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Chief’s Message February 2013

This month marks the formal addition of General Services Police Department into the ranks of the LAPD family.  I take great satisfaction knowing we have complemented our organization with such dedicated and talented individuals.  I know together we will continue to have a positive impact on the communities we serve.

Community Relations

With every radio call you handle and every interaction you have, you have an opportunity to make a positive and lasting impression on the community we serve.  I truly believe in treating people as you would like to be treated or as you would expect the police to treat one of your family members.  The value of unsolicited explanations or chats with those who live and work in our City, as you drive from radio call to radio call, is priceless.  I challenge each of you to stop and take a moment to engage your community.  I’m not saying that every contact will be positive but for the most part the public appreciates our service and is happy to see us in and around their neighborhoods and businesses.  You never know when you are going to need the community’s good faith to work to your advantage.  Whether it’s to generate votes for positive budgets for the Department, or to get a community member to call in a tip on a crime that has occurred, it is the positive impressions of our Department that can go a long way.  It’s a two way street, and when we continue to extend ourselves the others will follow. 

Crime reduction and community engagement assists us in building and maintaining our partnerships with the community, schools, and clergy as we all can help one another when an incident occurs in our City.  When community members receive a friendly smile and a wave from a street cop, you have instantly calmed their fears and eased their sense of anxiety.  For many of you now tasked with visiting our schools, in the wake of the Newtown, Connecticut shooting, please recognize that you are making a difference each day you put on your LAPD uniform and badge.        

History of Newton Area

Newton Division was established February 23, 1925.  The first station to house Newton officers was located at 1354 Newton Street.  The boundaries were 6th Street to Slauson and Avalon to the Los Angeles River.  The 42,000 citizens living within Newton’s boundaries were served by 105 officers, covering approximately 5.57 square miles. 
 
In 1964, the original station was renovated to accommodate more personnel.  The western border was extended to the 110 Freeway and the southern border became Florence.  The boundaries have remained unchanged since.  Recognizing the need for larger facilities and closer proximity to the residential side of the division, Newton moved to its third and current station, located at 3400 South Central Avenue, in 1997. 

Today, 350 employees call Newton home, covering nine square miles, serving a population of 150,000 people.  The community is home to the largest Produce Market in the world.  The
Coca-Cola Plant, Santa Fe Railroad, Guess and Los Angeles Trade Technical College are some of the recognizable institutions found within the division. 



Fallen Heroes of Newton

Policeman Norbert Huseman, Serial No. 7425
End of Watch:  December 31, 1945

Police Officer Ricardo Lizarraga, Serial No. 36046
End of Watch:  February 20, 2004

Gone but NEVER forgotten…May you both rest in peace.


Newton Area Significant Events

On December 9, 1969, police served search warrants for illegal weapons at the Black Panther Headquarters at 41st and Central.  The Black Panthers resisted with vigor as more than 5,000 rounds were exchanged during a four hour standoff.  This was the first major, televised event of its kind in the history of American policing and infamously known as The Black Panther Shootout. 

Ask The Chief:

Now, this is where I need your help.  I need to know what’s on your mind, whether it is about changes within the Department or what my stance is on current police related issues.  There is much to be said about our ever evolving role in law enforcement and how we fight crime in our great City.  So, beginning with this month’s message, I’d like to address some questions which I‘ve received through my email account.    

Question:  What are the chances of re-implementing the divisional ALPO Units ? 

The Office of Operations collaborated with Detective Bureau and SID in a pilot program that re-instituted the ALPO officer position in each of the 21 Areas; based on divisional deployment needs and at the discretion of the specific Area’s Commanding Officer.  This program was largely initiated due to the loss in SID personnel and the increase of property crimes requiring print analysis. Each of the 21 Areas were to select two officers from their Area to investigate property crime scenes and any lifted prints, containing evidentiary value.  This effort would then free up SID personnel to focus additional resources on violent crime scenes.  In exchange for the assistance, SID committed to a quick analysis of 10 property crimes, per Area, per month in addition to the violent crime results that they would normally provide.  SID’s goal is to return these results to the Areas within 8 weeks.

Question:  When will 484 arrests be added to the revised Direct Cite RFC procedures?  

It is anticipated that a Department Notice will be published in the next 60 days that details the requirements in order to issue an RFC in lieu of a physical booking for a first-time shoplift arrest.   Detective Bureau is finalizing their research on the feasibility of completing an RFC in lieu of a physical booking for first time 484 shoplift offenders.  They have researched procedures used by other law enforcement agencies in the region as well as the results of earlier pilot programs.  Key to the success of the time-saving strategy is ensuring the revision does not result in more shoplift activity by those involved.  Once completed, the proposed procedure will be reviewed by the Chief of Police. 

Question:  Is it true you showed up to work patrol on Christmas Eve so an officer could take the night off?

Yes, it is.  I worked a Mid-PM Watch A-car on Christmas Eve in Rampart Division.  This came about last month when I met with your patrol watch commanders during a recent training session.  I offered them the opportunity to recommend an officer I should work for and in exchange, the officer was given the opportunity to take the night off and enjoy Christmas Eve with his/her loved ones.  Amazing and to his credit the officer, Police Officer II John “Troll” Chavez, Serial No.  25399, elected not to take the night off but instead came to work and participated in the Watch’s potluck dinner.  Many thanks to the men and women at Rampart Area, they fed me well and I enjoyed another busy night at The Castle!

Thank you for your email.  Please keep them coming!
chiefcharliebeck@lapd.lacity.org


Take care of each other as brothers and sisters in blue and be safe,

Charlie


Notes from the January 29, 2013 Weekly Police Commission Meeting

• Police Commissioner Rafael Bernardino said he attended the inauguration of President Barack Obama last week and called it a joyous occasion.

• Police Chief Charlie Beck thanked Commissioner Bernardino for attending the police recruit graduation last Friday and said it was a nice event.  He also said Department bureaus are reporting crime figures which are lower than at this same time one year ago.

• 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 Northeast Area was given by Captain Bill Murphy.  Captain Murphy informed the Board the Northeast Area C-PAB has five goals for the year which include increasing their presence on social media; establishing a fund for youth programs; increase the membership numbers; increase camera surveillance in the area; and reducing the number auto-related crime. Captain Murphy added the monthly C-PAB meetings are held at different locations in the community and their Police Cadet program has more than 100 members.

• The Department’s report, dated January 24, 2013, relative to the foreign language telephone call procedures inspection (IAID No. 12-092), as given by Commander Matthew Blake, was approved.  Commander Blake informed the Board the goal of previous recommendations was to eliminate the use of automated responses. To date, approximately half of all calls are being handled appropriately with officers having been trained on procedures.  One issue the system is experiencing is in the event there are three or more callers online the phone call will disconnect or be transferred to a Police Service Representative at Communications Division.  The Department has met with Information Technology Division representatives to try and resolve this issue.  The Board asked the Department to report back in a few months to present them with another update.

• The Department’s report, dated January 24, 2013, relative to the annual review of intelligence investigations was approved.

• The Department’s report, dated January 24, 2013, relative to the request for approval of the professional services agreement with Donna Cline for police composite artist services, was approved and transmitted to the Mayor and City Council.

• The Department’s report, dated January 24, 2013, relative to the transmittal of the report for supplemental funding for the 2012/13 Juvenile Justice Crime Prevention Act program, was approved and transmitted concurrently to Mayor and City Council.

• The Department’s report, dated January 16, 2013, relative to the request for authority to destroy obsolete duplicate records for North Hollywood Area, was approved and transmitted to the City Clerk, Records Management Officer.

• The Department’s report, dated January 16, 2013, relative to the request for authority to destroy obsolete duplicate records for Commercial Crimes Division, was approved and transmitted to the City Clerk, Records Management Officer.

• The Department’s report, dated January 16, 2013, relative to the request for authority to destroy obsolete duplicate records for Rampart and Pacific Areas, was approved and transmitted to the City Clerk, Records Management Officer.

• The Department’s report, dated January 15, 2013, relative to the request for authority to destroy obsolete duplicate records for West Los Angeles Area, was approved and transmitted to the City Clerk, Records Management Officer.

• The Department’s report, dated January 16, 2013, relative to the request for authority to destroy obsolete duplicate records for Hollenbeck and Harbor Areas, was approved and transmitted to the City Clerk, Records Management Officer.

• The Department’s report, dated January 22, 2013, relative to the request for authority to destroy obsolete duplicate records for Gang and Narcotics Division, was approved and transmitted to the City Clerk, Records Management Officer.

• The Department’s report, dated January 22, 2013, relative to the request for authority to destroy obsolete duplicate records for Devonshire Area, was approved and transmitted to the City Clerk, Records Management Officer.

• The Department’s report, dated January 22, 2013, relative to the request for authority to destroy obsolete duplicate records for Valley Traffic Division, was approved and transmitted to the City Clerk, Records Management Officer.


49-year-old Woman Missing for More Than Six Days

Los Angeles:   The family of Marta Michel and the Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) requests the public’s help to locate her.

Ms. Marta Michel, was last seen on Saturday, January 19, 2013, around 5:00 pm, at her residence in the 2800 block of Maple Street, Los Angeles.  Ms. Michel is described as a 49-year-old female Hispanic with black hair and dark brown eyes.  She stands 4’11”tall and weighs about 160 pounds.  She was last seen wearing a gray and white horizontal striped skirt and a gray blouse.

If you have seen, or have any information regarding the whereabouts of Marta Michel, please contact Detective Lydia Saiza, 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 (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 www.LAPDOnline.org, click on “webtips” and follow the prompts.

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Fatal Traffic Collision in Van Nuys

Los Angeles:  On Saturday, January 19, 2013, around 5:50 p.m., LAPD Valley Traffic officer responded to a collision that occurred on Sepulveda Boulevard and Haynes Street.  When they arrived they found an unconscious woman on the ground suffering from injuries.  They were also met by a male who advised that he was involved in a traffic collision with the woman.  Los Angeles Fire Department personnel responded and transported the woman to a nearby hospital where she was pronounced dead.

The investigation revealed that a black 1987 Mercedes was traveling southbound on Sepulveda Boulevard at Haynes Street, when it collided with a woman in a motorized wheelchair traveling westbound Haynes Street in an unmarked crosswalk.  The driver immediately stopped to assist the handicapped woman.   The driver has been identified as 50-year-old male resident of Los Angeles.

Anyone with information about this collision is asked to contact Valley Traffic Division Detectives, Officer Fuentes at 818-644-8022.  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.

     
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Teacher Arrested for Sexual Act on a Child

Los Angeles:  LAPD Juvenile Division’s Sexually Exploited Child Unit (SECU) has been involved in an investigation involving a teacher at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary School in Wilmington.  SECU detectives assumed the investigation on March 15, 2012.  

The investigation began when several girls told their parents that they had been inappropriately touched by a fourth grade teacher during school at George De La Torre Jr. Elementary.   The teacher, Robert Pimental, age 57, of Newport Beach, California, has been employed by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) since 1974.  At the onset of the investigation, Pimental left his position with the LAUSD.

The subsequent investigation revealed a total of 20 victims, 19 children and one adult victim.

The case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office who filed eight counts of violation of 288.5(a) Penal Code, Continuous Sexual Abuse, and seven counts of 288(a) Penal Code, Lewd Acts Upon A Child, against Pimentel.  

On January 23, 2013, Pimental was arrested by the LAPD, and is being held at LAPD Metropolitan Detention Center.  His bail has been set at $12,000,000.

Anyone with information regarding this matter is asked to call Juvenile Detective Division at 213-486-0570. 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.

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Suspicious Hotel Fire Claims Life of 69-Year-Old Man

Los Angeles: Los Angeles Police Department Robbery-Homicide Division Detectives responded to a San Pedro hotel to investigate a possible arson related fire that resulted in the death of a 69-year-old man.

On January 22, 2013, about 3:30 a.m., local firefighters returning from a medical emergency call saw a structure fire at a hotel located in the 1000 block of Palos Verdes Street in San Pedro, before any 911 calls were received.  Firefighters observed that one unit on the first floor was engulfed in flames that were lapping up to the second story.  

The blaze spread rapidly, causing one adult female occupant to jump from the second story due to extreme heat and smoke.  The female suffered an extremity fracture.  Additional occupants were threatening to jump before firefighters swiftly raised ladders to the second story windows and rescued occupants hanging out of them.

Firefighters battled the fire while simultaneously conducting a rapid search of the building, ensuring that all occupants were evacuated.  Several occupants were transported to local hospitals for medical attention.  Among those transported was a male who had sustained severe burns from the fire.  The male, whose name is not being released at this time, pending notification to his family, died from his wounds and was pronounced dead at the hospital on Wednesday afternoon.

The cause of the fire remains under active investigation by the Los Angeles Police Departments’, Robbery-Homicide Division and the Los Angeles Fire Departments’ Arson Section.  The fire is being treated as criminal in nature.

Anyone with information about this investigation is urged to call Robbery-Homicide Division, Detectives Louis Zorrilla or Maria Perez at (213) 486-6890, during regular business hours.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.   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.

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Police Arrest Woman for Joining Her Daughter’s Fight with Another Child

Los Angeles: Detectives from the Los Angeles Police Department’s Harbor Area have arrested a woman who participated in a fight her daughter arranged with another child.
 
On January 14, 2013, at about 3 p.m., two students from Dana Middle School met in an alley in the 1300 block of West Gaffey Street for a prearranged fight.  The juvenile suspect brought along her mother and aunt, and during the fight, they both took part in the conflict and assaulted a 12-year-old victim.
 
Yesterday, a local resident, 33-year-old Amber Lee Gutierrez, mother of the juvenile suspect, voluntarily went to LAPD’s Harbor Station for an interview with detectives and was arrested for Felony Corporal Injury to a Child.  Her bail has been set at $100,000.
 
Detectives are gathering evidence of the incident, including video footage of the fight from a witness.  As the investigation continues, detectives would like assistance in locating the aunt and the child who took part in the assault.  
 
Anyone with information is urged to call the LAPD Harbor Area Detective Division at 310-726-7860.  During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7.  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.

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Notes from the January 22, 2013 Weekly Police Commission Meeting

• Police Commission Andrea Ordin said the MLK Day breakfast event held over the weekend was very inspiring and moving.

• Police Commissioner Robert Saltzman thanked the Department in regards to the MLK Day breakfast event and parade.  He was grateful for the opportunity to ride in the parade and said the overall event was very gratifying. 

• Police Commissioner Richard Drooyan thanked the Chief for putting together the MLK Day event and praised fellow Commissioner John Mack for his moving remarks as the keynote speaker at the event.

• Police Chief Charlie Beck thanked all of those who participated and attended the MLK Day event. He policed South LA for most of his career so he felt an appreciation for the area.  He also said the Department currently has 10,010 sworn police officers and 2,871 civilian employees.

• 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 Harbor Area was continued to a later date.

• The Department’s verbal presentation and discussion relative to the current status of the backlog of latent fingerprints was given by Deputy Chief Kirk Albanese.  Chief Albanese informed the Board the latent print section was down in personnel numbers.  The section currently has 67 employees where ideal personnel numbers should have them at 96.  He said the Department has not made any progress on the backlog from 2010-11, and the 2012 backlog currently stands at 1,353 cases yet to be analyzed.  Chief Albanese then indicated the station has the capacity to analyze 380 cases per month but receives, on average, 525 new cases per month.  He then indicated all violent crime cases are analyzed with 10 high priority property crime cases from each area division analyzed per month as well.

• The Department’s report, dated January 4, 2013, relative to the approval of request for proposal for performance auditing training was approved.