LiveWire – October 2020

Posted on October 1, 2020

City Manager’s Update

Brian Dossey, City Manager

I’d like to start my article this month by thanking the Colma community for managing through the Covid-19 pandemic, wearing your mask and continuing to practice social distancing. Our hard work is beginning to pay off.  Just last week, San Mateo County was able to move from the Governor’s road map to economic recovery Purple “widespread” category to Red “substantial.”  This is good news because it allows for additional businesses to open and provide goods and services to the community, and also allows for more people to start working again.  For a detailed look at what business segments will be permitted to operate while in this new category, please visit  Please keep up the great work, I know together we will all get through this crazy year.

Now, continuing along the thread of keeping our community safe, Halloween is right around the corner and Colma is one of the Bay Area’s most popular destinations for Trick-O-Treating.  This year, however, we are recommending that the community refrain from passing out candy to Trick-O-Treaters throughout the neighborhoods.  We ask that you keep your porch lights off and ignore the “knocks” or “ringing of your doorbell” at your front door.  The Town plans to put up signage throughout the neighborhood allowing for local-vehicle traffic only on October 31 – Halloween.  I know this has been a very difficult year, but we as a Town want to make sure we do everything possible to keep our community safe during this pandemic and slow the spread of Covid-19.

However, we do have some good news; we are going to host a drive-thru Trick-o-Treating event on Halloween (October 31) evening at the Colma Community Center from 6:30pm-7:30pm.  The event will be hosted by the Colma Police Department, Recreation Services Department and the Colma Fire Protection District.  Residents can trick or treat from the comfort of their cars and youth 14 and under can receive candy and other ghostly goodies. Please see the flyer inserted for all the details.  Please keep in mind this event is for Colma residents only (youth 14 and under and registration is required through the Recreation Service Department at 650-985-5678.

Colma Police Department Update

Sherwin Lum, Police Commander

After hosting two study sessions on the Colma Police Department’s Use of Force Policies, I would like to share the recent changes the Colma Police Department has made to its policy manual as a result of the “8 Can’t Wait” campaign.  Immediately following the death of George Floyd there was a call for greater police accountability, a restriction on certain tactics and control holds, and oversight of the police profession.

On June 8 and September 9, 2020, the City Council held study sessions in an effort to address the Colma Police Department’s policy manual in relation to the “8 Can’t Wait” campaign.  Based on those study sessions, the Department has made changes to the Use of Force policies, which is posted on the Town website for everyone to view.

It is important to understand that we, at the Colma Police Department, take our job very seriously and strive to deliver the finest service without regard to race, gender or social status to anyone. We treat others with dignity, respect, sensitivity, compassion and empathy, while we protect the lives, property and rights of our residents and businesses.  We are committed to our community, we hold ourselves and each other accountable for our actions; and while doing our work, we strive to uphold only the highest moral and ethical standards. Long before the recent cry for social justice, our officers and staff have received training in implicit biased based policing and over 90% of our staff (soon to be 100%) have been trained in de-escalation tactics.  This includes a 40-hour course in Crisis Intervention Training, which is related to de-escalation tactics during stressful and dangerous encounters with people.

Lastly, the Colma Police Department understands the desire to reform police tactics and policies, so they meet the community’s needs and expectations.  We strive to balance those desires and changes with our primary role of providing for the safety of our residents, businesses, and those who visit our community on a daily basis.  To provide the best service possible, the Department constantly re-evaluates our systems and makes the necessary changes to be leaders in the law enforcement profession and the most progressive Police Department for our community.

If you have any questions or concerns over the Colma Police Department’s Use of Force policies, please do not hesitate to reach out to me at or 650-997-8336.

View the rest of the October edition here: LiveWire

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