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Freeway Shooting

Los Angeles:  The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating the shooting of 20-year-old, Marlon Gordillo Sical, a Los Angeles resident.

On Sunday, March 30, 2008, at around 8:15 a.m., Mr. Sical was shot while driving his white four-door Honda Accord, southbound on the 101 freeway, near the Van Nuys Boulevard off ramp.  As a result of being shot, he lost control of his vehicle and crashed into the center divider. 

Paramedics responded and transported Mr. Sical to a local hospital, where he later died.

At this time, there is no suspect description or motive for the shooting.  Detectives are continuing to investigate all aspects of this incident including evidence to confirm or rule out a car to car shooting, a self-inflicted gunshot wound, or indiscriminant gunfire. 

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact Van Nuys Homicide Detectives, M. Martinez or B. Shapiro at 818-374-1952.  During off-hours or on weekends, call the 24-hour toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).

Burger King Raises More Than $85,000 in Donations for Fallen Officer Simmons' Family

Podcast of Burger King Check Presentation

Bk_check Proceeds from the February 13, 2008, Burger King Restaurant fundraiser were presented to the family of fallen Los Angeles Police Department Officer Randal Simmons, who tragically lost his life in the line of duty in the early hours of Thursday, February 7, 2008, when he and his SWAT team members responded to a call of an armed suspect barricaded inside a residence.

Brothers Lawrence and Ralph Cimmarusti, owners of the restaurant, presented Officer Simmons’ family with more than $85,000 in contributions donated from surrounding law enforcement agencies, City employees, and community members and corporations.

“Thank you for loving our family,” said Lisa Simmons, wife of Officer Simmons, “and thank you for loving Randy so much [that] you would contribute to our family.”

Chief William Bratton thanked Burger King for its generosity on behalf of the Department.  He noted that the Cimmarustis have a long history of supporting and fundraising for the LAPD.  Two years ago they held this same fundraiser for Officer Landon Dorris, Northeast Area, who was killed in the line of duty when he was struck by a vehicle while investigating a minor traffic collision.

Metropolitan Division Captain Jeffrey Greer and Councilmember Dennis Zine also expressed their appreciation.

LAPD Says Buenos Dias

With a foggy skyline of downtown Los Angeles looming in the background, Tactical Flight Officer Jerry Camporredondo of Air Support Division (ASD), was interviewed live from the heliport on Telemundo's weekday local morning show, Buenos Dias, on Wednesday, March 27, 2008.  Officer Camporredondo introduced Spanish language television viewers to one of the new LAPD helicopters with the black and white color scheme that mirrors our ground vehicles.  He also provided viewers with a rare insider's view of the daily operations of ASD, their roles during vehicle pursuits, and a brief history of this fascinating Division. 

During the interview, Officer Camporredondo addressed one of the problems the men and women of ASD face on a regular basis: laser beams.  Unbeknownst to most members of the public, pointing lasers from the ground to an airship in flight- be it LAPD helicopters or commercial airliners- is incredibly dangerous, and is also a federal crime.  Laser beams can enter the cockpits of these airships and interfere with the pilots' concentration and line of vision, causing temporary blindness, potentially even leading to a crash.

Just a few weeks before, on Friday, March 7, 2008, Officer Victor Islas of Central Traffic Division was a guest on Buenos Dias.  Officer Islas' interview topic was what a motorist should do when pulled over by traffic police.  The interview was highly informative and educational for the viewing audience of Spanish speakers and involved live simulated traffic stop demonstrations on the backlot of NBC Studios in Burbank.

Additionally, last month, on Tuesday, February 19, 2008, Detectives David Mejia and Ana Melara, both of Northeast Area, appeared on Buenos Dias to dispense advice on how to avoid burglary/theft from motor vehicles with viewers.  These interviews also featured demonstrations with a vehicle containing everyday items of value within view, illustrating the temptation created for a suspect to break a window and burglarize the vehicle.  Personal items included a compact disc wallet, bank statements, an iPod, DVDs, and a gym bag.

What do these interviews, of completely unrelated topics all have in common?  They are timely and informative, indeed, and they are part of the Department's ongoing campaign with Spanish language media outlets. Executed by the Public Relations Unit, Public Information Office, the campaign was established to help bridge the wide gap between the Department and the Hispanic community.  These fact-based segments occur regularly on television and radio, and are shining examples of LAPD public relations in action.

LAPD Respone To Firefighter Killed In Line Of Duty

The men and women of the Los Angeles Police Department extend our support and sympathy to our brothers and sisters in public safety at the Los Angeles Fire Department.  The colleagues of fallen Firefighter Brent A. Lovrein, along with his family and friends, are in our thoughts and prayers at this difficult time.

Firefighter Lovrein died tragically in an explosion that rocked a Westchester business district on Wednesday, March 26, 2008.  Firefighters from Station 95 were opening a metal-clad door on an electrical equipment vault to check for smoke when the blast occurred, killing Lovrein and injuring a second firefighter, Engineer Anthony J. Guzman.  A civilian received minor injuries as well.  An LAFD investigation is underway to determine the exact nature of the explosion, as well as the precise cause of Firefighter Lovrien's death.

The LAPD knows all too well the pain and sadness that accompany a loss of this nature.  Our hearts are with the LAFD now and always.

Please see the LAFD blog for more information on the deadly explosion.

6th Addition to Most Wanted List Announced

Los Angeles: With the March 25, capture of the LAPD’s sixth Top-10 Most Wanted Gang Member, Police Chief William Bratton and Mayor Antonio Villaragosa today announced the name of the next local gang member to be added to the list.

Gildardo Pena, 28 is a member of the Toonerville criminal street gang.  An arrest warrant for murder was issued for Gildardo after he was implicated in the November 6, 2005, shooting death of 45-year-old Donald Nelson.  The murder occurred at midnight in the 7000 block of Valmont in Tujunga.  Nelson was killed for the gang’s belief that he was providing information to police about Toonerville gang members.   

The suspect should be considered armed and dangerous.  He is Hispanic 5’11, 176 pounds and has back hair and brown eyes.  Members of the community are encouraged to call their local police station or the LAPD’s toll free number at 1-877-LAWFULL (529-3855).

Sixth Top-10 Gang Member Arrested

Los Angeles: Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa and Police Chief William Bratton announced the capture of 18-year-old Soperry Chea, also known as “Baby Face,” who was listed as one of LAPD’s most wanted gang members. Chea is the six most-wanted gang member captured since the list was created February 8, 2007.

“Chea’s capture is significant for two reasons,” said Chief Bratton.  “First, he was arrested locally, by LAPD officers, and second, it demonstrates that this particular gang initiative is working.”

On March 26, 2008, officers developed information that Chea, a wanted Top-10 gang member was in the area of 14000 block of Valerio Street in the Van Nuys Area.  Uniformed officers from the Van Nuys Station converged on the apartment complex.

Approximately three hours later, officers recognized Chea after he was seen entering a vehicle.  Chea was stopped and taken into custody.  Inside the vehicle, was a handgun which, was recovered by the officers.

Chea was placed on the most-wanted list for a murder that occurred back on April 17, 2005, during which he stabbed an unarmed man to death while pinning him to the ground.  After committing the murder, Chea through the knife over a fence which, was later recovered by police.

Knife Wielding Suspect Stabs Officer

Los Angeles: A Los Angeles police officer shot a suspect who had stabbed him with a knife.

On Tuesday, March 25, 2008, at around 4:00 AM, Officer Joseph Cruz and his partner were in full uniform and were conducting transient problems in the 1400 block of Curson Avenue.  The officers observed a figure lying in the shadow of an apartment building behind some bushes.  The officers walked up to investigate and made contact with the suspect, later identified as 21-year-old Mohammed Usman Chaudry. 

As the officers questioned Chaudry’s presence at the apartment building, Chaudry pulled out a folding knife and stabbed Officer Cruz on the left hand causing a laceration. Officer Cruz fired his duty weapon.  Chaudry was struck several times in the chest and collapsed to the ground.

Los Angeles Fire Department personnel pronounced Chaudry dead at the scene.

Officer Cruz was taken to Cedars Sinai Medical Center when he was treated for a laceration and released.  He has been with the Department for three years and three months.

Force Investigation Division personnel are investigating the Officer-Involved Shooting.

Notes from the March 25, 2008 Police Commission Meeting

•    On March 24, 2008, the members of the Public Safety Committee heard the issue of the Department’s proposed in-car video cameras, as presented by Police Administrator Maggie Goodrich.  The presentation was described as informative and well received, and Ms. Goodrich was complimented for her efforts by Chief Bratton and Chief Information Officer Tim Riley. Commissioner Ordin attended the meeting.

•    United States Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey will be in Los Angeles this week to discuss gang crime at a law enforcement round table, Chief Bratton said.

•    A comprehensive update on officer involved shootings will be presented at the April 8, 2008, weekly meeting. 

•    At the April 15, 2008, weekly meeting, Chief Bratton will make public the contents of the executive summary on SWAT, as prepared by an independent board of inquiry that was  commissioned by the Chief three years ago.  The Department had already implemented many of their recommendations for positive change before the summary was submitted to the Chief.  Never before have the contents of a report of this nature been made public in the history of the Department.

•    Police Commission Executive Director Richard Tefank welcomed new Executive Assistant II Isabel Rosas, who will join the Commission on April 1, 2008.  Additionally, Management Analyst Donna Muñoz and Clerk Typist Catherine Taylor were each awarded certificates of appreciation in anticipation of their departures for Detective Bureau and the Office of the Chief of Police, respectively.

•    The verbal presentation and update from the Community Police Advisory Board (C-PAB,) regarding community initiated problem solving, crime strategies, and other programs and goals within the Harbor Area, was removed from this week’s agenda and will be on a future agenda.

•    The Department’s report, dated March 20, 2008, relative to a proposal to amend Section 52.27.1(b)1 of the Los Angeles Municipal Code regarding the appearance of Retired Officer’s Badge, was approved and transmitted to the Mayor and City Council

•    The Department’s report, dated March 10, 2008, relative to a Request for Proposal for police composite artist services - RFP No. 07-714-001, was approved and transmitted to the Mayor and City Council.

•    The Department’s report, dated March 18, 2008, relative to a Request for Proposals for professional moving services, was approved and transmitted to the Mayor and City Council.

•    The Executive Director’s report, dated March 20, 2008, relative to renaming the 2710 West Temple Street Facility in honor of Police Officer Randal D. Simmons, was approved and transmitted to the Mayor and City Council.

•    The Department’s report, dated March 14, 2008, in response to Board query, relative to suicide among law enforcement personnel and the efforts the Department is undertaking to educate employees regarding suicide risks and prevention, as discussed by Chief Psychologist Kevin Jablonski, was approved.  Dr. Jablonski was asked to return regularly for updates on this topic.

Preserving an Invaluable Photographic Legacy

The Los Angeles Police Department has embarked on an ambitious plan to catalog and preserve nearly one million photographic negatives accumulated during decades of police service in the city of Los Angeles. The images constitute a visual record dating primarily from the early 1920s to the late 1960s.

“Our agency has a rich heritage that parallels and reflects the history of the city,” remarked Mary Grady, Public Information Director for the LAPD, whose Entertainment Trademark Unit will coordinate the undertaking. “The Department has played a vital role in every era of the city’s past. So it is fitting that these negatives should now offer a unique visual resource, one derived entirely from a law enforcement perspective. The photos are expected to be a great help to anyone wanting to learn more about Los Angeles and the LAPD. We envision the portfolio becoming an important tool for interested parties from many different backgrounds, including historians, journalists, entertainment professionals, students, private citizens, and other law enforcement agencies.”

While LAPD archival photographs are and have been available in recent years (see www.FOTOTEKA.com), they represent just a fraction of the full collection of film negatives. In total, more than 960,000 photo negatives are housed at several film vaults around the city. Until now the images have remained largely forgotten and unexplored.

Because of the project’s magnitude, the City has opted to outsource the task of establishing a database for digital scans of each negative. The work will involve sorting, identifying, and electronically scanning every image. The newly digitized files will then populate a database capable of accommodating queries based on any number of search criteria.

This spring the City will announce a formal Request for Proposal (RFP) for companies wishing to be considered for the project. Including the bid phase, the full venture is expected to last several years.

Most of the negatives have minimal or no supporting documentation. Therefore, the Department will enlist the help of scores of retired LAPD officers in the hope that their collective memory will aid in attributing correct date, time, location and content to each photograph. “Our retired officers are a tremendous asset. We want to tap into their memories and employ their expertise as much as possible,” said Grady.

While all of the images will be subject to existing copyright restrictions, with ownership retained by the City, the photographs will be licensed for use. “We want the pictures to be utilized in ways that maximize their benefit to the most number of people,” Grady stated.

“Once things get started, no one knows what treasures we may find. Many of the negatives haven’t been seen for years. We’re actually not sure what’s in there,” Grady said. “Much interest is expected based on the police-oriented content of the images, but we also recognize a fascination with historical photographs in general. People outside the field of law enforcement are also expected to take notice. Old photographs capture subtle details and nuances of their time, often in ways not intended by either subject or photographer. Years or decades later, significance is in the eye of the beholder.”

The database will serve not only as testimony to the LAPD’s past, but provide a means of capturing the Department’s visual history for the years ahead. “Every day, the business of policing adds new negatives to the library,” said Grady. “Our obligation is to organize and safeguard these images in ways that will make them accessible, meaningful, and useful for generations to come. The LAPD’s past is, in many ways, it’s future. We must preserve it.”

By Kevin Maiberger

COMPSTAT Citywide Profile

Crime Statistics March 22, 2008

VIOLENT CRIMES                 2008**            2007**       % Chg
Homicide                               95                   72            31.9%
Rape                                    161                 180           -10.6%
Robbery                              2732                2961           -7.7%
Agg Assaults **                    2632                2650           -0.7%
Total Violent Crimes          5620               5863           -4.1%


Burglary                                4070               4390          -7.3%
BTFV                                    6518                7243        -10.0%
Personal/Other Theft            5514                6068         -9.1%
Auto Theft                           4735                5462        -13.3%
Total Property Crimes     20,837            23,163       -10.0%
Total Part I Crimes          26,457            29,026

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

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