Thursday, February 24, 2011

Badge Pinning Ceremony

Congratulations are in order for Officer Barry Miller who recently completed his field training program and is now assigned to a Patrol Team.  Officer Miller came to the Arcadia Police Department back in September 2010 as a lateral from the Vernon Police Department.  Officer Miller served in the US Air Force prior to his law enforcement career and is a great addition to the APD family. 

Members of the Arcadia Police Department joined Officer Miller and his family for his ceremonial badge pinning today in the City Council Chambers.  City Manager Don Penman presents Officer Miller with his flat badge and identification in the above photo.  Welcome and congratulations Barry!

Guidelines for Public Protest

The right to dissent and to peacefully protest is an important part of a free society. The Arcadia Police Department is here to maintain order and protect the rights of all individuals. Our role is to work with all parties to assure that peace and order are maintained during the exercise of First Amendment rights of free speech.

The following is a list of Public Protest guidelines provided by the Arcadia Police Department:

DO... a spokesperson for your group to respond to media and police inquiries.

...designate a location adjacent to the protest scene to deal with media interviews.

...walk, picket, and protest from public property only.

...cross the streets at intersections on green lights and “walk” cycles.

...encourage your fellow demonstrators to obey the law.

...follow the directions of police officers.

...coordinate your protest/demonstration with police officials. (Advance notice will allow us to deploy sufficient personnel to keep the peace and protect the rights of all parties.)


...trespass on private property (602L PC, 4224 AMC).

...interfere with police officers performing their duties (148 PC).

...block or obstruct the entrance or exit of a business (4223 AMC).

...strike, spit upon, or throw things at anyone (240 PC, 242 PC).

...encourage others to violate the law (404.6 PC, 407 PC, 408 PC).

...remain present at an unlawful assembly (409 PC).

...impede vehicular traffic in the street (21950 VC).

...throw substances at vehicles (23110 VC).

...use loudspeakers or bullhorns (4620.1 AMC).

If there is any way in which we can assist you or answer questions regarding your planned protest, please call the watch commander at (626) 574-5150.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Weekly Tip - Stop Signs

How many times a day do you come upon a stop sign?  Stop signs are everywhere in our community and often times are ignored or not adhered to properly by drivers. California Vehicle Code (CVC) section 22450 defines the requirement for stop signs in California. The law is fairly simple; if there is a stop sign posted with a limit line, stop at the limit line. If there is no limit line, but there is a crosswalk, stop at the line prior to entering the crosswalk. If there are no lines in the street, stop even with the stop sign before entering the intersection or making a turn.

One of the most common statements by a driver after being stopped for running a stop sign is that the driver says that they did stop. The first questions to ask yourself as a driver in that situation are: "Where did I stop?" and "Did I come to a complete stop?" Our local court has made it clear and says that a driver must stop at the limit line, stop sign or crosswalk, and not a car length back or beyond the line.

Other common stopping violations include: failing to stop when turning, a rolling stop, and following the car in front of you through a stop sign when in traffic. Each vehicle is required to come to a full and complete stop. Don't sneak through on a turn or next to the car in the other lane. A lawful and complete stop is not a "California roll". A complete stop is when there is a complete "cessation" of movement.  Please adhere to stop signs and recognize that they are in place for your safety and the safety of all other persons on the road.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Hand Grenade Interrupts City Business

City business was briefly interrupted Wednesday afternoon after a woman brought a World War I/II era hand grenade to the Arcadia Police Department.  The woman is a Los Angeles resident in her 60's who is staying with friends in Arcadia.  The grenade was found in her Los Angeles garage and she believes it belonged to her father who served in WWII with the US military.  The woman brought the grenade to the police station for disposal.

The live grenade had been left in the woman's car which was parked in the public parking lot between Arcadia City Hall and the Police Department.  As a precaution, public access was limited, the area was blocked off, and City staff was asked to remain inside the facilities.

Members of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Bomb Squad responded to assist with the incident.  The deputies determined that the grenade was a live "Mills Bomb" commonly used by British military from 1915-1970's.  The grenade was removed from the vehicle and rendered safe by the deputies.  Due to the condition of the device, it was disposed of at the scene and not transported for destruction.  The incident began at about 3:00 pm and was resolved by 6:00 pm.

This is a good reminder that if you come across munitions, explosives, or ordnance, leave them in place and notify your local law enforcement.  Over time, the explosives may become unstable and not safe to transport.  Let the experts determine how to to dispose of the device.  Thanks to the LASD Bomb Squad for assisting!


Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Officer Presented with Life Saving Award

Officer Steve Castillo was presented the Department Life Saving Award at the Arcadia City Council Meeting last night.  Officer Castillo received a formal citation from Chief Bob Sanderson and Mayor Pete Amundson, along with a uniform ribbon award.  Captain Bob Guthrie describes the incident below:

On December 26, 2010, Officer Steve Castillo and Reserve Officer Mario Castro were dispatched to a residence in the 1000 block Loma Lisa Lane on a medical assist call of a six-year old child choking. Officers Castillo and Castro responded with lights and siren to the emergency, and were first to arrive on scene. Officer Castillo entered the house while Officer Castro retrieved equipment from their police car. Officer Castillo encountered a hysterical family along with a small boy lying on the floor with his father trying to render aid. Officer Castillo took immediate control of the situation, and checked the boy for vital signs. Officer Castillo discovered that the boy had a pulse, but was not breathing, unresponsive, and had skin that was blue in color. Officer Castillo administered several back blows in an attempt to dislodge the object blocking the child’s airway. Officer Castillo then turned the child over and performed several mouth sweeps to clear the obstruction.

As a result of these collective efforts, Officer Castillo was able to clear a portion of the object, and soon heard air starting to flow again. At that moment, paramedics arrived and took over rescue efforts. Medics used forceps to fully clear the object (and blockage) from the boy’s throat. The boy was transported to Huntington Memorial Hospital for treatment. He was later released from the hospital, and has since made a full recovery.

Congratulations Steve!

Weekly Tip - Online Safety & Kids

You may recognize McGruff the Crime Dog pictured on the logo for the National Crime Prevention Council.  McGruff has always been associated with crime prevention and our youth.  The National Crime Prevention Council continues to be a source for tips and advice on all matters related to crime prevention, including crimes related to the Internet.

Take a look at some of their articles, such as Stay Safe Online, which gives younger children safety tips for online activity.  The NCPC site also offers advice to young adults on cyberbullies and even has a short cartoon video on the topic.  The NCPC "advice" page on many assorted topics can be found HERE.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

CANCEL Missing Person's Alert

The Arcadia Police Department is cancelling the Missing Person’s Alert for Emilia Alvarez.

The family for Ms. Alvarez reported to the Arcadia Police Department that they found the missing person in the City of Los Angeles this afternoon sitting at a bus stop. Apparently, Ms. Alvarez went to the area to visit family and became disoriented.

She is in good health and back at home.

Thank you to all who assisted and expressed interest with this case.

LT P. Foley#440 2/12/11 5:40PM

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

LAFD News & Information: 40 Years Ago Today: The Sylmar/San Fernando Earthquake Strikes Los Angeles

Brian Humphrey, Los Angeles Fire Department Spokesman, posted this piece on the tragic Sylmar quake that hit 40 years ago in 1971. It is an interesting article! Take the time to view the attached video with actual footage from the incident. This serves as a great reminder to prepare yourself and your family "for the inevitable."

LAFD News & Information: 40 Years Ago Today: The Sylmar/San Fernando Earthquake Strikes Los Angeles

Weekly Tip - Telephone Scams & the Elderly

Back in November 2010, we ran a post entitled "Grandparent Scam - Don't Fall Prey."  Arcadia Police had responded on several incidents involving telephone scams and the elderly, one of which resulted in financial loss to a victim.  It was, and remains our desire to make the public aware of this type of scam and encourage everyone to share this info with family and friends.  We hope that by making potential victims aware of this type of scam, they will be more likely to question unknown callers and not be victimized.

During the last week of January 2011, an Arcadia couple in their 80's received a series of phone calls from two different suspects claiming to be their "grandson" and a police sergeant.  The "grandson" told the victims that he was on a trip to Mexico with a friend who had been arrested for drug possession.  The "grandson" said that he needed bail money and not to tell his parents about the incident.  A few hours later, the victims received a second call, this time from a male who said that he was a police sergeant and gave the victims instructions and amounts of money to send for bail and fines.  The suspect told the victims to wire the money via Western Union and gave 3 different amounts, wired to two different people. 

Unfortunately, many people are unaware of bail and release procedures here in California, let alone in another country.  This, among other factors, is one of the reasons suspects will target older folks, hoping that they can gain an emotional and quick response to the "need" to help out the young relative.  In our case, the victims went to their bank and withdrew funds, transferring the money the next day.  By the time the money was transferred and the victims realized their loss, the money had been picked-up by the suspects and was gone.

Investigation of this type of case is difficult on many fronts and the crooks know this.  That is why it is so important to spread awareness and to educate those that we know in hopes of preventing the crime from happening to others.  If you have a loved one, a friend, or perhaps a neighbor that is older, share this information with them and help keep them from becoming a victim.  Thanks to Brian Day at the Pasadena Star News who recently ran an article on the topic to help raise awareness.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Celebration for a 30-year Career!

Co-workers, current and retired, gathered along with family and friends of Captain Randy Kirby on Friday night to celebrate his retirement.  The evening was filled with great memories and stories recapping Randy's career that stems some three decades.  Randy served as a Police Reserve Officer for the Sierra Madre Police Department before beginning his 30-year career here in Arcadia.  Rising through the ranks, Randy retired on December 30, 2010.  Take a look at a nice article at Arcadia Patch, written by Joe Taglieri, that speaks to the career of Captain Kirby.  Captain Kirby is pictured to the left, receiving his retirement badge and identification from Chief Bob Sanderson.

A main focal point to Randy's career was the Arcadia Police Department Special Weapons and Tactics Team.  Randy was placed on the team early in his career and played a key role in the constant development of the team throughout his career.  Newly appointed Captain Bob Guthrie put together a slide show that chronicled the APD SWAT evolution over the years highlighting Randy's involvement. Members of the current team (below left) then presented Captain Kirby with a framed memento, detailing the team development.

Chief Bob Sanderson, Captains Gene Gioia and Bob Guthrie also presented newly retired Captain Randy Kirby with a snapshot of his career, in the form of a shadow box.  The party was a nice send-off for Randy who thanked his family and co-workers for influencing his career.  Thank YOU, Randy, for 30-years of service to APD! 

A NOT to do tip with Marijuana!

Two plain clothes investigators are conducting business in the local city credit union and a young man enters the small establishment.  Everyone exchanges polite nods, but almost immediately, the plain clothes sergeant is overwhelmed by the smell of marijuana.  Turning to his partner, the sergeant asks the other officer, "Do you smell something?"  The sergeant just happens to be a trained DRE, or Drug Recognition Expert, and the partner officer who is trained and experienced in narcotics, also acknowledges the smell of marijuana.

The sergeant then turns to the young man who had just come in and politely asks, "So, do you have a medical marijuana card to go along with all that weed in your pocket?"  The young man, now stunned, turns to the sergeant with a look of being caught with his hands in the cookie jar and replies, "Uh, no."  The investigators identified themselves, the young man was cooperative, and within minutes was issued a citation for possession of marijuana.

With the recent changes in laws pertaining to marijuana, simple possession of certain amounts of marijuana are now treated as infractions in the State of California.  The topic of marijuana is widely talked about and opinions differ as to the dangers associated with use of marijuana, but we will indeed enforce all regulations in regards to its use and possession.  Please don't be lulled into the belief that simple possession of marijuana is not unlawful.

Two take-aways from this story come to mind: first, don't walk into a public business when you possess and reek of marijuana, especially when the business is frequented by police officers; and second, realize that marijuana laws are still being enforced.

64-year-old Arcadia man struck by car - Pasadena Star-News

64-year-old Arcadia man struck by car - Pasadena Star-News

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Sharing with Arcadia Schools

I had a great opportunity to share the way that the Arcadia Police Department is using Social Media platforms to interact with the community this past week.  On Thursday morning, the Arcadia High School PTA invited us to their monthly PTSA meeting where I was able to demonstrate APD's use of Nixle for instant and emergency communications, along with sharing the APD Blog, Facebook, and Twitter presence with the parents and staff at the meeting.

At one point during the presentation, I asked the group how many of them had a cell phone with them: not surprising, I saw no hand down when they responded.  In an effort to emphasize the fact that by using Nixle, parents would be able to receive emergency alerts direct from their police department, I urged them, right then, to text their zip code to the Nixle at 888777.  Within a minute or so, I heard tone and message indicators throughout the room acknowledging their connection to Nixle and emergency alert information from APD.  I added that texting the zip code was only partially benefiting from the the service and shared how to fully enroll for not only emergency alerts, but also advisory information, community broadcasts, and traffic notifications.  By visiting or the Nixle website directly, you can fully subscribe for the Arcadia Police Department Community Wire on Nixle, free of charge and free of spam or advertisement.

The PTA meeting was well attended and it is great to see the involvement and commitment from the school parents, staff, and the administration from AHS.  The Arcadia Police Department enjoys a great working relationship with not only AHS, but all the schools throughout the City, as well as the Arcadia Unified School District.  Thank you to the PTA for allowing me to share our work with you!

Sgt. Tom Le Veque

Friday, February 4, 2011

Happy Birthday to the Arcadia Police Department News & Info Blog!

It will be a year ago tomorrow that the Arcadia Police Department launched our News & Information Blog.  The first post launching the Blog was on February 5, 2010.  In this last year, we have had over 17,077 visits to the Blog from 7,357 unique visitors, with 27,890 pageviews, to date.  We have brought you 278 posts throughout the year, including offering a "Weekly Tip" on each Wednesday to help keep you better informed.  Happy 1st Birthday to the APD Blog!

We hope that you have been happy with the content provided and find value to our service.  Be sure to take advantage of our other Social Media sites, easily accessed from the Blog sidebar.  Visit APD on Facebook, Twitter (@ArcadiaPD), and subscribe for our emergency and community alerts on Nixle!

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Happy Chinese New Year 2011

Wishing everyone the best on this Chinese New Year.  Visit the Holiday Spot website for a history of this holiday.  2011 is the year of the rabbit on the Chinese calendar.  Happy New Year!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Weekly Tip - Minimize Theft at the Gym!

Chances are that many people have made a New Years resolution to hit the gym more often in 2011. The gym is a great place to shed pounds and lessen the stress of your day, but it is also a place where thieves land in order to fulfil their resolution to rip you off. We have run a tip on auto burglary prevention which included information like reminding you not to leave valuables in your car and items in plain sight, but you must also be alert when inside the gym. Use locks and choose a locker in the open when you choose to bring items inside. Leave what you can at home. Try using a lanyard to hang a minimal set of keys and your ID around your neck, forgoing the use of a locker. Use clothing with zippered pockets as an alternative to lessen the chance of items falling out. Bottom line, minimize your exposure to the chance of loss and becoming a victim. Be alert and pay attention.