Monday, November 30, 2009

Four Officers Murdered in Lakewood, WA

The APOA wishes to send their condolences to the members of the Lakewood Police Department in Washington. Sergeant Mark Renninger, Officer Ronald Owens, Officer Tina Griswold, and Officer Greg Richards were killed on Sunday, November 29, 2009 by a gunman in a Lakewood coffee shop. Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the slain Officers and to all members of the LPD family.

Donations can be made to the Lakewood Police Independent Guild via their website HERE. Additional information on this tragedy and the lives of the Officers can be found on both the Lakewood Police Department website and the Guild website.

Arcadia family bound in home invasion robbery -

Arcadia family bound in home invasion robbery -

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Tip - Tis the Season...Don't Become a Victim!

With "Black Friday" upon us, tis the season for thieves to be looking for an easy target. Shoppers everywhere will be crowding stores and check-out counters in search of grabbing bargains and deals. But just as you may be shopping for a gift, the bad guys (and gals) may be shopping for your wallet, credit & debit cards, car keys, or your recently purchased treasures. What can you do to help protect yourself?

Start by shopping smart. Always be aware of your surroundings and who is near you. Don't become so engrossed in your shopping or check-out that you fail to see the person sliding up next to you or your cart. Never leave your purse or purchased items unattended in a cart, on a counter, or at a table...not even for "just a minute." Thieves will look for easy targets and persons who may be inattentive to their belongings. That open purse or wallet next to you while you are making your purchase is an invitation for theft.

Be mindful of your personal space. If you are "bumped" on the side or someone just happens to slide up close to you, check your wallet or purse and make sure that you have not become the target of a thief.

Watch your cards! Credit, debit, charge cards are easily "skimmed" by use of portable devices meant to quickly capture your card information. Your information can be later transferred to a magnetic strip on a different card and used for theft. The employee should be sliding your card right in front of you. If there is a need to move to a different register, go with them.

Keep an eye on your accounts. Check your balances and statements often. Watch for any unauthorized activity and report it immediately if discovered.

Don't leave valuable items in your vehicle. Do your best not to use your car as a storage compartment. Thieves will target persons who load up their vehicle and then walk away. Keep any items out of plain sight.

Tis the season for celebrations, not for becoming the unfortunate victim of theft. Do what you can to help prevent a crime before it happens! Don't become a victim!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Annual Festival of Bands - Road Closures

The City of Arcadia is hosting the 56th Annual Festival of Bands Parade on Saturday, November 21, 2009. Forty high school bands will compete in this prestigious event. There will be a number of street closures associated with the event that may affect vehicular travel. The parade will take place on Baldwin Avenue and Duarte Road in Arcadia on Saturday, November 21, 2009. Street closures will be as follows:

 Baldwin Avenue between Huntington Drive and Naomi Avenue – CLOSED for vehicular traffic from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

Duarte Road between Golden West and El Monte Avenue – CLOSED of vehicular traffic from 8:00 AM to 1:00 PM.

 Campus Drive between Santa Anita Avenue and Holly Avenue – CLOSED from 6:00 AM to 4:00 PM.

Residents living south of Huntington Drive, north of Duarte Road, east of Baldwin Ave, and west of Holly Ave are encouraged to use the intersection of La Cadena and Huntington Drive as the primary entrance and exit from the area. Other residents will be allowed into the surrounding areas with proof of residency.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009



Weekend Indecent Exposure

A teenage female was approaching her residence on foot Saturday morning when she noticed the shadow of a person behind her. The victim felt someone touch her and looked to see a male exposing himself. The suspect then ran off and fled in a vehicle. The incident occurred shortly before noon in the 100 block of W. Arthur. The suspect was described as a male white, 20-25 years, wearing a beige sweatshirt. The suspect vehicle was a white SUV.

You should always be alert to your surroundings. Look around and be aware of who and what is near you. We get comfortable in areas that we are familiar with, like your home and business. Take a look when you pull into your driveway or park your car. If you notice someone suspicious, call your local police and be prepared to drive off if necessary. Always be alert to your environment!

Tuesday Tip - Stay Informed!

A recent article in the San Gabriel Valley Tribune relates the story of how a couple’s involvement led to the arrest of several burglary suspects. Quite often, residents will ask what they can do to help prevent crime in their neighborhood and what they can to do help the police. You don’t necessarily need to become physically involved to be a great asset to Law Enforcement and you neighborhood in combating crime. The news article gives an excellent example of being a great witness. The man took photos of the suspects and their vehicle while his wife called the police. These photos may become evidence used later in court should the suspects choose to fight their charges. Sometimes the best asset is being a great witness and alerting police to things that don’t appear right, in addition to the obvious crime in progress.

A proactive step that you can take is to empower yourself with a little bit of local knowledge. Use community wire and crime mapping services such as Nixle,, or

Nixle is provided free to anyone who wishes to subscribe to email and text alerts/messages to their computers or cellular phones, from their local cities and police or sheriff agencies. These messages will range from community bulletins, traffic advisories, to alerts that may discuss emergency notification, missing persons, crime information, and more. You can subscribe to more than one address or area. Monitor information that pertains to your home, your work, or any other jurisdiction that you have an interest in.

Up to date crime information is also important and can give you insight into criminal activity in your neighborhood. Knowing that there has been a rash of residential burglaries, auto thefts, or other criminal activity in your area may assist you in being more vigilant in crime prevention and taking steps to prevent yourself from becoming a victim. Services such as and are used by many police and sheriff departments to provide crime information to their communities. Some of these services even offer daily or weekly alerts to criminal activity via email. As an example, the City of Duarte, patrolled by the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, participates in crime mapping and a screen shot example is pictured above.

Not all cities and counties make these types of services available, but the trend is growing. Check your local city website or visit the sites mentioned and see if your area is covered. Contact your local police, fire, or city personnel and express your desire to participate if they already don’t offer these services. Arcadia is currently exploring the possible use of such services. Empower yourself with a little knowledge and take an active role in helping to prevent crime in your neighborhood! Stay informed!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

"A Look Back" - Bicycle Safety

A look back to when the kids still road bikes to school...a bicycle safety inspection is conducted by a member of APD. Bike rodeos were a common event years ago. Officers would conduct inspections, licensing and provide basic bicycle safety instruction during the rodeo. Our personnel wore tan uniforms through early 1987.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Veterans Day 2009

Wishing all Veterans the best on this Veterans Day, November 11, 2009. Thank you for your service to us all! Our thoughts and prayers go out to all of our service members currently on active duty throughout the world.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Unattended Keys = Auto Burglary & Theft

The victim of an auto burglary reported that on Saturday, November 7th, he parked and locked his vehicle near First Avenue Middle School at about 4:45 PM. The victim went to the basketball courts and left his keys unattended near the court, while playing ball. At some point during the pick-up game, his keys were taken. The suspect(s) gained entry to the locked vehicle, took the victim's wallet, cash and golf clubs. The suspect(s) then made their way to the mall and used the victim's credit card to make fraudulent purchases.

Don't give thieves the opportunity. Don't become a victim. Keep the door key or alarm fob in your pocket. Do not leave your property unattended.

Tuesday Tip - Prevent Teen "Sexting"

What is "sexting?" In a nutshell, it the exchange of sexually explicit messages or photos between persons by use of cell phones, email or other electronic devices. Law Enforcement is becoming more aware of these incidents and in some instances, persons are being prosecuted for child pornography laws. The LA Times ran an opinion article earlier this year that discusses varying approaches to prosecution. Bottom line is that parents need to make themselves more involved in educating their teens. Below are a couple of websites that offer tips to both parents and teens alike, on education, awareness and prevention of sexting:

Think before you hit "send." There is no real delete in cyberspace!

Friday, November 6, 2009

"Hands On" Social Media Demo

Several vendors set-up shop in one of our Department training rooms last week, peddling the newest models of body armor, Airsoft weapons, and assorted tactical gear. Live demonstrations followed in the range and the hands-on experience was well worth the time invested to attend. I have learned over the years that those of us in Law Enforcement like to see and touch new products and technology. You only need to look at the attendance numbers that regional trade show events like CopsWest and Trexpo produce to see that our profession is in love with the latest and greatest when it comes to tools of the trade.

Up to date equipment, use of modern technology, continual training and development of personnel, and constant evaluation of policy and procedure are a few examples of positive attributes of a progressive and quality Law Enforcement agency. But in the society and culture that surround us today, that is not enough. It is said that change is slow and difficult. The days of strict “paramilitary” police work have past. Society has asked Law Enforcement to evolve into a business that includes community partnerships, transparency, and accountability, while at the same time, upholding the law and “fighting” crime. We have not been asked to step away from our role as Law Enforcement officers, but rather to improve the way we do business. Answering these challenges and changes for Law Enforcement is not necessarily something found in a booth at the next trade show, but rather a change in philosophy and simply modifying the “way“ that we do business.

Law Enforcement managers should look to their own personnel for one easy answer to help in this “change.” At a recent #140 Character (Twitter) conference, Chief John Stacey of the Bellevue Police Department in Nebraska discussed BPD’s use of social media. Chief Stacey described how a young officer “lit up” during a recent briefing where the Chief mentioned that he would be out of town for a Twitter conference. The young officer was surprised that the Chief knew what Twitter was all about. That officer and the Chief had never really engaged in conversation before that moment but because of that common ground have developed a new and improved rapport. This small example serves as both a tool for internal personnel development and investment in an agency, but moreover breaches the tip of a much greater tool for reaching out to your community.

Chief Stacey is among a growing group of Law Enforcement administrators that have embraced the use of social media as a tool to engage, communicate, and interact with the folks that their police agencies serve. The Los Angeles Police Department, the Sacramento Police Department, and the Whittier Police Department in California, each host a blog, and actively interact with their communities. Some police agencies, like Bellevue, have taken the use of social media further. Bellevue PD, like the Lakeland Police Department in Florida, has both a Twitter and a Facebook page. BPD even encourages their individual police officers to send “tweets” about activity while at work. The Oxnard Police Department in California has asked a lead officer from each beat or sector within the City to send out Twitter updates specific to their service area. OPD also produces web video providing crime info, press release information, and other information to promote their agency.

YouTube is also being used by Law Enforcement to deliver assorted messages and embedded video. The Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in Nevada and the Milwaukee Police Department in Wisconsin are two agencies utilizing YouTube. Media releases, crime prevention tips, suspect wanted bulletins, missing persons, are all examples of potential use of video releases from a police agency.

The Boca Raton Police Department in Florida and Chief Dan Alexander have taken the concept of mixing social media and Law Enforcement even further. BRPD has a project called VIPER that packages the best of their use of social media use in a one stop shop. VIPER allows the Boca Raton community to interact with BRPD by use of video, Twitter, Facebook, crime mapping, news, email alerts, and more. BRPD provides text messages and email information through a service known as Nixle. Nixle is available at many agencies and local government agencies across the country.

Social media experts and consultants are a great resource for researching and implementing a social media plan for your Law Enforcement agency. Christa Miller of has been and continues to be an excellent source for me and others in our field. Lauri Stevens from LAwS Communications and is passionate about assisting Law Enforcement in their social media strategies. Lauri moderated the panel discussion with Police Chiefs Stacey, Alexander, and Assistant Chief Whitney at the #140 Character Conference in Los Angeles. Other sites such as,, and provide excellent information and insight into the topic.

Think about your own personnel, your family, and friends. How many of them are carrying a web enabled phone with them everywhere they go? Technology has put cameras, news reporting, and instant delivery of information in the hands of virtually every person on the street. Take advantage of this wave and go “hands on” with social media. Explore the benefits and learn about the positive impact your agency can have by interacting, listening, and being involved with your community by using social media as a tool for Law Enforcement.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday Tip - Protecting Your Laptop

Who does not own a laptop computer? Students, professionals, the "tweeting" mom, just about everyone these days is using a portable computer to communicate and manage their lives. We take them with us and many times, unfortunately, persons are victimized by thieves stealing the laptop. Laptops are stolen from vehicles, dorm rooms, tables in a coffee shop, a hotel lobby, you name it. What can you do to help recover your property? There are companies that offer tracking services to assist in the recovery of stolen computers.

A recent case was cleared by APD in cooperation with a company named Computrace, aka Lojack for Laptops. The laptop was covertly monitored after being reported stolen and information was gathered that led to the person currently in possession of the computer. In this case, no one was prosecuted, but the property was recovered. The PI Newswire, a blog dedicated to those in the investigations field, ran a post titled "Spying on a stolen laptop" which details the recovery of a laptop by use of a product from InertLogic using similar technology.

The best defense is obviously prevention. Don't give thieves the opportunity to take your property. However, this type of product is like an insurance policy and could help law enforcement recover your property. Take a look and review different products to see if this style technology is of benefit to you.