Friday, April 30, 2010

Retired Arcadia Police Sergeant Paul Harrington Dies at age 85

At 5:30 am, this past Wednesday, April 28, 2010, Sergeant Paul Harrington completed his final shift. Paul was 85 years old and was a very proud member of the United States Marines Corps. He participated in numerous landings in the South Pacific during WWII as he fought to maintain our freedom that we enjoy today. Paul joined the Arcadia Police Department on March 18, 1957 and rose to the rank of Sergeant before retiring in August 1980.

Some kind words from Retired Captain Rick Sandona; "Paul was a class act and loved the Arcadia Police Department and the citizens of Arcadia. I remember him well as he took this young rookie cop under his wings and gave him friendship and guidance."

Sergeant Paul Harrington will be cremated and laid to rest at the Veterans Memorial Cemetery at Kona Hawaii. Thank you Paul for your service and dedication to the Arcadia Police Department and the Arcadia Community.

Sergeant Paul Harrington

( 1924 - 2010 )

In Memory of a Local Fallen Hero

Personnel from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department stand watch over the memorial for slain hero Deputy David March. Yesterday was the anniversary of the murder of Deputy March who was killed during a traffic stop on Live Oak Avenue, east of Peck Road, on April 29, 2002. A memorial was built in his honor at the scene. Temple Deputies remember Deputy March not only on the anniversary of his death, but throughout the year by displaying his call sign, "57" on the rear window of Temple units. Please join APD in honoring this slain local hero, Deputy Dave March.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Fundraiser at Stacked Sandwich Benefits Arcadia Relay for Life

The Arcadia Police Officers' Association and the fine folks at Stacked Sandwich have teamed up together to support the fight against cancer. The Arcadia Police Officers' Association Relay for Life Team will be participating in the American Cancer Society’s, Arcadia Relay for Life, held on June 26th & 27th at the Santa Anita Racetrack.

To support our relay team, on May 4th & 5th, Stacked Sandwich will be donating 10% of your lunch tab to the American Cancer Society. Here’s what you need to do to help. Print a copy this blog post and bring it with you to Stacked on May 4th & 5th, present the copy to Stacked Sandwich when you buy your lunch. That’s it! You get a great lunch while joining in the fight against cancer.

Stacked Sandwich is located at 18 North First Avenue, Arcadia. Hope to see you at lunch! You can also visit the APOA Relay for Life Team Page and make a donation as well.

Weekly Tip - Never Leave a Child Unattended in a Vehicle

The following article was published in the Pasadena Star-News on April 19, 2010, written by California Highway Patrol Officer Al Perez of the Santa Fe Springs Office.  Officer Perez offers some great tips and information explaining the dangers associated with leaving a child unattended in a vehicle.

Do you know what Kaitlyn's Law is? In the fall of 2001 the governor of California signed into law Senate Bill 255, also know as "Kaitlyn's Law" or also known as the "Unattended Child in Motor Vehicle Safety Act."  This law was named for Kaitlyn Russell, a 6-month-old who died after being left by a baby-sitter in a parked car for more than two hours as temperatures reached triple digits.  The law makes it illegal for a child to be left unattended in a motor vehicle.

California Vehicle Code 15620(a) partially states: A parent, legal guardian, or other person responsible for a child who is 6 years of age or younger may not leave that child inside a motor vehicle without being subject to the supervision of a person who is 12 years of age or older, under any of the following circumstances:

- Where there are conditions that present a significant risk to the child's health or safety.

- When the vehicle's engine is running or the vehicle's keys are in the ignition, or both.

A violation of subdivision (a) is an infraction punishable by a fine of one hundred dollars ($100).  Nothing in this section shall preclude prosecution under both this section and Section 192 of the Penal Code (Manslaughter), or Section 273a (Child endangerment), or any other provision of law.

Some safety tips we all can follow are:

- Never leaver a child in a vehicle with the motor running or the key in the ignition.

- Check to make sure all children leave the vehicle when you reach your destination. Don't overlook sleeping children or infants.

- Place a reminder of your child's presence where you'll be sure to see it before leaving the vehicle (diaper bag next to your briefcase, baby blanket under your lunch or any other type of reminder of your child's presence).

- When shopping at the grocery store, ask the clerks to load your bags into your vehicle and return the cart instead of leaving a child alone, even for and instant.

- Always lock your car, even in the garage or driveway. If a child is missing, immediately check the car including the trunk.

- Never leave car keys within the reach of children.

- Teach children never to play in, on or around cars.
- Make it a habit to check the inside of your vehicle prior to exiting.

- Never let children ride or play in the cargo area, trunk or bed of any vehicle.

- If a child is locked inside a vehicle, get him/her out as quickly as possible. Call 9-1-1 for assistance if necessary. If the child appears hot or sick, call 9-1-1 immediately.

Dangers to children left unattended in vehicles include:

- Heat Stroke (hyperthermia)

- Carbon monoxide poisoning

- Runaway vehicles

- Carjacking

- Child abduction

- Body parts crushed by power windows and sunroofs.

- Trunk entrapment

- Self-release from car seat

- Emotional trauma

Unfortunately, millions of children are left unsupervised in or around vehicles each year and the results are often tragic.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

WANTED - Commercial Burglary (Hotels)

Frank RUIZ, 43 years old, 6'-03"/250 lbs., tattoo on right arm.

RUIZ hotel hops and steals items of value such as flat screen televisions and other items from the hotels. RUIZ is responsible for multiple commercial burglaries throughout the SGV. Anyone who has information is asked to call APD Detectives at (626) 574-5160, or if he is seen, dial 9-1-1. Refer case #10-1834.

UPDATE: In-Custody, Pasadena PD, 05/03/2010

Activity Highlights for April 18-24, 2010

Monday, April 26, 2010

Behind the Wheel with Driver's Edge at Santa Anita Race Track

The non-profit driver education program, Driver's Edge, rolled into Arcadia over this past weekend, setting up their classroom on wheels and hands-on collision avoidance course at the Santa Anita Race Track.  The two-day event offers four, half-day, sessions where young drivers ages 15-21 are introduced to invaluable driving skills and techniques that could save their while driving.  The Driver's Edge program is funded through donations, corporate sponsorship, and grant monies.  The program is based out of Las Vegas, NV, and works closely with Nevada Office of Traffic Safety and Bridgestone.  Arcadia is one of the recurring stops for this national drivers education program.

Students and parents start out the session with an introduction to the program and instructors.  Each of the instructors are current or retired professional drivers from the racing industry.  The classroom welcome does not last long and the students hit the "track" quickly.

Throughout the session, there are two behind the wheel and two static learning components to the training:

  • ABS braking and collision avoidance which includes straight line and braking while turning, along with evasive maneuvering of the vehicle.

  • Vehicle dynamics which covers understeer/oversteer, maintaining control in a slide and proper recovery, and load transfer.

  • Vehicle walk-around, maintenance, and the importance of driver position, hand placement, and seating.

  • Interaction with Law Enforcement who cover legal issues, driving under the influence, and safety. 
The instructors interact with each student and give personal instruction and attention to each.  It is impressive to see the improvement with each pass a student makes on the course.  The student drivers range from having just obtained their permits to young adults who have been driving for four plus years.

The Driver's Edge program offers sound advice and instruction.  One acronym that the instruction teaches is D.R.I.V.E.

  • D - Develop  Develop proper driving habits, which includes always wearing your seat belt.  Avoid distractions and constantly check your mirrors and your surroundings.  Using your eyes properly is one of the most important rules in driving.  It is important to see and be seen.  Try and avoid driving in the blind spot of other drivers.

  • R- Recognize   A driver needs to be conditioned to recognize the constantly changing road and traffic conditions.  Use your eyes!  Proper use of vision is vital.

  • I - Identify  The next step is to identify those situations that may become hazardous; the vehicle merging on the freeway, the car pulling out into traffic, the vehicle turning left in front of you, etc.

  • V- Visualize  As those situations develop, visualize the steps necessary to avoid a collision situation.  How quickly can you stop?  Is it safe to switch lanes?  And so on.

  • E - Execute  Finally, execute whatever driving maneuvers are required to avoid a collision situation: change lanes, slow down, accelerate, etc.  If a collision avoidance situation occurs, this is where it's important to be aware of the true abilities, and the limitations, of both you and your vehicle.
Arcadia Police Department Traffic Officers Steve Crawford, John Jurman, and CJ Clark participated in the weekend events along with representatives from the California Highway Patrol.  The photo below includes APD Officers Jurman and Clark demonstrating a DUI test during their instruction.

About 700 participants took part in the event this weekend.  Thanks to the Santa Anita Race Track for providing the venue and thanks to Driver's Edge for providing the training and event itself.  Without the donations, sponsorship, and grant funding, Driver's Edge would not exist to provide much needed driver education to our youth!

Additional photos of the event can be found HERE.

Friday, April 23, 2010

Firefighters Pancake Breakfast and Arcadia Community Bike Ride

The Arcadia Firefighters Association will be hosting their Annual Pancake Breakfast on Saturday, May 1, 2010, from 7:00 am to noon.  The event will take place at AFD Station 106 located at the northeast corner of Baldwin Avenue and Huntington Drive.  There is plenty of convenient parking behind Station 106 at the Westfield Santa Anita Mall.  The AFFA puts on a great breakfast and there will be plenty of displays and booths to keep your family interested throughout the morning.

In addition to the Pancake Breakfast, Arcadia Recreation and Community Services will be conducting their Annual Community Bike Ride that morning.  The bike ride is family oriented and meanders slowly throughout Arcadia.  Meet-up with your bikes at the Community Center, 375 Campus Drive, Arcadia, and the ride will take off at about 7:30 am.  From experience, I would recommend that your younger riders be out of the training wheel stage and be able to ride slowly for about an hour.  There will be a short break in the ride at Baldwin Stocker School.  After the ride, your family can enjoy a hearty breakfast with friends and neighbors at Station 106!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Commercial Checkpoint

Traffic Officers from the Arcadia Police Department assisted members of the California Highway Patrol in conducting a Commercial Vehicle Checkpoint yesterday.  The checkpoint was conducted during the morning hours in the south end of Arcadia..  The purpose of this type of checkpoint is to conduct spot checks on commercial vehicles travelling on our roadways.  The CHP regularly inspects commercial vehicles on the highways and during on-site visits to larger companies, but many vehicles on local roadways go without being regularly inspected.  Without regular inspections and maintenance, commercial vehicles pose a potential risk to all those on our roadways.

The following stats were reported by APD Officers at the checkpoint:
  • 45 commercial vehicles inspected.
  • 11 vehicles placed "out of service."
  • 5 vehicles towed for violations.
  • Combined, there were approximately 100 equipment violations noted on citations.

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Weekly Tip - Submit Tips by Phone, Text, or Web with "Crime Stoppers"

Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers was formed to give the Community an opportunity to pass on timely, relevant, and anonymous tips to local Law Enforcement.  Tips from you help in the fight to reduce crime and greatly enhance our ability to obtain information on suspects, potential threats to public safety, and to help prevent crime before it happens.

People are sometimes reluctant to contact the police and may shy away from reporting information for fear of retaliation.  Crime Stoppers gives you the opportunity to deliver tips anonymously while still making a difference in the fight on crime.  Tips can be made by phone, by text, or from the Internet.  Anyone submitting a tip is eligible to receive a cash reward if the information given leads to an arrest or criminal filing of a felony or misdemeanor offender.  The toll-free phone number to LA Crime Stoppers is (800) 222-TIPS.

The Arcadia Police Department is proud to be one of the numerous area police agencies participating in the Los Angeles Regional Crime Stoppers program.

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Residential Distraction Burglaries

Within the last month, we have had a couple reports of residential distraction burglaries occurring in the west end of town. A typical distraction burglary or theft will occur when one suspect engages the victim or resident in some form of activity to keep them busy. A second or third suspect will then commit the theft.

In these particular burglaries, the suspects claimed to be City or construction workers from the "water department." The suspects claimed that they needed to check the water at the residence and asked to enter. Upon entry, one of the suspects entered different rooms checking the water and the residents were kept occupied by the second suspect. The suspects communicated with hand-held radios. After a few minutes, the suspects said that they were done and left the residence. The victim later discovered that they have been burglarized. Loss has included money, jewelry, and other items to include a firearm.

The suspects have been described as possibly male Hispanics, about 40 years of age, average height, heavy set, dark skinned, and speaking with no accent. The suspects were not wearing uniform type clothing. Below is a composite of one of the suspects;

Anytime someone approaches you or comes to your residence, obtain identification and confirm their identity.  There are legitimate times when a City employee, gas, electric, telephone, or other service worker may require entrance to your exterior property.  These persons should be in some form of uniform and have identification.  Unless you placed the service call, do not allow anyone access to your home.  If the person is suspicious or uncooperative, immediately call the police.  Anyone with information should call APD Detectives at (626) 574-5160. 

Weekly Tip - Distracted Driving, "Put It Down!"

The US Department of Transportation (DOT) has launched a campaign to help combat "Distracted Driving."  DOT is encouraging Law Enforcement, community groups, schools, and everyone to become involved and spread the word of the dangers associated with distracted driving

"Distracted Driving" is any non-driving activity a person engages in that has the potential to distract him or her from the primary task of driving and increase the risk of crashing.  Using a cell phone without a "hands-free" device and texting are two of the most common examples of distracted driving.  However, grooming, changing your radio station or MP3 player, manipulating a GPS device, reading, eating are all other example of common activity that drivers engage in, placing themselves and others in harms way.

California law prohibits use of a cell phone while driving without using a "hands-free" device.  There are a few exceptions including in case of an emergency, for emergency service personnel, and for certain commercial purposes.  Texting is also prohibited in California.  California Vehicle Code sections 23123-23124 cover these violations.

Research on distracted driving reveals some surprising facts:

•Using a cell phone use while driving, whether it’s hand-held or hands-free, delays a driver's reactions as much as having a blood alcohol concentration at the legal limit of .08 percent. (Source: University of Utah)

•Driving while using a cell phone reduces the amount of brain activity associated with driving by 37 percent. (Source: Carnegie Mellon)

•Nearly 6,000 people died in 2008 in crashes involving a distracted driver, and more than half a million were injured. (NHTSA)

•The younger, inexperienced drivers under 20 years old have the highest proportion of distraction-related fatal crashes.

•Drivers who use hand-held devices are four times as likely to get into crashes serious enough to injure themselves. (Source: Insurance Institute for Highway Safety)
Please join the campaign and help spread the word, "Put It Down!"

Monday, April 12, 2010

Dispatcher Appreciation Week

The week of April 11-17, 2010 is National Public Safety Telecommunications Week, otherwise known as Dispatcher Appreciation Week. Dispatchers are an integral part of the Law Enforcement team. The Arcadia Police Department Dispatchers are also our call takers and many times the first contact for persons communicating with the Police Department. They not only communicate with the public, but are usually inputting data into a computer, monitoring and talking with patrol units, and coordinating all field activity for the Department.

Often times we don't take the time to say "Thank You" for a job well done to our Dispatchers. The members of APD would like to join others throughout the Nation and our Community to express our true appreciation and thanks to our Arcadia Police Department Dispatchers!

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

9-1-1 System Upgraded

The Arcadia Police Department is recognized as a Public Safety Answering Point (PSAP) by the California Public Safety Communications Division. This means that all 9-1-1 calls (both landline and wireless) dialed within the city limits are routed to the Arcadia Police Department. When a 9-1-1 call is received in the Arcadia PSAP, trained operators determine the nature of the emergency and activate the proper responders (Police, Fire, or EMS). In 2009, the Arcadia Police Department received over 14,000 9-1-1 calls.

The Arcadia Police Department entered an agreement with the State of California 9-1-1 office to receive 9-1-1 calls 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. In return, the State 9-1-1 office agrees to maintain and upgrade all 9-1-1 related equipment every 5 years. The Arcadia Police Department became eligible in 2009 to receive the 9-1-1 system upgrade and is currently undergoing a complete replacement of all 9-1-1 hardware and software.

After the upgrade is complete, the Arcadia Police Department’s 9-1-1 system will be digital and better equips the department to receive emergency calls generated by new communication technology, like Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP) systems that are becoming more popular in households. Also, the digital capability will allow for telephone calls to be answered remotely in the event of a disaster or other event that necessitates a mobile answering point to be established elsewhere within the city or county.

The upgrade of the 9-1-1 system is completely funded by the State of California 9-1-1 allotment.

For further information about the State of California’s 9-1-1 program, click on the link:

Activity Highlights for March 28-April 3, 2010

Weekly 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 emergency vehicles seen 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 slow down and pull to the right safely!
- DO remain stopped until the emergency vehicle has passed!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Chamber Citizen of the Year 2009, Vince Foley

Congratulations to Vince Foley on being selected the Arcadia Chamber of Commerce Citizen of the Year for 2009.  The award presentation took place on April 1, 2009, at the Santa Anita Race Track.  Vince is a long-time volunteer with the Arcadia Police Department and helps coordinate our "Volunteers in Patrol Support" or VIPS Program.  Vince has been an enthusiastic supporter of APD for many years and worked in concert with many others to spearhead the drive behind our new police building.  Arcadia's Best has a short video clip of Vince accepting the award HERE.

Sunday, April 4, 2010

Happy Easter!

Wishing the best to everyone during this Easter holiday.  In addition to all those on the road for the holiday weekend, many schools are out for spring break.  Take care on the roads and travel safely.  Happy Easter!