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Governor Appoints LAPD Detective to California Sex Offender Management Board

Los Angeles: Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger announced earlier this month the appointment of Detective-III Diane Webb to the newly established California Sex Offender Management Board.

The announcement, made officially on January 19, follows the establishment last year of the 17-member, multi-disciplinary group created by Assembly Bill 1015.  The purpose of the Board is to address issues, concerns and problems related to community management of California's adult sex offenders.  Its primary goal is to ensure safe communities and reduce victimization.

Other members of the Board are drawn from high levels of the legal, judiciary, law enforcement and mental healthcare professions.  The Board will meet in Sacramento 4 to 6 times per year.  Its final work product  a comprehensive sex offender management plan is due to the Legislature and Governor by January 1, 2010. 

Detective Webb has 21 years' experience as a Los Angeles Police Officer.  She has specialized in sex crime investigation for 15 years and is currently Detective Supervisor of the sex offender registration and tracking program.  She is a Board Member and former President of the California Sexual Assault Investigators Association.

This position does not require Senate confirmation and there is no salary.

Questions may be directed to Media Relations Section.

Family Needs Help to Find Missing Man

Nr07050 Los Angeles: A local family is asking for the public’s help in finding a 45-year-old man who suffers from schizophrenia, and sickle cell disease.

On January 24, 2007, Stanley Tyrunne Norwood was released from California Hospital.  He was on his way home and last seen around 2:30 p.m. at Washington Boulevard and Grand Avenue.

Mr. Norwood walks with a limp, he is 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs 109 pounds, and has black hair and hazel eyes.  He was wearing light colored hospital clothes.

A photo is available through LAPD Media Relations Section.

Anyone with information is asked to call Missing Persons Unit Detectives Lydia Dillard or Bruce Kuehl at 213-485-5381.  On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).

Donut Shop Robbery Caught on Tape

Los Angeles: LAPD detectives are asking for the public's help in identifying two men who robbed a Yum Yum Donut shop in the early morning hours of December 27, 2006.

Just before 3:00 A.M., two Black men walked into the doughnut shop, located in the 1900 block of South La Cienega Avenue, and ordered two hot chocolates.  When the clerk turned his back to the men, one of them jumped the counter and brandished a handgun. 

As the clerk opened the register, the gunman stood behind the clerk and took the clerk’s wallet.  Surveillance footage shows both robbers removing cash from the register.

Witnesses described a dark green, two-door Honda as the getaway car.

One robber wore a black hooded sweat shirt, while his partner wore a white one with green plaid shorts.  They were between 20 and 30 years old and 6 feet tall.

Anyone with information is asked to call Wilshire Division Robbery Detectives Webster Wong or Earl Perry at  213-922-8205.  On weekends and during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855). Callers may remain anonymous.

COMPSTAT Citywide Profile

Crime Statistics January 27, 2007

                 2007*          2006*         % Chg

Homicide                                  21               33               -36%
Rape                                        44                61              -28%
Robbery                                1014            1088               -7%
Agg Assaults **                        880              982             -10%
Total Violent Crimes           1,959          2,164              -9%


Burglary                                1,404               1,551           -9%
Auto Theft                            1,801               1,854           -3%
BTFV                                     2,357              2,428            -3%
Personal/Other Theft            1,668               2,004           -17%
Total Property Crimes         7,230              7,837           -8%
Total Part I Crimes              9,189             10,001          -8%

* Both 2007 and 2006 crime categories represent Year-To-Date figures.  The 2006 figures are not annual totals. 

** Prior to 2005, Aggravated Assaults included Child/Spousal Simple Assaults

Stolen Car Driver Arrested for Murder

Los Angeles: The driver of a stolen car was arrested for murder after he ran over and killed a woman last Thursday night.

On January 25, 2007, at about 8:15 P.M. a 60-year-old woman was crossing the street at the intersection of Saticoy Street and Nestle Avenue in Van Nuys, when she was struck by a gray Honda.  The elderly woman suffered major injuries and despite life saving efforts, died at the scene.   The driver of the Honda fled the scene.  The victim's name is being withheld pending notification to her family.

Officers searched the area and located the unoccupied Honda in the area of Havenhurst Street and Saticoy Street.  A survillance of the vehicle was conducted and a few minutes later a Hispanic man entered the vehicle and drove off.  Officers detained the driver, later identified as Sergio Valle Arellano, 31, for a possible hit and run and murder investigation.

The investigation revealed Arellano and his friend, Oscar Lozada Alvarez, 24, had stolen a purse from a laundromat located at Sherman Way and Balboa Boulevard.  They went through the purse and found a set of keys to a 2002 Honda CRV, which was in the parking lot. 

Alvarez drove the Honda eastbound on Saticoy Street when he struck the elderly woman.  Alvarez abandoned the car a few blocks away.      

About 40 minutes later, officers detained Alvarez for riding a bicycle while DUI near Saticoy Street and Forbers Avenue.  He still had property belonging to the victim of the stolen purse.

Alvarez was arrested for murder along with possession of methamphetamine, DUI, Theft of Property, and Grand Theft Auto (GTA).  His bail was set at one million dollars. Arellano was arrested for GTA and DUI.  His bail is $58,000.  Both Alvarez and Arellano are residence of Van Nuys.

The deceased woman's name is being withheld pending notification to her family.

Anyone with information on this murder is asked to call Valley Traffic Division, Detective Huerta or Officer Martinez at 818-756-8381.  On weekends or during off-hours, please call the 24-hour toll-free Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).

Two Bodies Found in House Fire

Los Angeles:  Suspicious circumstances in a house fire resulted in the deaths of two persons and the Los Angeles Police Department initiating a homicide investigation.

Police officers patrolling in the North Hills area noticed a column of smoke around 6:00 A.M., on January 23, 2007.  The smoke was coming from the 10400 block of North Danube Avenue.  Waiting for the fire department to arrive, the officers tried to enter the house but were forced back by heat and thick smoke.  The officers were able to force open the garage door and rescue a dog trapped inside.

Firefighters put the fire out in 20 minutes, then found the charred remains of two persons in a bedroom.  The LAFD Arson Unit and Mission Area homicide detectives combed over the scene.

Investigators from the Los Angeles County Coroner's Office discovered some evidence that raised the suspicion of foul play.  The homicide detectives assumed the lead investigative role. 

On January 26, autopsies for the two decedents were completed.  The mode of death has been ruled homicide, and the cause of death was gunshot wounds.

The Coroner's Office is in process of identifying both victims.

Anyone with information is asked to contact the Mission Area Homicide Unit at 818-838-9810.  On weekends or during off-hours, call the 24-hour toll free number at the Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAWFULL (1-877-529-3855).  Callers may remain anonymous.

Woman's Burned Body Found on Roadside

Nr07045UPDATE:  The Los Angeles County Coroner's Office has determined that Nicole Harvey died from a gunshot wound.  It has been determined that she was dead prior to the fire.  Nicole Harvey was last seen on Thursday evening, January 25, 2007, by her family. 

Robbery-Homicide Division is asking for the public's help.  If anyone had seen Nicole Harvey shortly before this incident, please call Robbery Homicide Detectives, 213-485-2129.

Los Angeles: Police have identified the burned body of a woman found in Playa Del Rey last Friday as Nicole Harvey, 21, of Los Angeles.

On January 26, 2007, around 2:00 P.M., the Los Angeles Fire Department responded to a fire in the 8100 block of Tuscany Avenue, in Playa Del Rey.  When fire fighters arrived they discovered Harvey's partially burned body lying on the side of the road.  She was pronounced dead at scene.

Detectives have no suspects in custody, nor is any motive known for the crime. The Los Angeles County Coroner will determine an exact cause of death.  Autopsy results are expected this week.

Anyone with information is asked to call Robbery Homicide Detectives Brian Carr or Orlando Martinez, at 213-485-2129, during normal business hours.  After hours and on weekends, phone the 24-hour Detective Information Desk at 1-877-LAW-FULL (1-877-529-3855).  Callers may reamain anonymou.


Police Seek Identity of Deceased Man

Los Angeles:  Police are asking for the public's assistance in identifying a man found dead Saturday evening in Tujunga.

On Saturday, January 27, 2007, around 5:35 P.M., officers responded to a death investigation call in the 7800 block of Rim Canyon Road, in the Tujunga area of the San Fernando Valley.  When police arrived, a group of workers who had been hired to clear brush in the area, directed them to a dead body.  The deceased was lying face down in a dirt lot adjacent to a residence.

The unidentified White male was in his mid-20s, 5'10" tall, 180 lbs., with black hair and brown eyes.  He had a goatee and long sideburns.

Anyone with knowledge of the circumstances surrounding this death is asked to call Foothill Homicide Detectives at 818-834-3110 or 834-3115, during normal business hours.  After hours and on weekends, phone 818-756-8861.  Callers may remain anonymous.

COMPSTAT Citywide Profile

Crime Statistics January 23, 2007

                 2007*          2006*         % Chg

Homicide                                  16               23               -30%
Rape                                        28                45              -38%
Robbery                                  741              792               -6%
Agg Assaults **                        669              726              -8%
Total Violent Crimes           1,454          1,586              -8%


Burglary                                1009                1148           -12%
Auto Theft                             1330               1391            -4%
BTFV                                     1,754              1,789           -2%
Personal/Other Theft            1,146               1,495           -23%
Total Property Crimes         5,239              5,823         -10%
Total Part I Crimes              6,693              7,409         -10%

* Both 2007 and 2006 crime categories represent Year-To-Date figures.  The 2006 figures are not annual totals. 

** Prior to 2005, Aggravated Assaults included Child/Spousal Simple Assaults

COMPSTAT and Crime Reduction

January 11, 2007

Response to January 9, 2007 LAVOICE.ORG Article, "Is LAPD Fudging Our Crime Stats?"

From:  The LAPD's Officer in Charge of the COMPSTAT Unit, Detective III Jeff Godown

LAPD's current Chief of Police, William J. Bratton, was hired by the City of Los Angeles in 2002 with a stated goal of reducing crime. Chief Bratton brought with him an innovative system of addressing crime based on the use of technology coupled with police management accountability called Computer Statistics or COMPSTAT. He also brought with him a leadership style, which can be summed up in his often repeated desire to bring "transparency" to the LAPD organization in order to increase its credibility and capability to work in partnership with the communities it serves.

In past media articles and most recently on the Internet site LAVOICE.ORG, the crime reduction, which has occurred for each of the past five years as a result of COMPSTAT and the work of the men and women of the LAPD, has been called into question. The author and his sources bring up this issue by asking if the LAPD is "fudging" on its reported downtrend in crime statistics or "cooking the books", so to speak, leading to a distortion of the crime picture and a false sense of security. Manipulating crime statistics to reflect more favorably on the crime rate is on its face inappropriate, ethically wrong, and if allowed to be practiced, will erode the credibility of the Department.

The integrity of the processes being used to track and report on crime and arrests is critical to compiling the data used in the foundational step of the COMPSTAT process, which is to obtain "Accurate and Timely Intelligence." This data is ultimately used by LAPD command and staff officers in creating crime reduction strategies, allocating resources and deploying personnel. The operative word in this process is accuracy and follows the garbage-in garbage-out principle. In order to create the best crime reduction strategies, those strategies must be based on an accurate crime picture.

As the Officer in Charge of the COMPSTAT Unit, I have had many discussions with Chief Bratton and the opportunity to talk with every commanding officer on the LAPD regarding the importance of accurately documenting and correctly reporting crime in the city. Each command follows standardized crime investigation and reporting procedures. From attending every COMPSTAT meeting and, after first analyzing the statistics reviewed for patrol operations throughout the city, I can assure you that no Captain, Commander, or Chief level staff officer is "cooking the books" to reduce crime in his area to make themselves look good. Far from the portrayal given of New York Police Department commanders that, "They are, by nature, ambitious people who lust for promotions, and rising crime rates won't help anybody's career.", I know of no LAPD command or staff officer who would "risk" their career by encouraging, or participating in, the "fudging" of crime statistics. It is interesting to note that all the articles concerning these issues have been generated on departments from back east. However, I can only address the LAPD and my role in the COMPSTAT process here in Los Angeles.

Consider the fact that the LAPD is operating under the scrutiny of a Federal Consent Decree with its capability to monitor and audit any aspect of Department operations at any place and time. On many occasions, my staff in the COMPSTAT Unit has audited crime and arrest reports for accuracy and the proper use of crime class and modus operandi codes to ensure the oversight of statistical reporting procedures. Each Area command is also responsible for auditing its operations to monitor compliance with mandatory procedural requirements. These commands must respond to the oversight of their respective Bureau commands, which in turn require Bureau audits as a check and balance on all systems. At the highest level, the Chief of Police has directed integrity audits to be performed by Professional Standards Bureau. It is well known by line officers that their next call for service could very well be such a performance audit. Any officer, who fails to complete a required report from an internal integrity audit, or from any reporting person for that matter, will be disciplined by the Department. Line officers conducting preliminary investigations will not risk involvement in the disciplinary process by intentionally refusing to complete required crime reports for the sake of "year-ending crime totals".

Today's policing environment necessarily involves the processing of vast amounts of information. The COMPSTAT process is a framework for researching, analyzing and sharing statistical crime, arrest and risk management data with all levels of the organization. In addition, external sharing of data exists in cooperation with outside law enforcement entities. In January of 2005, the COMPSTAT Unit implemented a change in the reporting of Aggravated Assault crimes involving domestic violence to the FBI's Uniformed Crime Reporting (UCR) program. Aggravated Assault is one of seven "index" crimes routinely reported for inclusion in the UCR. This change brought the LAPD's Aggravated Assault crime reporting in line with the crime definitions mandated by the program. Consultants from the FBI and the California Department of Justice concurred with the change as necessary for the accuracy of LAPD's crime statistics. This change was undertaken to correct a UCR reporting error and not to induce a "fudge factor" or creative "spreadsheet shuffle" to make it appear that the crime of domestic violence had been reduced, as some Department detractors have inferred. This reporting change was transparently made and existing statistical documents used in the COMPSTAT process were appropriately annotated.

The anecdotal evidence of LAPD personnel attempting to artificially impact the accurate reporting of crime, as may be occurring in other jurisdictions, does not wash. Does the Department follow every officer around to make sure they take every required report? Of course the answer is no. It is also true that, at times, reports that should be completed are not, but not for the aforementioned reasons of trying to artificially reduce the overall crime rate. The men and women of the LAPD are trained to investigate, document and accurately report on the incidence of crime when completing their duties and responsibilities, be they patrol officers, detectives, supervisors, command personnel or the dedicated crime analysts who work behind the scenes. They do so, admirably, and are responsible for the hard work that has produced the crime reduction successes in conjunction with COMPSTAT, the Department's inspection and command accountability process implemented by Chief Bratton to guide the Department in reducing and preventing criminal activities. The sworn and civilian personnel of the LAPD are too busy fighting crime and serving the people of Los Angeles' business and residential communities to, in your words, "Cook the Books."