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New Sergeant Enjoys Ability to ‘Positively Impact People’s Lives’

Working undercover has been one of the highlights of Richard LaRochelle Jr.’s 15-year career at Anaheim PD.

Rich LaRochelle

“It gave me the opportunity to play a role that was out of the norm for a police officer,” said LaRochelle, 37, who was recently promoted to sergeant.“I was able to get close to criminals and really learn why they commit crimes, how they commit crimes and how they think.”

In his new position, LaRochelle will be taking on a much more visible role as a patrol supervisor.

“The biggest challenge will probably be getting used to the idea that I’m now responsible for the development of others, and not just myself,” LaRochelle said. “As a supervisor, I play a huge role in developing the officers I supervise so they may get the opportunities to work varied assignments, move up in rank and grow professionally, like I have.

“As a leader in this organization, I have a huge responsibility to the organization and the community I serve to develop, coach and mentor the officers to keep our profession moving forward in a positive direction.”

Before he was promoted, LaRochelle spent almost two years on the homicide unit, which, since the start of 2009, has solved all 10 killings in the city. During this period, Anaheim PD detectives also have solved four older killings.

“Teamwork and talented people working for Anaheim PD is what made the Homicide Detail successful,” said LaRochelle, who plans to continue that winning record in his new assignment.

Like all seasoned police officers, LaRochelle has seen the worst — and the best — of people.

“Fighting crime is sometimes very ugly, and I have seen and dealt with many people when they were at their very worst, and I have seen a lot of horrific scenes of violence and destruction,” said LaRochelle Jr., who is vice president of the Anaheim Police Association.

The good days, however, make it all worth it.

“The best part of the job is it’s always changing, and there usually aren’t any two days that are alike,” LaRochelle Jr. says. “Police work is very exciting and rewarding; there’s always something new to learn and experience.

“I also like the fact I have an opportunity every day to positively impact people’s lives, whether it’s being a positive role model for young children or comforting a victim during his or her time of need.”

Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim Wish APD Officer Randy Quick a Speedy Recovery

The Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim posted a get well message to APD Officer Randy
last night on the stadium’s scoreboard.

Quick became ill while running a race while off-duty last weekend. He
remains hospitalized in in serious condition.

We hope you’ll join APD in keeping him in your prayers.

‘Put Their Needs Before Your Own,’ Says New Lieutenant

As a lieutenant, Brian McElhaney has set lofty goals for himself.Lt. Brian McElhaney

“How can I best relate to this new generation of cops? How I can I be that lieutenant – that 20 years from now – everybody still remembers and is talking about?” he asked. “You’ve got to care about your team, and put their needs before your own.”

But last week, as he prepared for his first briefing since being promoted, McElhaney had more pressing concerns – like getting his gun belt on and pinning new bars on his uniform.

It has been awhile since he worked patrol.

“I am totally excited about this new challenge,” says McElhaney, who spent the past six years as a plain-clothed sergeant in the vice and homeland security details.

The Orange County native, 41, said he’s enjoyed every assignment of his already distinguished 20-year career at Anaheim PD.

He’s arrested child predators, contributed in hardening potential terrorist targets and even performed CPR on a gunshot victim, saving his life. He earned a lifesaving medal – and was twice APD’s Special Operations Investigator of the Year.

But the biggest highlight, he says, has been the friendships he’s developed working alongside “some of the best police officers in the business.”

Among the lessons he hopes to pass along from his experience on the Special Weapons and Tactics team: “In law enforcement – like in life in general – if everybody looks out for one another then everybody goes home,” he said.

At a recent promotion ceremony, he thanked at least a dozen current and former colleagues by name.

“I’m promoting today off of your good work,” he said. “You guys have always had my back – and I appreciate you.”

Camaraderie, Mentorship, Making Good Arrests Among Highlights for New Lieutenant

Steven Davis says his favorite part of being a police officer is “putting a good crook in jail.”

Lt. Steve Davis

And the effort often starts in patrol, he says.

That’s where Davis, who was promoted last week to lieutenant, is headed to lead the Monday-Wednesday graveyard shift.

“It’s the backbone of police work and this is where everything starts,” he said. “It’s nice to be there when something happens and start the ball rolling with the investigation.”

Davis, 40, also enjoys other aspects of police work and leadership.

“I enjoy watching someone develop in their career and knowing I might have played a part in their progression,” he said.

He said enjoys the unique camaraderie at Anaheim PD.

“I love coming to work and listening to them bantering back and forth, joking about things that happened both on and off duty,” he said. “That’s the fun part.”

Davis, who is working on master’s degree in education, started his career in Downey. He made the jump to Anaheim because it offered more variety.

“Downey is a great city and police department,” he said. “However, they just can’t offer the things that Anaheim has to offer, such as Disneyland, the stadium, the Honda Center, etc… (APD) also has several great assignments and opportunities for officers.”

He’s taken full advantage. During the past 17 years he’s worked as a hostage negotiator, field training officer, community policing member, member of the SWAT team, adviser of the police explorers and a member of the mounted unit.

He’s also a black belt in Judo and licensed referee.

Is there anything about police work he doesn’t like?

Not really.

“The toughest part is dealing with children/baby calls,” he said. “I think we all have a soft spot in our hearts for children, particularly those of us that have children.”

Davis has two young daughters.

“Some calls hit close to home,” he said.

The ‘Lasting Legacy’ of Capt. Vargas is The Cover of This Week’s Anaheim Bulletin

Click on newspaper below to read the article.

New Lieutenant Attracted to Anaheim PD’s ‘Wow’ Factor

Jarret Young was impressed with the Anaheim Police Department from as far back as he can remember.

Lt. Jaret Young

“I would see Anaheim officers on the streets and at community events and think, ‘Wow, I want to be like them,’” he said. “I respected the job of a police officer and thought it would be a great career.”

Promoted last week to lieutenant, the Anaheim native says the “Wow” of Anaheim PD “is something I never outgrew.”

In his first assignment as a lieutenant, Young, 38, will serve as a watch commander. He most recently worked in personnel.

“I enjoy working in the city I grew up in,” he said. “I have a special connection and love of this community that I think helps shape my decisions and how I do my job.”

At last week’s promotion ceremony, several of his family members cheered as Chief John Welter presented him with his new bars.

“My parents still live in the house I grew up in,” said Young, a Savannah High School graduate. His grandmother, several aunts, uncles and cousins also live in town.

But it’s more than Young’s connection to Anaheim that excites him about police work.

“This is one of very few jobs in the world that you actually get to make a difference in people’s lives every day,” he said.

Young, who holds a master’s degree in criminal justice from Chapman University, said he looks forward to the new challenge – and playing a greater role in guiding the department into the future.

“I want to make sure that we are still ‘wowing’ our kids out there so they too will be inspired to become Anaheim Police officers,” he said.

LA May Be His Team, But Anaheim PD is His Family

Raul Quezada is a Los Angeles native, and a former Los Angeles Police Department officer.

Capt. Raul Quezada

But that’s not what gets his Anaheim Police Department colleagues fired up.

It’s his allegiance to the Los Angeles Dodgers.

“I love working with these guys who joke with me about baseball,” said Quezada, who was appointed last week to captain. “You should see my office. Angels gear has been placed over my Dodgers stuff.”

The Dodgers may be his baseball team. But Anaheim PD is his family, he says.

When his oldest daughter (now 15) was three, she was diagnosed with Leukemia. His APD colleagues scheduled blood drives, arranged testing for bone marrow and did everything they could to assist him and his family during the difficult time.

“It was awesome,” he said. “We got through this because of the support we received from my Anaheim PD family.”

As a young Los Angeles officer he set his sights on a lateral move to Anaheim, he said.

“I knew I wanted to come to Anaheim because of its reputation,” he said. The department “had everything a big city had, only smaller. Anaheim has an outstanding reputation in California.”

Quezada’s most recent assignment involved overseeing internal affairs. He now moves to head the Investigations Bureau – to the job held by retiring Capt. Joe Vargas.

At last week’s promotion ceremony, he said his goal “is to be the type of supervisor you always wanted to have.” Chief among those traits: Be forgiving.

Quezada came to APD in 1996 and has worked in about a dozen roles ranging from patrol to district commander. He was Anaheim’s first full-time officer assigned to the Anaheim Police Activities League (rebranded as Cops 4 Kids). Being involved in finding APAL’s first home and hiring civilian personnel are among his career highlights at APD, he said.

In his new role, he hopes to do what he can to help the department maintain its high standards despite the economic challenges.

“Customer service is huge for me,” he said, later adding: “We are resilient here at APD. We will continue to move forward through these difficult times.”