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Anaheim PD Increases Intelligence to Prevent Crime

By Kevin Rice 

The Anaheim Police department took the bull by the horns and implemented their revolutionary Intelligence Led Policing (ILP) Strategy in 2010. 

Police leaders gather for a monthly intelligence-sharing meeting

“The idea of this program is to reduce all crime by combining problem-solving policing, information sharing, and police accountability with enhanced intelligence operations,” said Lt. Steve Davis.

Detectives are able to determine, through use of criminal records and previous trends, who is most likely to commit these crimes. This process allows detectives to forecast problems and zero in on the most likely offender thanks to a highly effective point system. The higher the points, the more likely the offender is the one committing the crime.

Intelligence Led Policing Strategy can also assist with solving battery thefts and preventing sexual offenders. 

Detonating a ‘prank’ bomb carries stiff criminal penalties, police say

The Anaheim Police Department issued a general warning to teen “pranksters” who detonate chemical reaction bombs: Do so at your own peril.

It’s a felony to explode the do-it-yourself bombs, which are commonly known as MacGyver bombs, Acid bombs, Drano bombs or Works bombs. 

Police say they’ve noticed a spike in the number of teens toying with the explosives, which are created by mixing volatile household chemicals inside a closed plastic water or soda bottle.

But the the bombs are no joking matter.

“People have suffered serious injuries, ranging from severe chemical burns to eye injuries,” said Sgt. Rick Martinez. “If anybody sees anything that resembles one of these chemical reaction bombs, move away from the bottle and call police immediately.”

The penalty for detonating one: up to six years in prison. The penalty is even greater if somebody is injured. For example, if the explosive causes “great bodily injury,” such as taking an eye out, a suspect could face life in prison.

In Anaheim, two such bombs exploded in August. 

Although nobody was injured in either incident, investigators are actively working the cases.

In April, five teens were arrested in Lake Forest on suspicion of making the bombs, and in March two south Orange County schools were placed on lockdown after bombs were detonated.

Officer Shane’s Tip: Stick Hands Out Window During Car Stops

Motor officer Shane Spielman has seen it all during his 10 years patrolling the streets of Anaheim. Laws change. But bad drivers remain.

Officer Shane

He wants to make our streets safer. Got a question about the rules of the road?

He’s got an answer. 

Opal asked, “If you pull someone over where would you like to see their hands? Open on the steering wheel? Open out the window?

Officer Shane says, “To be honest, I get the hands out the window frequently…It’s nice to be able to see the hands quickly. On the streering wheel is fine too.

Sue asked, “Is it legal to change lanes in an intersection?

Officer Shane says, “It’s not illegal; however, it may not be the safest thing to do. Be careful.

Ernie asked, “Is is legal to park motor homes on city streets or driveways?”

Officer Shane says, “It can’t be parked in the same location for more than 72 hours.”

911 Calls

From the “did you know” category: Until recently, all emergency calls made from cell phones were directed to the California Highway Patrol.

Not so anymore.

According to Officer Shane, cell towers direct emergency callers in Anaheim to Anaheim PD, expediting customer service.

Athena asked, ”My son wants to know: Do you have to be buckled up if you are in an RV while it is being driven

You can reach him on Facebook or at sspielman@anaheim.net.

Check out his page here.

Worried about ID Theft? Free Saturday Shred-a-Thon Open to Public

The public is invited to have sensitive documents shredded by the pros Saturday at Anaheim Stadium at an event geared toward preventing identity theft.

Bring up to five boxes – or five grocery bags – filled with junk mail, old tax records and other records with personal information and Cintas trucks will safely destroy the documents.

Hosted by the Automobile Club of Southern California and Experian’s ProtectMyID.com, the goal of the Shred-a-Thon is to protect the public from a crime with a growing number of victims.

More than 11 million people were victims last year, up 37 percent from the prior year, according to authorities.

For more details about the event, which runs from 10 a.m.- 2 p.m., read Orange County Register coverage here.

Nitrous Oxide Is New Teen Drug of Choice, Police Say

The scenes are becoming increasingly common in Anaheim: Several teens and young adults huddle outside a fast-food joint, taking turns sucking on a balloon.

Dozens of young adults at an industrial complex pass around a balloon after taking “hits,” their giddy laughter booming off the buildings.

At a crowded party, a pressurized gas tank stands by a table – not far from the potato chips.

Nitrous oxide, for years used by physicians for its anesthetic and analgesic effects, is becoming the drug of choice for teens and young adults in Anaheim, says Sgt. Steve Pena, a drug recognition expert with Anaheim PD.

“Parents need to be on the lookout and be aware,” Pena says. “Abuse of nitrous oxide clearly is on the rise.”

In the past month, two suicides have been linked to nitrous oxide, Pena says.

Dentists routinely use nitrous oxide for its pain-numbing effects. Teens and young adults are embracing it for an intense but brief high. A blast of nitrous oxide from a balloon can, within 8 to 10 seconds, cause dizziness, giddiness, disorientation and, occasionally, visual hallucinations – effects users crave, authorities say.

Often taken with the drug Ecstasy, nitrous oxide can cause confusion, headaches and a sensation that one is about to pass out or faint.

The effects last 2 to 3 minutes — enough time for someone to die, Pena says. Police have received reports of people inhaling nitrous oxide while driving – an extremely dangerous combination.

A commonly abused form of nitrous oxide is found in small, pressurized food-preparation containers called “whip-its,” or EZ Whip. Users place the whip-it in a “cracker,” and then place a balloon on one end of the cracker and turn it until the whip-it pops. This releases nitrous oxide into the balloon.

Whip-its, a cracker and a balloon can be purchased on-line for about $10 to $20, Pena says.
Large, pressurized gas tanks containing nitrous oxide can be purchased at race car shops for between $50 and $100, Pena says. The gas commonly is used to improve engine performance.

Long-term abuse can damage the central nervous system and brain cells. Users also can suffer loss of balance and dexterity, weakness, and numbness in the extremities.

At high doses, nitrous oxide can kill since it replaces oxygen in the bloodstream, depressing the central nervous system and halting breathing.

It’s a misdemeanor to possess nitrous oxide, or any substance containing nitrous oxide, with the intent of inhaling it to get intoxicated, Pena notes.

Pena hopes that the now-familiar sight of teens and young adults in Anaheim sucking on balloons becomes less common.

“Parents, teachers, and law enforcement need to recognize the paraphernalia used while inhaling nitrous oxide,” Pena says. “And children need to be educated about the dangers and long-term effects – and the possibility of death.

“This is one balloon, figuratively speaking, that needs to be popped.”

Drop off drugs, no questions asked

Anaheim PD is partnering with the Drug Enforcement Agency and other public agencies in the first-ever national drug “Take Back” day.

The public is invited to drop off drugs in front of the police department from 10 a.m.-2 p.m. on Sept. 25, no questions asked.

“Prescription drug abuse is a growing problem nationally and locally,” said Sgt. Rick Martinez. “Most Americans don’t know how to dispose of prescription drugs. This is the perfect opportunity to do so.”

According to a DEA press release, the rate of prescription drug abuse is rising at alarming rates, and studies show that a majority of abused drugs are obtained from family and friends.

For more on the national program, click here.

For more about APD’s program, call Martinez at 714-765-1521.

Officer Shane Explains Why DUI Suspects Must Follow the Finger


Officer Shane

Officer Shane Spielman, author of the popular “Ask Officer Shane” Facebook page, recently explained to his followers why DUI suspects must follow an officer’s finger.

“We’re looking for horizontal and vertical gaze nystagmus,” he explained. “Nystagmus is the involuntary bounce or jerkiness of the eyes which is caused by alcohol and drug consumption.”

Click on the video above for a detailed look.

Officer Shane also answered a few reader questions.

Tom asked: When does the speed limit change, when you can see the new speed limit sign – or when you actually reach it?

Officer Shane says, “At the area of the sign… ”

Mark asked: I’ve noticed several APD cars & motors with no plate’s on them. Just wondering what’s up?

Officer Shane says, “We got some new bikes and cars…Takes a bit to get the plates.”

Got a question? You can reach him at sspielman@anaheim.net.

Or follow his Facebook page.