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Join APD in Celebrating Public Safety Partnerships Tuesday at National Night Out

The public is invited to join the police department Tuesday to celebrate Anaheim’s community partnerships and outstanding safety record during a National Night Out event at Eucalyptus Park.

The event runs from 5-8 p.m. at 100 N. Quintana Drive. It will feature dozens of public safety exhibitions, including a presentation by APD’s award winning canine unit and SWAT team. 

“This is one of our favorite community events of the year,” said Sgt. Rick Martinez. “The community plays such a key role in our safety record, and National Night Out provides an outstanding opportunity to share what we do with the public – and to thank them for their support and assistance.”

For more information call Karen Eckes at (714)765-3869.

To view coverage of last year’s event, click here.

Cost is free.

Anaheim PD’s Canines Among Region’s Top Dogs

Five Anaheim police officers and their canine partners were honored for excellence last weekend at the 23rd annual Redondo Beach Police Canine Trials.

Officer Brian Bonczkiewicz and his partner Cisko

The competition featured the top canine handlers and police dogs from departments throughout Southern California.

The awards:

Officer Brian Bonczkiewicz and his partner, Cisko, earned first place in the Box Search competition.

Officer Nate Fay and his partner, Tago, earned second place in the overall Narcotics Search competition. They earned the top score searching for drugs inside a vehicle, second place for building search and third place for article search.

Officer Ryan Schmidt and German Shepherd Recon finished second in a separate narcotics competition – and third in the building search portion of the competition.

Officer Brett Klevos and partner Guenther finished fifth in the novice division for patrol – and sixth in the narcotics competition.

Officer RJ Young and partner Bruno finished fifth in the open division for patrol competition.

“Each handler and their police service dog displayed a high level of teamwork and excellence throughout the competition,” said Lt. Jarret Young.

Anaheim PD’s Newest Rookie A Different Breed

Popeye stands out among police dogs.

For starters, he’s a different breed – a black Lab from Texas.

Popeye, APD's newest recruit, has incredible play drive

Popeye, APD's newest recruit, has incredible play drive

His Anaheim Police Department colleagues – Cisko, Bruno, Indy, Tago, Gunther and Recon – are German Shepherds from Europe.

And when Popeye completed his training last week, he became Anaheim’s only full-time Dope Dog.

Even the way the department acquired Popeye was unique – the result of a persistent  narcotics investigator and generous Anaheim businessmen.

“It started with a great idea from Investigator Cat Panov,” said Sgt. Craig Friesen, who heads the street narcotics unit. “And became reality because of the outstanding support we receive from the community.”

While it can take investigators hours to find contraband hidden by savvy criminals, a well-trained Labrador Retriever can sniff the drugs in less than 15 minutes.

Adding a Lab would make the team more efficient, Panov argued.

Friesen agreed, but told Panov the challenging economic times forced the department to make difficult decisions about new expenditures. There would be no city money for new dogs. At least for now.

“What if I raised the money myself?” Panov asked.

It didn’t take long before the cost of the dog – and some of his vet bills – were covered through donations from the Anaheim business community.

Picking up the cost of the dog were Bill Taormina, CEO of Clean City, Inc., and Jerry Zomordian, owner of All-American Petroleum.

Anthony Pena, owner of Tax and Financial on Lewis Street; Gregory Boiko, owner of Express Pipe and Supply and Steve Marovich, owner of the Juke Joint, contributed smaller amounts that will be spent on healthcare.

“We want other business leaders to follow our lead,” said Taormina. Added Zomorodian: “Our police department needs every citizen to give of their time and, if possible, their financial resources.”

A three-year-old with tons of energy, Popeye earned a badge for his collar for completing a four-week training course. His primary role will be assisting the street narcotics team in arresting Anaheim-based drug dealers.

'My daughters love him,' Popeye's partner says

'My daughters love him,' Popeye's partner says

Once in a while, he’ll work bigger regional or even international cases with the major narcotics unit. Popeye will also be available to assist other police departments.

He’s already off to a good start.

On his first day on the job, he assisted APD’s major narcotics team in locating 12 kilos of cocaine with a street value of $264,000. He also helped the street team locate an ounce of methamphetamine.

Panov said Popeye’s boundless energy and “play drive” have been outstanding additions at home, too.

“My daughters (5, 4 and 2) love him,” he said.