21 Aug 2014
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Police Chief: Hold Off On New Alcohol Permits

Because of staffing shortage, Bryden would like city to continue practice of not approving new full-service licenses.

Police Chief: Hold Off On New Alcohol Permits

Police Chief Joel Bryden said he is recommending against the city issuing any new permits for full alcohol service at this time due to police staffing issues.

This continues a city practice: "We have not issued a full bar license in many years," Bryden said. He said he has made his recommendation — which is not a formal moratorium — to the city attorney, city manager, City Council and planners.

Also, he added, "It doesn't mean places can't apply for a beer and wine license."

Because of the staffing issues, the city no longer has a downtown police team concentrating on downtown bars on weekend nights, as it did last year. It was effective in minimizing problems, Bryden said.

"If we had any further alcohol licenses, it could be detrimental to the safety of the public," he said. "Possibly … I don't know what the tipping point is but, when we get there, it's too late."

Walnut Creek PD had 80 sworn positions a few years ago, and 77 now. Seventy-seven includes 12 officers on disability or military leave or in police academy, according to a piece in the Contra Costa Times.

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