• City files response to Grand Jury report

    In a report prepared by Pacific Grove Chief of Police Darius Engles, the City has prepared a response to the Monterey County Civil Grand Jury’s 2008 report in which the Grand Jury, in investigating the effectiveness of emergency management systems of the cities of Pacific Grove, Carmel, Monterey and Pebble Beach, found that all four need to update and adhere to Emergency Operations Plans. The Grand Jury report also found that the four cities need to have their emergency equipment inspected regularly and that systems for contacting and aiding the disabled and elderly during times of emergency need to be improved. While Pacific Grove agreed with the findings in most cases, there were key areas where the City response disagreed, at least partially, with the findings.
    1) In Finding F8.7, the Grand Jury found that “Community emergency operations agencies did not adequately respond to extended power outages, a ‘disruption of essential services’ hazard.” The City has responded that the disruption was due to the large volume of calls for PG&E, not because Pacific Grove’s police, fire and public works response was inadequate. In Engles’s response, he states that community emergency operations agencies cannot restore power outages without PG&E.
    2) In Finding F8.10, the Grand Jury found that Pacific Grove and the Office of Emergency Services did not conduct post-event reviews, as Carmel, Monterey and Pebble Beach did. On behalf of the City of Pacific Grove, Chief Engles responded that the then-City Manager and Assistant City Manager, along with the Police Chief , Public Works Director, and the then-Fire Chief met on the afternoon of the storm and again in the days following the storm, and that they made a presentation to the City Council on January 16, 2008 summarizing the number of calls for service in response to the storm and the damage caused by the storm and power outages.
    The Grand Jury report also made several recommendations, and Police Chief Engles, in his response on behalf of the City of Pacific Grove, reports that, in most cases, the recommendations are in process and will be implemented by August, 2009. In one area, the City’s report states that “The recommendation requires further analysis,” however. The Grand Jury recommended that each jurisdiction, including Pacific Grove, designate a temporary shelter for special-needs residents. The City has asked for a better definition of the term “special-needs” resident. The City has also stated that the issue of providing a “temporary shelter, properly staffed and equipped for uncertain durations” needs to be identified and examined as to feasibility. The city’s Emergency Operations Plan consultant, retired Monterey County Office of Emergency Services Director Harry Robins, will examine the issue and will specify the issue in a revised EOP, expected in August, 2009. Robins was retained at a cost of $8,500 to the City in consulting fees to help the City with compliance with the Grand Jury’s recommendation.

    posted to Cedar Street Times on March 8, 2009

    Topics: Current Edition, Front PG News

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