Late Sunday evening, Santa Clara’s City Manager Deanna J. Santana approved a city-wide curfew. Santana worked in conjunction with Mayor Lisa Gillmor and Santa Clara Police Chief Pat Nikolai to issue the order for a curfew starting at 8:30 p.m. and ending at 5 a.m. the next day.
“We acted quickly in real time to issue a citywide curfew for the safety and welfare of all Santa Clarans,” said Santana in a statement. “Our city shares borders with San José that had experienced civil unrest on Friday and Saturday nights. We had credible intelligence Sunday evening that Westfield Valley Fair and Santana Row shopping districts were being identified as locations of potential protests and raids. In fact, when the curfew was issued, there was already observed looting activity in the area and at Santa Clara businesses.”
Nikolai says looters broke into the BevMo on Stevens Creek Blvd. and Winchester Blvd. on Sunday evening. Officers arrested two people suspected of looting the store. The CVS across the street was also broken into. Investigators are reviewing the security images from both stores to see if any more arrests need to be made.
Santana says city officials and the Santa Clara Police Department (SCPD) are keeping a close eye on the situation.
“When there is no longer a credible threat to the safety of our community, we will terminate the curfew,” said Santana.
“We’re going to take a look at tonight and see how tonight goes not only in our city, but area wide,” said Nikolai. “If the situation improves, then I don’t think a curfew will be necessary. If we have similar violent protests, then we’ll have to evaluate it on a daily basis.”
Nikolai says the curfew is a tool to keep the city safe and most people don’t need to worry.
“We’re just going to take a reasonable approach. The curfew is more in place to be a tool for us to use if there is unlawful activity,” said Nikolai. “Our officers are not going to be just randomly stopping cars or people at night to see where they’re going. That’s not the intention. The intention is if there’s a group of looters, we’re going to address that.
Some residents were concerned the city did not take the proper measures to inform the community about the implementation of the curfew on Sunday evening.
Santa Clara’s Director of Communications Lenka Wright says the city responded as quickly as it could. The city was informed of possible looting at Westfield Valley Fair and Santana Row around 6:30 p.m. and made the decision to implement a curfew shortly thereafter.
Mayor Gillmor issued a statement on the city’s website around 7:20 p.m. Sunday evening, telling residents to “…stay tuned for additional actions by the City Manager to keep Santa Clara safe.” By 8:07 p.m., SCPD had tweeted out an alert about the curfew.
Alerts were also sent to local media outlets, on Nextdoor and Nixle and messages were sent to e-subscribers of the city and police news releases.
Wright says moving forward, the city will use the AlertSCC mass notification system. There will also be updates online at SantaClaraCA.gov/curfew.
In addition to dealing with what’s happening in Santa Clara, local police officers are also responding to mutual aid requests from other cities. Nikolai says Santa Clara sent officers to San Jose on Sunday evening to help.
Update: The City of Santa Clara has lifted its curfew as of 1:30 p.m. on Tuesday, June 2, 2020. According to a statement released by City Manager Deanna J. Santana, “While two businesses – Walgreens and Skechers – experienced some vandalism Monday night, June 1, the eminent threat of larger scale looting throughout Santa Clara can now be managed through regular police authority. The local state of emergency remains in effect as the City maintains vigilance and the ability to respond quickly to any threats to public safety.”
The city curfew was put into effect on Sunday, May 31, 2020 and lasted two nights. The city will continue to update any issues on its website at SantaClaraCA.gov/curfew.