• 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.

Remembering Former Chief Harold A. Bastrup

Bastrup 1

Harold A. Bastrup

By Kevin C. Rice

About 100 friends, family and people touched by the life of Harold A. Bastrup gathered Tuesday morning in Anaheim to memorialize Anaheim’s former police chief.

Bastrup, who served as chief from 1974-1978, implemented the police department’s first cautious pursuit policy, first Explorer Post and first SWAT team – although, at the time, it was dubbed, the Tactical Approach and Control Team.

“Harold was a fair and firm leader with a great sense of humor,” said current Anaheim police Chief John Welter. “His decisions reduced injuries and saved lives.”

Chief Bastrup will also be remembered for hiring the first African American man and woman to the police force in 1977.

Bastrup 2

Chief Bastrup shaking hands with President Ronald Reagan

Retired Garden Grove Police Lt, Dennis Ellsworth said it was intimidating as a police explorer to walk through and work in the police station, but Chief Bastrup took the time from his schedule to meet with the explorers, give them a firm handshake and tour them around the station.

“This is a celebration of an incredible life,” said Rick Bastrup, his son.

Retired community college instructor and Bastrup’s close friend, Richard Barasch, said that Bastrup and his loving wife of 65 years, Elsie, valued the importance of family.

Bastrup is survived by Elsie and four children and two grandchildren.

Advisors bid farewell to chief who listened

John Welter formed Orange County’s first Police Chief’s Advisory Board nearly a decade ago.

photo

His goal: to bring a diverse group of community, business and school leaders together to discuss public safety issues, to solve community problems and to build relationships.

If his final meeting before retiring offers clues, the effort was a major success. The meeting ended with hugs, thank yous, applause and a chocolate cake inscribed, “We love you.” It was topped with a miniature police car.

Perhaps most telling was how the 21-member board spent most of their last formal meeting with Welter. For more than an hour, they debated the pros, cons and politics of civilian review boards.

photo

Some board members said civilian review adds a layer of transparency, which equates to more trust. But a businessman worried that a panel comprised of people who “know nothing about police work appointed by people who don’t know anything about police work” is a recipe for disaster.

“I don’t have an objection to a board,” Welter said. “As long as it includes qualified and competent people.”

Welter promised action, saying he would ask city leaders to seek the board’s opinions on the topic. He also plans to pursue a suggestion from Los Amigos of Orange County President Jose Moreno to measure community trust.

Welter said he hopes the group will continue when his permanent replacement is named. His command staff is already preparing a presentation in June on officer-involved shooting reviews.

photo

The board accomplished much, playing a role in creating the Gang Intervention and Reduction Partnership, where police work with school leaders to identify and help children at risk of joining gangs; it has offered strategies to business owners to stop graffiti and it has donated dinners to poor families during the holidays.

And it has helped a beloved police chief navigate thorny issues, including last summer’s civil unrest.

“I’ve grown a lot because of your support as well as your criticism,” Welter said.

At the end of the meeting, businessman Bill Taormina toasted Welter’s service to the community, noting many of his innovations, including the formation of the advisory board.

“You have brought us through some rough waters,” he said. “And you have created a remarkable legacy.”

CITY OF ANAHEIM NAMES INTERIM POLICE CHIEF

ANAHEIM, CA – (April 24, 2013) Anaheim Deputy Police Chief Raul Quezada will assume the duties of Interim Police Chief effective May 17, it was announced today by Anaheim City Manager Bob Wingenroth.  Quezada will follow Anaheim Police Chief John Welter in leading the Anaheim Police Department and its staff of nearly 700, including 351 sworn officers.

Quezada at a recent Police Chiefs Advisory Board meeting

Quezada at a recent Police Chiefs Advisory Board meeting

“I am pleased to make this announcement,” said Wingenroth. “Having known Raul for the past few years I have witnessed his genuine concern for the Anaheim community.  This appointment will allow for a seamless transition for Anaheim’s residents, businesses and guests during the recruitment and interview process until a permanent Chief is named.”

On April 1, Chief Welter announced his retirement from the Anaheim Police Department effective May 16, following a 42-year career in law enforcement, including nine years as Chief of Police for the City of Anaheim.

“The department will continue to do a great job because of the leadership of Deputy Chief Quezada,” said Chief John Welter.  “Under Raul’s leadership I am confident the men and women of the Anaheim Police Department will continue to employ the tenets of community oriented policing and problem solving to ensure the department remains a leader in this profession.”

Quezada joined the Anaheim Police Department in April 1996 as a lateral transfer police officer from the Los Angeles Police Department, where he began his career in 1993.  He advanced in his career and was named Anaheim Deputy Police Chief in August 2012.

Over the course of his career, Quezada worked a variety of assignments including Patrol, Traffic, Police Activities League, Community Policing, Tourist Oriented Policing and Detectives. As a Lieutenant, he worked as a Watch Commander, District Commander, Strategic Services Commander and finally as the Internal Affairs Commander. Quezada was promoted to Captain in 2010 and was assigned as the Investigations Division Commander. This Division includes Detectives, Gang Unit, Safe Schools, Forensics, Property and Evidence, the Anaheim Family Justice Center and the Crime Task Force. He would later assume command of the Operations Support Division which includes the Traffic Bureau, Detention Facility, Communications Bureau, Information and Technology Bureau and the Community Services Bureau. He also served as the Special Tactics Detail Commander.

In addition to his professional service here in the United States, Quezada has consulted for police officials in Bogota, Columbia and Culiacan, Mexico.  Quezada received his Bachelor of Science Degree in Professional Studies from California State University, Long Beach. He is currently enrolled in the Master of Science in Criminal Justice Administration program at Columbia Southern University. He is a graduate of the Sherman Block Leadership Institute and Commission on Peace Officers Standards and Training Command College.

For more information on the Anaheim Police Department please visit http://www.anaheim.net/police.

###

Violence victims often demonstrate remarkable courage, detective says

By Ariella Rams

For the seventh week of the citizen’s academy, students visited the Orange County Family Justice Center, formerly Anaheim Family Justice Center.

image001

The OCFJC is a place where victims of domestic, elder, child or sexual abuse can come to report crimes and get help.

“No matter what they need,” says Detective Phillip Han, “They can come here and get it. Any victim who has suffered any degree of abuse can come here to get help. Whether it be financial help with groceries or rent or even counseling services- if they need it, we provide it.”

In a given year in Anaheim alone, there are more than 2,890 family related crimes. The OCFJC hopes to change and significantly decrease that.

For Det. Han, the OCFJC is not only a place for him to help create change, but it is where he has seen some of the strongest acts of courage in his years on the force.

“When I see a battered victim make that move forward,” he says. “That move when you don’t know what’s next. You don’t know if social services will take your child, or where you will get your next meal—that’s the hardest thing to do. That’s very courageous, and it’s what this place is here for – to give victims as many resources as we possibly can.”

Through the OCFJC, survivors of domestic abuse can become part of the survivor’s academy, receive public education classes, access career resources or a use myriad of other services.

image002Following Det. Han’s informational session on domestic abuse, Lt. Sharon Pietrok taught the class the importance of self-defense, as well as key defense moves.

“Anything in your purse of pocket can be a weapon,” Lt. Pietrok told the class. “Keys can not only be a weapon, but if you put your key between your fingers as you make a fist, and punch them with it, or slice them… you’re collecting valuable DNA on that key that can help solve a crime—and save you.”

The key to self-defense, she told the class, is to know the ABC’s. Awareness, balance and control.

Always be aware of your surroundings. Is someone following you? Walking towards you? Staring at you? You need to know.

Never let yourself be off balance, she told the class. If a perpetrator is coming at you, you want to take a stance and either dodge them or be ready to take them on. And the decision needs to be made in an instant.

The third thing to keep in mind is to be in control. If you’re on stairs, stay at the higher level, Lt. Pietrok says.

“And you need to know that in a type of hostage situation,” she says. “A secondary location significantly reduces your chance of survival. Do your best to keep away from going to another location, because chances are you won’t survive.”

After educating the class on the logistics and tactics of self-defense, she quickly taught everyone a few important, life-saving moves.

“Go for their eyes, make them water,” she told the class. “Then go for their nose. It will bleed, a lot.”

She continued by teaching other maneuvers.

“And if someone grabs you from behind,” Lt. Pietrok says, “Stomp on their foot, or swing your hand back as hard as you can to get their crotch. Fight as best you can to get out.”

Police to girls: Don’t join gangs

It’s a troubling trend, police say: girls and young women becoming more frequently involved in dangerous gang activity.

It happened again in March, when two female gang associates drove a gang member to a rival’s territory to tag. The gang member, 17, was confronted by rivals, then shot and killed by a bullet that entered the car, police said.

In a car seat with the female gang associates was a 3-year-old boy, said Sgt. Juan Reveles. The young women escaped without injury, and investigators have arrested two juvenile gang members who have been charged with murder.

Reveles shared the anecdote at the March Crime Analysis Problem Solving meeting and discussed how the department’s Gang Reduction and Intervention Partnership is focusing a part of its effort on working with schools to identify at-risk girls and preventing them from joining gangs. The new program is called Girls Club.

Girls and gangs aren’t the only new troubling trend on the agenda. Officers are reporting more crime involving early-release prisoners, and bolder suspects due to jail overcrowding. Suspects know they won’t serve a lot of time behind bars, police say.

One example involved a man arrested with ¾ ounces of methamphetamine and a gun who bailed out of jail. He was arrested a few days later with more drugs and another gun. Since January, police have stopped 11 gang members who were in possession of a gun, Reveles said.

And perhaps the most shocking new trend: police have arrested five burglars as young as 12 years old since January, Lt. Tim Miller said.

And these aren’t crimes of opportunity. “These kids are thinking and planning the burglaries. They are going through side and back doors and climbing through windows,” he said.

Also up for discussion: burglaries and auto thefts continue to rise in early 2013; There have been five homicides, three of which were gang related. Commercial robberies are up slightly, and overall violent crime is flat.

One of the big challenges police face in solving gang crime is uncooperative witnesses. Reveles shared the story of a two men who were shot in the leg with a third taking shrapnel in his shoulder. None would give information to detectives.

“If they aren’t cooperating, there really isn’t much we can do,” he said.

Also, Chief John Welter briefly discussed his upcoming retirement, noting that the department is in good hands. He congratulated Deputy Chief Raul Quezada on his leadership.

“The department is continuing and will continue to do a great job because of the people in this room,” he said.

Police: Pint-sized burglars a disturbing trend



The detectives had a name and address and they knew the suspects were young.

But beyond those details, they weren’t sure what to expect as they prepared to make contact with a burglary suspect who broke into a home on Jan. 2 and stole an unwrapped iPad and jewelry from underneath a family’s Christmas tree.

The veteran cops – with more than 30 years experience between them – were shocked. The “suspect” was an innocent-looking little boy, who stood an even 4-feet-tall and weighed 80 pounds. He was wearing jeans and sweatshirt and looked like an average elementary school student.

“That’s him?” Sgt. Dennis Briggs asked.

“I think that’s him,” responded Det. Chris Cooper.

In a new trend police call disturbing, children as young as 12 years old are breaking into homes and stealing televisions, jewelry and anything they can carry or stuff into their pockets.

So far this year, police have arrested three 12-year-olds, a 13-year-old and several other 14-17-year-olds on suspicion of burglary.

And, police say, these aren’t crimes of opportunity. They are hopping fences, prying sliders and crawling through bathroom windows.

The 12-year-old they arrested in January is a sixth-grader at an Anaheim elementary school. He also had a baggie of marijuana in his pocket, Cooper said.

The crying boy immediately confessed, Cooper said, and led officers to his alleged partner-in-crime, a 13-year-old who, at 5-foot-1, 90 pounds, was equally boyish.

The pre-teen told detectives his reason for committing the crime: “It was something to do.”

In a separate March burglary, two 12-year-olds hopped a patio fence and pried a sliding-glass door, before snatching a television and jewelry. Cooper recognized the boys from six-months earlier, when he arrested them for breaking into their school on the weekend and littering it with milk and orange cartons.

Police refer youngsters who vandalize or commit petty thefts to a rehabilitation program rather than jail.

They take burglary suspects to Juvenile Hall, no matter their age.

In both cases, police returned the stolen goods to their owners.

A few years ago, about three of four alleged burglars were adults, Briggs said. More recently the trend has reversed, and the burglars keep getting younger, Briggs said.
The kids generally don’t look menacing. They aren’t dressed like gang members.

He suggests that if anybody sees kids loitering, looking over fences or acting suspicious, they should call police.

“What I’ve seen is a lot of vandalism, sniffing paint, that kind of stuff,” Cooper said of pre-teens. “Nothing like residential burglaries.”

Robberies, forensics and the Crime Task Force on the citizen’s academy agenda

By Ariella Rams

The topic of the week: robberies, the Crime Task Force and forensics.

Detective Rafael Martins opened week six by distinguishing the difference between a robbery and a burglary.

“It’s simple,” he says. “A robbery is the taking by force or fear. If your car gets broken into while you’re inside a store, that’s burglary. Same goes for the house. If you’re walking down the street and get held at gunpoint to hand over your possessions, that’s a robbery.”

His detail will investigate robbery, carjacking, extortion, grand theft person, aggravated assault, weapons violations, assault and battery, and armed prohibited persons system (APPS).

Of all the cases he’s worked on, only one has gone unsolved, Det. Martins says. “I don’t leave any stone unturned.”

Following the robbery detail was Investigator Nathan Stauber to talk about the Crime Task Force (CTF), an operating six-man team that can work in an undercover capacity to assist detectives and local, state or federal agencies with criminal investigations, though the group’s focus in Anaheim.

“We’re a resource for any agency in Southern California or the nation that needs our help,” Inv. Stauber says. “It’s not uncommon to be in all of the surrounding counties in one month’s time.”

The CTF was originally established in 1980 when the department saw a high number of burglaries that correlated with narcotics. CTF officers were then able to “think outside the box” in plain clothing to significantly decrease the amount of crime the city faced.

Anaheim is currently one of a few cities in the county with a CTF.

“We’re on call 24/7,” he says. “It’s a very face-paced unit.”

Following Inv. Stauber was Forensic Supervisor Jim Conley.

Conley is one of seven forensic specialists employed by the Anaheim Police Department. His job is to collect and document physical evidence to establish the facts of the crime or incident and help identify the criminal.

“It isn’t how it is on TV,” Conley says. “But it’s still a lot of fun to us.”

The FSD does lab work to help solve crimes based on fibers, saliva or other DNA particles left behind at a scene. They also write reports, take pictures and do crime scene investigation- like fingerprint analysis.

As part of the Forensic Science Detail (FSD), Conley and his coworkers uses the Automatic Fingerprint Identification System (AFIS) to match suspects to prints found on the scene.

“Prints are very delicate,” he says. “Because we have the ability to test prints, we solve cases faster. Therefore, we are able to have a lower crime rate than other agencies.”