Rule of law
by Chris Roberts
Aug 09, 2007 | 406 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print

When a coach got kicked out of a youth soccer game Sunday, Oakland’s assistant police chief called in the Tracy police to make sure league rules were followed.

Oakland’s Assistant Police Chief Howard Jordan said he merely made a courtesy call when he asked Tracy police to head to the Tracy Sports Complex on Sunday afternoon, where a coach from a Pleasant Hill-area youth soccer team was ejected from a game during the Tracy United Competitive Soccer Club’s Tracy Invitational.

Jordan said he wanted to make sure tournament officials filled out paperwork and handed it over to the California Youth Soccer Association, standard procedure when a coach is ejected from a youth soccer game.

It turned out Jordan’s 11-year-old daughter plays on the Heritage Swarm, one of the 65 teams participating in the tournament. Earlier in the day, Ken Wilkins, the Swarm’s coach, was ejected from a game for arguing with the referees.

"When I got home, my coach asked me to make sure that the tournament director and head referee mailed the report within 24 hours to our district coordinator," Jordan said Wednesday. "Our club has had problems (with that) before at other tournaments."

If the paperwork wasn’t filled out and filed properly, the Swarm could miss games due to the resulting delay in Wilkins’ suspension.

Jordan said he first tried calling tournament director Darlene Wilharm and then the sports complex directly before calling police, and did not use his police authority to speed the matter along.

"I asked as a courtesy for an officer to go by the complex — that was my last resort," he added. "I at no time told the Tracy police to tell them who I was."

Jordan did identify himself as the assistant chief of Oakland police to dispatchers, and his job title is listed on the police report.

The dispatcher received Jordan’s call at 4:25 p.m. Sunday, and police were onsite at the Tracy Sports Complex within 15 minutes, the police log shows.

The average response time for a lowest-priority call is 31 minutes, Tracy Deputy Police Chief Rick Golphin said. Jordan’s was the third call to Tracy police from the tournament Sunday.

Both Golphin and police Chief David Krauss served with Jordan in the Oakland

Police Department. Golphin said that police routinely respond to courtesy calls if officers are available, but that the department is "not a messenger service."

"We do welfare checks for any citizen," he said. "But if it turns out this was totally concerning youth soccer — to utilize our resources for a personal matter would be inappropriate."

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