this, but here’s a little game, sure to be as wildly successful as Make Us Laugh. It’s called Where’s that dateline? I’ll give you a news snippet and you pick the dateline. Ready? Of course not:

A pregnant woman was shot in the back. A 17-year-old girl was shot in the head, rendered blind. A 20-year-old man was shot and killed behind the wheel of a moving car; his 15-year-old female passenger was shot as well.

So what’s my dateline? (No fair guessing if you read the paper or any other local news source before 4:30 today…) Is it…

A. Baghdad, Iraq
B. Sarajevo
C. wherever “Children of Men” takes place, or
D. a few hours in South Sacramento over the weekend?

Do I really have to answer? Bet the Police Chief is wishing he could have squashed that recent story about Sacramento having the lowest number of uniformed offers per capita

Author: CoolDMZ

"X-ray vision to see in between / Where's my kimono and my time machine?"

22 thoughts on “What’s my dateline?”

  1. This post has been nominated for The Sacramento Bee’s roundup of regional blogs, which appears Sunday in Forum.

    As part of an unofficial program, you can help decide which blog posts are included by voting at http://www.ipsosacto.com/bw.

    The Sunday newspaper column is limited to less than 800 words. Blog posts included in the column are often cut to fit. No editing is done other than to add ellipses to indicate deleted passages. The blog’s main address will appear in The Bee, and the online copy of the article will contain links to the actual blog post.

    A list of the regional blogs monitored can be reviewed at http://www.ipsosacto.com/bloglist.

    If you have questions (or you DON’T want your blog post considered for inclusion in the newspaper column), contact me at http://www.ipsosacto.com/contact.

    John Hughes


  2. Your post completely confuses me.

    Does the city of Sacramento need more police officers? The police chief says yes

    Bet the Police Chief is wishing he could have squashed that recent story about Sacramento having the lowest number of uniformed offers per capita…

    It would seem to me it’s City Manager Ray Kerridge that wishes he could’ve squashed that story.


  3. thanks John

    sorry for the confusion, kit. does this clear it up?

    We asked Chief Albert Najera how many of his officers are actually on patrol. His answer, “Our officers typically work in enforcement positions, there’s very few non enforcement positions in our department.”

    But when we asked for specific numbers, a department spokesperson told us, of their 675 officers, 162 are not on patrol, that’s nearly a quarter of the force.


  4. Lonnie Wong’s report on this on the 10’OClockNews (on FOX 40) was almost humorous, which is one of the many reasons why I hate him. I just can’t take him seriously. Or, maybe the story really was quite funny. I’m not sure.

    If you get the chance, watch it.


  5. DMZ,

    I don’t know enough about the make up of a city police department to determine whether that is a normal or abnormal ratio.


  6. can we agree that dead last in the top 50 cities is an abnormal number? mind you, just because we are close to last in actual size among those top 50 doesn’t matter, we’re talking ratio here.


  7. yes pointfinder, as referenced in the title, lede, and throughout the Bee article I linked to, the answer is D.


  8. Dead last in the top 50 is referring to the number of actual police officers per capita or to the ratio between beat and non-beat officers?

    It seems safe to say that Najera wants more officers under his command. But the only statistics I’ve seen involve actual officers per capita and have nothing to do with the ratio of beat to non-beat. Unless I understand that data, Najera just turning his entire force into beat cops seems like a “robbing Peter to pay Paul” scenario.


  9. Ah, thanks, DMZ. I get it. The “Make Us Laugh” game is a real game where your readers are encouraged to try to, ahem, make you laugh, while this new category is all tongue in cheek, snarky even…

    I get jokes.


  10. it’s pretty cut and dry, kit:

    Of the 50 largest cities in the country, Sacramento has the fewest uniformed police officers per capita, according to figures compiled by the FBI.

    from sacbee.com, 2/4/07

    several similar cities have roughly *twice* (twice!) the number of officers as Sac.


  11. pointfinder: glad i was able to help. i suppose i was thrown off by your penchant in the past for using questioning and other rhetorical tactics to find a point that you deem not made or not made obvious. i don’t really have plans to play this game again…


  12. Ok, you and I normally are able to communicate in a normal fashion, DMZ, but we seem to be on very different wavelengths right now.

    I am *NOT* trying to argue that we are not drastically, dangerously under-policed. I am trying to figure out why you seem to think Najera doesn’t agree with that, when he’s gone on the record saying he does.

    Of those cities with twice the police force, who is to say that they don’t also have twice as many non-patrol officers as well? The department still needs detectives, a cyber-crimes division, and those are just two non-patrol positions I, unfamiliar with the employment make up of city law enforcement, can come up with. I am certain there are many more.

    Do we blame Najera for not taking officers out of those positions and putting them on the street, or do we blame the city for not giving Najera number of officers he asks for? I blame the city, where you seem to blame the Police Chief. I am earnestly trying to understand why.


  13. you’re making this way more about who i’m blaming for what than it really is. read what i said.

    I never said Najera doesn’t think we are understaffed; i meant to say i bet days like that day (6 shootings in 8 days in like a 3 block radius) make him wish nobody else knew that.

    Najera has gone on record (linked above) saying that “there’s very few non enforcement positions in our department” when in reality fully 25% of the employees of the Sac PD (at the time of writing) were non-uniformed officers.

    More damningly, he has gone on record as saying that there are “maybe 4” murders in Sacramento in a hypothetical year (https://sacrag.com/2006/06/perspective-on-the-crime-wave). Read that quote again.

    i never claimed to be making a well-constructed argument about whose office door needs to be served with a suit. i don’t have any idea who does the hiring or whatever, and i don’t really care. Crime in this city is out. of. control. and i don’t think the Mayor or the Police Chief sound like they care or know what to do.


  14. Well you’ll certainly get no argument from me no the crime issue. I just was thinking back to the Sacramento PD making a pretty vocal stand against developing the Railyards into an arena because they didn’t have adequate forces to patrol what they’ve got now.

    To me, that said the Sac PD was admitting to their inadequate number and asking for help. But you’re right, Najera can’t go around quoting ridiculously wrong crime statistics and expect people to nod and fail to notice that the number was nearly that in a single weekend in February.


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