Saturday, May 31, 2008

Open House and Safety Fair, 05/31/08

Thanks to all the City Employees, Volunteers and the community members that participated to make the event a success. Sergeant Brian Ortiz coordinated the Open House. Video can be seen on YouTube as well.

Friday, May 30, 2008

"Fight or Flight"

I ran across an editorial on the Sacramento PD Blog that was a good read. "Officer Michelle" makes some good points in the piece, especially the closing paragraph of Fight or Flight;

I have often been confronted with a perplexing question: “What should people do when confronted by an assailant?” Immediately, I wanted to respond: “Well, fight back with everything you have….no, maybe just give in to the crooks demands and spare your life.” I soon realized that such a question is really not at all easy to answer. We are always confronted with issues that ask us to respond one way or another, a crossroads so to speak. Life is full of such challenges that constantly force us to make a decision the result of which we do not know. I recalled a 17-year old girl being confronted on a bike trail by a masked assailant. The crook made two attempts to reach out to grab her but, the victim slapped his hand away on each attempt. The suspect ran without taking any further actions against the victim. However, I also remember the tragedy of a store clerk who attempted to stop a would-be-robber who ended up being shot and killed.

In the context of crime, the issue to fight or flight becomes very vague and not easily understood. To gain some sense of understanding requires us to examine criminal behaviors. Unfortunately, there is no one stop shop that clearly defines what motivates a criminal to take one particular action over another. Hence, criminal behavior is quite unpredictable. Criminals are often motivated by money, material objects, or even power and control. They will go to undetermined lengths toward the commission of their crime by using weapons, physical force, verbal abuse or any combination thereof. In any case, this unpredictable behavior can be extremely stoic on one end of the spectrum and extremely violent on the other. In other words, some criminals will run away when challenged by their victim while others may use extreme violence to achieve their objective.

Bottom line: the decision to fight back against an attacker, give in to their demands or run away is purely a personal one. Only the person who comes face to face with an attacker can make that decision based on the circumstances presented at the time. But, consider this, material possessions are replaceable, your life is not. What would you do?

Thursday, May 29, 2008


Don't forget the 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.

LASD Honors Fallen Law Enforcement

Sheriff Lee Baca lights the memorial flame at LASD Training Center for the 39th Annual Los Angeles County Peace Officers' Memorial, held on May 28th. Two names were added this year to the memorial; LASD Deputy Raul Gama and LAPD Officer Randal Simmons. The memorial ceremony is held each year at STARS and Law Enforcement from throughout LA County and the region participate. The SGV Tribune ran a story on the memorial HERE. Photo by Keith Durflinger/High, SGVN.

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Project Prayer Flag

The APOA is supporting a local Boy Scout who is working toward completing his Eagle Scout project. The Scout is promoting participation in Project Prayer Flag which is a group that gathers and sends written messages and a small flag to our American Soldiers overseas. The goal is to collect 500 messages by June 4th. If you would like to help, please create a written message on a 3"x5" index card and mail it to the below address;

PO Box 660703
Arcadia, CA 91066-0703


Dear Soldier,
Hello! God bless you for protecting the United States of America and making the world a safer place to live. You are in our hearts and minds. May the Lord Bless you and keep you safe and well. Thank you for your hard work and dedication.
Joe or Jane Citizen

Torch Run for Special Olympics

Arcadia PD Officers will once again participate in the Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics 2008. The run will move through the City on Thursday, June 12th, at about 11am, starting with a handoff from Monrovia PD near Huntington Drive and Fifth Avenue. APD will carry the torch through the City and to pass it off to LASD Temple Deputies in the area of Las Tunas Drive and Baldwin Avenue. We will update if there are changes to the route or times. Contact Sergeant Brian Ortiz, (626) 574-5174 for further information.

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Tuesday Tip - School Bus Red Lights

School buses are equipped with flashing red lights that are activated when loading or unloading pupils. California law requires that drivers approaching from either side of the bus, must stop and remain stopped while the red lights and stop arms are activated. The only exceptions to the law come into play when the bus is stopped on a roadway with multiple lanes and a divided highway or a raised center divider. If you are approaching from the opposite direction and on the opposite side of the road from the bus, you may proceed. This section, CVC 22454, also applies to private roads.

This law was created for the safety of our students. It is imperative that drivers yield and stop for buses with red lights on. School bus drivers are required to assist pupils when crossing in front of the bus and may appear at any time. Be aware of pedestrians and watch our for darting kids!

Friday, May 23, 2008

Memorial Day Weekend - Don't Drink and Drive!

Memorial Day is often the beginning of the summer holiday season for many. Barbecues, picnics, gatherings and events bring many drivers to the roads. And this year, we can add some wet weather to the mix. Please help keep everyone safe and DO NOT Drink and Drive. Designate a sober driver or use other options for getting home. Jan's Towing was the first tow company in the SGV that offers a local "tipsy tow" program, know as Don't Drive Drunk Detour Program. Take advantage of this and other programs sometimes offered by AAA.

The MADD website gives statistics for drunk driving and the dangers associated with it. Officers will be watching for impaired drivers this weekend and many agencies will be conducting saturation patrols and sobriety check points. Stay safe and have a great holiday weekend.

Thursday, May 22, 2008

LAPD Blog Finds New Boss

No blog, especially Law Enforcement news related, will be without some controversy, and the largest Southern California police agency is no exception. Lt. Rick Banks has taken the reigns at LAPDOnline and the announcement post generated a few interesting comments. Take a look.

I do believe that anonymity for posting can go hand in hand with a professional and informative site. As the text on the entry page reads, we hope to offer up to date information in a professional manner. The APD motto, "Making a Difference" is proudly displayed on the page as well. This blog indeed exists to hopefully make a difference in how our profession is viewed and to provide yet another avenue of interaction with the men and women of the Arcadia Police Department and our community.

Video Traffic Monitors

Wondering about the small cameras that have been popping up at intersections around town? No, they are not "red light" cameras. Nor are they speed monitors. They are actually there to improve traffic flow and the ability to monitor intersections remotely for the purpose of signal manipulation. The cameras can replace the old style, wire loops that are in ground as you approach a signal. The loops would send a signal to the controller when traffic was present. The video cameras monitor movement in order to send the same signal. In addition, real time video feed can be seen at the control box or remotely by Traffic Engineers. This is part of a project that will place about 17 camera throughout town at various intersections, such as Huntington at Santa Clara, and Huntington at Sunset.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Sex Offender In-Custody

A San Gabriel man was arrested today for Lewd Acts with a child after follow-up by APD Detectives. The suspect allegedly stalked and molested a young girl who was in the children's area of the Border's Book Store, Westfield Shopping Town, on Saturday, May 17th. A witness rushed to the aid of the young girl, knocking the suspect away. The suspect fled on foot but the crime was caught on video tape.

Unlucky for this predator, a quick thinking witness turned to the internet and helped bring the suspect's identity to the forefront by locating him through a registrant database. Detectives conducted the follow-up and arrested 33 year old Jaime Elvis Elizondo without incident. Elizondo was booked at APD on one count of PC 288(a).

A great reminder to all parents and care givers to always be vigilant watching your children. Predators like this can be anywhere. Thankfully, our witness was in the right place at the right time to lend a hand.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tuesday Tip - Get Off the Phone!

After July 1, 2008, California drivers may be issued citations if caught talking on a cellular phone while driving. The Department of Motor Vehicles has a nice page dedicated to the new laws as well as a short video clip. There is no grace period for this violation.

Drivers 18 and older must use a "hands-free" device while driving. There are exceptions for emergency use and for certain persons such as emergency workers in the performance of their duties. The violation is reportable by DMV but not a point on your driving record. Check with your insurance company as to how a violation may or may not affect your policy. With penalties, the fines start at about $76. A second offense hits $190. This is a primary violation and you may be stopped if the officer believes you are using the cell phone while driving. "Dialing" is not prohibited, but strongly discouraged. (CVC 23123)

Young drivers, under 18 years of age, are prohibited from using any communication device while driving. This not only includes cell phones, but also pagers and texting devices as well. This violation is secondary. DMV reports that statistics show young drivers are more likely to be involved in a collision due to inexperience. This is why this section is more restrictive. (CVC 23124)

These laws are on the books to improve your safety. Please comply with these sections and "Get Off the Phone" while driving.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Four Time Arcadia Mayor Passes

Long time resident and four time Arcadia Mayor, Charles Gilb, has died at the age of 83. Charles and Ruth Gilb paved the way for the City Historical Museum and were honored having the museum named after them. Charles was a USMC veteran and served in WWII. He was a friend to many members of APD and will be missed. Ruth and Charles Gilb have been married for over 60 years. Rest in peace Mr. Gilb.

Wanted - Burglary

The above suspect is wanted in connection with a residential burglary that occurred in the 500 blk E. Camino Real on 05/14/08. The loss consisted of hand tools, a compressor and other equipment. The suspect was last seen driving a faded red, 1990's Ford Mustang, with a tan convertible top, license plate similar to "4EF...." The suspect is described as a Male, Hispanic, 40's, brown hair.

Please contact APD Detectives at (626) 574-5160 if you have any information. Refer Case #08-2550.

Sunday, May 18, 2008

"A Look Back" - Patrol Officer Wayne Moore

Officer Wayne Moore taking a call for service during his shift. Unknown date of photo, however, it was mounted in 1969. If you can help with information on Officer Moore or this time period, please leave a note in the comments.

The shotgun mounted in the unit was the staple carried in the vehicles for many years. Rifles have taken the place of the shotgun now. Today's APD patrol shotguns have been fitted with colored stocks to indicate the use of "less lethal" rounds such as the bean bag round.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Auto Burglary - Don't Be a Victim

Early May has seen an upswing in auto burglaries in town. Most have been window smashes where the thief is targeting visible property in your car. Laptops, backpacks, purses, navigation devices, cell phones, all have been taken. Keep your property out of sight, out of the car or take it with you. If items of value are left in your vehicle and are readily seen, you are creating a target and inviting a burglary.

Park in well lighted spots with good visibility. Be aware of your surroundings and look around. If you see someone suspicious or an occupied vehicle that looks out of place, note the description and license plate and call the police to report the activity. Don't invite the thief! Don't be a victim!

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

National Police Week, May 11-17, 2008

The National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund is sponsoring National Police Week, dedicated to honoring the service and sacrifice of America's Law Enforcement community. Activities are held throughout the US as well as local and State events. To help spread information about National Police Week, NELOMF has a blog. The California Peace Officers Memorial is located in Sacramento. The State ceremonies were held on May 9th. Please take a moment to visit these sites and think of those men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice.

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Tuesday Tip - Move to the Right for Sirens and Lights

CVC 21806 requires drivers to yield to authorized emergency vehicles. Police, Fire, Medics, and Forestry are the most common in our City, but any authorized emergency vehicle displaying at least a solid red light and a siren as needed, shall be yielded to on the road. What does this mean? The CVC is specific in saying that drivers shall not only yield, or in other words "get out of the way", but shall pull toward the right side of the road and stop. Hence the saying, "Move to the Right for Sirens and Lights".

- Don't panic!
- Don't stop in the middle of the road!
- Do pull to the right safely!
- Do remain stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed!

Monday, May 12, 2008

Foothill Air Support Team

The Arcadia Police Department participates in the County's only regional police helicopter program, called the Foothill Air Support Team (F.A.S.T.). F.A.S.T. was developed between the police chiefs and city councils of Alhambra, Arcadia, Azusa, Monrovia, Covina, San Marino and West Covina. F.A.S.T. operates two nights per week. The cities provide their own flight observers who were selected from all five cities. The helicopter has radio equipment that allows the pilot and observer to talk directly to officers on the ground to direct them to crimes in progress, fleeing criminals and help end dangerous vehicle pursuits before injuries occur. The program will continually be evaluated on response time, calls handled and cleared by the helicopter and overall coordination of ground resources. When not on a call, the helicopter will stay at a high altitude to minimize noise.

Thursday, May 8, 2008

"A Look Back" - Wheeler Street Station

Wheeler Street (above) was the home to APD starting in 1931, sharing the facility with the Fire Department. As the Department grew, fire and police services were separated and APD moved to former Huntington Drive site in 1957 (below). The APD website has a nice brief on our history.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Tuesday Tip - Arcadia Advocacy

The City of Arcadia has taken steps to improve their website and is constantly looking to improve accessibility to our community. One link on the website is to Arcadia Advocacy. This link allows the user to submit concerns, questions, comments on any given topic to the City. The post is forwarded to the appropriate Department or person within the City and the post is then reviewed. We make every attempt to respond in a timely manner and address the individuals issues. At the Police Department, many of the posts are simple questions that we can usually handle rather quickly. Some comments are more involved and require a little research or action on the part of APD. Feedback from the community is one key to constantly improving our services. Arcadia Advocacy comments can be sent anonymously or with contact information. Obviously, we encourage you to leave a name and contact information so that we can follow-up with the issue.

Arcadia Advocacy is just another outreach to improve relations and our service delivery.

Sunday, May 4, 2008

KROQ Microbrew Leads to Fights

The Santa Anita Race Track hosted simulcast racing for the Kentucky Derby on Saturday, May 3rd. Radio station KROQ teamed with the track and a Microbrew event was held in the infield throughout the day. APD, SART Security and private security were on scene for the event. Late in the day, several fights broke out and additional Law Enforcement resources were called to assist with the removal of the large crowd from the infield. No injuries were reported at the time and no arrests were made.

Commercial Burglary Interrupted

The Sports Chiropractic office in the 100 blk of E. Huntington Drive was being burglarized early Saturday morning at about 12:20 AM. A local business manager was leaving the area and saw the suspects removing a large flat screen television from the business. The burglary was interrupted and APD was called. The suspects fled in a dark colored, mid 90's, 4-door Honda. The suspects were 2 males and an unknown driver of the vehicle.

A great reminder to all; if you come upon a crime in progress, be a great witness and call the local police. The witness in this case was able to notify APD and obtain some good follow-up information for us to work with. The stolen property was recovered at the scene.

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Touring Arcadia

About 200 members of our community joined together this morning for a ten mile community bike ride through the streets of Arcadia. Everyone enjoyed the sights and leisurely paced ride through the City. Mayor Harbicht and Council Member Kovacic welcomed the crowd and kicked off the ride from the Community Center. The group took to the streets at about 8:00 AM with a rest stop at Baldwin Stocker School at about the mid point. The ride continued, circling back around the City and concluded about 10:00 AM. The Community Bike Ride is held each year in conjunction with the AFD Pancake Breakfast. Join us next year for the ride.

Friday, May 2, 2008

Don't Miss AFD Pancakes and the Community Bike Ride

This Saturday, May 3rd! AFD will be hosting their annual Pancake Breakfast starting at 7:00 AM at Station 106, corner of Baldwin and Huntington. $5.00 for breakfast.

The Community Bike Ride begins at 8:00 AM at the Community Center, corner of Huntington/Campus and Holly. The ride is about 10 miles at a very leisurely pace through the side streets of Arcadia. See a video from 2007 HERE. You should arrive by 7:30 AM in order to register. For FREE!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

"A Look Back" - Salary Survey

A salary survey from 1954 has made the rounds at APD. Take a look at some of the figures from over a half century ago. It is pretty amazing to see and think about the value of a dollar in the 1950's. You will notice some odd entries in the survey to include the likes of "Berkeley". Nothing fancy, but fun to read...