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LAPD to Implement Financial Disclosure

Los Angeles:  The decision by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to deny the Los Angeles Police Protective League’s motions to prevent the implementation of Financial Disclosure was not unexpected.

The Los Angeles Police Department will fulfill its obligation, under the Consent Decree, to fully implement Financial Disclosure within the next 30-days.  During that time, personnel who will be affected by Financial Disclosure will be fully briefed on the new policy and procedures that will need to be followed to ensure full compliance with the Consent Decree.

Party Shooting Leaves One Dead

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department’s detectives are investigating the shooting death of 36-year-old Mark Porter.

On Sunday, February 22, 2009 at about 2:00 a.m., Porter and three of his companions were leaving a party in the 2600 block of Lacy Street when gunfire rang out.  

Porter was struck multiple times and was transported to local hospital where he died from his injuries.  Porter’s companions were also struck and taken to a local hospital where they are recovering from their wounds.  

Detectives have few leads and have not determined what prompt the shooting.  

Anyone with information on this incident is asked to contact Hollenbeck Homicide Detective Robert Farias 323-526-3680.  After-hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text “CRIMES” with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips.  When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.”  All calls and contacts are anonymous.

CHIEF’S MESSAGE – February 2009

As the Department continues its year long celebration of its 140th Anniversary, I’d like to talk with you this month about a number of issues.   As a part of the Department’s 140th Anniversary, the month of February celebrates the diversity of the Los Angeles Police Department.  Recognized as one of the nation’s most ethnically diverse law enforcement agencies with a language bank over eighty languages strong, the Los Angeles Police Department has truly become a Department more reflective of the communities it serves.  And with the support of Mayor Villaraigosa to add 1,000 officers to our ranks, the LAPD aims to increase and diversify its ranks even further.  The current breakdown of our sworn personnel closely mirrors the very diverse communities we protect and serve.  For example, in comparing the City’s demographics to the Department’s overall sworn ethnicity, the City’s population is comprised of 44.6% Hispanics versus 41.3% Hispanic officers, 31.1% Caucasians versus 37.5% Caucasian officers, 12.0% Asian-Pacific Islanders versus 8.6% Asian-Pacific Islander officers, 9.5% African Americans versus 12.1% African American officers and 0.8% Native Americans versus 0.5% Native American officers.  

In reference to our continuing crime reduction efforts, at a time when cities across the nation struggle with surges in violent crime, 2008, thanks to your efforts, was the seventh year in a row that we have seen significant reductions in crime.  In 2008, your hard work and dedication has driven homicides down another 4%.  Angelenos have not seen numbers this low since the 1960’s.  Through your committed efforts violent crimes have dropped another 4% and Total Part I Crimes have decreased 2.5% since 2007.

Reported gang crime shows even more significant reductions.  The Department’s 2008 gang initiatives proved highly effective with reductions in nearly every gang category.  Gang homicides have declined 25%, aggravated assaults are down 15%, and gang-related carjackings have gone down 27% for an overall 10% reduction in gang crime.  There were also 300 fewer victims of gang-related shootings in 2008 versus 2007.

As your Chief, there is no more important mission than ensuring the safety of the men and women of this Department.  To that end, in 2009, the command staff and I will increase our focus on reiterating and reinforcing the basic tenants of officer safety which are at the core of your training and day-to-day mission.  Command officers will directly address this issue with their officers and each supervisor will discuss officer safety issues with their platoons.  Supervisors will also be directed to immediately address officer safety concerns when they become apparent.

As part of our continuing efforts to improve officer safety, we will be doing a number of things.  Through recent changes to the Use of Force Review and Adjudication process, the Use of Force Review Division identified notable tactical and officer safety issues during the adjudication of both Categorical and Non-Categorical Use of Force incidents.  The following are some of the more serious trends and concerns that arise repeatedly and must be comprehensively and proactively addressed by all Department members.


A review of Use of Force cases has revealed a disturbing trend of officers failing to go Code-6 on calls for service or upon self initiating field activity.  While there may be occasions when there is simply no time to go Code-6, the majority of cases where failing to go Code-6 was identified as a serious issue, officers failed to do so when there was sufficient time.  Additionally, in many circumstances where officers originally went Code-6, they then failed to update their location after moving to another location or changing locations to do a follow up investigation or make contact with a suspect.  Failing to go Code-6, or to notify Communications Division of their updated location, exposes officers to serious jeopardy when and if they need help.


When responding to calls or self initiating field activities or contacts, officers must ensure they have enough personnel and the appropriate tools to address the problem.  When officers face a violent suspect without sufficient assistance or the proper tools, such as a baton, TASER or Bean Bag Shotgun, they may place themselves and their partners, as well as innocent civilians, at significant and avoidable risk.

Some examples include: failing to request additional units for a perimeter or to contain an armed suspect; or leaving an issued TASER in the trunk of the car when confronting a potentially violent suspect.

Bottom line – officers should make every effort to maintain a tactical advantage.  Whenever you request additional officers or tools, Communications Division will find the resources you need - if not from your own area then from a neighboring area.  We are also, this year, acquiring an additional 1,200 more modern TASERs for distribution to the patrol force, along with 10,000 ROVERs to be issued to each officer with individual ID numbers for emergency help identification.


Officers should NOT use simplex as their sole primary operating frequency.  At least one officer should be on their base frequency or on a monitored Tactical Frequency.  The Department has 14 individual Tactical Frequencies, including six assigned to each bureau.  The issuing of individually assigned ROVERs will increase your ability to comply with this concern.   

While Simplex is a great resource, it is limited in range and is generally not monitored by Communications Division.  In short, when you yell for help it is possible that no one will hear you.  When involved in any tactical operation, or during day-to-day deployment, officers must have access to their designated base frequency or in the alternative, operate on a monitored tactical frequency when it is appropriate to do so.    


Another significant cause for concern is the trend for officers to mitigate their need for help.  In several cases, officers broadcast a Back-Up or Assistance request – when the incident had clearly escalated to an emergency and HELP was urgently needed.

The policy on Help calls is currently being rewritten; however, current Department policy states that a HELP call must be broadcast when immediate aid is required by an officer.  Ultimately, failing to broadcast a HELP call - when help is clearly needed - can cost lives.  When in any doubt about “HELP” or back up, call for “HELP.”    

In summary, to increase your safety, officers are expected to:

•    Go Code-6 and continually update their location

•    Secure sufficient resources, whenever possible - prior to taking action or initiating contact with suspects.  These resources may take the form of additional personnel or tools.

•    Work on a primary or other monitored duplex frequency and only use Simplex frequencies in limited tactical circumstances.

•    Lastly, do not minimize your need for help.  When you are faced with an EMERGENCY – request HELP.

To be clear – officer safety and tactics is of paramount concern and will receive my full attention when I am reviewing Use of Force cases and other incidents.  Furthermore, I have directed the Use of Force Review Division and Use of Force Review Board be vigilant for these and other officer safety practices, and to take these concerns into consideration when adjudicating the tactics portion of a Use of Force case.

Your safety is my primary concern and that of your union and our Department.  We need each and every one of you.  You count, you matter.  Let’s work together to make sure that everybody goes home safely at end of watch.

Man Left Shot in Front of Hospital


On Feb. 26, 2009, the LAPD presented a criminal complaint to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office charging Arleta resident Juan Carlos Estrada for the murder of Mario Andrade in reference to the original incident/press release below.  According to LAPD Mission Division homicide detectives, an invest- igation into the case revealed that the victim, Andrade, and another male were in the process of burglarizing a vehicle parked on the street when Estrada confronted them. At that point, detectives believe Andrade and his companion attempted to drive away in their own vehicle while Estrada fired gunshots into their car, striking Andrade, who was seated in the front passenger seat of the vehicle.   

Los Angeles:  Police are investigating the murder of a 47-year-old Mario Andrade a resident of Panorama City.

On February 23, 2009, at around 2:15 a.m., Los Angeles Police Officers from Mission Division responded to a radio call of a “Shooting Victim” at Mission Community Hospital in Panorama City.  When officers arrived at the hospital they saw a red, 1991 Nissan Stanza, 4-door sedan, parked at the emergency room entrance.

The investigation revealed that the vehicle was driven to the hospital by an unidentified Hispanic male adult who alerted hospital staff of the victim seated in the passenger seat and that he had been shot.  The victim was removed to the emergency room where he was pronounced dead, and the driver of the vehicle left on foot after alerting the medical staff.

The location of the crime has not been determined and the motive for the shooting is unknown. Detectives are asking for the public’s assistance.

Anyone with information about this crime is asked to call Mission Area Homicide Detectives Parshall or Armijo at 818-838-9810.  During off-hours calls may be directed to our 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text “CRIMES” with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips.  When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.”  Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Mayoral Candidate Questioned for Making Threats

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles detectives are investigating a Los Angeles Mayoral candidate for making threats to another candidate.

On February 26, 2009, at around 11:30 a.m., the Detective Support and Vice Division, Threat Management Unit (TMU) received notification of a Criminal Threats investigation involving two Los Angeles Mayoral candidates.  One of the two candidates reported that he had been threatened by the other candidate during a telephone call earlier in the day.  TMU detectives were aware that a political debate involving the same two candidates was scheduled for later that afternoon at 1762 South La Cienega Bl.

TMU detectives responded to the debate location and detained the candidate alleged to have made the threat.  The detectives interviewed and subsequently released the candidate pending review of this case by the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office.  

This investigation is ongoing.

Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to call our 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (527-3247).  Callers may also text “CRIMES” with a cell phone or log on to www.lapdonline.org and click on Web Tips.  When using a cell phone, all messages should begin with “LAPD.”  Tipsters may remain anonymous.

Composite Sketch of Police Impersonator

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles detectives are asking for the public’s help in providing any information about the identity or activities of a man posing as a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent.  Detectives have released a composite sketch of the man.

“We want to identify this man as soon as possible, but we also want to warn the public to beware,” said Lt. Paul Vernon, head of detectives at the Central police station.  “Suspects like this man pose a danger to the public and make it more difficult for real police to work with the public.”

The incident occurred Saturday afternoon, February 21, in a residential area south of downtown in the 1400 block of Wright Street.  He identified himself as a federal ICE agent and flashed a badge.  He detained two men in front of their own house, handcuffed one and placed him in a black Suburban SUV.  After driving a short distance away, the suspect released this captive after the victim told him to take the money from his wallet.

Several other neighbors reported sightings of the same man who yelled at them and attracted much attention.  The impersonator was wearing an olive-drab colored police ballistic vest over a white T-shirt.  He had plain blue pants, a tan gun belt with a gun in the holster.

“This man is clearly not an ICE agent,” Vernon said.  “We have contacted the Immigration and Customs Enforcement so they were aware of the incident.  I also want to reassure any victim or witness, we have no interest in their immigration status if they are coming forward to report information about a crime.”

One witness described the black Suburban SUV as having a set of red and blue lights on one visor, possibly to simulate a police vehicle.  The victim was able to record only two digits of the SUV:  

2 J _ _ _ _ _ of a California plate.

Detectives remind the public that legitimate law enforcement will always have a photo identification in addition to any badge they might carry.  Anyone stopped by the police may insist that officers verify their legitimacy, and real officers will always do so once the situation is tactically safe.

The descriptors of the composite sketch are:  Hispanic man in his 40’s, 5’2” tall, 230 pounds.

Anyone with information is asked to call Central Area Detectives at 213-972-1203 during normal business hours.  After hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with the letters LAPD.  Tipsters may also submit information on the LAPD website www.lapdonline.org.  All tips are anonymous.

Detectives Seek Additional Victims in an Apparent Sexual Assault Case

Los Angeles:  Los Angeles police have identified the suspect responsible for the abduction and sexual assault of an 8-year-old boy and are seeking additional victims to come forward.

The suspect has been identified as 33-year-old Darwin Felix Alfelor, a resident of North Hollywood.  Investigators will file sexual assault charges on Alfelor who's currently in custody on unrelated felony charges. According to detectives, Alfelor's background revealed that he worked at various hospitals where he could have had contact with other children.

On June 13, 2007, at around 2 p.m., the boy's babysitter picked him up from Erwin Street Elementary School in Van Nuys.  The boy ran ahead of the babysitter, and she lost sight of him near the corner of Atoll Avenue and Victory Boulevard.

Alfelor, who was driving a newer black compact 4-door vehicle, stopped the car, grabbed the boy and pulled him inside.  The boy was driven to a location where he was sexually assaulted.  Afterwards, the suspect dropped the victim off in the 7600 block of Babcock Avenue.

A woman found the boy running down the street crying.  The boy was able to provide the woman with his parents' phone number and she called the police.

On November 13, 2008, detectives discovered that DNA evidence from the crime scene had linked Alfelor to the sexual assault incident.

Anyone with information about this case or who may have been victimized is asked to call Robbery Homicide Detectives at 213-485-2921.  After hours or on weekends, calls may be directed to a 24-hour, toll-free number at 1-877-LAPD-24-7 or by texting CRIMES (274637) and beginning the message with the letters LAPD.  Tipsters may also submit information on the LAPD website  www.lapdonline.org.  All tips are anonymous.

From Street Officer to Commanding Officer

 Los Angeles:  Captain Blake Chow has been assigned to Central Area as the first Commanding Officer of Asian descent in Downtown Los Angeles, in the history of the LAPD.  He is also the highest ranking Chinese American officer in the Department.

Captain Chow has an interesting and varied life story.  He is a third generation Chinese American whose grandparents immigrated to America in the early 1900s from Southern China.  He grew up in San Jose California.  

Chow's father, an engineer by trade, died when he was only 17-years-old, but the legacy of a hard working family gave Chow a strong work ethic and determination to fulfill his dreams.  Chow's mother was a teacher and is credited with instilling in him the drive to persevere and to succeed.  

After graduating from college, Chow entered the work force, but found little satisfaction in his job.  Inspired by shows like "Hill Street Blues," Chow joined the San Jose Police Department Reserves.  Finding that he enjoyed his work as a reserve more than he enjoyed his paying job, he began pursuing a career in law enforcement.

As a brand new Los Angeles Police Officer, Chow's first tour of duty in Central Area began in 1991.  Over the next few years Chow worked various jobs including foot beats and special units that targeted violent crimes, property crimes, and narcotics.  It was during these early years that Chow realized that policing required community involvement to be effective.  During the course of the next ten years, Chow honed his community policing skills and continued to promote up the Chain of Command.

In May of 2003, Chow was promoted to Captain I and began his second tour of duty in Central Area as the Commanding Officer of Patrol Division.

In early 2009 Chow was promoted to Captain III, making him the Commanding Officer over Patrol, Detectives, Gangs, Community Relations, Safer Cities Initiative, Vice and Narcotics, and making it his third tour of duty in Central Area.  

Chow said, "I have had the unique opportunity to see the Downtown area in many phases, from the civil unrest that marred many areas of our City, to reemergence, and to the renaissance that is now taking place.  I am committed to forging strong partnerships with the residents, businesses, and every entity that calls Downtown home.  I know that the key to making Downtown better and safer is a good relationship with our partners in the community."

Unlawful Marijuana Sting Operation

Los Angeles:  The Los Angeles Police Department is investigating an incident where school administrators allegedly used a student to purchase marijuana from another student while at school.

On February 18, 2009, a student at Porter Valley Middle School told administrators of another student attempting to sell marijuana. The administrator, in consultation with two other administrators at the school, elected to enlist the aid of a student in addressing this criminal activity.

The development of the plan and decision to enlist the aid of the student was not discussed beyond the three administrators or any law enforcement entity. 

Upon discovery of this incident by LAUSD supervision, all three administrators were reassigned at this time pending the outcome of the investigation.
On February 18, 2009, LAUSD Police Department personnel initially investigated the incident. On February 24th they presented their findings to the Los Angeles District Attorney for prosecution consideration for 11361 (A) Health and Safety Code, Employing a minor in a narcotics transaction, and 272 (A) (1) PC, Contributing to the delinquency of a minor. 

The Los Angeles Police Department has assumed the investigation and will be responsible for any follow-up or further investigation, including notification to the parents of the students involved as well as the source of the apparent marijuana that was brought on campus.

Persons with information regarding this investigation should contact Lieutenant Thomas Murrell, LAPD Devonshire Detectives, at 818-832-0609.  On weekends of during off-hours call the 24 hour tip line at 1-877 LAPD 24-7 (1-877-527-3247).  Those wishing to remain anonymous may use their cellular phones and text to "CRIMES" or by logging on to www.lapdonline.org and clicking on "webtips."  When using a cell phone always begin the text portion of the message with the letters LAPD.  Texting or internet tips provided in this manner are anonymous.

Notes from the February 24, 2009 Weekly Police Commission Meeting

•    The Executive Director’s report, dated February 19, 2009, and Department’s report, dated January 9, 2009, relative to Status Report Relevant to the Department’s Efforts Regarding the Prevention of Biased Policing and the Response from Analysis Group to the ACLU of Southern California Report Entitled “A Study of Racially Disparate Outcomes in the Los Angeles Police Department, as presented by Executive Director Richard Tefank, was approved.  Mr. Tefank informed the Commission he had a series of meetings with Commissioner Robert Saltzman, Deputy Chief Sandy Jo MacArthur and Police Administrator Maggie Goodrich in which they discussed training to identify incidents of biased policing and the use of TEAMS II for documentation of bias policing incidents.  With regards to TEAMS II, supervisors would meet with the accused officer to discuss the incident and documentation would be made in his or her TEAMS II profile.  The profiles would be subject to real-time auditing by the Inspector General.  Deputy Chief MacArthur added officers are first trained to identify bias policing scenarios in the Academy.  Recruits who are unable to adhere to Department protocols are relieved of duty.  Every officer in the Department is currently required to take an e-learning class on bias policing every 18 to 24 months.  Department command staff participates in 4 to 5 trainings per year. Commander Richard Webb, Commanding Officer of Professional Standards Bureau, stated the draft of the new Special Order changing Racial Profiling to Bias Policing has been completed and is awaiting approval by Deputy Chief Charlie Beck and Police Chief William Bratton.  Police Commission President Anthony Pacheco expressed his pleasure with the progress thus far but stated there is still much work to be done.

•    The Executive Directors report, dated February 19, 2009, relative to Write Off of Uncollectable False Alarm Accounts Receivable for the period January 1, 1982 through December 31, 2009, was approved and transmitted to the City’s Board of Review.

•    The Department’s report, dated February 13, 2009, relative to the Department’s Quarterly Discipline Report, Fourth Quarter, 2008, was received the Office of the Inspector General was directed to submit an analysis of this report along with any appropriate recommendations to the Board.