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August events designed to make Anaheim safer

The Anaheim Police Department offers residents a number of ways to get involved in the fight against crime.

2013-08-06 AFD Nat Nite Out 161-MThis month, the department hosted and participated in a number of events designed to foster partnerships and keep the community safe, beginning Aug. 6 at the annual National Night Out against crime.

The event included the whiz-bang aspects of policing with crowd-pleasing demonstrations by the K-9, SWAT and Angel helicopter units.

It also featured outstanding examples of the nuts-and-bolts of community policing: officers interacting with citizens and sharing ways they can get involved such as the PACE citizen’s academy, Jr. Cadets and Neighborhood Watch.

Hundreds of residents packed Eucalyptus Park to learn more about police work – and to express support for the men and women who keep Anaheim safe.

“My kids always see police officers in uniforms, so this event is a nice way for them to develop relationships with officers,” said residents Margaret Lloyd.

Two days later, on Aug. 8, several police leaders attended a graduation ceremony for 32 students of the Project Access Hermosa Village Center.

The six-week program taught children about conflict resolution, interpersonal skills and the pitfalls of bullying.

“I make it a point to stress family at these events because that’s where it all starts,” said Interim Police Chief Raul Quezada, who spoke at the graduation. “A strong family at home goes a long way in making our jobs easier.”

Finally, the police department’s inaugural gun “buy back” is scheduled for Aug. 24 at La Palma Park.

The idea: fewer guns on the streets makes Anaheim safer for police and citizens. So far this year, there have been four gun-related gang killings and 13 gun-related assaults.

“Too frequently, people fall victim to gun violence,” says Sgt. Bob Dunn. “Our investigations often reveal the guns used in violent crimes come from burglaries where unsecured guns are the target.”

No identification is required, and no questions will be asked. Just show up on the north side of the park between 8 a.m.-4 p.m. with your unloaded gun or rifle. The police will pay $100 for handguns and $200 for rifles. “Our goal is to collect and dispose of unwanted guns, helping to make safer neighborhoods,” Dunn said.

Olympic Hopefuls Find Peace In Boxing Ring

By Kevin C. Rice

Financial and moral support from the Anaheim Police Department has provided coach Art James and Team PunchOut, who represent the Anaheim Boxing Club, with the opportunity to sculpt a group of young, boxing phenoms.

Esquivel/Orosco

Jonathan Esquivel and Caitlin Orosco striking a pose

Anaheim Boxing Club is part of the Anaheim Police Department’s Cops 4 Kids program. The boxing program was established to serve

children between the ages of nine and 17 who live or attend school in Anaheim. The goal of the program is to establish positive relationships among youth, police and the community at large.

“This program is great for children in the area,” said coach Art James. “The focus on training and continued support of the Anaheim Police Department and the surrounding community has helped these children grown into respectful young adults, with a bright future in a popular sport.”

Caitlin Orosco, 15, Jonathan Esquivel, 18, have taken to the program with ease. A little natural talent, and years of hard work and training have brought these two Anaheim residents national recognition in the boxing community.

Orosco, the only female in the group of top-notch fighters, has consistently remained a force to be reckoned with. She has already earned a berth to the National Silver Gloves Championships next July, and Orosco will have the opportunity to represent the USA National Junior Olympic Women’s Team in Finland at the end of March, then the Junior Olympic Women’s World Championships in Italy in May.

Esquivel’s potential is just as promising; earning a berth to every national tournament he has entered. Currently, Esquivel is preparing for the USA Nationals, which will be held March 30-April 6. He will be competing in the Elite Male Division of 19-40 year olds under the newly established Olympic rule, which dictates no headgear. Earning a top spot at nationals opens a vast array of possibilities in preparation for the 2016 Summer Olympics.

Esquivel, was number three nationally ranked Junior Olympic boxer in 2011.  After a brief hiatus to focus on academics, he has come back to claim the Southern California District Championships and Most Outstanding Boxer in the Elite Male Division this year.

The Anaheim Boxing club is always looking for sponsorships, and is planning to have a fundraising fight night in November. If you are interested in making a donation to Cops 4 Kids and their efforts with the Anaheim Boxing Club, please contact Gina Meza at (714) 493-4631.

APD leaders honor 13 young graduates of Kids Creating Change

By Kevin Rice

The Anaheim Family Justice Center (AFJC) celebrated the graduation of 13 children Wednesday afternoon from the Kids Creating Change program, which is part of AFJC Foundation’s Children’s Survivor’s Academy. DSC_0420

Kids Creating Change is a five-week, 20-hour program that provides children of violence the knowledge and skills to shatter the cycle of abuse. The program covers conflict resolution/playground bullying, anger management, communication skills, physical health and effective family communication.

Kids Creating Change groups the participating children into classes of no more than 15 per age group and provides age appropriate lessons and activities.

Idelia Lazo leads the nine to 11 year olds and the teenage classes, while Leticia Sanchez works with the five to eight year olds, primarily Spanish-speaking children. As co-facilitators, Idelia and Leticia try to inspire the children to volunteer for community service, with the idea, “How can we use our hands for something positive?”

The graduation ceremony included a certificate presentation, congratulatory words from the Anaheim Police and Fire Departments, including Anaheim Police Deputy Chief Raul Quezada, Lt. Eric Carter and Deputy Fire Chief Rusty Coffelt. The ceremony ended with a potluck and a special quilt give away in honor of the famed, “Grandma Betty,” a woman who volutneers anonymously.

“It’s a great experience to help with the program,” said 11-year old Vanessa Sanchez, who has completed the program herself and has volunteered since 2011. “I really enjoy giving my time to community service and teaching how to recognize and report bullying and physical violence.”

Up Next: Anaheim Family Justice Center to Focus on Children Survivors

by Ariella Rams
 
One woman came in because her boyfriend put a gun to her head. Another showed up after he burned all of her clothes; the young mother arrived with the clothes on her back and nowhere else to go. 

AFJC executive director Kerith Dilley, Capt. Raul Quezada and Lt. Dave Flutts congratulate a Survivors Academy graduate


 
These two women’s lives were turned around thanks to the Anaheim Family Justice Center (AFJC), a non-profit organization that provides survivors of domestic violence, child abuse, elder/dependent abuse and sexual assault help with services such as temporary restraining orders, police reports, access to shelter and social workers. 
 
The AFJC opened in Oct. 2006, and in five years has improved thousands of lives.
 
One way it makes a difference is through the innovative Survivor’s Academy. Created by the AFJC Foundation in 2009 and facilitated by Irene Martinez, this innovative eight-week program funded through the non-profit AFJC Foundation focuses on the talents and strengths of women who have survived family violence.  The program provides them the tools, confidence and courage to change their lives and become more independent and self-sufficient. 
 
The Survivor’s Academy “looks at what the next steps are to becoming self sufficient outside the shelter,” said Kerith Dilley, AFJC Executive Director. “These women have amazing talents but don’t know how to focus and utilize them. That’s where we come in.”

Deputy Police Chief Craig Hunter and Councilwoman Lorri Galloway congratulate a graduate


 
So far the Academy has graduated five classes. Graduates of the Academy have gone on to open catering companies, floral shops, boutiques, as well as work in the corporate world, leaving behind lives of suffering.
 
Up next, Dilley says, is a Children’s Survivors Academy that will begin in Spring 2011. The academy will focus on the long-term goal to reduce crime as well as how children who grow up around violence can reverse the cycle of abuse. 
 
“Violence seen on the streets starts with violence in the home,” Dilley said. “If we can reduce violence in homes then we can reduce violence in the streets.”
 
The center has faced challenges the past few years because of the growing population that needs the services the center provides. The AFJC is committed to providing quality in helping victims of domestic abuse, and capacity is always in question. 
 
Like other non-profit organizations, the AFJC is always in need of funding. Successful events have been held such as the annual improve fundraiser, “Laugh It Off,” which raised $6,000 and drew 260 people.  
 
To continue to raise funds to help support the center, the AFJC will host a Spring Reception on May 19 that will honor individuals and organizations for their contributions and efforts. 
 
Among those being honored: Survivor Academy facilitator Martinez , as Community Partner of the Year. AFJC will also acknowledge a Corporate Partner of the Year. 
 
To purchase a ticket or find out more information about the organization, visit AFJC’s website here.

Anaheim PD Collecting Holiday Toys, Donations for Needy Families  

OC Register shot from last year's effort

The Anaheim Police Department’s Cops 4 Kids program announced today that it hopes to exceed last year’s effort to provide holiday gifts to more than 600 children and hot turkey dinners to more than 125 families.

“For many kids, the holiday season means presents, parties and friends. However, the reality is that many kids won’t have a Christmas this year,” says Phyllis O’Neal, Cops 4 Kids board president, in a letter to potential donors. “Coming from unstable homes with little or no money, these kids are often lucky to receive a hot meal, let alone a brightly-wrapped gift.”

It’s the third year C4K is delivering gifts and meals (donated by Downtown 195 Grill) to Anaheim families.
The charity hopes to raise $20,000 this year.

For more information, contact Georgina Meza at (714) 493-4631 or visit www.anaheimcops4kids.com.

To read Orange County Register coverage of last year’s effort, click here.

McGruff the Crime Dog and Anaheim Dispatchers Surprise Local Elementary School Students

By Ryan Dedmon

McGruff poses in front of an APD squad car

The multi-purpose room at Mattie Lou Maxwell Elementary School in Anaheim erupted with cheers from 400 students last Friday when McGruff the Crime Dog made his entrance into the auditorium.  McGruff accompanied Anaheim Police Dispatchers and Volunteers as they put on an assembly presentation to teach kids about 9-1-1.

Last year, Anaheim Police Communications developed a special program that reaches out to local elementary schools and educates children about 9-1-1.  Research done by a non-profit organization in California has shown that approximately 20 percent of all calls to the 9-1-1 Emergency System are false, and a majority of these calls are accidentally made by young children 4-10 years old. 

In a proactive effort to battle these false accidental calls, Anaheim Police Dispatchers make special visits to local elementary schools to teach kids about the proper use of 9-1-1.

The children watched a short movie called “The Great 9-1-1 Adventure”, which is an educational story about a group of children depicted as puppets, who go on a journey to learn about how 9-1-1 works.  Communications Supervisor John Carter then spent time talking to the children about what to do in the event of an emergency. 

After the assembly presentation, police volunteers helped move the children outside where they got to take photos with McGruff. 

Communications Manager Kurt Wallace says, “The goal is to teach young children about 9-1-1 so they know when to call; hopefully, this will eliminate false and prank calls in the future that waste valuable time for dispatchers who need to help other people with real emergencies.” 

The program also gives young children a positive interaction with the police, which we hope will shape their attitudes in regards to becoming model citizens in the community and working with police in the future to solve problems.  

Special thanks to the administration and faculty at Maxwell Elementary School for their support.  McGruff will be making more visits to local elementary schools in Anaheim this 2010-11 school year to surprise kids and help dispatchers with 9-1-1 education.     

Lt. Miller Entertains During Read for the Record Event

The children paid close attention as Lt. Miller read to them

Lt. Tim Miller joined Congressman John Campbell and former professional baseball player Jay Johnstone today at “Read for the Record” at the MainPlace Mall in Santa Ana.

They took part in a nationwide event that encourages reading.