• 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.

Anaheim cop’s career exceeds expectations

Ofc. Amador Nunez coaches from his seat on the Loara bench during a 5-0 win at Magnolia High School

Ofc. Amador Nunez coaches from his seat on the Loara bench during a 5-0 win at Magnolia High School

Senior Officer Amador Nuñez, a 20- year veteran of Anaheim Police Department and lifelong Anaheim resident, looks back on a career in law enforcement centered on community service and a legacy he never thought possible.

“If you would’ve told me when I started almost 30 years ago (he was hired at APD after eight years at LAPD) that I’d have the career I’ve been blessed with, I would’ve thought you were crazy,” he said.  “When I retire I’ll do so knowing I gave back to the city that made me who I am today.  It’s pretty surreal.”

Nuñez estimates more that more than half his career has been spent focusing on youth programs.  He spent time as a DARE (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) officer and in the Safe Schools program, but he is most proud of the Anaheim Police Activities League; (APAL, now Cops 4 Kids) which he established with Diana Canales in 2004.

Nuñez and Canales developed lesson plans around physical fitness, training students for the President’s Fitness Test and incorporated Military Drill to teach discipline.  The most powerful lesson he wanted to get across, however, was accountability with those students.

He has made his share of arrests, too.  On April 9, 2009, Nuñez was patrolling the south section of Anaheim and recalls a slow night.  As he made his way towards Angel Stadium, he responded to a serious collision on Lemon and Orangethorpe and responded immediately; finding a grizzly accident but no driver responsible.  Among the victims of the crash: late Angels starting pitcher Nick Adenhart.

After driving around the area of the collision Nuñez put himself in the suspect’s shoes and figured the best place to find him would be on the freeway.  He tore off to the 91 freeway and, moments later, saw a man matching the description of the suspect responsible for the crash.

He stopped to get out of his car and yelled after the man – Andrew Gallo, 22 at the time – walking along the freeway.  Gallo took off and Nuñez gave chase; finally catching him about a half-mile down the road.

“The thing I remember most about that night was seeing the girl (Courtney Stewart, 20) lying there; so beautiful.  All I could think about were my daughters.  When I saw her lying there, I thought, ‘I gotta get this guy,’” said Nuñez.  “That was probably the biggest arrest of my career.”

The daughters he immediately thought of that night three years ago are responsible for a 21-year coaching career culminating with his current job at Loara High School as the girls varsity head coach – a job he’s held for the last nine years.  When coaching, he shares the same lessons from his days in DARE, Safe Schools, and APAL.

“To me, the most important job as a coach is to mentor these young women.  It’s also a great opportunity for kids to see a police officer and know that we are more than just our uniform.  I’d much rather have them call me coach than Officer Nuñez,” he said.

Nuñez remembers hoping for a class of 25 and had 60 students show up his first year running APAL.  That year’s graduating class had more than 125 students.  Last June, Cops 4 Kids had a graduating class of more than 300 students.  The continued success of those programs has been a source of extreme pride, he says.

“Catching bad guys is great and obviously a huge part of the job, but I originally got into law enforcement to help people,” said Nuñez.  “I wanted to focus on community service kind of things, especially working with kids.  When I retire, I’m happy to say I’ll be able to keep making that impact.”

Anaheim police department’s traffic bureau adopts a family for Christmas

Jennifer Pech receives a Thanksgiving meal from Ofc. Pat Bradley

Jennifer Pech receives a Thanksgiving meal from Ofc. Pat Bradley

Eight-year-old Paul Pech has not spoken or regained mobility in his arms and legs since being struck by a car while playing Hide-And-Go-Seek outside his home October 11.  APD has been raising money over the last month and a half to help his family find a home and celebrate Christmas this year.

“In this job, we see one accident, and move on to the next one pretty quickly,” said Ofc. Pat Bradley.  “This time, though, with this kind of accident, I couldn’t just walk away.  I needed to do more. My kids are right around that age so I could only imagine what the family is going through.”

Bradley, a 14-year veteran of APD, responded to the hit-and-run, and, after the investigation at the scene was finished, went to the hospital to see how the victim was doing and help the family deal with the tragedy.

Bradley arrived to find young Pech in critical condition and stayed with Paul’s mother – Jennifer – for two hours as the doctors worked to save his life.

The Pech family moved out of the neighborhood because the trauma of reliving that day became too much to bear but had nowhere to go.  The family of four has spent the last month and a half at a friend’s house while they find a new home.

A post from APD’s facebook page on November 27 about Bradley – working with Cope 4 Kids’ Georgina Meza – putting together a Thanksgiving meal for the Pechs received more than 1,000 “likes,” along with numerous overwhelmingly positive comments, and was frequently shared among followers.

As more officials from the department heard about the story, the decision was made to do more for the victim’s family.  Since Thanksgiving, Bradley and the rest of the Traffic Bureau have been taking donations from within the department for the family and hope to deliver the gifts before the week of Christmas.

“I just can’t imagine what that family is going through, especially around this time of year,” said traffic Sgt. Kasey Geary.  “We’re trying to do everything in our power to give them at least some relief during such a tough time.”

APD would like to expand their efforts in helping the Pech family during the holidays.  They are accepting gift cards, toys, and food for the family from now until they deliver everything to the Pech home.  If you are interested in participating, contact Geary via email at kgeary@anaheim.net.