Officer Shane’s Tip: Stick Hands Out Window During Car Stops

Motor officer Shane Spielman has seen it all during his 10 years patrolling the streets of Anaheim. Laws change. But bad drivers remain.

Officer Shane

He wants to make our streets safer. Got a question about the rules of the road?

He’s got an answer. 

Opal asked, “If you pull someone over where would you like to see their hands? Open on the steering wheel? Open out the window?

Officer Shane says, “To be honest, I get the hands out the window frequently…It’s nice to be able to see the hands quickly. On the streering wheel is fine too.

Sue asked, “Is it legal to change lanes in an intersection?

Officer Shane says, “It’s not illegal; however, it may not be the safest thing to do. Be careful.

Ernie asked, “Is is legal to park motor homes on city streets or driveways?”

Officer Shane says, “It can’t be parked in the same location for more than 72 hours.”

911 Calls

From the “did you know” category: Until recently, all emergency calls made from cell phones were directed to the California Highway Patrol.

Not so anymore.

According to Officer Shane, cell towers direct emergency callers in Anaheim to Anaheim PD, expediting customer service.

Athena asked, ”My son wants to know: Do you have to be buckled up if you are in an RV while it is being driven

You can reach him on Facebook or at sspielman@anaheim.net.

Check out his page here.

Police Seek Public’s Help Identifying Robber Caught on Video

Police are asking for the public’s help in identifying and catching a suspect caught on video robbing a Radio Shack store in Anaheim.

The robbery occurred Monday at 7 p.m. at the store in the 100 block of South Euclid Street, officials said.

To view a KABC-TV news report, which includes the surveillance video, click here or on the image above.

Anybody with information is urged to call detectives at (714) 765-1959.

APD Dispatchers Partner with Supermodel to Mentor Expectant Teen Mothers

By Ryan Dedmon

Anaheim Police Dispatch personnel volunteered last weekend to work a community event to support single teen mothers. 

9-1-1 For Kids and Kathy Ireland Worldwide proudly presented the 20th Annual “IGNITE”: A Mentorship Program for Single Teen Mothers.  The program has been recognized as one of the nation’s leading mentor programs for single teen mothers, and it received the Governor ‘s Crystal Star Award in 1996.

PRS Perez and Kathy Ireland

Kathy Ireland (former supermodel and current CEO of Kathy Ireland Worldwide) developed the program in 1990 with 9-1-1 For Kids founder Elise Kim.  The program works with local social service organizations in identifying disadvantaged single teen mothers.  Those teen mothers are then invited to take part in this program to address the complex issues of pregnancy.  

According to 9-1-1 For Kids, “IGNITE matches professional businesswomen as mentors and role models to over 100 single teen mothers.  Single teen mothers who participate successfully transition into responsible adults, gain new hope and aspirations, and learn responsible parenting.”
    
Police Service Representative (PSR) Ofelia Perez and I had the honor of meeting Ireland and working this event with the 9-1-1 For Kids Organization. 

PSR Perez with Morales and Vasquez

PSR Perez was matched to be a mentor for 2 teen mothers (Azusena Morales, 16, and Marina Vasquez, 14).  PSR Perez went through ice-breaking activities and listened to motivational speakers, including Ireland.  Then they began a series of workshops designed to give the expecting teen mothers information on preparing for the complex job of motherhood.  The workshops included: Women’s Healthcare, Pre/Post Natal Care, First Aid and CPR, Financial & Life Planning, Domestic Violence & Child Abuse Prevention, and Child Safety & 9-1-1 Call Training.
 
I had the privilege of teaching the 9-1-1 Call Training workshop in the event the teens may have to call 9-1-1 for an emergency regarding the welfare of their new child.  The California Highway Patrol donated over 100 child safety car seats, which were given to the teen mothers, and two CHP officers demonstrated proper installation.  Doctors from USC’s Keck School of Medicine stressed the importance of healthcare, while EMT’s from Goleta Valley Cottage Hospital conducted CPR training. 

“Teen mothers hurt in so many different ways, and they are in great need of direction and encouragement”, said PSR Perez. 

Perez’s teen mentees are due to give birth in October and December.  She summed up her experience by saying, “We need to find time in our busy lives to reach out to those who may just need a friend.”

We wish Azusena and Marina the very best and we will continue to walk with them and support them on their journey to motherhood.

A special thanks to the 9-1-1 For Kids Organization for allowing us to take part in this wonderful event, truly an amazing experience for both mentors and mentees.

Worried about ID Theft? Free Saturday Shred-a-Thon Open to Public

The public is invited to have sensitive documents shredded by the pros Saturday at Anaheim Stadium at an event geared toward preventing identity theft.

Bring up to five boxes – or five grocery bags – filled with junk mail, old tax records and other records with personal information and Cintas trucks will safely destroy the documents.

Hosted by the Automobile Club of Southern California and Experian’s ProtectMyID.com, the goal of the Shred-a-Thon is to protect the public from a crime with a growing number of victims.

More than 11 million people were victims last year, up 37 percent from the prior year, according to authorities.

For more details about the event, which runs from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., read Orange County Register coverage here.

Anaheim’s Anti-Graffiti Effort A Model For Other Cities

The community came out in force last weekend to clean up and paint over graffiti in the Glen-Neighbors neighborhood.

Sgt. Rick Martinez took this shot of community members cleaning up the Glen-Neighbors neighborhood last weekend

Sponsored by the Kiwanis Club of Greater Anaheim, Anaheim Beautiful and the city, neighbors toting garbage bags made a statement about wanting to maintain Anaheim’s reputation for being a safe and attractive place to live, officials said.

It’s the second Anaheim neighborhood adopted by community service groups. The Balsam-Curtis neighborhood has worked with Anaheim Beautiful and the city to reduce crime and clean up the neighborhood for more than a year.

The effort has garnered attention in the media – and from other cities.

A group of Anaheim officials will present their success story to Bakersfield police and city leaders Oct. 6, according to an article published in yesterday’s Orange County Register.

To read it, click here.

Nitrous Oxide Is New Teen Drug of Choice, Police Say

The scenes are becoming increasingly common in Anaheim: Several teens and young adults huddle outside a fast-food joint, taking turns sucking on a balloon.

Dozens of young adults at an industrial complex pass around a balloon after taking “hits,” their giddy laughter booming off the buildings.

At a crowded party, a pressurized gas tank stands by a table – not far from the potato chips.

Nitrous oxide, for years used by physicians for its anesthetic and analgesic effects, is becoming the drug of choice for teens and young adults in Anaheim, says Sgt. Steve Pena, a drug recognition expert with Anaheim PD.

“Parents need to be on the lookout and be aware,” Pena says. “Abuse of nitrous oxide clearly is on the rise.”

In the past month, two suicides have been linked to nitrous oxide, Pena says.

Dentists routinely use nitrous oxide for its pain-numbing effects. Teens and young adults are embracing it for an intense but brief high. A blast of nitrous oxide from a balloon can, within 8 to 10 seconds, cause dizziness, giddiness, disorientation and, occasionally, visual hallucinations – effects users crave, authorities say.

Often taken with the drug Ecstasy, nitrous oxide can cause confusion, headaches and a sensation that one is about to pass out or faint.

The effects last 2 to 3 minutes — enough time for someone to die, Pena says. Police have received reports of people inhaling nitrous oxide while driving – an extremely dangerous combination.

A commonly abused form of nitrous oxide is found in small, pressurized food-preparation containers called “whip-its,” or EZ Whip. Users place the whip-it in a “cracker,” and then place a balloon on one end of the cracker and turn it until the whip-it pops. This releases nitrous oxide into the balloon.

Whip-its, a cracker and a balloon can be purchased on-line for about $10 to $20, Pena says.
 
Large, pressurized gas tanks containing nitrous oxide can be purchased at race car shops for between $50 and $100, Pena says. The gas commonly is used to improve engine performance.

Long-term abuse can damage the central nervous system and brain cells. Users also can suffer loss of balance and dexterity, weakness, and numbness in the extremities.

At high doses, nitrous oxide can kill since it replaces oxygen in the bloodstream, depressing the central nervous system and halting breathing.

It’s a misdemeanor to possess nitrous oxide, or any substance containing nitrous oxide, with the intent of inhaling it to get intoxicated, Pena notes.

Pena hopes that the now-familiar sight of teens and young adults in Anaheim sucking on balloons becomes less common.

“Parents, teachers, and law enforcement need to recognize the paraphernalia used while inhaling nitrous oxide,” Pena says. “And children need to be educated about the dangers and long-term effects – and the possibility of death.

“This is one balloon, figuratively speaking, that needs to be popped.”

Anaheim Retiree Now Working Cases in Oregon

Peace, quiet and solitude.

L-R: McIntosh, Glenn Gate, Brian Carrion, Dave Comstock

That’s what Officer Steven McIntosh and his wife and two children experienced whenever they would vacation in Oregon during his 18 years with the Anaheim PD. They would tell themselves, “Let’s retire here.”

Well, now they are in Oregon, enjoying a little slice of heaven in Springfield, outside of Eugene, following McIntosh’s retirement from the Anaheim PD on Dec. 23, 2009.

McIntosh, however, is anything but retired.

At the relatively young age of 51, the Long Beach native is working for the Oregon Department of Justice as a special agent in criminal investigations.

The pace of work is slower than when he was a cop in Anaheim, with McIntosh tackling such crimes as political corruption and election law violations.

That’s fine with him.

“There’s still crime up here,” he says.

McIntosh, a graduate of Lakewood Senior High School, was a police officer for the San Diego PD and Covina PD before he joined the Anaheim PD in 1992.

He worked a variety of details in Anaheim, including patrol, field training officer, accident investigator in the Traffic Bureau, primary response officer, criminal intelligence, and a member of the Tactical Negotiations Unit.

Patrol was his favorite. He spent half of his 18-year career in Anaheim doing it.

“I enjoyed the variety of calls we’d get,” McIntosh says. “I enjoyed the camaraderie of the people I worked with.”

Now, he’s enjoying life in the slower lane.

McIntosh’s son, Brett, 23, is working on a master’s degree at California Baptist University in Riverside. His daughter, Courtney, 21, is a senior at the University of Oregon. His wife, Cathy, works as a secretary in a school district office.

McIntosh and his wife both have relatives in Oregon, where the lakes and rivers flow and the fishing is fine.

There’s another thing that makes Springfield a little bit different than Orange County.

“The traffic’s not as bad,” McIntosh says.

Sign-Language Cop Signs Off After 32-Year Career

Sometimes, the drama of police work can’t be heard.

“Are you hurt?” Officer Ken Gregory asked the female participant in a knock-down, bloody domestic dispute.

Officer Gregory

She was deaf. Gregory knew some sign language.

“Where are you hurt?” he asked her.

Not yet fully proficient, Gregory tried but could not explain to the deaf woman that her husband was going to jail.

That’s when he decided to get serious about sign language.

Gregory, who retired from the Anaheim PD on Nov. 12, 2009, recounted this story as he reflected on his 32½-year career as an officer, which included being the only cop in the department proficient in sign language.

Esperanza High thanks Gregory for his service

His expertise was frequently sought by other law enforcement agencies.

Gregory, 56, enjoyed a career that was packed with making connections with the public – something he thrived on for 27 years working patrol.

“The people in Anaheim made my job enjoyable,” said Gregory, a 30-year resident who is enjoying retirement with his wife, Sharan.

The Gregorys have two grown children, Adam, 22, a fireman, and Stacy, 26, who teaches English in Japan with her husband, Jonathan.

Gregory is a recognizable face around town – and other towns.

“I walk into a Costco and people say hi,” he says. “I go to Las Vegas and people from Anaheim recognize me.”

Gregory’s parents are from Winnipeg, Canada. He recalled working the night when the Ducks won the Stanley Cup finals. A woman walking to her car said hello to him. He recognized her Canadian accent, and the two chatted for a bit.

Throughout his law enforcement career, he’s thrived on such human connections.

Now, he and Sharan enjoy going on cruises. He’s been on two since he retired, and is planning a third.

Gregory, a graduate of Hawthorne High School (“Home of the Beach Boys,” he proudly says), graduated with a degree in criminal justice from Cal State Long Beach and spent 20 months as a cadet for the Inglewood PD before joining the Anaheim PD in 1977.

“They were hiring,” he explained of his decision to join the Anaheim force.

He spent two years doing CSI work “before it was cool” and worked burglary detail, but his heart always was in patrol.

For the last eight years, Gregory has worked as a volunteer for the California School for the Deaf in Riverside. Since retiring, he volunteers two to three times a week.

“I miss the people at the Anaheim PD,” he says. “But I’m happy.”

And he’ll be happy to say that in sign language.

Anaheim PD Continues to Makes News

Every other week, the Orange County Register publishes highlights from “Behind the Badge” on its website – and in the Anaheim Bulletin community newspaper.

Some recent headlines that have made the paper:

- Talking about “unimaginable crimes” helps officers heal
- Police say gangs, terrorism still a threat
- A visit from the family of the police chief for whom the police station is named

Also, the newspaper reported on last week’s arrest of two burglars who attempted to flee into the dense brush near the Peralta Hills neighborhood.

To read that story, click here.

Citizen Commended For Helping Cops Catch Robber Who ‘Would’ve Gotten Away’

A man who spotted an armed robber fleeing after a bank stick up called 911, followed the suspect and provided information that led to his arrest.

For the effort, the police department last week commended the citizen, who is not being named to protect his identity.

“This guy would’ve gotten away with it,” said Sgt. Rick Martinez. “There was no plate on the blue truck, and luckily for us he stayed right behind him until officers were able to catch up.”

The action began to unfold on a Saturday about 2 p.m. outside an Anaheim credit union on Orangewood Avenue. The citizen waited in the parking lot for his wife when he spotted the robber race out of the bank, a gun in his hand.

The citizen gave chase as officers responded to the alarm.

Officers caught up to the robber near the Ball Road off-ramp of the 57 freeway. But the chase didn’t end there.

The robber led officers on a pursuit through the city of Orange. It finally ended when officers used a pit maneuver to pin the robber’s truck against the house.

Inside the car: “The gun was there, the wig. Scary,” said Martinez. “The citizen’s willingness to get involved truly made a difference.”

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