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February 26, 2005



Maybe the police can go cruise out on Delaware, and talk to the Tongans who congregate on the streets of San Mateo, or even visit San Mateo High School during recess and talk with the youths. We have plenty of opportunities, right here at home..


Maybe some of the problems that Tongans have are less to do with their culture but more to do with our culture. Ipso facto - what is relevant to their life here and the problems they have here.

If the English start behaving like Guinness-drinking soccer houligans and throw beer bottles, should our police go and watch Arsenal play? Or watch the British government in the Houses of Parliament to find out about the British?

Or any other culture that is causing a problem?

PS. I have never thrown a beer bottle at anyone, but I am soooooo tempted at the council meetings!


To single out one culture for criminal activity seems racist to me. Crimes are committed by many different races here on the peninsula. Tongans are not exclusive to bar fighting. We are surrounded by a rainbow of many differenct cultures. It seems silly to spend money on this one week vacation to Tonga by our Burlingame police department. Does anyone know how much this trip will cost the taxpayers?

Instead of getting on a plane to Tonga, how about donating the money for this trip to the Burlingame school crossing guards?


I think the purpose of this topic being on the council agenda was just to get permission for the cop to go. Though they certainly did not make it clear that they had ALL the funds donated.

Hopefully the cops have gone to the local churches where there are Tongan masses and watched and asked questions and listened. Alot of good information could have been gleaned this way.


There's an article in today's SF Chronicle about the trip, indicating the cost is $4500, donated funds.

Personally, I don't see the point. The many Tongans in the area certainly can communicate their culture locally, as they have very strong family bonds.

It will be interesting to read about the trip.


Can't wait to see this show on tv
"Burlingame Cops in Tonga" bad boys, bad boys what you gonna do, what you gonna do when the burlingame cops come for you.


Will this be during vacation time? I hope so; we are very short on police. No wonder I haven't seen any in my neighborhood for months


You may think it is funny, but it can be a seroius problem. Read the article in the San Mateo Daily Journal today. Two felons beat up a San Mateo cop yesterday - broke his finger and messed up his face.

Anything that can be bridged through knowledge of polynesian culture or even advice from polynesian police should not be belittled.


While discussing this trip, my college student daughter said that Tongans are very proud people and family is important to them.

I hope our police will share their trip with us but I have to wonder how much of the problem is fitting in to this society. The article states that most of these problems are from American-born Tongans so perhaps we should be looking in the mirror and in our own backyards.


I'm sure they know our backyard pretty well. They patrol it all the time.

If you think they are going out there just for a vacation - it's not true. But if it was for a vacation, more power to them, no one deserves it more. Perhaps the fire crews should join them.


My point is that America can be a big and scary place and not always the yellow brick road for everyone. It may be that for a close family culture like Tonga, the American culture is more alien than if they had landed on Mars.

Any way that will help seems worthwhile to me but these problems may have more to do with their "new" country than the "old country".


Dear Fred,

Lighten up.


Hey, Brian - do you remeber the kid they found dead on a front lawn on Trousdale? How about the other kid in Shoreview who was beaten so badly his head was cracked open?


If you are talking about the occasional heinous crime that occurs in BUrlingame then you should be grateful that it is nothing like Oakland or East Palo Alto. If you are referring to that young man who was murdered by his mentally deranged mother, no Burlingame cop could have prevented that. She was out of her mind and it was a very unfortunate set of circumstances that took his young life.


I am grateful and I am not referring to that very unfortunate murder.

But this is really not something to take lightly. Police officers can get into situations very hard to control. I think you should respect that.

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