Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Tuesday Tip: Why is that officer standing by that traffic signal?

Have you ever been driving through Arcadia on a Saturday or Sunday and seen an Arcadia Police Officer standing on the corner next to the traffic signal and wondered “Why is that officer standing there?”     Well the answer is likely that the officer is operating the traffic signals to help traffic flow when patrons are entering and/or leaving the Santa Anita Race Track.
Since the race track first opened, Arcadia Police Officers have worked traffic control posts around the track to keep traffic moving more efficiently.  Originally officers would stand in the intersections and direct traffic by hand.  Today, most of the traffic posts have an officer standing on the corner, manually changing the overhead traffic signals by depressing a button.  The officer evaluates the traffic flow and changes the signals according to traffic demands.
This year live racing at Santa Anita runs from December 26, 2013 through June 29, 2014 and again from the end of September to the beginning of November 2014.  Likely the busiest traffic days related to the track are going to be during The Breeders Cup weekend which will take place on October 31 and November 1, 2014. 
Always remember to drive safely, wear your seat belts, and don’t drink and drive. 

Saturday, April 12, 2014

Dispatcher Appreciation Week

The week of April 13-19, 2014 is National Public Safety Telecommunicators Appreciation week, also known as Dispatcher Appreciation Week.  Our dispatchers are the ones who answer most of the incoming calls to the department, answer all the 911 calls, and relay important information to our officers in the field. 
Dispatchers are the ones behind the scene, who are often not recognized for their work.  They are the ones who answer 911 calls when people need help, they are a calm voice in that moment of need, and the ones who get the information to tell first responders where they needed. 
Telecommunicators Week began in California in 1981 and quickly grew to national recognition. Just ten years later, Congress designated the second full week of each April as a time to remember the critical role that dispatchers play in keeping us all safe.
On behalf of the Arcadia Police Department, we say “thank you.”  Thank you to all the public safety telecommunicators and dispatchers out there.  And of course, we say a special “thank you” to our dispatchers.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Sergeant LeVeque's Retirement


Over the years Sergeant Tom LeVeque has had numerous accomplishments, achievements, and milestones.  Today will mark the one of the greatest achievements in his career.  Sergeant LeVeque is set to retire at days end.

Tom started his law enforcement career at the age of 14 as a Police Explorer with the San Marino Police Department.  He became a Captain within the ranks of the Explorer Post before getting hired as a Police Cadet in 1982, when he turned 18.  In 1985 he was hired as a Police Recruit with the San Marino Police Department, and attended the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department police academy Class #225.  Tom served as an officer with San Marino for two years where he developed an interest in traffic collision investigations and DUI enforcement.

In 1987 Tom lateraled to the Arcadia Police Department.  In 1988 Tom became a Field Training Officer and later worked as a traffic officer.  In addition to this assignment, Tom served as an Explorer Advisor for three years.  He was an operator on our SWAT Team from 1990-2001 and was a task force member with LA IMPACT from 1990-1991. 

In 1991, Tom promoted to Sergeant.  He supervised the FTO Program for three years and then the Detective Bureau as the DB Sergeant. In 2003, Tom attended and graduated from the LASD Sherman Block Supervisor Leadership Institute (SLI).  In 2004 he took over as the Traffic Bureau Sergeant through 2008.  Shortly after traffic, Tom was assigned as the DB Sergeant for his second tour.

In 2011, Tom was asked to step in as an Acting Lieutenant and was assigned as the Detective Bureau Commander.  Like everything else in his career, Tom to this to heart and did a great job.  In 2012, Tom returned to his duties as the DB Sergeant.

Tom had an interest in social media and quickly learned how our agency, and others, could benefit in engaging our community through various social media platforms.  He started, right here, with the APD Blog.  That blossomed into APD engaging our community on just about every social media platform out there.  He became our unofficial Social Media Coordinator.   As the Law Enforcement Social Media (or #LESM) following started to catch on, Tom continued to push forward, gaining respect from his peers, but more importantly he opened a door for our community to engage our department. 

Over his 36 years of law enforcement experience Tom was recognized with numerous awards and honors.  Those include being the Arcadia Police Officers Association Officer of the Year twice; the Community Service Ribbon for his part in Video Parking Enforcement and Speed Watch; The Medal of Merit for his field observation of a suspicious vehicle that turned out to be suspects from a murder that had just occurred; and the Life Saving Award. 

Tom was a great cop and sergeant, his experience and dedication will truly be missed.  In the social media class that he teaches, Tom always stresses taking the time to thank those who share our stories, pictures, and information.  Now it’s our turn to thank him.  Thanks Tom for your many years of dedicated service.  We wish you the best in your retirement.

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Weekly Activity Highlights for March 30 - April 5, 2014


Tuesday Tip- April is Distracted Driver Awareness Month

Distracted Driving continues to be a growing problem in California.  The National Highway Traffic
Safety Administration (NHTSA) again has designated April as National Distracted Driving Awareness
Month.  The Office of Traffic Safety & CHP are asking for support and partnership by local law
enforcement agencies to lower deaths and injuries caused by inattentive drivers.
In keeping with California’s statewide slogan “It’s Not Worth It,” we know that education and high
visibility enforcement are key in conveying the message that being distracted while driving is not
worth a collision, injury or death.  The first three years of this effort made tremendous
headway in heightening public awareness of the dangers of distracted driving.  Studies have
revealed that while texting, drivers take their eyes off the road for an average of 4.6 seconds, the
time it would take to drive the length of a football field.
Distracted driving is not just using your cell phone or texting while driving.  It can be eating or
drinking while driving, having a pet riding on your lap, applying make up, shaving, anything that
takes your attention away from your responsibilities as a driver.  
Arcadia Police Officers will be out all month focusing on educating the public with the dangers
associated with distracted driving. 
To avoid a distracted driving ticket or crash, Arcadia P.D. offers drivers the following tips:
  •  Turn off your phone and/or put it out of reach while driving
  • Include in your outgoing message that you can’t answer while you are driving
  • Don’t call or text anyone at a time when you think they may be driving
  • If you are in a vehicle where the driver is using their phone while driving, speak up!



Wednesday, April 2, 2014

City of Arcadia General Elections on April 8, 2014

Remember to vote! 

This is a reminder that ballots for the April 8, 2014 General Municipal Election must be received by the Arcadia City Clerk’s Office (240 West Huntington Drive) no later than April 8, 2014 at 8:00pm.  Any ballot received by the Elections Official by mail or at the Office of the City Clerk after 8:00pm the day of the election will not be counted.

If you have any questions about the election or casting your ballot, please call the City Clerk’s Office at 574-5455.

Weekly Activity Highlights for March 23 - 29, 2014