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APD Delivers Gifts to Families in Need

An OC Register photo of Chief John Welter. To see more, click on the photo.

Dozens of Anaheim Police officers spent Christmas Eve morning delivering wrapped gifts to families in need.

Police officers and families donated about 1,000 wrapped presents for 400 people, police said.

To read the Orange County Register’s coverage, click here.

On behalf of the Anaheim Police Department, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year and happy holidays.

Violent Crime Continues To Decline in Anaheim

Crime continues to decline nationally and locally, according to new data released by the FBI.

Anaheim, Garden Grove, Huntington Beach and Santa Ana all experienced a decrease in violent crime during the first half of 2009, the agency’s preliminary statistics show.

“Despite the challenging economic times, the community is coming together to ensure Anaheim – and all of Orange County – remains a safe place to live, work and visit,” said Deputy Chief Craig Hunter.

To read the Orange County Register story, click here.

APD Joins Effort To Create Memorable Christmas for Children of Incarcerated Parents

Deputy Chief Craig Hunter greets children at Saturday's event

More than 500 children of incarcerated parents gathered at the Phoenix Club Saturday for a parade, carnival games, a visit from Santa and tons of new toys.

Organized by former Anaheim Police Officer Jerry O’Keefe and the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the annual holiday event aims to ensure children whose parents are in jail or prison have a memorable Christmas.

Officer Dave Garcia chats with a child about life as a police officer

Deputy Police Chief Craig Hunter, several uniformed APD officers, City Councilwoman Lucille Kring and hundreds of volunteers from dozens of charitable organizations were on hand to make the event special.

“Look at how many caring people came together to create a special day for these children, who are enduring the holidays while separated from their parents,” Hunter said. “It’s this kind of community spirit that makes Anaheim – and Orange County – such a remarkable and safe place to live.”

Cops 4 Kids Honored as Non-Profit of the Year

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Cops 4 Kids was honored last week as the non-profit of the year by the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce.

At the awards luncheon, the chamber played a video highlighting how Cops 4 Kids provides at-risk youth tools and relationships to become productive citizens.

To view the video, click on the screen above.

Girl, 11, Honored for Role in Thwarting Assault 

By Ryan Dedmond

The Communications Bureau recently presented another Proclamation Award to a young lady for the extraordinary job she did talking to a dispatcher during a 9-1-1 emergency call.  We proudly recognize Miss Jacqueline Becker, 11. 
On November 12th, 2009, Jacqueline and her father were walking home together.  As they approached their apartment complex, they were confronted by three men who were acting suspicious near some parked cars on the street.  When Jacqueline and her father passed by, one of them started yelling at Jacqueline’s father without provocation to intimidate them.  Jacqueline and her father tried to ignore the man, but he continued with his harrassment. 
The man followed Jacqueline and her father to their apartment.  As they entered their apartment, he pushed Jacqueline’s father to the ground and tried to force his way inside the apartment.  Somehow, her father managed to call 911 as the assault began.  Communications Supervisor Lee Ann Cameron answered the phone and quickly entered a call for dispatch when she heard the commotion in the background.  Jacqueline’s father briefly described the problem but then had to leave the phone to thwart off further attack from the subject.  
Jacqueline picked up the phone and took over the call.  She gave a detailed description of the subject.  She started crying as she watched the man hit her father over the head with a glass bottle, a ceramic pot, and a metal plant stand.  The subject then produced a pocket-knife.  He moved towards Jacqueline’s father attempting to stab him, but the his conspirators alerted him that police officers were arriving outside so the subject had time to flee. 
Police officers at the scene arrested the subject’s two conspiring friends.  The assailant was later identified and arrested for felony assault.  Their prosecution is pending.  Jacqueline’s father sustained minor injuries, but has made a full recovery since the incident. 
Jacqueline Becker joins an elite group of other children who have received Proclamation Awards from the Communications Bureau.  We proudly honor her with a small token of appreciation for demonstrating maturity far beyond her years.  Anaheim Police Communications looks forward to recognizing many more ordinary children who do extraordinary things.

Captains’ Torch Passed From Retiring Joe Reiss to Mike Aquino

More than 100 police and city employees joined community and family members Wednesday afternoon at police headquarters to bid farewell to several retiring Anaheim Police officers, including Capt. Joe Reiss.

Chief John Welter with retiring Capt. Joe Reiss

They also congratulated Mike Aquino, who was promoted to captain.

“I feel blessed to work – and to have worked – with all of you,” Reiss said. “We are a family.”

During his 33-year career, he said, APD’s reputation grew from one of the best departments in Orange County to one of the finest in the nation.

“You should be proud of that,” he told the audience, later adding, “I loved very day of it. I love being a police officer.”

Deputy Chief Craig Hunter presented Reiss with gift from the command staff – a glock handgun with his name, years of service and an APD badge etched onto it.

“If I ever did anything wrong, I wouldn’t want Joe investigating me,” Hunter said, noting Reiss’ legendary detective skills.

Also retiring are Officer Robert Blazek, 20 years; Investigator Steven McIntosh, 17 years;  Officer Guy Reneau, 23 years; Lt. Larry Garrison, 25 years; Lt. Don Klein, 28 years; Sgt. Lew Wuest, 28 years; officer Rick Razee, 31 years; and purchasing specialist Elaine Groom, 20 years.

Reneau transferred to Anaheim from the Vernon Police Department. He said it was an outstanding career decision.

“People come to Anaheim, they rarely leave Anaheim,” he said. “The difference is what we do.”

Public-information officer Sgt. Rick Martinez was also honored for 35 years of service.

Earlier, Police Chief John Welter presented Aquino with his captain bars, noting the “big shoes” he must fill.

A lifelong Anaheim resident and 27-year APD veteran, Aquino is well equipped for the job, Welter said.

“I know he is up for the challenge,” he said. “He has outstanding relationships inside and out of this department.”

Aquino’s most recent assignment included managing personnel, volunteer programs and the Cops 4 Kids non-profit.

Aquino thanked his family – and his APD colleagues. He said his philosophy of “taking care of people and they’ll take care of you” has served him well throughout his career.

Aquino has worked in dozens of roles: patrol, street narcotics, major narcotics, crime task force, internal affairs and the gang enforcement unit. He was promoted to sergeant in 1999 and to lieutenant in 2003.

“I look forward to bringing the police department together during these tough economic times,” he said, “and ensuring we still provide the high quality of service to residents of the city.”

1990 Killing of 9-year-old Anaheim Hills Girl Makes OC Register’s Notorious Case List

Click on the image to see the Register's photos

She was a drug addict at 13, a prostitute at 14, a single mom at 15 and a murderer at 18.

So begins a front-page Orange County Register story highlighting the case of Maria del Rosio “Rosie” Alfaro, an Anaheim woman convicted of stabbing Autumn Wallace, 9, to death in 1990 during a burglary to raise money for drugs.

The case was profiled among the newspaper’s most notorious cases of all time.

To read it, click here.