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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.

Police teach record group lesson in character, respect

Throughout Anaheim this month, thousands of children wearing caps and gowns will receive diplomas for their achievements in math, English and science.1000906_586437071376438_1356337695_n

At the Anaheim Convention Center last week, more than 1000 residents gathered for a graduation ceremony of a different kind.

The 309 Anaheim Police Department’s Jr. Cadet program graduates, ages 9-12, wore black and red T-shirts with the message “Respect given is respect earned.”  Their classroom was outdoors, and the tests involved running, push-ups and sit-ups. The subjects they mastered: integrity, respect, character and personal safety.

To graduate, the children endured 14 weeks of strenuous exercise and officers in their faces when they didn’t follow instructions. As part of a lesson in respect, children visited the Riverside National Cemetery and placed 1,200 American flags on the gravesites of soldiers killed in action.

It was the more than double the largest graduating class in the program’s nine-year history. Run by the police department’s Cops4Kids non-profit, it’s the only one of its kind in California. An official from the California Peace Officers Standards and Training attended, hoping to share what he saw with police officials statewide.

Many graduates said the program made them stronger, physically and mentally. A few even said they might want to become police officers.

Marie, 11, a Danbrook Elementary School fifth-grader said, she enjoyed seeing a troublemaking classmate receive consequences for his outbursts.

“If somebody gets in trouble, everybody pays the price,” she said. “We did a lot of push-ups, thanks to him.”

Martin Sanchez, 27, said he saw a transformation in his stepson, Ryan Jimenez, 10, a Paul Revere Elementary fourth-grader. “His attitude has changed,” he said. “He’s following directions.”

Recently, when asked to complete chores, he responded, “yes, sir” without provocation.

“This is a great program,” he said. “They teach the kids skills that they need and will use in real life.”

Graduates were awarded certificates, and some earned medals or trophies for their achievements. Each student wrote an essay about what they learned. Officers selected five to read it in front of the crowd.

Brandon Martinez, 11, thanked his parents and the police department.

“Without Jr. Cadets I probably wouldn’t be the person I am and I might be doing bad stuff,” he said.

The program clearly helped his self-esteem.

“Thank you for listening to my wonderful speech,” he said, ending his remarks.

For more information or to join, visit  www.anaheimcops4kids.com.

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.


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.

Police department consolidates youth programs

By Ariella Rams

Every December the Anaheim Police Department comes together to discuss the upcoming goals of the new year.

2013’s focus? The community’s youth.


According to Lt. Tim Schmidt, the overall program merge was a relatively easy decision for the Police Department.Over the past few years, Anaheim PD has implemented different youth programs such as Safe Schools, the Gang Reduction Intervention Partnership (GRIP), Cops 4 Kids and Girls Club. The goal for this year is to combine these programs along with other police and community programs under one umbrella: Youth Services.

“When someone calls the PD and says, ‘I have a 14-year-old, a 9-year-old, or a 12-year-old’…we can send them to one place, one communication,” Lt. Schmidt said.

That one place is Sgt. Tracy Hittesdorf.

“She is very talented and has a lot of confidence,” Lt. Schmidt said. “She’s the right person for this job.”

One important aspect of Sgt. Hittesdorf’s job will be to oversee Safe Schools, a detail of four investigators and one sergeant responsible for monitoring nine high schools, seven junior high schools and about 40 elementary schools.


In the past decade, youth gang involvement had been on the rise, but since the introduction of GRIP, school attendance is up significantly and teachers and parents are able to more clearly identify the signs of deviance and gang involvement.

Another program Sgt. Hittesdorf will oversee is Cops 4 Kids, which takes children ages 8- 20 into either the Junior Cadet Program or Explorers Program. Elementary school children are welcome to participate in after school activities and homework help at the Cops 4 Kids center. Both age brackets are taught discipline and responsibility. The program also builds positive, strong relationships between the youth and the police and greater community.

In Oct. 2012, the Anaheim Police Department embarked on a mobile Cops 4 Kids program. This brought interaction outside of school, into neighborhoods, to teach short lessons such as the potential harm of “Stranger Danger.”

An area that Sgt. Hittesdorf will be actively involved in is the Girls Club – a place for young women to go as a safe haven from gang violence and involvement.


The Girls Club “instills leadership and confidence in young women,” said Lt. Schmidt. “We want to put female mentors and positive role models in a spot for girls to look up to, to gain pride in themselves; Sgt. Hittesdorf is the person for that.”

According to Sgt. Hittesdorf, the integration all of the youth programs under one umbrella will “enable the officers and civilian personnel to better asses the needs of children and place them in an appropriate program.”

“City residents want community services and programs for our youth,” Lt. Schmidt said. “This is the Police Department’s portion of that. Let’s tell the community that this is what we have out there for the community to get involved.”

To find out more information regarding the youth programs, visit http://www.anaheim.net/police.

Three of a Kind Hosting Poker Tournament to Build Officer Memorial

Three Anaheim charities are hosting a charity poker tournament Oct. 22
to raise funds for a memorial in front of the Anaheim police station.
It will honor officers who died in the line of duty.

The Texas Hold’em Poker Tournament and Casino Night will also support
emergency and scholarship funds for APD widows and other police

Hosted by Cops 4 Kids, the Anaheim Police Survivors and Scholarship
Fund and the Anaheim Police Officers’ Honorary Association, the event
is scheduled for 5:30 p.m. at the Astor Classic Events Center, 1563 S.
State College Blvd.

Cost is $60 to play poker or $20 otherwise. Businesses and community
members are also invited to become a sponsor or donate raffle prizes.

Please send donations to the Anaheim Police Association office at 508
N. Anaheim Blvd., Anaheim, CA 92805, Attn: Cindy, or call Cindy at
714-635-0272. For other questions, call Gina at Cops 4 Kids at (714)

Anaheim Brass Pose Behind Bars for Charity

Police and community leaders posed in orange jumpsuits and prisoner stripes Wednesday to raise several thousands dollars for the Anaheim Police Department’s Cops 4 Kids program.

Sgt. Alex Orozco posted $1,500 \’bail\’ for charity

Held at the Anaheim White House restaurant, the “Jail & Bail” event culminated a fund-raising effort led by several Anaheim business, school, community and police leaders.

Reading comments from those who posted her bail, Police Chief John Welter said this about Cops 4 Kids board member Cathy Dutton: “She looks good behind bars.”

Cops 4 Kids aims to create positive relationships between children police and the community. It was named the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce’s Nonprofit of the Year. To read more, click here.

Tracey Clavell shows her support for Cops 4 Kids by posing in prisoner stripes

Capts. Mike Aquino, Chuck O\’Conner and Raul Quezada mug for the cameras at \’Jail & Bail\’ event

Cops 4 Kids Honored as Non-Profit of the Year

Vodpod videos no longer available.

Cops 4 Kids was honored last week as the non-profit of the year by the Anaheim Chamber of Commerce.

At the awards luncheon, the chamber played a video highlighting how Cops 4 Kids provides at-risk youth tools and relationships to become productive citizens.

To view the video, click on the screen above.