Update Jun 8: From the Oakland Tribune this morning:
Mayor Marie Gilmore called for an independent review Tuesday into the circumstances surrounding the death of Raymond Zack, who intentionally drowned himself on Memorial Day as police and firefighters watched from the shore. The call from Gilmore came after Acting City Manager Lisa Goldman said that 911 records and other documents detailing the emergency response would be posted on the city's website within the next several days. "It's extremely important that we determine what happened and when it happened," Gilmore said. Full article
The Alameda City Council is scheduled to discuss the controversial incident in which police and fire personnel watched on shore as 52-year-old Raymond Zack committed suicide by drowning. The City Manager is scheduled to issue a report, which is No 7 on the agenda.
KTVU yesterday didn't get anywhere trying to talk to Alameda officials about some documents concerning budget cuts to the water rescue program. (Watch the video here.)
One person KTVU talked to is David Howard, who describes himself as a citizen journalist running the web site Action Alameda News. Today the site published an interview with Alameda’s acting Deputy Fire Chief Daren Olson about the incident.
In a telephone interview with Alameda’s acting Deputy Fire Chief Daren Olson, the Deputy Chief said the Fire department’s budget cuts in no way impacted their decision to watch 52-year-old Raymond Zack drown...
“We do have money for the year 2011-2012, which was put into the budget before the incident (drowning) happened, said Deputy Fire Chief Olson.
When Deputy Fire Chief Olson was asked if this program was what prevented firefighters from entering the water he said no.
“The man was fully clothed and about 100 yards out. It was hard for us to evaluate him (Raymond Zack). We didn’t know if he was dangerous.”
On June 1, KQED freelancer Katrina Schwartz interviewed City of Alameda Interim Fire Chief Mike D'Orazi, who attempted to explain why the public safety workers on the scene declined to intervene. D'Orazi said that the department was decertified in water rescue in 2009 due to budget cuts. A 2009 department memo states that funding for re-certification and training of rescue swimmers had been approved.