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Crime and Punishment - Police Chief's City Council Update on RPD Activities



There has been so much going on lately, it’s impossible to even adequately bring you a good sampling of the highlights, but I’m going to try anyway!  Our patrol officers and detectives have been working diligently on a number of major cases with extremely impressive results.  I’m especially proud of the work that went into handling the beating case of Euvaldo Sisneros, the elderly gentleman who lives in the area of Humphrey St. near 29th, who was brutally attacked from behind about two weeks ago.  Kudos to all involved in investigating this assault, including Det. Mike Rood, Sgt. Lori Curran, and Det. Darrell Graham (who drew the excellent sketch of the suspect based on the recollection of a witness).  Especially impressive was the work of beat Officer Ruth Ducharme, who observed an individual that matched Det. Graham’s sketch while she was on patrol in the neighborhood the day after we held our press conference to highlight this crime.  Ducharme arrested this person, a 21 year-old Richmond man, who has since been charged with multiple felonies related to this assault.  Great effort by everyone involved and another example of how much we can accomplish when residents and the police work together.


Have a good holiday ahead.  Please contact me if you have any questions or need additional information.




Chief Chris Magnus


Wed., June 24, 2009, 1:00 p.m., 3200 Macdonald Ave.—“960 Officer” Hugel was monitoring the department’s CCTV (Closed Circuit camera) system when he saw a suspicious car with two occupants parked in front of Nichol Park.  He zoomed in on the plate and ran it through the state’s database. The car was reported stolen.  Officer Hugel coordinated responding officers, who quickly arrested the occupants and recovered the car.            


Wed, June 24, 2009, 12:30 a.m., 3921 Auto Plaza--Officers responded to the listed business when security cameras detected a male walking about the property after business hours.  Officer Macrenato located a Pinole resident hiding beneath an automobile parked on the lot.  This individual, an admitted member of a white supremacist group, had eleven chrome lug nuts in his pocket and one of four custom chrome rims had already been removed from an automobile.  He was arrested without incident.


Police Officer Hiring:  The Police Department will be testing Police Officer applicants with or without a “T-score,” as well as police academy graduates, on Saturday, August 1, 2009.  The cutoff for applications to Human Resources will be July 10.  We already have approximately 200 candidates for this test.  For “working cop” laterals, we already have numerous applications submitted to Human Resources, including many applications from Oakland PD, Vallejo PD, and Sacramento County Sheriff’s Dept.  Our testing date for lateral officers is anticipated to be in late July or August.  For more information, contact Sgt. Mike Wang at (510)621-1267.

            On Monday, June 22nd, the Department had a swearing-in ceremony for eight new police officers, including four lateral officers.  During the same ceremony, which was held in City Hall Council Chambers, two new dispatchers were welcomed to the department and Officer Jesse Ney was promoted to sergeant.  Out of the eight new officers, three speak fluent Spanish, one speaks some Spanish, and one speaks Farsi.


Mon., June 22, 2009, 7:15 a.m., 251 So. 12th St.--A neighbor called 911 to report an adult individual had just jumped over his neighbor’s fence and was taking items out of the shed in the backyard.  The suspect was last seen walking away with yellow box.  Officers Baggett and K. Simmons responded and verified the burglary as Officer Anderson circulated for the suspect.  Officer Anderson detained the suspect nearby and recovered the stolen property.  The victim, who had been asleep at home, identified the property and the suspect was arrested.


Sun., June 21, 2009, 4:30 p.m., 500 block Harrison--Officer Purcell received information that a wanted suspect was in the front yard of a residence within the 500 block of Harrison Dr.  Officers Purcell, Whitson, and Clark spotted the suspect, at which time the suspect ran into the residence at 516 Harrison Dr. then exited the residence into the rear yard where he was taken into custody without incident. Officers recovered a S&W .40 cal semi auto, fully loaded with one in the chamber. The firearm was also equipped with a laser. This suspect is a person of interest in a Richmond homicide.  Investigators responded to assist with follow-up.


Sun., June 21, 2009, 3:00 p.m., St. Marks Catholic Church--Officer Mandell and his K-9 partner Rasp performed a K-9 demonstration at St. Marks Catholic Church.  Officer Campos assisted as the P.A. announcer in English and Spanish. Officer Anderson assisted with the actual demonstration.


Sat., June 20, 2009, 12:15 p.m., Civic Center Ave. and Nevin Ave.--Officer Zeidan was flagged down regarding three individuals in this area--one reportedly armed with  a handgun.  Patrol officers responded, as did a group of officers assigned to the Juneteenth Festival.  The three suspects fled into the block east of 27th Street between Barrett Avenue and Nevin Avenue.  One 16 year-old suspect complied with the commands of Det. Decious and was detained.  The second suspect ran into a rear yard 2811 Nevin Ave.  He was eventually arrested after the block was searched by officers.  The third suspect, continued east through the block while a perimeter was established.  Officer Reina saw this individual discard a handgun while he was fleeing and was  able to recover the loaded nine millimeter firearm.  The suspect was eventually cornered in the back yard of 431 30th Street and arrested by Officer Cantrell along with several officers assisting with the search.

                While briefing officers from Swing Shift on this case, several officers recalled contacting the first suspect on a man with a gun call from the prior night in the Metro Walk complex.  He was detained, but no gun was recovered.  There was also an armed robbery on Friday in front of 471 Metro Walk in which the armed suspect matched the description of the second suspect from today’s case.  This information was  passed on to Sergeant Curran.  The third suspect was booked and transported to Juvenile Hall.


Thur., June 18, 2009, 2042 hours, 23rd St. and Garvin Ave.--Officer Rasheed observed a 28 year-old male standing in the crosswalk at the above intersection, brandishing a golf club.  The victim was standing on the sidewalk, holding his hand to his face and shoulder, pointing at the suspect. On seeing the officers, the suspect threw the club into a vacant lot and then entered a red, Ford Taurus.  Officer Rasheed drove up to the suspect vehicle and ordered Franco to exit his vehicle.  Franco ignored the order and drove away.

            An approximate fifteen minute pursuit followed, with Franco winding his way through city streets in the Iron Triangle and 23rd Street corridor area.  Speeds were low to moderate.  As the second car in the pursuit, Officer Hembree broadcast directions, speeds and conditions. Sergeant Jones trailed the pursuit and ensured only the necessary units were actively involved.  The suspect finally pulled over at 23rd and Grant and was arrested without incident.

            The victim, who did not know the suspect, told officers the suspect came up to him and repeatedly said, “Say RST.”  The suspect hit the victim with the club when he would not comply with Franco’s demands.  It was noted that the victim was attired in red clothing.  The victim suffered significant bruising to his right side chest, shoulder and upper arm.


From the CA Police Chiefs’ Assoc. ref the pending State Budget:  No matter how you slice it, Californians will be less safe if the current budget that‘s being considered in Sacramento is adopted.   The proposed budget includes some unprecedented provisions that will place our communities distinctly at risk.

First, the budget proposes reductions in the Department of Corrections budget that will involve the wholesale accelerated release of at least 20,000 felons into our communities.  Please understand that in California, felons reoffend 70% of the time over a three year period.  In addition, most law enforcement studies have shown that by the time someone is arrested, they have committed approximately 13 crimes.  Finally, in other states where felons have been released early, 20% of the crimes they committed were violent ones.

Putting this all together for California, this means that 14,000 felons are likely to commit over 180,000 new crimes over a three year period – 36,000 of which will be violent crimes. 

Second, the proposed budget actually undercuts the very concept of “public” safety.  It does this by requiring that local police departments pay a fee each time they use the state crime lab for forensic services.  Local police departments would have to pay this fee even though your taxes are already paying for the state crime labs.  This effectively means that public safety is no longer public.  While affluent communities may be able to have the state crime lab process rape kits for essential DNA information, poorer communities will be unable to do so.  This state budget – for the first time in the state’s history – will mandate inferior investigative services for crime victims who live in poorer communities.  This is not only terrible public safety policy, it is shameful and offensive.

Finally, the proposed budget completely destroys the 51 multi-jurisdictional methamphetamine task forces that have been our front-line defense against major methamphetamine producers.  Meth operations have become increasingly sophisticated and violent and these task forces have been essential to local law enforcement.   Moreover, the Mexican Drug Cartels are poised to move their operations into California.  The destruction of these task forces amounts to unilateral disarmament of essential law enforcement resources.  Right now, these three proposals are all poised to be adopted.   Our city will be less safe if they are. 


RPD Explorers Represent Richmond Well at State Competition:  The Richmond Police Department Law Enforcement Explorers were named the 1st place overall award winners for the 2009 Las Vegas Law Enforcement Explorer competition.  The competition included Police Explorers from the East Coast and the West Cost.  There were over 400 Police Explorers and 150 Police Department members in attendance at this competition.

Some of the special awards the Explorers received included the 1st place Active Shooter trophy, 3rd place Suspicious Person response trophy, 4th place Downed Officer Rescue trophy, and they received the 4th place Urban Bicycle course award.    

            The competition was physically and mentally demanding on the part of the Richmond Police Explorers and all of the participants who were in attendance.  The Richmond police officers who work with the Explorers had an opportunity to be spectators during the competition activities.  One of the amazing facts that became evident during the competition was that many of the department’s Police Explorers performed as though they were full-time police officers.  This is another fine example that Law Enforcement Exploring makes a difference in the quality of a future police officer candidates.  Many thanks to Officer Danny Harris and the other officers from RPD who work with the Explorers.  


Tues., June 16, 2009, 9:00 p.m., 26th St. and Gaynor Ave.--Undercover officers attached to the prostitution abatement detail (who, incidentally, made three prostitution arrests during this evening) observed four subjects walking in the area of 26th and Grant acting suspiciously.  Uniformed officers made contact with the group and one subject ran from the officers, clutching at his waistband.  Officer Peterson gave chase and observed this suspect throw a firearm over the fence at 2530 Gaynor Avenue.  The suspect then ran into the block in an attempt to escape.  Sergeant Barragan coordinated the establishment of a perimeter and the suspect was found hiding in the rear yard at 2400 Gaynor Avenue.             The suspect was arrested without incident and booked at Juvenile Hall.  A Taurus .40 caliber pistol was recovered from the yard at 2530 Gaynor Avenue.  The suspect was due in court within the next week as a result of his arrest on April 14, 2009, for possession of a firearm.


Tues., June 16, 2009, 5:30 p.m., I-80 and American Canyon--Dispatcher Jensen-Garcia was enroute to work when she came upon a collision involving an overturned horse trailer.  One horse was severely injured and another injured horse was loose near the freeway. CHP was not yet on scene. Dispatcher Jensen-Garcia stopped and rendered aid by capturing the injured horse and taking it to the side of the freeway where she waited until CHP arrived.


Sat., June 13, 2009, Coronado Neighborhood—Another Successful “One Block At A Time” blight abatement project:  Over 50 Volunteers from the Coronado Neighborhood Council, the City of Richmond Graffiti Abatement Volunteer program, The Richmond Police Department Volunteers, The Richmond Police Department Crime Prevention Program, The Richmond Youth Academy (Fire Department) as well as a large contingent of neighborhood volunteers all came together and made a wonderful contribution to the Coronado Neighborhood. Some highlights: 

  • As usual the Public Works Abatement crew worked non–stop, assisting residents by cutting overgrown vegetation and removing a tremendous amount of trash junk and debris;  
  • RPD personnel were out in force ensuring the safety of all, educating the public, facilitating tows, and supporting the staff and volunteers throughout the day;
  • Richmond Fire made their rounds installing smoke alarms and educating the neighborhood on fire safety.  They installed twenty new smoke detectors and replaced six batteries in non-functioning smoke detectors;
  • The Parks Dept. cut and pruned the trees throughout the neighborhood;
  • Sims Metal and Jerrold Hatchett provided strong support for this event.  They not only donated dumpsters, but will also donate the revenue associated from the metal collected back to the Neighborhood Council;
  • Crime Prevention Manager Lori Hill attended and took photos of the event;
  • Storm water personnel from the Engineering Dept. handed out informational literature and assisted throughout the day;
  • Building Regulations personnel addressing neighborhood concerns and answered questions on building code issues

We filled five debris dumpsters and one huge scrap metal container.  The clean up vibe was contagious and many property owners and residents broke out there own tools and started working on their yards.  Kids from the surrounding area joined in to assist their neighbors.

Special thanks to RPD’s Code Enforcement staff for all their hard work, Crime Prevention Coordinator Michelle Milam for helping to get the word out, Coronado Neighborhood Council president Joe Fischer, and especially the residents of the neighborhood and other volunteers.  Excellent coordination effort by RPD Code Enforcement Manager Tim Higares.


HAPPY 4th of JULY!