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Tuesday, August 30, 2011
I was talking to one of our esteemed PSU Board members the other day and the topic of badges, particularly belt badges, came up. As you may recall, the Department allowed DJCOs to wear the Centennial badges until the end of 2011. What you may not know is that a commitment was made by our previous chief, Colleene Preciado, to have regular belt badges in the DJCOs hands by that time. It is a sad state of affairs that our current chief reneged on the deal and here we sit sans badges.
So, I asked what's up with the badges? He said that my timing was good because he had just raised the issue regarding badges in the latest meeting with the chief. When the chief whined about the cost, our noble rep reminded him that the DJCOs had offered to pay for them if the department would provide an avenue for purchase. Of course, it might be coincidence but, didn't the department just put in an order for 100 Glocks for field DPOs?
The way I look at it, our command presence would be enhanced, particularly with the parole realignment, with belt badges. Simple, but effective.
Thursday, August 25, 2011
Tuesday, August 23, 2011
Tuesday, August 9, 2011
Get this: if an inmate had a Facebook page before he or she entered the system, they are allowed to keep it. They aren't supposed to post on it or anything until they are released but, that hasn't seemed to stop them so far. Apparently, some of the 7,000 (no typo, seven thousand) contraband cellphones they have found on inmates in state prisons so far this year are being used for more than just phoning home. Inmates post to their pages, make friend requests and, communicate with their gangs, all under the watchful eyes of the prison staff. Where do these phones come from?
OK, I hate to say it, but one has to assume either a few bad guards out to make money are bringing them in or the guards are too stupid to figure out how to keep them out from visitors who are sneaking them in. Can anyone say, search? Can anyone at CDCR say, metal detector? To be sure, it is tempting. A cellphone can garner as much as $1,000 on the prison black market.
So, what are inmates doing on their Facebook pages? According to one story, plenty. Inmates have made sexual advances and made threats towards past victim. One has to wonder how many scams an enterprising inmate can concoct from his lonely prison cell.
Fortunately, Facebook is doing the right thing and cooperating with law enforcement in tracking down prison FB pages and shutting them down. I am now waiting for the other shoe to drop when the ACLU steps in to claim it is a violation of prisoners rights. Does anyone besides me remember when prisoners lost all their rights and had to have them restored by a sympathetic court when they got out of prison?
Monday, August 8, 2011
On KTLA news this evening, T-rack came on camera to let everyone know that he and his investigators are diligently investigating. For the first time ever that I can remember, he even opened the possibility of charges being filed against the 6 officers. He stated that he had seen the video but fell far short of saying anything definitive about the video itself. Of course, the OCDA has a dismal record of prosecuting any peace officer or political hack that he owes through Mike Schroeder and Susie Girl, even when the evidence is overwhelming (read the Chamberlin case)
A peaceful demonstration was held over the weekend to mark the anniversary of the death of Kelly. This is what strikes me most about this whole incident: Although there is outrage and lots of ranting comments on the Friends For Fullertons Future blog, the citizens of Fullerton have shown peaceful constraint and an evenhanded determination to see justice done for this man and his family. Just when you think things may die down and the cops will go on business as usual, they come out in force, a quiet force, and make sure the city "fathers" (and I use that term loosely) and the police know they are not going to go away.
Lots of comments on a variety of streams at FFFF have related stories, information about homeless and mental health and the rights of local citizens to be secure in their homes and on the streets of their city. All of this from one blog and a citizenry that has rallied around those that need it most.
Friday, August 5, 2011
Officer Dan Ackerman, a SWAT member with Buena Park PD, will be laid to rest today at Forest Lawn, Cypress.
On July 29th, Ackerman was finishing SWAT training with his team when he reported feeling tired. He was transported to St. Jude Hospital in Fullerton where he died early the next morning from unknown causes.
Our own DPO Anne Price alerted us to his untimely death. She said that Ackerman was a great police officer along with the rest of his department. He would be sorely missed.
Our thoughts and prayers are with the family.
Wednesday, August 3, 2011
Sad news from Tulare County Probation where a van carrying work program kids collided with a pickup truck, killing 3 and injuring 7 more.
The Probation Department driver was seriously injured and 2 of the minors in their charge were killed.
We often go about our jobs daily without much thought of the danger involved. It is too bad it tales an incident like this to remind us.
Be safe out there, whatever your assignment.
Sunday, July 31, 2011
Many have weighed in on Thomas' death. The rant blog (try posting something they don't like on it) The Friends For Fullerton's Future blog has practically dedicated itself to singlehandedly bringing down the Fullerton PD. Lots of allegations coming even from the John and Ken show, where, supposedly, an "insider" called into the show to offer the scoop on the video tape. Another entry reports that the Fullerton Chief and the primary DA investigator are friends (who isn't in the LEO community).
All of this , of course, is to allow the case to be tried in the court of public opinion even before it gets a proper review by the investigators and now, thanks to Shawn Nelson's intervention, the FBI. Curiously, there is not much in mainstream news about the case.
But, how does this help the family deal with their grief? Kelly Thomas' Father Ron, himself a retired deputy, called the beating brutal. Grainy video from over 50 feet away, commentated by someone else is shown on YouTube. It is obvious we don't see the entire situation from this clip. I doubt the video surveillance being held back by the police is going to show much else. Everyone seems to want answers now. They want the names of the officers involved as if they would go out and shoot the officers themselves for their misdeeds. The police department, which has had more than it's share of bad publicity lately, is being hung out to dry. The Chief has clammed up. The DA is investigating. The FBI is investigating. So, what should the people of Fullerton and the advocates for Thomas do now?
How about sit back and wait. Wait for the DA to complete their investigation. Wait for the FBI to do whatever they plan to do. By the way, the only information we have that the FBI will do anything is Shawn of the Dead Nelson claiming that the FBI confirmed they are launching an investigation. Now, that in itself means nothing. Has anyone seen FBI agents swarming Fullerton questioning witnesses? Have they seen black SUVs surrounding the police department? Of course not. And, don't expect them to. Investigation can mean a lot of things. And, in this case, I suspect it means they will review the investigations of both the FPD and the OCDA.
And, what about Ron Thomas? The other day, he claims the City has already offered him just short of a million to settle the case. That was quick. Too quick, if you ask me. And, rather than throw the offer aside, the dad is "considering" it. Now, of course, Fullerton has neither denied or admitted the offer. That is a lot of money that would have to go in front of the City Council to be approved (in closed session, of course). Has anyone looked at the Council agenda lately to see if the proposed litigation/settlement/offer has even appeared? Too much going on too fast and I suspect that much of it is too many entities- FFFF, Ron Thomas, Shawn of the Dead, et al -are running into each other.
Now, lest any of you think I am taking the side of the cops, remember this blog. I love to bash wrong-doing cops. But, there are enough legitimate bad guys in the ranks of LEO that I don't need to jump on a publicity bandwagon for the sake of skewering an entire department... at least until we get an investigation or two completed.
So, again, sit back and wait. We've got nothing but time.
And that is exactly what the citizens of Fullerton and the rest of Orange County should do.
Wednesday, July 27, 2011
The Buzz is reporting that former Assemblyman and candidate for Orange County Board of Supervisors, Todd Spitzer, has applied to be a reserve deputy sheriff for OCSD. This is a good move for both him and Sheriff Sandy who has endorsed Todd Spitzer for the BoS position. Face it, how could it be better for Hutchens than having a boss on her team?
To be fair, Todd is eminently qualified to be a reserve deputy. He is a former LAPD reserve officer who has won awards for his work in that department. He is also an experienced prosecutor, most recently working for the most corrupt DA in California, Tony Rackaukus, until he was mysteriously dumped on trumped up charges involving T-rack's girlfriend, Peggy Buff who got an unposted job in the Public Guardian's office and implied that Susie Girl Kang-Schroeder, the DA's spokesperson, was in line to be the next DA. Did we happen to mention we like Todd both as a person and as a candidate?
Still, you have to wonder how this is going to work. Aside from the rigorous schedule Supervisor's keep (just ask Big John Moorlach), what happens when there is a conflict (and there will be) between the jobs? And, I know for a fact that county policy does not allow county employees to work as reserve deputies. Wouldn't the same apply to elected officials?
Spitzer says he just likes being a cop (I can't blame him). But, he could work for any number of cities in Orange County and it would lessen the chance of conflict. So did Sheriff Sandy make a promise? Or is this Todd's way of keeping a conservative eye on our anti-gun socialist Sheriff?
Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Police hold America’s Night Out Against Crime | tustin, law, america - News - The Orange County Register
Once again, Tustin PD is participating in America's Night Out. Similar to the Open House held a few months ago, the Night Out will feature demonstrations by K9s and community groups. As it is being held at the District, one shouldn't have too much trouble finding some good chow and something to wash it down with as well. All happening at the district on August 2nd.
Sunday, July 24, 2011
His attorney calls it a "psychotic break". I am sure he will want to put the former Marine's record on trial as well, showing how his PTSD drove him to the brink.
He was overprescribed Zoloft which, in severe cases, can cause "bizzare behavior" and hallucinations. But, who overprescribed the drug to begin with. This is an anti-depressant. He would have known about side effects prior to his so-called break from reality.
If this is his whole defense, that he has PTSD and suffers from depression, I would ask the Westminster PD why they hired this guy. No, face it, this guy just stinks. He is a bad cop who, along with his buddy who is ratting him out, did bad things. He should go to jail for a long time and be required to register as a sex offender for life, assuming he ever gets out. Hopefully, the jury will see through this sham defense and do the right thing.
Thursday, July 14, 2011
Questions have been raised by the family and friends of Kelly Thomas, a homeless man, after he died from unknown causes on Sunday. Kelly was involved in a scuffle with police on Tuesday in which it took 5 officers to subdue him. Richard Thomas, Kelly's father and a former OCSD Deputy, believes it was the beating that killed the young man. Well, he should know. Supposedly Richard Thomas is a specialist in arrest and control techniques.
Kelly has been called a "free spirit" who lived homelessly by choice and like to "sleep under the stars". Family of homeless people are often in denial of the real reasons of homelessness which is often mental illness or drug use. They prefer fond memories so they use euphemisms such as these to make themselves feel better and take the blame off each other. In this light, the senior Thomas sounds more like a former sheriff deputy who knows how to get mileage started early in a lawsuit rather than an experienced law enforcement officer who would wait to see all the evidence before making a snap judgment.
Of course, Fullerton PD, who has seen it's fair share of bad press lately, denies any wrongdoing. Rightfully, they prefer to have the evidence weighed before making a decision. Early on, they turned the investigation over to DA's office.
What I can tell you from my experience is things are not always what they seem in a scuffle like this. Contrary to popular belief, cops are not experts in martial arts. They do not have time to spend half their day training like everyone thinks they do (unless you count time at the donut shop as training). They have real jobs that include protecting the citizens of their city, county or state (usually from each other). And sometimes, just sometimes, tasers don't work; pepper spray doesn't work; that neat new hold the instructor taught you in your semi-yearly refresher course on arrest tactics doesn't work. Then, it's a war. It is when 5 officers have to work to subdue one crazy subject who's family should have worked harder to keep him off the street rather than memorialize him at a makeshift funeral pyre. Come on back. We'll keep an eye on this one for you.
Wednesday, July 13, 2011
If the above editorial doesn't send shivers up your spine, it's because you've already drunk the socialist Koolaid. I am a big believer in the Constitution. I doubt seriously that our forefathers foresaw the use of smartphones, PDAs and other technologies we have available today. If they had, there is no doubt some personal technology would have been explicitly protected. My desktop computer is personal property. If a cop wants to see the contents he must, in most cases, have a search warrant. Likewise, to read my postal mail, a warrant is also required.
Nowadays, nearly every piece of data I own, be it addressbook, medical documents, email or what have you, is accessible via my handy Droid X. It is still just as private, just as personal.
But, for some unknown reason, the courts have blown it big time. In this recent ruling, they have likened your cellphone to your wallet or your pockets when it comes to warrantless searches. This has a chilling effect on the 1st and 5th Amendments. We should, cops included, be very wary of this.
Not surprisingly though, cops are all in favor. They think it will make their job easier. Until it is used against them. You have the ability to stop this travesty. Call your legislator. State your support of the bill discussed in the linked article. Let them know the people won't stand for this.
Friday, July 8, 2011
Tuesday, July 5, 2011
Read the above article and answer the question why our police departments in this county are not doing a better job of helping their cops before they go too deep. Why, according to the OCR, is this a union problem? Are these cops letting us down or is society neglecting those charged with protecting us?
Wednesday, June 29, 2011
A Brea detective involved in the shooting of a robbery suspect was cleared of wrongdoing. Of course, the family thinks the facts, a thorough investigation by the DA, was incomplete. There is no doubt that the family will be contacted by some sleazbag shyster lawyer looking to make a dime off this tragedy.
But, where was the family for this young man when he got hooked on oxycotin? Where were they when he hooked up with so-called friends to commit robberies and terrorize people? That is the real tragedy of this story. Be careful what you bring into the courtroom because this time the police did it right.
Monday, June 27, 2011
Go figure. A former police chief in Huntington Park seems to have been given favorable treatment by city attorneys who reduced charges against him that would have placed him on the Sex Offender Registry. So, since this happened, according to Steve Greenhut, who did not provide a link to the story, all cops are bad.
It is clear that Greenhut has no love for police. Not many people do, nowadays. But, since leaving the Register, he seems to have unleashed his inner hatred for cops everywhere by singling out a few bad ones. He also thinks cops are overpaid, but that is another story.
What Greenhut fails to acknowledge is that, for every cop who gets hooked up for a criminal beef, there are ten thousand that do their job everyday, quietly and without fanfare. And, if Greenhut were to look around and pick a new target, I bet he would find just as many judges, lawyers, reporters and other professions per capita that transgress society's laws. So, why pick on law enforcement?
Friday, June 24, 2011
How many more of these are going to happen because the Governor and the Legislature cannot come to terms on a budget. Forget all the Rep rhetoric about balancing the budget on the "backs of victims", etc. The fact is, all programs have taken a hit and like it or not, corrections, seen as a bloated blister on the toe of the state, is taking it's hit. But, how low can you go? Next to no supervision, GPS supervised parolees at least give the parole agents something to work with to keep track of their charges. The department needs to re-think the release of these criminals from supervision. GPS was touted as cheap and effective. If it's so cheap, why did they release this parolee? How much will the pain and suffering of the victim in this guy's latest fiasco pay in medical bills? How much will the state pay?
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
It's sad but true. Don Novey, the once all-powerful head of the California Correctional Peace Officers Association, has filed for bankruptcy. Don led the relatively unknown CCPOA into the limelight during California's prison building phase that brought hundreds of correctional officers into the system and into the union. He is credited with building the most influential public safety union in the state. He was later ousted by succeeding presidents although he maintained a consulting contract for a few years. Don't feel too bad for Don. Much of his assets are protected and it isn't as if he and his wife will be destitute. Still, this must be a blow for a man of his caliber. Good luck in the future, Don.
Tuesday, June 21, 2011
The letter, which you can find on Voice of OC's website by clicking here, tells a tale of implicit corruption and collusion by the majority of the city fathers to crush union opposition under the guise of balancing the budget.
It is clear from his letter that Stavely has been thinking about this for some time. While he does slam the 3@50 pension of public safety officers, he places the blame squarely on the shoulders of those who should be responisble. And, while we don't agree with him bout how to change the situation, we applaud his upfront attitude toward his department. It is clear he is (rightfully) proud of the department and it was not easy for him to resign.
Stavely, appears to be a man of substance and a dying breed in the political world. His ethics overtook his sense of survival and the City will be at a loss for some time. To be sure, he left the department in able hands but, how will that play out when the Costa Mesa Council again interferes with daily operations?
Unfortunately, he gives tribute to Tom "Hatchetman" Hatch. We don't see it. Hatch, in his role as City Manager, should be able to simply tell the council that what they propose is not feasible in a manner in which they would listen. He not only kow tows to the Council, but readily does their bidding. He is "one of them".
We wish Chief Stavely well. He is right. He probably will never hold another chiefs job but he will continue to impact law enforcement as teacher in mentor for some time to come. Good luck and May God Bless.
The legislature is readying to vote for the dissolution of the City of Vernon. More rightly, they are voting to disperse any city with the population of less than 195 people. It's the same thing, of course, since Vernon is the only town of that size.
Vernon, which was incorporated in 1905 for the exclusive purpose of keeping industry next to the railroad tracks, became home to the worst kinds of industry. No one wanted
slaughterhouses and rendering plants near their homes. But a few industrial visionaries saw the right way to go.
Other industries have replaced many of the slaughterhouses and there is a huge tax base there. Through the years, Vernon has been the epitomy of company town. There is virtually no sales tax base so they must rely on property and corporate income taxes which, as others have pointed out, LA's Villagarosa wants to claim for his own via his cuz, Perez. This is the
democratic push. That may seem hard for some to take, but no republican would attempt to dismantle a city in the manner in which these two have contrived.
There are laws that prevent corruption. But,corruption is in the eye of the beholder. If the city fathers want to pay their council 6k a month plus benefits, that is their doing. If they
want to pay their city manager over a million dollars in compensation because he has the expertise, then so be it. This isn't like the City of Bell, where they attempted to pull one over on the residents and take them for all they could. Industry runs Vernon and they gladly pay them what they think they are worth. That's a big difference. The Dems, led
by Perez, are trying to dismantle a city that actually works. I have felt from the start that there is no basis in law to do what they are attempting to do. If there were, what would be to stop them from dismantling any town or city on a whim, simply because they didn't like their politics?
Hopefully, if this comes to a lawsuit, the judge will see this for what it is and prevent through injunction, the wholesale rape of this small city.