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Published January 31st, 2024
Outgoing City Manager's report focuses on recent crime

David Biggs, who recently announced that he would not be renewing his contract with the city of Orinda as City Manager, gave his report to the City Council early in their Jan. 23 meeting to address a recent crime that occurred in the city, and to allow the Orinda Police Chief Ryan Sullivan to speak about it. The incident was an armed robbery at the Orinda branch of Wells Fargo Bank, which happened coincidentally to occur on the same day as a bank robbery at the Lafayette Wells Fargo branch.
Biggs called upon the OPD Chief to talk about crime in the city. Sullivan noted that the robbery in Orinda did not occur inside the bank, but in the bank parking lot, and the robbery inside Lafayette branch was completely unrelated. "Unfortunately," he said, "these things do happen occasionally, but Orinda is extremely safe." He added, " There have been more semi-trucks stuck in Orinda than robberies this year." Crime statistics are usually gone over in February or March, Sullivan said, but crime numbers in Orinda have gone down.
The chief wanted to clarify that contrary to social media reports, the victim in Orinda was not surrounded by suspects, but by one person in particular, although there were additional people in a vehicle. And he wanted to urge residents to report anything they believe is suspicious by calling the police, not by putting it on social media.
Biggs added that some people may be reluctant to call 911, but advised that the best course of action is to telephone the OPD non-emergency number. The chief noted that residents calling the non-emergency line, (925) 646-2441, may get through even faster than calling 911 from a cell phone. There is a phone tree, he explained, but it's quick, and the response time is usually two to three minutes. He advised residents to watch for unusual things, giving the example of your neighbor's garage door being open when it is usually closed, and the neighbors are not at home.
Additionally, Sullivan promised to expand coffee with the cops, perhaps moving to a monthly event. He reminded people to never leave anything in their vehicles. He said he was strongly for a town hall on crime and what residents can do to prevent crime, as well as supporting neighborhood watch programs.
The council also approved an executive search path for replacing Biggs as city manager, while engaging in some good-natured digs about his priorities, choosing his wife and family over his position with the city. Biggs, who will be with the city for an additional five months, noted that it was a tough decision. "I have really enjoyed my time in Orinda," Biggs responded, "and I'd like to believe that I'm too young to really retire," but he explained that his son and his wife and their children have moved to Los Angeles, and Biggs and his wife plan to move also to be closer to them.

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