Anaheim to Host Problem-Oriented Policing Conference

Hundreds of the brightest minds in law enforcement will convene in Anaheim next week for the 20th annual Problem-Oriented Policing conference.POP Conference

The three-day event, scheduled for Monday-Wednesday at the Disneyland Hotel, “is often described by attendees as the most substantive policing conference they’ve ever attended.”

Seminars will be held on topics ranging from “Stemming Motor Vehicle Break-ins” to “Graffiti: Tag, Your Out” to “The Mechanics of Community Development.”

Anaheim PD has also been called upon to present. Police Chief John Welter will join Michael Scott from the Center of Problem Oriented Policing in opening the conference – and welcoming attendees. On Tuesday, APD Sgt. Tim Schmidt and Officer Dave Wiggins will present “Using Situational Crime Prevention in Anti-Terrorism Efforts: Manipulating Risk, Effort, Reward, Excuse and Provocation.”

For more, visit http://www.popcenter.org/

And check Behind the Badge for daily reports from the conference.

Cops 4 Kids Anaheim Chamber’s Non-Profit of the Year

An Anaheim Police Department charity aimed at helping at-risk youth make better decisions was named the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce’s non-profit of the year, officials announced today.

Cops 4 Kids, a 12-year-old non-profit best known for its innovative Junior Cadet Program, has made a difference in the lives of thousands of children.

Jr. Cadet Program

Click on the photo to see an OC Register profile of the Jr. Cadet Program

“They do a lot for children in the area and are very deserving of the award,” said Melodie Farr, a chamber spokeswoman.

Police Chief John Welter said the department was honored to be recognized.

“The award validates the important difference our officers have made in the lives of so many children,” he said. “Community support plays a critical role in our success. I invite residents, business leaders and others to get involved.”

C4K is holding a fund-raiser Nov. 13. For details, click here. The chamber will honor Cops 4 Kids at a luncheon Dec. 10.

Below is some background on Cops 4 Kids.

Introduction

When Anaheim police officers hear crime rates have dropped nationwide, they take heart in knowing they are part of a grassroots effort that is making important contributions toward that worthy goal. A spin off of the Anaheim Police Activities League, the Cops 4 Kids program provides a safe haven to hundreds of youth and teaches them to shun the temptation of crime and instead be productive citizens.

“Every hour our kids spend at the C4K facility or in one of our community programs, is one less hour a drug dealer, child abuser, or other criminal has access to these precious children,” said Welter. “Law enforcement is focused on reducing local crime. C4K goes to the root-source of what makes our youth decide the type of citizen they will become as they grow up.”Cops 4 Kids

The impact of the effort is particularly apparent now. During recessionary times, crime rates historically spike. Crime prevention and community building programs such as C4K play a key role in maintaining Anaheim’s outstanding safety record.  “Especially for the younger kids, this is an opportunity for them to have their first interaction with the police department be a positive one,” said Cathy Dutton, president of C4K’s board of directors. “Then they won’t have a negative or fearful reaction when they encounter the police and know that they are there to help them and guide them throughout their lives.”

History

C4K began in 1995 when a few Anaheim police officers began teaching karate to neighborhood children. The need and benefit was immediately evident. The department formed the Anaheim Police Activities League. Over the years, APAL has mentored thousands of former bullies, truants and troubled teens. In the past three years alone, more than 2,500 children have been touched by the program, which was recently re-branded to better describe its expanded mission.

C4K’s Mission, Goals and Values

C4K’s mission is to use simple techniques like friendship, dancing, fishing and camping, music and trips to Big Bear Lake in developing responsible, respectful and disciplined character traits. For many participants, the excursions are an exciting first-time adventure. Another goal and value is creating lasting bonds between law enforcement and at-risk youth.

The program’s growth and leadership

When public funding for the DARE program disappeared, the department’s school resource officers acted immediately to replace it with a program that is arguably even more effective – the Junior Cadet program.  The first of its kind in California, the innovative program puts children through a military-like academy, teaching them citizenship and respect for authority and others. It has become a model copied by other police departments.  Another barometer of its success: About half the kids from the beginner cadet courses return for advanced classes. Several later become police explorers.

Maria Montesdeoca is an Anaheim parent who put her son through the program and saw an improvement in his attitude and his attention to things like homework. “He’s now more responsible,” she said. “After the program, he pays more attention to me. I really recommend other parents bring their kids. It’s really good.”Junior Cadets

The Anaheim Police Department has assigned two full-time staffers to C4K.  Dozens of officers volunteer as youth mentors. Thanks to help from a local charity, C4K recently moved into a new building near Lincoln Elementary School.

Innovation and success

In addition to the Jr. Cadet program, officers interact with the neighborhood kids in the C4K Community Services Vehicle. The yellow VW Bus has a 3,000-watt deejay booth complete with a full stage, LED lighting, wireless microphones, colorful tall logo flags and a big screen plasma TV. This mobile entertainment platform is popular with the kids, and helps spread positive messages.

Community partnerships

C4K’s Board of Directors consists of representatives from the Anaheim City School District, the Anaheim Union High School District, the Anaheim City Council, Disneyland, Clean City, and numerous local businesses. The YMCA and Boys and Girls Club and Downtown Youth Center are also partners.

Working together, the community partners have made a significant impact on overall crime prevention – and helped thousands of children become better citizens.

Domestic Violence Survivors Say Family Justice Center Helped Save Their Lives

Click on the screen to view a video about the Anaheim Family Justice Center

Click on the screen to view a video about the Anaheim Family Justice Center

Three domestic violence survivors shared personal stories of terror Thursday – and then thanked the Anaheim Family Justice Center for giving them enough confidence to walk away from abusive relationships.

“I never knew a place like this existed,” said Eva, whose husband beat her for 12 years before trying to suffocate her. “I’m really grateful that you made sure my family was safe.”

The women are among thousands of domestic, child and elder abuse and sexual assault victims who have been served by the justice center since it opened three years ago.

Survivors Eva and Lisa

Survivors Eva and Lisa

It’s Orange County’s first and only one-stop center for victims – and one of only about 50 in the nation. Community and police leaders gathered to celebrate the center’s accomplishments – and to appeal to the community for continued support.

“This center isn’t just about treating and serving victims,” said Police Chief John Welter. “It’s about preventing crime.”

The statistics are staggering. In the U.S. four people are murdered by a domestic partner each day. Half of Anaheim’s homicides result from domestic issues, Welter said.

“Can you visualize what it’s like to grow up in a household where violence in commonplace?” he asked. “We must stop the cycle.”

In the old days, said Lt. Julian Harvey, after domestic violence victims filed a police report they’d be given bus money and sent to the courthouse to file a temporary restraining order.

The justice center houses representatives from social service agencies, police, the district attorney’s office, legal aid and other agencies. Everything is handled on-site.

The center has even taken it a step further, offering a Survivor’s Academy for women like Sandra, Eva and Lisa.

The classes, attended mostly by women and offered in Spanish, include lectures in financial planning, job training and self-esteem.

Volunteer Deanna Irwin

Volunteer Deanna Irwin

They’ve had a profound impact. Sandra was in an abusive marriage. One night last summer, her husband – in a drunken rage – slammed her against a wall and then pinned her on the bed.

“At that moment I realized he wanted to end my life,” she said. Her five-year-old daughter interrupted and she got away.

“I’m grateful that a place like this exists,” she said. “Because of all of you I am still here.”

For more about the Family Justice Center and to donate, click here.


Anaheim PD Works to Provide Safe Environment for Angels Fans

Enjoy the Angels-Yankees playoff games. But do so safely.

That’s the message being broadcast across Southern California as the Angels prepare for tonight’s Game 4 of the American League Championship series.

KTLA was among the television stations at the stadium yesterday; click on the image above to view reporter Manny Medrano’s report.

The Orange County Register and Los Angeles Times also published articles encouraging responsible enjoyment of the playoff games.

Police Add DUI Patrols Around Stadium During Playoffs

The Anaheim Police Department will be joined by other law enforcement agencies around Angel Stadium for today’s and Thursday’s playoff games in a crackdown against drunken driving.

“We remember Nick Adenhart, Courtney Stewart, Henry Peason, Jon Wilhite and the countless others who have been the victims of DUI drivers,” said Police Chief John Welter. “We will work hard to make sure it doesn’t happen to anyone else.”

To read the press release, which includes important safety and traffic tips, click here.


APD Reminds Angel Fans Not to Get Out of Hand

As the Angels prepare to host the American League Championship Series this week, police remind fans to follow a few rules.

Click on the image below to read the article published today on the Orange County Register’s Web site.

Orange County Register

Need Tickets to Angels-Yankees Game 3? Auction to Benefit Cops 4 Kids

An auction is under way for four tickets to game three of the Anaheim Angels playoff series against the New York Yankees.

The game is scheduled for Monday at 1:37 p.m. The seats are in the city of Anaheim’s suite.

Bidding started earlier today at $500 for all four tickets. As of 2:30 p.m., the price was up to $1,000.

Proceeds from the auction benefit Cops 4 Kids, a police department charity that benefits Anaheim school children.

The auction ends Sunday at 9 p.m.; the winner can pay using cash, credit card, Pay Pal or check.

Email gmeza@anaheim.net if you’re interested.

Good luck.

Unless Going to Playoff Games, Avoid Angel Stadium Area

The police department issued an advisory today encouraging residents and visitors to avoid the stadium area Monday, Tuesday and next Thursday before and after Anaheim Angels playoff games – unless, of course, you have tickets.

Sgt James Kazakos works the 2002 World Series

Sgt James Kazakos works the 2002 World Series

Ticket holders are encouraged to carpool and to arrive early to minimize congestion. The Angels play the New York Yankees in the American League Championship Series.

“This is an exciting time for the city of Anaheim and for the Angels,” said Sgt. Rick Martinez. “To ensure the best experience possible for everybody, please prepare for heavier than normal foot and automobile traffic. It will probably take a little longer to get in and out of the stadium.”

  • Monday’s game starts at 1:15 p.m.
  • Tuesday’s game is scheduled for 4:57 p.m.
  • If necessary, Thursday’s game will start at 4:57 p.m.

To read the police department’s advisory, which also includes important safety tips, click here.

And to read a recent interview with Sgt. Jerry Blair, who heads Angel Stadium security, click here.

Anaheim PD’s Newest Rookie A Different Breed

Popeye stands out among police dogs.

For starters, he’s a different breed – a black Lab from Texas.

Popeye, APD's newest recruit, has incredible play drive

Popeye, APD's newest recruit, has incredible play drive

His Anaheim Police Department colleagues – Cisko, Bruno, Indy, Tago, Gunther and Recon – are German Shepherds from Europe.

And when Popeye completed his training last week, he became Anaheim’s only full-time Dope Dog.

Even the way the department acquired Popeye was unique – the result of a persistent  narcotics investigator and generous Anaheim businessmen.

“It started with a great idea from Investigator Cat Panov,” said Sgt. Craig Friesen, who heads the street narcotics unit. “And became reality because of the outstanding support we receive from the community.”

While it can take investigators hours to find contraband hidden by savvy criminals, a well-trained Labrador Retriever can sniff the drugs in less than 15 minutes.

Adding a Lab would make the team more efficient, Panov argued.

Friesen agreed, but told Panov the challenging economic times forced the department to make difficult decisions about new expenditures. There would be no city money for new dogs. At least for now.

“What if I raised the money myself?” Panov asked.

It didn’t take long before the cost of the dog – and some of his vet bills – were covered through donations from the Anaheim business community.

Picking up the cost of the dog were Bill Taormina, CEO of Clean City, Inc., and Jerry Zomordian, owner of All-American Petroleum.

Anthony Pena, owner of Tax and Financial on Lewis Street; Gregory Boiko, owner of Express Pipe and Supply and Steve Marovich, owner of the Juke Joint, contributed smaller amounts that will be spent on healthcare.

“We want other business leaders to follow our lead,” said Taormina. Added Zomorodian: “Our police department needs every citizen to give of their time and, if possible, their financial resources.”

A three-year-old with tons of energy, Popeye earned a badge for his collar for completing a four-week training course. His primary role will be assisting the street narcotics team in arresting Anaheim-based drug dealers.

'My daughters love him,' Popeye's partner says

'My daughters love him,' Popeye's partner says

Once in a while, he’ll work bigger regional or even international cases with the major narcotics unit. Popeye will also be available to assist other police departments.

He’s already off to a good start.

On his first day on the job, he assisted APD’s major narcotics team in locating 12 kilos of cocaine with a street value of $264,000. He also helped the street team locate an ounce of methamphetamine.

Panov said Popeye’s boundless energy and “play drive” have been outstanding additions at home, too.

“My daughters (5, 4 and 2) love him,” he said.

APD Sponsors ‘Survive and Thrive’ 5K

The Anaheim Police Department joined other law enforcement agencies Saturday morning in sponsoring and supporting the “Survive & Thrive” 5K health and safety expo at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base.

Deputy Police Chief Craig Hunter joined more than 400 runners, walkers and victims rights advocates at the event, which benefits Crime Survivors, Inc. Programs.

Deputy Chief Craig Hunter gives invocation at 'Survive and Thrive' 5K

Deputy Chief Craig Hunter gives invocation at 'Survive and Thrive' 5K

“The Anaheim Police Department appreciates the efforts of Crime Survivors to enhance the public’s understanding of victim rights – and for the way it provides important resources and support for crime victims.”

The charity is perhaps best known for its Victim Emergency Bags, which are carried in patrol cars and distributed to victims’ children during times of crisis.

The 5K began about 9 a.m.

The 5K began about 9 a.m.

One way APD supports victims is through its Family Justice Center , where a variety of social service agencies work with the police department to support survivors of domestic violence, child and elder abuse and sexual assault. It’s the only center of its kind in Orange County.

About 8:30 a.m. Saturday, several survivors’ family members released doves into the gloomy sky to memorialize loved ones who died at hands of criminals.

For more about this worthwhile charity – and Saturday’s event, visit its Web site.

Marcella Leach releases a dove to honor the memory of her slain daughter, Marsy

Marcella Leach releases a dove to honor the memory of her slain daughter, Marsy

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