Wednesday, April 30, 2008

APD and Westfield Roll Into First

Members of the Arcadia Police Department participated in a charity bowling event to benefit the Foothill Aids Project on April 27th at the Covina Lanes Bowling Center. Westfield sponsored the team entry into the "Balls O Fire Celebrity Bowling Tournament". There were a number of television actors, atheletes, models and other celebrities that participated. Within the tournament, there were a couple of match ups that included Police vs. Fire, aka Guns and Hoses. The APD took first in that line-up.

The APD team is pictured below (left to right); Volunteer Coordinator Leon Solario, Lieutenant Paul Foley, Sergeant Tom Le Veque, FAP Board Representative, and Officer Jon Hudson. Thanks to Debbie Braasch from HollywoodKnights for the photo.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bank Robbery - HSBC

The PSN reports that an armed bank robbery occurred today at about 4:30 PM at the HSBC Bank in the 1100 blk S. Baldwin. According to the article, the suspect made off with about $3,600 in cash. The suspect used a semi auto handgun and was described as a male Latino, wearing a dust mask, sunglasses and a grey, hooded sweatshirt. CrimeScene also has a story running on the thief.

Tuesday Tip - Double Parking

With school still in session, double parking abounds on many roads near our schools. It is not uncommon to stop a parent and have them not understand what "double parking" means. The usual response is that they were "just dropping off" their student. Double parking is the simple act of stopping in a lane of traffic where a parked vehicle is present. Whether you place your car in "park", allow someone to enter or exit your vehicle, or simply are "waiting" on the street; you may be in violation of CVC 22500(h). By blocking the lane or causing other vehicle to slow or stop behind you, may also be the moving violation of Impeding Traffic, CVC 22400(a).

Double parking and allowing a passenger in or out of your car is a safety hazard. This type of violation is a common target of our Video Enforcement Program. Take a look. Pedestrians in the roadway pose a danger to themselves. Help improve traffic safety around our schools and keep our students safe; DO NOT DOUBLE PARK!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Armed Robbery Nets Flowers and Little Cash

About 3 PM today, a local florist in the 1000 blk. of N. Santa Anita fell prey to an armed robbery. The suspects ordered flowers then produced a handgun demanding money. The duo fled on foot with the flowers and a small amount of cash.

The suspects were described as female Hispanics, both heavy set wearing white "sports" jerseys, either of them were said to be between 25-35 years of age. No suspect vehicle seen.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Santa Anita Canyon Fire

A second brush fire in as many weeks has struck the hills above Arcadia. This one is much larger than the small fire contained just above Foothills Middle School earlier this month. This 20+ acre fire began near Santa Anita Canyon Rd. in the hills above Arcadia and Sierra Madre. No homes were threatened, however, the City of Sierra Madre has placed a voluntary evacuation order late this evening. Refer their website, HERE.

The origin of the fire is unknown at this time.

The FC Blog has a couple of stories and Frazgo at LA Met Blogs also has an article with photos up and running.

UPDATE - Overnight saw a mandatory evacuation order from Sierra Madre. Their website has been updated and can be linked to above. Our involvement remained as mutual aid, traffic control. No photos here, however, the FC Blog stories have several links with photos from those local to the fire. APD is being used as a pre-deployment area for Area D Mutual Aid Law Enforcement.

Friday, April 25, 2008

"Images of America: Arcadia"

Kevin Felt at the PSN reports that there is a book now on sale at the Arcadia Historical Museum dedicated to our past and the development of our community. The book is titled, "Images of America: Arcadia" and boasts over 200 photos dating from the 1800's to present. The book was researched and written by a group of Arcadia Historical Society Members.

We have found quite a collection of historical photos from the Police Department and are in the process of cataloging and storing them. In the coming weeks, we will start a series of blog entries showcasing some of these old photographs. The photos are a great example of where our Department has been, the advances that have taken place, the men and women that served before us and deserve to be shared for everyone to appreciate.

APD Vehicles - CSI

Arcadia PD employs a full-time Evidence Technician who is well versed in many aspects of Crime Scene Investigation, or in today's lingo, "CSI". In order for the Tech to transport all the needed equipment, we invested in a nicely outfitted CSI van. The van can carry photo and video equipment, scene processing items such as assorted printing tools or fuming kits and much more. There is also a roof mounted platform for above ground, outdoor photography. Our Tech is certified in fingerprint identification and assists outside agencies as well as APD. The majority of crime scene processing is handled by the Officer on scene, but when there is a call of significance or large scale, we will utilize the services of our very own CSI unit.

Thursday, April 24, 2008

Support Campaign from APOA

The APOA has contracted with a firm that conducts solicitation for support donations via the US Mail. The letters are delivered in window style envelopes with the APOA badge logo on the form. The letter is signed by APOA President, Officer Troy Hernandez, and has a photo of Troy on the page. An electronic copy can be viewed HERE.

This letter is indeed authorized and on our behalf. This style donation letter is the only solicitation that we authorize.

If you receive any phone solicitation that refers to the Arcadia Police Department or Arcadia Police Officers' Association, it is not on our behalf. If you are ever asked for personal information such as credit card numbers, social security numbers or birth dates over the phone, DO NOT furnish this information unless you initiated the phone call.

We thank you for your continued support!

Open House and Safety Fair

Police Department Open House and Safety Fair
Saturday, May 31st from 10:00am to 3:00pm

Arcadia Police Station, 250 West Huntington Drive

Stop by the Police Station to learn about public safety operations. Take a tour, visit with your Police Officers and pick up lots of great safety tips and information about law enforcement, crime prevention and City services in general. Call (626)574-5174 for more information.

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Officer Positions On Hold

The City has reviewed budgets and current staffing in recent weeks and now sends word that 5 Police Officer vacancies are not to be filled. With 7 Officers being sworn in several weeks ago, a number of recruits in the academy and several prospects in the wings, APD will not continue processing applications at this time. According to our Chief, Patrol and Traffic vacancies will be filled and our staffing will be within 5 of our authorized strength by years end. Reaching this level makes a huge impact on the once 18 down that plagued our agency in 2007. With State funding cuts, many local agencies are hitting similar roadblocks.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Tuesday Tip - Mail Theft and Your Identity

Despite the recent arrest of a local Arcadia man who preyed upon his neighborhood, mail theft continues to be a problem in and around our City. Mail theft can be random or planned and repeated time and time again at the same location. Thieves will target residences with unlocked and easily accessed mail boxes, taking mail that contains vital information about you. They may open accounts, conduct fraudulent activity and intercept the incoming bills before you even see it. This is just one form of Identity Theft. The State of California has a website that discusses ID theft and has a list of prevention tips. View those TIPS HERE.

The US Postal Service works with local Law Enforcement to combat and prosecute those responsible for stealing your identity, services and goods. Take a look at the US Postal Inspection Service website for more VALUABLE INFORMATION to help prevent identity theft.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Girl Scouts - "Leader for a Day"

On Sunday, April 20th, Sgt. Tom Le Veque was "Leader for a Day", hosting Girl Scouts from Arcadia Troop 238, for a meeting at APD. The Mt. Wilson Vista Council solicits professionals from various forms of business to participate in the "Leader for a Day" program. The program gives both the professional and the girls a chance to interact and for the girls to be exposed to that particular profession. Troop 238 worked on the "Lead On" badge and participated in leadership themed activities during the meeting.

Saturday, April 19, 2008

North End Residential Burglaries

Friday, April 18, saw three daytime residential burglaries north of the 210 freeway. The 8oo blk Tindalo, 100 blk Andrea Lane and the 1700 blk Highland Oaks each saw a burglary sometime between 9 AM and 3 PM. It is unknown if the three are connected to each other or a recent series of daytime burglaries in Monrovia. MPD had three similar residential burgs in their northwest area of town with possible suspects described as males, about 20 years old, white or Hispanic, driving a newer, black Jeep SUV.

If you have any information, please call the Detective Bureau at (626)574-5160.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Track Closes This Weekend

The Santa Anita Race Track will host closing weekend April 19th and 20th. Saturday's crowd is projected at about 32,000 with several activities planned including Fan Appreciation Day. Traffic will be heavy surrounding the track from 11 AM - 1 PM and again from 4 PM - 6 PM on Saturday. Sunday is closing day but should have only a slightly than larger crowd. The traffic and crowds will return for live racing later in the year for the Oak Tree Meet.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Robbery at Osaka Ya Restaurant

Last night at about 10:15 PM, the owner of the Osaka Ya Restaurant in the 800 blk of Naomi, had just closed for the evening. As the owner exited, he was confronted by a lone male black brandishing a handgun. The suspect demanded the victim's wallet and then fled the area on foot. During the investigation, Officers spoke with a potential witness and later determined that the "witness" was possibly an accomplice to the robbery. A 23 year old man from West Covina was arrested on suspicion of robbery and conspiracy. The other suspect remains outstanding.

In November 2007, Osaka Ya was the site of a tragic killing of the former owner, Jason Wei, during a robbery at the restaurant. There is no known connection to the two events at this time.

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Tuesday Tip - Two Way Left Turn Lane

Becoming more commonly used in the City, the two-way or center left turn lane is often misunderstood. California Vehicle Code defines the two-way left turn lane and allows entry into the lane for only two purposes; preparing for and making a left turn or entering traffic. Travel in this lane is restricted to 200 feet.

This IS NOT a passing lane. It is not uncommon to find drivers using the two-way left turn lane on El Monte Avenue for passing stopped traffic waiting in line at stop signs. This is a violation and will be cited. It is also illegal to use this style lane for passing slower traffic.

In order to make a lawful left turn, you must enter this middle lane and then complete the turn. Making a left turn across the middle lane from through traffic would be considered an improper turning movement.

Crossing the middle lane and entering the through traffic is acceptable when entering the roadway from an intersecting driveway, alley or property. It would be allowable to enter the middle lane and wait for traffic to clear in order to safely enter the flow of through traffic as well.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Afternoon Thief Hits Donut Shop

A local donut shop in the 1000 blk of South Baldwin Avenue was robbed of a small amount of cash shortly before 3:00 PM today. The suspect was a male adult, blond hair, about 45 years old, last seen driving away in possibly an older, black, BMW 4 door, described as dirty. No weapon was seen.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Small Brush Fire Forces Residents Out

Arcadia Fire Department and assisting units are working a brush fire in the foothills just above Arcadia and Monrovia. The fire was east of Highland Oaks and near the Whispering Pines Summit area of the City. Streets have been blocked in NE Arcadia area for a couple of hours. The clean-up will continue into the evening.

Update - No structures damaged, one fire fighter suffered minor injury and the brush fire was limited to a hill above Foothills Middle School. The source of the fire is under investigation by AFD Arson Investigators.

APD Vehicles - Motors

Folks will stop and ask, "What kind of motorcycle is that?" or "Does that Charger have a HEMI?" We'll give you a look at the various vehicles that we use at APD.

The Traffic Bureau has four motorcycles dedicated to the program. Two 2002-2003 BMW 1150RT's, one of which is used as a spare and a training bike, a 2006 BMW 1200RT-P and a 2006 Honda 1300ST. BMW and Honda seem to be taking over the California market for Law Enforcement motors in recent years, partially due to the use of the BMW by the California Highway Patrol. Harley Davidson has introduced several models but the HD wave has not rolled through the west coast. Although articles and numbers show that HD dominates the east coast. The old Kawasaki 1000 was the service bike of choice in the 80's and 90's but the company failed to come out with new models to compete with BMW and Honda.

These bikes are well suited for City use. They handle well, have great acceleration and the BMW even has ABS braking. Police bikes may not have the top speed of sport bikes, but when you combine excellent training, great motorcycles, radios, air support and all the resources available to Law Enforcement, you can't beat 'em.

Friday, April 11, 2008

"Frazgo" Finds Car 64

A local writer for LA Met Blogs, Frazgo, is very active in the local community, particularly in our neighbor, the City of Monrovia. Frazgo expressed interest in Law Enforcement and the APOA and he was invited to participate in a ride-a-long with our Department. Prior to the ride, he took questions from entries on his site and came armed with the desire to get input from the Officer's point of view. Take a look at his story. Frazgo takes some great photos and included some in his article.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

Motivation Behind the Blog?

During recent contract negotiations, members of the APOA recognized the need for public support and input. We looked at traditional media and placed ads in the local papers. We contacted reporters and initiated interviews, asked to have letters printed and were received with some open minds. The Pasadena Star News, the San Gabriel Tribune and the Arcadia Weekly, all ran print stories reporting on the status of negotiations and arguments on both sides of the table.

Realizing the growing attention to Internet based media, i.e. "blogs", the APOA turned to the computer to reach out and initiate contact with the community. One of the first blogs to acknowledge the APOA was the Foothill Cities Blog. The FC Blog ran a couple of articles with letters written on behalf of the APOA with a little bit of editorial input from the blog writers themselves. Comments began to flow and conversation was stimulated, pro and con. The Crime Scene Blog, part of the San Gabriel Valley News (Tribune/Star News), also ran several pieces highlighting the APOA. Crime Scene's author, Frank Girardot, is never shy with comments, but delivers very timely information related to police activity throughout the SGV. And the Inside Out Arcadia Blog also highlighted the position and argument on behalf of the APOA.

Each of these various media outlets played a role in our public outreach. The writers, reporters and all those who commented, all deserve a "Thank You" from the APOA.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Local Election Final

The local elections came and went in Arcadia with what seemed barely a whisper. Two seats were up for grabs on the City Council with three candidates tossing their hats into the ring. Roger Chandler, Gary Kovacic and George Leung-Chu Young. Roger Chandler, an incumbent, was the only candidate to seek endorsement from the APOA.

In the end, the RESULTS were telling early on, with Chandler and Kovacic stealing the show. Congratulations to both Mr. Chandler and Mr. Kovacic.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

APOA Enters Blogosphere

Members of the Arcadia Police Officers' Association have created this blog to deliver news, information and maybe a little politics via the internet. A blog can be a useful tool in not only disseminating information, but also as a conduit to promote discussion and thought within a community.

We hope to give our community and anyone visiting our blog, a little insight into the daily events that our Officers respond to, thoughts and perceptions from our members and the current happenings within the Arcadia Police Department. The site will continue to evolve and grow. Enjoy!