• Ask a Cop

    Got a question? Send it to Lt. Bob Dunn, public information officer. We'll publish answers to the most interesting ones.
  • Need Help?

    For non-emergencies, call (714) 765-1900.
    911 for emergencies
  • RSS Anaheim News

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.
  • RSS OC Crime News

    • An error has occurred; the feed is probably down. Try again later.

Descendants Savor Tour of Police Station Named for Family Patriarch

David Stephenson remembers sitting in his father’s olive squad car and fiddling with the Motorola communication device.

See the resemblance? From L-R, Charlie Stephenson, 12, Mark Stephenson and Jack Stephenson, 12 pose next to a photo of the former chief

On Friday, the memories came flooding back for the Anaheim dentist, now 73.

He visited police headquarters for the first time since the building was rechristened the “Mark A. Stephenson Police Station” nearly 20 years ago. His father was APD’s longest-serving police chief.

“This is super,” he said. “Really super.”

Stephenson brought his son, also named Mark, and two grandsons, Jack, 14, and Charlie, 12, for the tour and history lesson.

Jack and Charlie had never met their great grandfather, who died in 1992. He was 88.

“Your great grandfather was known as a very tough but very fair police chief,” current police chief John Welter told the boys. “He’s responsible in many ways for setting the high standards for which we’re known today.”

Current Chief John Welter shows off mementos as David Stephenson, son of former chief Mark Stephenson, looks on

Welter shared a letter Walt Disney himself wrote to their great grandfather, dated June 29, 1955. The amusement park had yet to open.

Disney thanked Stephenson, and wrote the department’s support would “greatly contribute to whatever success Disneyland may enjoy.”

Charlie Stephenson’s reaction: “Whoa.”

Stephenson was an Anaheim Police officer for 42 years and served as chief from 1946-1969.

When he started, APD employed 11 officers. By the time he retired there were 288.

Today, there are nearly 400.

Former Chief Mark Stephenson

Pictures of Stephenson – and from his era – are displayed outside the chief’s office, in the briefing room and elsewhere in the department.

Sgt. Rick Martinez, the department’s public information officer, met and interviewed the former chief. He shared several anecdotes, including one about how Stephenson won support for a new jail.

Forensics supervisor Jim Conley talks about evidence gathering with the Stephenson family. The bottles were gathered from a party where a homicide occurred

“He told a newspaper reporter that we had the worst jail north of Tijuana. That quote was picked up everywhere. Folks in the city weren’t happy about the comment,” Martinez said. “But he got his jail.”

He also changed the color of the uniforms from navy blue to tan because “it was cooler during the hot summers,” Martinez said.

David Stephenson said he enjoyed spending a few hours reminiscing about his father – and sharing his contributions with his son and grandsons.

“It feels really good to be here again,” he said.

APD and Partners Provide Free Car Seats to 32 Families

A properly installed child seat reduces an infant’s risk of dying in a car wreck by 71 percent.

CHP safety coordinator Tina Buell buckles Noah Sandoval, 4

For older youngsters, it’s 54 percent.

For four hours Friday, Anaheim Police Department and California Highway Patrol officials installed more than 50 car seats for 32 families at the Anaheim Family Justice Center.

“It makes me feel more secure knowing my children are as safe as possible,” said Shawna Sandoval, of Fullerton. “It’s so nice of everybody involved to give us these car seats, and to make sure it’s
fastened properly.”

Kerith Dilley, Executive Director of the AFJC Foundation, said the seats were a gift from the National Latino Peace Officers Association of Orange County.  

The event was hosted by State Sen. Lou Correa. His office also offered fingerprinting for children – to provide a record, just in case.

“Most of the families who received them today have limited financial resources, which makes the gift even more significant,” Dilley said. “We are blessed in Anaheim to have so many community partners committed to keeping the community safe.”