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Anaheim PD Joins Ride to Aid Families of Fallen Officers

APD's team at the Plaza of the Flags in Santa Ana

By Ryan Dedmon

Forty-eight peace officers from 20 different law enforcement agencies have died in the line of duty in Orange County, and each of those officers left behind a family in need. 

The Orange County Sheriff’s Advisory Council’s Project 999 was founded to help provide financial assistance to the families of fallen officers. 

Each year, a group of bicycle riders, representing police agencies throughout Orange County, join together to commemorate the lives of those fallen officers.  The riders do this by participating in a Memorial Ride cycling 630 miles from the California State Peace Officer Memorial in Sacramento to Orange County’s Peace Officer Memorial at the Plaza of the Flags in Santa Ana.

This year, more 100 law enforcement officials representing different agencies throughout the county participated in the Project 999 Memorial Ride.  Retired Captain Charlie Chavez, Motor Officer Steve Anderson, Detective Chris Masilon, Officer Trang Pham, and I had the honor of representing the Anaheim Police Department. 

Riders participate in a moment of silence at the Orange County Peace Officer's Memorial

These riders spent weeks of training to prepare for the ride.  They cycled through rolling green hills in Winters and Pleasant Valley, climbed the steep ocean cliffs of Big Sur, rode through farm fields outside San Luis Obispo, and cruised along Pacific Coast Highway in Huntington Beach. 

Every day, peace officers at different agencies in Orange County willingly put their lives on the line to defend the weak, help the needy, seek justice, and uphold the freedoms on which this great land was founded.  Let us never forget those brave men and women who paid the ultimate sacrifice in serving others.  This year, Project 999 raised more than $100,000 to help support the families of fallen officers in Orange County.  

To Protect and Serve (Dinner)

Shrimp and fund-raising for some special athletes are on the menu April 22 at Bubba Gump restaurant, 321 W. Katella Ave., Suite 100.

From 5-9 p.m., Anaheim police officers will serve hundreds of meals, and will donate their tips to the Special Olympics of Southern California.

The event will include donated silent auction items. Please join us for dinner and raise money for a great cause.

To donate a silent auction item or for more information, please contact officer Jonathan Nooitgedagt at (714) 765-1597 or jnooitgedagt@anaheim.net.

Cops 4 Kids Christmas Event Makes Front Page of Anaheim Bulletin

The Anaheim Bulletin's front page: Cops 4 Kids

To read this week’s bulletin, click here.

Sgts. Martinez and Schmidt Stand In For Anaheim Angels on City’s Rose Parade Float

Be a Major League Baseball All-Star and ride aboard a float in the Rose Parade?

Sgt. Tim Schmidt, Sgt. Rick Martinez and Anaheim Fire Marshal Jeff Lutz

So begins an Orange County Register story by writer Eric Carpenter about his opportunity to stand-in for former Angels all-stars for judging of the city’s Rose Parade float.

Carpenter wasn’t the only stand-in. Sgt. Rick Martinez, Sgt. Tim Schmidt and Anaheim Fire Marshal Jeff Lutz also helped out, playing the roles of Troy Percival, Bobby Grich, Mark Langston and Chuck Finley during the judging that preceded the New Year’s Day parade. The ballplayers were unable to attend the judging.

“What a fun and unique experience,” Martinez said.

To read Carpenter’s entertaining story, click here

APD Joins Effort To Create Memorable Christmas for Children of Incarcerated Parents

Deputy Chief Craig Hunter greets children at Saturday's event

More than 500 children of incarcerated parents gathered at the Phoenix Club Saturday for a parade, carnival games, a visit from Santa and tons of new toys.

Organized by former Anaheim Police Officer Jerry O’Keefe and the St. Vincent de Paul Society, the annual holiday event aims to ensure children whose parents are in jail or prison have a memorable Christmas.

Officer Dave Garcia chats with a child about life as a police officer

Deputy Police Chief Craig Hunter, several uniformed APD officers, City Councilwoman Lucille Kring and hundreds of volunteers from dozens of charitable organizations were on hand to make the event special.

“Look at how many caring people came together to create a special day for these children, who are enduring the holidays while separated from their parents,” Hunter said. “It’s this kind of community spirit that makes Anaheim – and Orange County – such a remarkable and safe place to live.”

APD Sponsors ‘Survive and Thrive’ 5K

The Anaheim Police Department joined other law enforcement agencies Saturday morning in sponsoring and supporting the “Survive & Thrive” 5K health and safety expo at the Los Alamitos Joint Forces Training Base.

Deputy Police Chief Craig Hunter joined more than 400 runners, walkers and victims rights advocates at the event, which benefits Crime Survivors, Inc. Programs.

Deputy Chief Craig Hunter gives invocation at 'Survive and Thrive' 5K

Deputy Chief Craig Hunter gives invocation at 'Survive and Thrive' 5K

“The Anaheim Police Department appreciates the efforts of Crime Survivors to enhance the public’s understanding of victim rights – and for the way it provides important resources and support for crime victims.”

The charity is perhaps best known for its Victim Emergency Bags, which are carried in patrol cars and distributed to victims’ children during times of crisis.

The 5K began about 9 a.m.

The 5K began about 9 a.m.

One way APD supports victims is through its Family Justice Center , where a variety of social service agencies work with the police department to support survivors of domestic violence, child and elder abuse and sexual assault. It’s the only center of its kind in Orange County.

About 8:30 a.m. Saturday, several survivors’ family members released doves into the gloomy sky to memorialize loved ones who died at hands of criminals.

For more about this worthwhile charity – and Saturday’s event, visit its Web site.

Marcella Leach releases a dove to honor the memory of her slain daughter, Marsy

Marcella Leach releases a dove to honor the memory of her slain daughter, Marsy

Hundreds Fill Stoddard Park For ‘Night Out’ Crime and Drug Prevention Event

More than 500 Anaheim residents joined police officers and other city officials Tuesday night at Stoddard Park for the 26th annual “National Night Out” crime and drug prevention event.

Several children posed next to a toy APD cruiser

Several children posed next to a toy APD cruiser

“We want to work with you to continue to make Anaheim a safe place to live and to work,” Deputy Police Chief Craig Hunter told participants.

The evening featured safety tips, tours of police equipment – including the “Anaheim Angel” police helicopter – and a demonstration by Cisko, one of the department’s six German Shepherds.

After the demonstration, officer R.J. Young fielded questions from children curious about the department’s canine program.

Among the questions:

How long does it take to train a police dog? Five to seven weeks.

Do officers get to play with the dogs after work? Yes, police dogs live with their partners and their partners’ families.

Does every police officer get a dog? No, only six lucky officers are partnered with police dogs.

Department officials also awarded plaques to community members who have demonstrated leadership in crime prevention.

Cisko awaits the command to apprehend a suspect

Cisko awaits the command to apprehend a suspect

Electrician Gerald Ball and his wife, Tammi, were among the honorees. About 10 years ago, when they moved into the Friendly Village neighborhood in East Anaheim, they started a Neighborhood Watch program to address drug and crime issues.

Today, crime is down significantly in Friendly Village.  Crime prevention specialist Arleen Harris credited the Balls for working with police to solve the problems.

“We were meeting all the time, now it’s just once a month,” said Ball of his neighbors. “The police department has been a great partner.”