VALLEJO – Under pressure to hold the Vallejo Police Department accountable for shootings and allegations of misconduct, Vallejo City Manager Greg Nyhoff said Tuesday that he doesn’t think there is excessive use of force by the Vallejo Police Department.
Nyhoff told the Vallejo City Council during his regular report late in the meeting that he believes that Vallejo police officers use force “very rarely.” He cited statistics that Vallejo police respond to 65,000 calls for service per year and use force during 150 of them.
“My opinion, those just don’t seem like there’s excessive use of force or a lot of use of force in our community,” he said.
“There are people who resist,” Nyhoff said. “There are people with mental illness who you just have to use force, sometimes for their own health or well being.”
Nyhoff did not directly address any recent use of force incidents, such as the shooting of Willie McCoy, who six officers shot 55 times after he was found unconscious in his car at a Taco Bell drive-through.
Several of McCoy’s friends and family, as well as friends and family of other people shot by police, spoke earlier in the meeting.
During a recent interview with KTVU, Nyhoff announced the city had hired a consultant to do an evaluation of the Police Department. But, he said, he didn’t expect to find many problems.
He said he hopes they “find out how can we be better; how can we preserve life on all sides.”
During the city council meeting, Nyhoff complained that his 35-minute interview with KTVU was trimmed to 35 seconds of on-air time. He said he felt like KTVU didn’t give him an opportunity to elaborate on just how little he thinks officers use force.
“Their officers do a tremendous job,” he said. “And very rarely do they need to use force.”