Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Tuesday Tip - Front License Plates

California law requires that all registered vehicles that were issued two license plates, properly display both plates on the vehicle. Basically, all street legal cars are required to have two plates. Many times, vehicles may be purchased from dealerships that do not install a front license plate mount to the vehicle. This is not an excuse for failing to properly display and mount the license plate. A driver may be stopped and cited for not having license plates properly displayed and some communities issue parking citations to vehicles that are parked without plates displayed. Simply having the plate in your car or tossing it on the dash board does not suffice. Please install your license plates according to CVC 5200 and CVC 5201.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

Oakland PD Remembers Slain Officers

Sergeant Mark Dunakin, Sergeant Ervin Romans, Sergeant Daniel Sakai, and Officer John Hege were laid to rest on Friday, March 27, 2008. A memorial service was held at the Oracle Arena/Stadium in Oakland. Officers from throughout the nation and Canada attended the ceremony. The San Francisco Chronicle estimated the crowd to be in excess 20,000. Oakland PD stood tall and proud, hosting a ceremony that was able to honor each of the Officers personally. Speakers honored the Officers and spoke from their hearts to give insight into the lives and careers of Mark, Ervin, Daniel, and John. HERE is one link to the address by Captain Edward Tracey. Captain Tracey was the commanding officer for both specialized units to which all four Officers were assigned. After the ceremony, motorcades and escorts took the four slain Officers, individually, for graveside services in their respective communities. It was an honor and privilege to attend the services.

Store Robbed at Westfield Shoppingtown

The Pasadena Star News is reporting a robbery at the Pumpkin Patch, a childrens store at the mall, occurring at about 8:30 PM thursday night. The suspect was described as a male black, about 35 years old, wearing a blue cap and dark blue clothes, 5-08/average build, with a mustache. The loss was an unknown amount of cash.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Auto Burglary Reminder

Yesterday at about 5:45 PM, a woman parked her car near Longley Way School on Warren Way, north of Las Tunas Drive. Her intention was to only be gone a few minutes. She locked her vehicle but left her purse inside. When the victim returned, she saw a suspect reaching inside her car and taking her purse. The suspect then fled to an awaiting vehicle and left the area.

The suspect was only described as a male Hispanic in his 20's, dark clothing and short dark hair. The suspect vehicle was a newer model, dark brown 4-door sedan with unknown type or color paper dealer plates. The suspect vehicle was being driven by an older female Hispanic, large build, 50-60 years old.

Even with the vehicle locked, the suspect was able to easily break a window and gain entry to the car. DO NOT leave valuable items in plain sight in your car, even if only away for a few minutes. This type of crime takes only seconds to commit.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Tuesday Tip - How to Arrest a Virus

You may think that this has nothing to do with police work, but actually it does. With technical advances in almost every aspect of Law Enforcement, the days of filing paper reports, writing in pencil, completing a 3"x5" index card, or hand writing a dispatch card are long gone. Dispatch systems, records management systems, video and audio recording are just a few examples of where computers and the Internet come into play in the Law Enforcement world. Granted, running a department-wide computer system is far more complex than your home computer network, but they actually mirror each other in many ways. One aspect is preventing a virus or other issue from infecting your computer.

There are great resources on the web that provide explanations of what a virus is, how they infect your computer and how to prevent them. Using your firewall appropriately and scanning your system with a competent virus program are simple steps to make sure that your computer does not fall prey to a virus or worm. Here are just a few such resources;

Some viruses can have the appearance of legitimate programs such as Windows Security but continue to "pop-up" and then lead you to a site that offers a "fix" for a fee. Be aware of such scams and use your anti-virus programs to root them out. You too may someday have to "arrest a virus".

Monday, March 23, 2009

Oakland PD Tragedy

The Oakland Police Department is mourning the loss of four Police Officers killed in the line of duty this weekend. Sergeant Mark Dunakin was killed and his partner, Officer John Hege, was gravely wounded after both were shot by a wanted suspect with a no-bail parole warrant. It is reported that the shooting occurred after Sgt. Dunakin and Off. Hege conducted a traffic stop on the vehicle being driven by the suspect.

The suspect fled on foot and was found hiding in an apartment a short time later. He again opened fire on Oakland PD and killed two SWAT personnel, Sergeant Ervin Romans and Sergeant Daniel Sakai. The suspect was ultimately shot and killed by Oakland PD.

Our thoughts and prayers go out to all members of Oakland PD, to the Sergeants and Officer killed in the line of duty, and to their family and friends. The APOA salutes Sergeant Mark Dunakin, Officer John Hege, Sergeant Ervin Romans, and Sergeant Daniel Sakai for their service and dedication.

HERE is a link to news stories from the Oakland area.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Crime Spree Suspect Guilty

Anthony Hislar was found guilty in a Pomona court room last week. Hislar was arrested after going on a multiple city/county crime spree back in September 2008. Hislar was sentenced to 825 years in prison for his actions. HERE is a link to the LADA's press release.

Tuesday Tip - Window Tinting

From the CHP website;

Can I put after-market tinting on the windows of my vehicle?

The main requirements for legal window tinting in California are: The windshield and front driver's side and passenger's side windows cannot receive any aftermarket tinting. If the rear window of a vehicle is tinted, the vehicle must have outside rearview mirrors on both sides.
The law prohibits any person from driving any motor vehicle with any object or material placed, displayed, installed, affixed, or applied upon the windshield or side or rear windows, with certain limited exceptions.

However, legislation signed into law effective January 1, 1999, exempts from the above prohibition specified clear, colorless, and transparent material that is installed, affixed, or applied to the front driver and passenger side windows for the specific purpose of reducing ultraviolet rays. If, as, or when this material becomes torn, bubbled or otherwise worn, it must be removed or replaced

Most of the time, this violation is a "fix-it" ticket and can be signed off by a police officer. Unless the material you have applied is clear, UV only, with documentation, almost all tinting is unlawful in California.

Refer California Vehicle Code sections 26101 and 26708(a)(1).

Happy St. Patrick's Day

Wishing everyone a Happy Saint Patrick's Day. Click HERE for a history of this holiday from History.com.

As always, please DO NOT Drink and Drive! APD will have additional officers on the streets conducting increased DUI enforecment tonight.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Purse Taken in Strong Arm Robbery

A woman standing on the sidewalk in the 500 block of Las Tunas Drive had her purse grabbed from behind and ripped from her arms at about 8:30 PM last night. The victim was not hurt, but the suspects made off with the purse in a dark colored 4 door sedan. The suspect and vehicle description are similar to the other recent strong arm robberies in town.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Strong Arm Robbery

Saturday night, March 7th, a lone male was walking on Arcadia Avenue, west of Sunset Boulevard, at about 10:10 PM when he was accosted by two male suspects. One suspect held the victim against a tree while the other suspect stole the victim's cellular phone. One of the suspects struck the victim during the robbery. The suspects then fled in a dark colored 4 door sedan.

Suspect #1: M/H, 5'08", heavy set, 20-25 years, dark clothing.
Suspect #2: M/H, 6'01", thin, dark clothing

Although similar suspect description, it is unknown whether or not the robbery committed early on Saturday morning is connected.

UPDATE - Composites released depicting suspects, #1 and #2, left to right.

Booze Thefts

We have had what seems like more reported thefts of alcohol from local markets of late. The most recent being from the Ralph's at 1101 W. Huntington Dr. in West Arcadia on Friday night, March 6th, at about 8:00 PM. A male and female suspect entered the store and selected about $500.00 in champagne and vodka, stuffing the bottles into jackets and a backpack before fleeing the store. The theft was caught on video tape and discovered on Saturday. Similar crimes have occurred at this same Ralph's and at the Pavilions, also in West Arcadia. Economy, price of booze? Who knows...

Arcadia Woman's Club Host Police & Fire Appreciation Luncheon

Lieutenant Colleen Flores, APD, & Captain Jim Sloan, AFD, enjoying lunch at the annual Arcadia Woman's Club appreciation luncheon. Thanks to the ladies for a great lunch today!

Tuesday Tip - More Cyber Scam Tips

This one comes courtesy of KABC7 and Ric Romero; All-new cyber scams to rip you off

The story ran yesterday and has some good tips to help keep you safe from being scammed on the Internet and even your cell phone. Click on the article title above to view the story and video.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Woman Robbed of Purse

A woman was leaving the Westfield Shoppingtown mall, walking to her car at about 1:00 AM this morning, when she was accosted by a male subject who forced her purse away from her. The male ran off with the purse to an awaiting vehicle and fled toward Huntington Drive. The suspect was described as a male Hispanic, about 25 years old, 5-06/200 lbs, wearing dark clothing and a beanie. The suspect vehicle was a 4 door, green Honda Civic, unknown year.

Firefighter Egged

Last night about 9:20 PM, two uniformed Arcadia Firefighters were walking along Orange Grove near the north end AFD station. A 1990's grey 4 dr sedan, being driven on Orange Grove, approached and a male passenger threw an egg from the moving vehicle striking one of the firefighters in the chest. The firefighter was not injured. The suspect vehicle was similar to a Nissan Altima.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Cal Chiefs and Their Toys

California Police Chiefs gathered in Pasadena this week for their annual training conference. The local paper ran a story titled, "High-tech gadgets highlight police chiefs' conference", complete with photos and an article filled with examples of cameras, police units, and various forms of technology. The article quoted Pasadena Police Chief Bernard Melekian saying that at the top of his wish list would be a technology for "broad-based community outreach". The paper believes that Chief Melekian was referring to criticism that the media and some community members laid on the department after a recent officer involved shooting. The Chief also told the paper that some of the "toys" were tools that could potentially help offset cuts to budgets and personnel that some departments are currently facing.

If you take a look at the California Police Chiefs Association website, you can view the conference agenda. The majority of the conference, like most conferences in any industry, has a focus on tools and technology, suppliers and vendors. It serves as a great avenue for networking and finding the latest and greatest that the industry has to offer.

The agenda boasts speakers and workshops on a few current issues such as "Donning and Doffing" lawsuits, terrorism, tactical response debriefing, and other legal issues. Topics that are glaringly missing include discussions on budgets and financing in today's economic climate, managing departments that attract, train , develop, and retain quality personnel, just to name a couple of relevant, current needs in the Law Enforcement community. At least, those are workshops that I would hope to find if I were a chief.

I come from an average size municipal agency in Southern California. Our city is fortunate enough to be fairly well off in comparison to other cities. We enjoy a decent and fairly stable tax base with a good mix of commercial, industrial and residential. However, our agency is experiencing continuous budget reviews and cuts, slashes in overtime expenditures, programs halted or put on hold, personnel positions being frozen, and other cost cutting measures. This is reality in California and across the nation.

Perhaps instead of looking at the future of technology and tools in Law Enforcement, our chiefs convention should turn the clock back and focus on what the employees are constantly asked to do; that being to "do more with less" and how to do it in the most efficient manner while maintaining professional and quality agencies. Toys are great and often offer change for the better, but most times the best changes comes from simple, effective leadership.

The Chief was on the right track in seeking that community outreach technology, but in the mean time, this blog seems like a good start in that direction.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Tuesday Tip - Collision Checklist

Traffic collisions can be stressful and confusing. Take the time to be prepared ahead of time so that collecting information accurately and completely will be easy. Check with your insurance agent or a local body shop, sometimes they will supply you with a pre-printed check list that you can keep in your glove box. Another resource is the DMV. There is a page devoted to collision information, including reporting requirements to the State. See the DMV page HERE.

The first item of business is to check for injuries to you or any other involved driver or passenger. If someone is injured, call 9-1-1 and report the collision immediately. If there are injuries that require medical attention, leave the vehicles in place until police and fire personnel arrive.

If no one is hurt and the vehicles are drivable, remove them from the roadway and pull to the side of the road, into a parking lot or on to a side street, out of traffic. Evaluate the damage and if there is substantial damage or injury, the police should be called to the scene. If the damage is minor and no one is injured, exchanging information between drivers is acceptable. Most drivers believe that a police report is always required. This is NOT the case and some agencies will not even respond to minor collisions. Absent prosecution for major collisions, death, hit and run, unlicensed drivers etc, the police report is simply paperwork for the insurance companies.

When exchanging information, record the following;

  • Date, time and location of the collision

  • Name, address and phone numbers for all drivers and passengers

  • Drivers license numbers for involved drivers

  • Insurance company name, policy number and policy holder for all drivers or vehicles

  • Complete vehicle information of involved vehicles to include license number, make, model, color, description such as pick-up, four door etc and name of registered owner if different

  • Description of any damage

  • Photographs of damage, or lack there of, other parties and scene if safe to do so

  • Note lane position of each vehicle and where the vehicles were prior to and at time of collision

  • Note any unusual conditions such as inoperative lights, vision obstruction

  • Note/photograph any physical evidence like skids or debris resulting from collision

Remember, you must carry with you and present to a police officer, your driver's license, proof of insurance and current vehicle registration when stopped by an officer or involved in a collision.