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Notes from the February 28, 2012 Weekly Police Commission Meeting

• Police Commission President Richard Drooyan attended two assemblies at local elementary schools regarding bullying.  He thanked public safety advocate Ms. Monica Harmon for her role in setting up these assemblies.

• Police Commission Vice President John Mack said he participated in the Central Area African-American Forum with Commission President Richard Drooyan last week.  He said the presentation by USC Police Chief J.T Thomas on the history of blacks in the Department was very interesting.  Vice President Mack finished by saying he attended the recruit graduation held last week.

• Police Commissioner Robert Saltzman thanked Assistant Chief Michel Moore and the detectives from the Special Investigation Section for having him spend the afternoon observing their training session on the vehicle containment technique. He said it was an excellent session and said it answered a lot of his questions and showed the Department’s efforts in using the technique.

• The Board of Police Commissioners’ discussion and possible Board action relative to Department’s report, dated February 10, 2012, concerning proposed “Community Caretaking Doctrine and Vehicle Impound Procedures,” and the impact of the Legislative Council letter on the Department’s proposal, was held.  The Board of Police Commissioners approved the Department’s proposal by a margin of 4-1.  The Board also amended the original proposal to include Failure to Appear for a court appearance to be added in the portion of the Special Order which addresses Unlicenced Drivers with priors.

• The verbal presentation and update from the Commanding Officer and Community Police Advisory Board (C-PAB) representative regarding community initiated problem solving, crime strategies and other programs and goals within the Van Nuys Area was given by Captain Paul Snell and Ms. Penny Meyer.  Ms. Meyer informed the Board the Van Nuys C-PAB currently has 30 members and has participated in such events as National Night Out and Cops & Cowboys.  She added all of the members of the C-PAB go through the Citizen Academy.  Captain Snell said brand new officers assigned to Van Nuys are required to attend C-PAB meetings and are involved early on. Some of the goals for the Van Nuys C-PAB are to recruit new members, emphasis on social media including Facebook and Twitter, and to build a Teen C-PAB.

• The Department and City Attorney’s Office verbal report relative to the removal process from a Gang injunction was given by Commander Matt Blake and Assistant City Attorney Anne Tremblay. Ms. Tremblay informed the Board the City currently has 44 injunctions involving 72 gangs. She said there is a non-judicial process which was developed to get individuals removed from the injunction. A petition is made by the individual wanting to be removed. That information, along with the individual, is then reviewed by the City Attorney’s office. Once the review is complete the City Attorney’s office consults with the Department to ensure there is no objection.  The Deputy City Attorney will then make the final decision to remove the individual from the injunction or not. There are currently 70 petitions for removal for the injunction filed with the City Attorney.

• The Department’s verbal update and discussion relative to the status of recommendations included in the Department’s report, dated December 8, 2011, donation approval process inspection, third quarter, FY 2010/11 (IAID No. 11-016), was given by Commander Matt Blake.  Commander Blake stated a lot of the donations were not being deposited into the Trust Fund because of the difficulty to get the funds out easily.  Those funds are generally used to support the Cadet program and other similar programs.  Commander Blake added they formed a work group with Fiscal Operations Division and Audit Division and are exploring a number of options.

• The Department’s verbal update and discussion relative to the status of recommendations contained in the Department’s report, dated January 20, 2012, foreign language and telecommunications device for the deaf inspection (IAID No. 11-126), was given by Commander Matt Blake.  Commander Blake informed the Board they conducted a random audit of desk officer’s response and received 95% compliance.  He said some of the changes brought about as a result of the last audit were having three officers assigned at one time to the front desk of every geographical area, mandatory training for officers who work the front desk, and a reflection of training of officer TEAMS report.  Commander Blake finished by saying the extra focus on service has made a huge difference.

• The Department’s report, dated February 3, 2012, relative to the gang enforcement detail supervisory oversight inspection – second quarter, FY 2011/12 (IAID No. 11-126), was approved.

• The Department’s report, dated February 3, 2012, relative to the 2011 annual categorical use of force statistics, was approved.

• The Department’s report, dated February 16, 2012, relative to the DNA quarterly report – 4th quarter 2011, was approved and transmitted to the City Council.

• The Department’s report, dated January 30, 2012, relative to the Ethics Enforcement Section quarterly report, fourth quarter, 2011, was received.  The Board directed the Office of the Inspector General to submit an analysis of this report along with any appropriate recommendations to the Board.

• The Department’s report, dated February 21, 2012, relative to the destruction of obsolete duplicate records for Hollywood Area, was approved and transmitted to the City Clerk, Records Management Officer.


Chief’s Message March 2012

In December 2011, the Managed Hiring Committee approved our repeated requests to grant some long overdue promotions and upgrades.  Since then we have advertised 85 sworn upgrades, nine Detective IIIs and 76 Police Officer IIIs.  Additionally, we have promoted 11 Lieutenants and 24 Sergeants.  For Civilians we have hired a Police Administrator I to be the Risk Manager for the Department, promoted three Personnel Analyst I’s and upgraded one Criminalist II. 

Rest assured I will do everything I can to secure the future of our Department by continuing to work for the promotions you deserve.

Heroic Actions

I know that many of you are involved in commendable acts everyday but I wanted to acknowledge two that have occurred recently: 

On January 15, 2012, Rampart Division Officers Seree Rattanapichetkul and Anthony Farias were on duty in the area of 12th Street and Westlake Avenue when they noticed a plume of smoke.  The officers drove north on Westlake Avenue where they immediately observed heavy smoke coming from the top floor of a two-story house.

The officers arrived at the location and were met by Captain Rigo Romero’s sister on the front patio.  She told the officer’s that her 89-year old mother was still inside the house.  Without hesitation Officers Rattanapichetkul and Farias raced inside the home and, through the burning smoke, located Ms. Romero and brought her to safety.

On January 7, 2012, at change of watch an on duty Southwest Patrol Sergeant collapsed in the parking lot area of Southwest station.  Officers Adolfo Vazquez and Miguel Lopez-Munoz put out a help call, requested an RA and began life saving efforts on the supervisor.   Sergeant Brian Bixler, retired Sergeant Bill Smith and Detective Joe Chavez ran out from inside the station and assisted with the CPR.  Officer John Knighton and Officer Luis Barrera retrieved the portable defibrillator from the station and used it on the sergeant.  Paramedics arrived shortly thereafter and transported the sergeant to the hospital.   There is no doubt in my mind that the sergeant is alive today thanks to the lifesaving efforts of these officers.   

These are examples of the tremendous impact that you have on the lives of the people we serve and work with each and every day.  Thank you for a job well done.

Baker to Vegas

The 28th Annual Baker to Vegas Challenge Cup Relay is set to take place April 21-22.  This year our Department will have 35 teams competing including our Women’s Team and our Department Open Team.  Those of you participating in this year’s race have been training for some time now.  Many hours and many miles have gone into it so far and many more will be had.

For some of you this will be your first time competing.  For others this will be yet another year making that grueling trek through the desert.  Whatever your reason for competing, your drive, determination and commitment to maintaining your personal wellness is to be commended. 

Employee wellness has been one of my Department-wide goals since becoming your Chief.  Personal fitness is part of an overall healthy lifestyle.  For those of you who are not competing in this year’s Baker to Vegas relay or those of you who just don’t like running, it is never too late to start an exercise regimen.  Whether its utilizing fitness centers located at your facility or just taking a walk with some colleagues, take the time to take care of yourself. 

History of Rampart Area

From serving as the model police station for the opening scene of the television show Adam-12, to being the first LAPD area to effectively utilize cameras as a crime fighting tool in a seriously crime-ridden area, Rampart has a storied and historic significance.  Rampart Area also holds a special significance to me.  Thirty-five years ago this month I was sitting in the roll-call room as a brand new P-I, eager to begin the career that had always been in my bloodline.

The Area first opened in 1966 as a brand new station to accommodate the growing population in the City.  In July 2008, the old station at 2710 West Temple Street was replaced with a brand new, “green,” state of the art station at 1401 West 6th Street (the previous location of Central Receiving Hospital).  Rampart Area underwent further transition in January 2009 when two new stations opened up reducing the Area from 6.5 square miles to 5.5 square miles. 

Fallen Heroes of Rampart Area

On August 18, 1970, Policeman Michael W. Parker was the passenger officer in the secondary vehicle involved in a pursuit of a possible stolen motorcycle.  As the driver of the secondary unit tried to overtake the primary unit, the driver lost control and crashed into a large palm tree.  Officer Parker was ejected from the vehicle and passed away from his injuries at the scene.  A photo of Officer Parker is posted at the front desk lobby area of the station as a memorial of the lone Rampart officer lost in the line of duty.

Closing

Let’s keep moving ahead putting forth the effort to support one another, and continuing to maintain the highest level of professionalism in any situation we encounter.  Always recognize that at the end of your shift you go home knowing you made a huge contribution to the people of the communities who depend on us each day.  As always, be safe. 


Public’s Help Requested to Find Missing Man

 ***UPDATE***


On February 28, 2012 Matthew Hudson returned home and is with his family.

Los Angeles:
  The family of Matthew Sean Hudson and the Los Angeles Police Department are asking for the public’s help in finding Hudson who has not been seen or heard from in five days.

On February 23, 2012, at about 2:30 p.m., appeared at a scheduled court hearing in downtown Los Angeles and has not been seen since.  Hudson lives with his family in the 800 block of Park View Street and has not returned home, causing his family great concern.  Hudson was recently involved in a traffic collision that his family fears may have caused him injuries that need medical treatment.  Additionally, Hudson has only recently moved into the area and may be unfamiliar with his surroundings.

Hudson is a 26- year-old male White, brown hair, brown eyes, 5 feet 9 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds.  He was wearing a black shirt and black jeans.

Anyone with information on the whereabouts of Hudson is asked to contact the Los Angeles Police Department, Missing Persons Unit, Detective Carmine Sasso at 213-996-1800.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


Missing Woman Possibly Seen in Hollywood Area

UPDATE
March 15, 2012

Earlier today, Satara Stratton was located at a local hospital in the Los Angeles Area in good condition.

*UPDATE*
February 28, 2012


Detectives have provided photos of Paul Constantinescu. 46-year-old man for this missing person case. Dectectives believe that Statton may be in the company of Constantinescu.

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Los Angeles:  The family of Satara Stratton, the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Culver City Police Department, is asking for the public’s help in locating Stratton.

Stratton came to Los Angeles in June of 2011 from Tennessee.  On October 25, 2011, her mother contacted the Culver City Police Department and reported her daughter missing when she had not heard from Stratton and was unable to contact her.

NR12097kr_MPStratton’s family is very concerned about her unexplained disappearance.  She does suffer from a serious medical condition and is in need of medical care.  Recently law enforcement officials learned that Stratton may be frequenting the area around the 6500 Block of Santa Monica Boulevard and along the Hollywood Boulevard corridor, in Hollywood.

Stratton is a 24-year-old female White, blond hair, blue eyes, 5 feet 3 inches tall, weighs about 90 pounds, and has a slim build with a light complexion.

NR12097kr_MP2If you have seen, or have any information regarding the whereabouts of Stratton please contact the Culver City Police Department, at 310.837.1221, Reference, Culver City Police Report No. 11-39182.  


Additional information may be obtained through the Los Angeles Police Department, Adult Missing Persons Unit, Detective Carmine Sasso at 213-996-1800. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


One Adult and Two Juveniles Arrested in Shooting Outside Los Angeles High School

Los Angeles:  Wilshire Gang Impact Team detectives are investigating a shooting incident that occurred outside of Los Angeles High School where two persons were shot.

On Friday, February 24, 2012, at around 3:30 p.m., two victims were shot across the street from Los Angeles High School.  The shooting was precipitated from an ongoing conflict between two different gang members who attend Los Angeles High School.  The feud escalated towards the end of the school day, where three individuals confronted two persons outside of school grounds.  An adult suspect armed himself with a handgun and shot one victim in the back and another victim in the leg.  Responding Wilshire officers and Los Angeles School Police officers located and stopped two juveniles who were also involved in the shooting.

The victims were transported to a local hospital where one victim was treated for a gunshot wound to the leg and later released.  The other victim was treated for a gunshot wound to his back and remains at the hospital in critical condition.

The investigation revealed that the shooting was gang related and that the suspect who fired the shots was outstanding.  Wilshire Detectives responded to assume the investigation and developed information that identified the outstanding suspect.  Wilshire personnel conducted a follow-up investigation to the 2700 block of San Marino, where Kevin Salazar, an 18 year-old resident of Los Angeles was arrested for attempt murder.  Salazar’s bail has been set at $500,000.00.

The investigation has disclosed that one of the victims and one of the suspects were students at Los Angeles High School.  The others were not students at the school and were believed to have been summoned to the school after the initial conflict on the campus earlier in the school day.

The two juveniles were booked and detained at Eastlake Juvenile Hall for Attempt Murder and Conspiracy to Commit an Attempt Murder.

Detectives are continuing the investigation and are requesting any additional witnesses or information that may assist with this investigation.

Anyone with information about this incident or the whereabouts of the two suspects is asked to call WilshireGang Impact Team Detectivesat 213-473-0425.  During non-business hours, calls may be directed 1-877-LAPD-24-7.  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous may call Crimestoppers at 800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477).  Tipsters may contact Crimestoppers by texting the number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone. All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


Car-Jacking Suspect Leads Police on Chase Pursuit ends in Officer Involved Shooting

March 1, 2012

Update: The Officer involved in the below officer involved shooting have been identified as follows:

Police Officer II, Moses Trejo- Hollenbeck Area
Police Officer II, Rodolfo Pardo- Hollenbeck Area
Police Officer III, Gustavo Camacho-Hollenbeck Area
Police Officer III, Jose Vasquez- Hollenbeck Area
Police Officer II, Joshua Arias- Hollywood Vice
Police Officer III, Jeanette Flores-Hollenbeck Area
Police Officer II, David Manriquez-Hollenbeck Area
Police Officer III, Gregory Trejo- Hollenbeck Area
Police Officer III, Jerry Fritz- Metropolitan Division
Police Officer III, Alan Ramirez- Metropolitan Division
Sergeant I, George Magallon- Central Bureau

Los Angeles: A man who stole two cars at gunpoint led police on a lengthy car chase, resulting in an officer-involved shooting.

On February 23, 2012, around mid-afternoon,  twenty-two year-old Shonchy Thaopraseuth of San Bernardino stole a silver Acura sedan at gunpoint, two blocks from his home.  Thaopraseuth drove the victim’s car for a number of hours, until he ended up at a gas station on the corner of Eastern and Valley Boulevard, where the vehicle appeared to have run out of gas.

At this point, Thaopraseuth stole a second vehicle, a 4-door blue Saturn sedan, again at gunpoint, from a customer of the gas station.  A concerned citizen observed the carjacking, and phoned
9-1-1.  As Thaopraseuth fled the area, he was seen by Hollenbeck Area Patrol Officers, who began to follow him.  Based upon the information they received from a crime broadcast, the officers believed that Thaopraseuth was armed, extremely dangerous and requested back-up while they followed Thaopraseuth.  When they tried to stop the car, Thaopraseuth fled and the officers began pursuing him.  The pursuit lasted about an hour.

At the end of the pursuit, Thaopraseuth pulled into a gas station at the corner of Wilshire Boulevard and Vermont Avenue.  As he pulled into the pumps, he drew his weapon and pointed it at the owner of the gas station.  As the officers stopped behind Thaopraseuth, they saw him pointing his gun at the third victim and an officer involved shooting occurred.  Multiple officers fired numerous rounds striking Thaopraseuth.  Officers approached the car and took Thaopraseuth into custody.

Officers immediately requested medical assistance.  LAFD Personnel responded and pronounced Thaopraseuth dead at the scene.  No bystanders or officers were injured as a result of the incident.

A .38 cal handgun was recovered at the scene.

The LAPD Force Investigation Division responded to the incident and will conduct a thorough investigation of the officer-involved shooting and all related crimes. The original car-jacking will be investigated by San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.  The investigation will ultimately be reviewed by the Chief of Police, the Office of the Inspector General and Board of Police Commissioners for compliance with the Department’s use-of-force policy which states that an officer’s use-of-force actions must be objectively reasonable.

Anyone with information about this incident is urged to call the FID at 213-486-5230. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


29-year-old Missing Woman

UPDATE
February 24, 2012
Novas returned to her residence this morning, and is with her family.

Los Angeles:  The family of Marcela Mallet Novas and the Los Angeles Police Department requests the public’s help in locating her.

Novas was last seen on February 22, 2012, around 8 a.m., at her residence in the 7400 block of Nestle Avenue in the West Valley Area of Los Angeles.  Novas never returned home and has not been seen or heard from since.  Her family is extremely concerned for her welfare.

Novas is described as a female Hispanic, with brown hair and brown eyes.  She stands 5 feet 7 inches tall, weighs about 130 pounds, and was last seen wearing a black dress slacks and a beige blouse. She was also last seen driving a 2006 Nissan Altima four-door gray sedan with license plate number 5SHE528, California plate.

Photos of Novas will be provided from her family upon request

Anyone with information regarding the whereabouts of Novas is asked to call LAPD Missing Persons Unit at 213-996-1800. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247).   Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (1-800-222-8477).  Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.” Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


Athletic Assistant Arrested

Los Angeles:  A Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) employee has been arrested for an inappropriate relationship with a student.

On February 22, 2012, LAPD’s Juvenile Divisions Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) unit received information regarding an inappropriate relationship between an athletic assistant and a 16-year-old student.  

They immediately conducted an investigation and discovered that the suspect, 27-year-old Jose Rosario Alvarez, worked as an Athletic Assistant at Poly Tech High School and was involved in an inappropriate sexual relationship with a female victim.  The relationship was conducted over the internet and in person to person contact.  The victim attends a school within the LAUSD, but different from the one where Alvarez worked.

Alvarez was booked for Unlawful Sex with a Minor and is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center on $20,000 bail.

LAUSD has removed Alvarez from future contact with students pending any further proceedings by the school district.

Anyone with information related to this case is asked to contact the Juvenile Detective Division at 486-0570.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


Kidnapping Victim Dies in Traffic Collision

Los Angeles:  A woman who was a passenger in a vehicle and apparently being kidnapped was fatally injured in a traffic collision with police in pursuit.

Last week on Feb. 16 shortly after 8 a.m., LAPD Central Area officers on patrol came across a black GMC Yukon that was currently being sought in connection with a kidnapping in progress in the area of Wilshire Boulevard and Bixel Street.  The suspect driver tried to get away from the officers, but after a short pursuit, hit another vehicle at 6th and Carondolet Streets, killing the victim/passenger, identified as 36-year-old Santa Clarita resident Lilian Pleitez and causing the driver of the third-party vehicle to suffer a broken collar bone.  

Immediately after the collision, 39-year-old suspect Jeffrey Minifie of Los Angeles attempted to run away from the scene on foot but was later apprehended.

A subsequent investigation revealed Minifie and Pleitez had been involved in a relationship and that the incident started at the suspect’s residence.  The exact motive for the kidnapping is unknown; however, detectives have associated it with domestic violence. Minifie remains in custody, and no bail amount has been set. Yesterday, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed murder charges with special circumstances against Minifie for “kidnaping with great bodily injury,” a charge that could allow prosecutors to pursue the death penalty.

Anyone with information regarding this crime is asked to call Rampart Area Detective Pere at 213-484-3440.  Anyone wishing to report a crime can remain anonymous by calling Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.


Man Stabbed in Park, Dies at Local Hospital

Los Angeles:  An argument at a busy park Wednesday afternoon escalated to a fistfight and quickly turned deadly when one man stabbed the other to death.

On February 21, 2012, at around 2 p.m., Olympic Area officers were called to a stabbing incident at Normandie Park located at 1550 South Normandie Avenue.  When they arrived, officers found one man suffering from multiple stab wounds lying on the grass near the playground area on the west side of the park.  Children had been playing in the area prior to the fight.  The suspect left the area on foot and was found a short time later hiding in a yard a couple blocks from the park.  Detectives are still trying to determine a motive for the stabbing.  

The victim, whose name is being withheld until his family can be notified, was transported to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead a short time later.  He is a Hispanic man in his 20’s.  

The suspect, 24-year-old Jesus Molina, has been arrested and booked for murder.  He is being held at the Metropolitan Detention Center for Murder and a parole violation.  He has no bail.

Anyone with information about this case is asked to call West Bureau Homicide Detectives, Detective Jeffrey Sandefur at 213-382-9434.   During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (877-527-3247).  Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477). Tipsters may also contact Crime Stoppers by texting to phone number 274637 (C-R-I-M-E-S on most keypads) with a cell phone.  All text messages should begin with the letters “LAPD.”  Tipsters may also go to LAPDOnline.org, click on "webtips" and follow the prompts.