Wednesday, April 22, 2009

Garfield Park NW this Saturday at 3:00 PM

All are invited to attend this Saturday's Neighborhood Watch meeting in Garfield Park. We'll gather around 3:00 PM at the picnic tables near Pasadena St & Mountain View. We will brainstorm ideas for giving the park a little face lift. If you ever use the park (or could imagine using the park if only XYZ), we'd love to hear your ideas!

Here's one idea; I'm curious what others think about it. Kids love to play in those dancing fountains where the jets pop up out of the flat ground. I wonder if there's a way to do this where the water could be recaptured and used to water the park's lawns. What would be the downsides to something like this (e.g., do you think people would try to bath in the water)? Can you imagine any way around the hitches? I don't know of any public pools in our neighborhood; maybe some cool jets would offer a nice gathering place.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Tacos for the PD Canines

I just got back from Monday Night Tacos at the Eagles', 954 W. Mission Blvd. Every Monday the Eagles hold the dinner to raise funds for the Pomona Police Department's Canine unit. As described in the Daily Bulletin linked article, the Canine unit in particular need right now, one of two dogs died unexpectedly. Unexpectedly means there was no budget plan for a replacement, but the timing is particularly bad because the second dog is due to retire in 3 months as well. You can read the article for full details on the predicament.

But what the article doesn't go into is more details on the taco night. The Eagle's are a fraternal organization akin to Elk's or Kiwanis, etc. At the Aerie (misidentified as a lodge in the article) my wife and I filled up on $7.00 combined! I recommend getting the tacos and forgoing the taco salad or "fancier" items. The fresh fried taco shells are the highlight of the meal. The home made salsa's and guacamole where also plentiful and tasty. A nice cheap, quality dinner for a good cause held every Monday night.

The Eagles do many charity events and dinners. You can check the Eagles' website for more events.

Under events, I recomend looking up their Friday night $10 steak dinners, which were raved about over tacos tonight. Not on their website's calendar but prominently advertised at the aerie is a May 2 dinner and comdey show with procieds going to City of Hope. You cna call the number at the website for more info on any of the above.



Sunday, April 19, 2009

Parking hoopla?

This morning I treated myself to pancakes and the Sunday paper at Casa Jimenez. As I checked out, I noticed a flier by the cash register. The flier said:


1. Do you feel you are being targeted and or harassed by the downtown Parking Enforcement Agency?

2. Are you a victimof excessive ticketing and/or towing causing personal financial hardship?

If so please contact (909) 469-5141 or Email:

This flyer is being circulated in the interest of the downtown business residents and other local residents in the downtown business community.


What's the back story here? Who is the Parking Enforcement Agency? What wrongs have been committed (other than presumably illegal parking)? I'm curious if others have similar concerns. I, for one, haven't had any concerns about parking downtown. What am I missing?

Friday, April 17, 2009

Calendar of (some) events

I googled "Pomona calendar of events" and came upon this link:

Alas, the calendar suggests our fair city has little to offer. No Art Walks. No kickin' Fairplex events. No community forums. This calendar is downright sparse. I'm guessing the events listed on the calendar are City of Pomona events and thus don't include all the fun-time offerings.

Three questions:

1. Does anyone know where to find a truly inclusive community calendar of events for Pomona? Where do I go if I want to know about events downtown + Fairplex + Cal Poly + Pomona Valley + Library + Historical Society etc.?

2. Does anyone know who to contact to get a listing on the City of Pomona Calendar? What are the requirements? That information isn't obviously available on the calendar page.

3. If we can't find a pre-existing truly inclusive community calendar of events, what would it take to get one started? Ideally, event organizers could self-post their events and event seekers could browse by event type and date. On a related note, do we have a Visitor's Bureau?

Imagine the glories of one-stop-calendar-shopping! (Not that I don't love frequent stops by all the area blogs!)

Let's figure out a way to get on the same page.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Report out from SARA meeting: April 14, 2009

Perhaps the "cold" weather kept folks home last night. Whatever the reason, the thin crowd at last night's SARA meeting was a bit of a disappointment, especially given the special forum on disaster preparedness. At any rate, here's a quick report out (briefer than usual...silly job demands are keeping me busy this time of the year).

1. Quadrant Commanders, at your service. The Area Commander concept is up and running. Your Area Commander is the go-to person for questions and concerns about one of the quadrants (map, names, and contact information coming soon).

2. Never mind the numbers, let's see the maps. The maps below show incidents of major crimes over the past month. Thank you to the PD for making these maps available!

3. Ask and ye shall receive. Readers of the Pomona Watch blog submitted the following questions to the PD and received the following responses from the PD:

* How do we get access to press releases? This one is still under investigation.

* Would it be possible to make stops by park restrooms a regular aspect of patrols around the parks? The powers that be will remind officers to add walk-a-bouts (my word, not theirs) to their regular patrols. Residents are reminded that park security offers additional patrols of the areas. As always, we should call dispatch if we see anything suspicious.

For example, the other day I saw one guy put a little something under the cover of the electrical outlet; guy #1 meandered over to the picnic tables. 20 seconds later a new guy miraculously approached the exact same electrical outlet, grabbed something, and proceeded into the bathroom. Suspicious? You betcha.

* How many motorists/pedestrian accidents? There have been over 200 accidents involving motorists and pedestrians/bicyclists over the past five years. Gulp.

* What do the police do when they see a minor bicycling without a helmet? The city once had a grant that purchased helmets officers could distribute to kids who were riding without head protection. That grant no longer exists; perhaps the city will apply for another one at some point. In the meantime, officers use their discretion regarding whether or not to approach a minor riding without a helmet and whether to give a warning or a ticket. The PD may look in to doing more helmet safety presentations at schools. [Side bar: There's some really creepy footage of skateboarders suffering head impact on youtube -- scares the bejeebus out of me.]

5. A Rose by Any Other Name? I nearly burst out in applause when Cpl. Hagerty said the monthly meetings will no longer be called SARA meetings. The totally non-descriptive meeting name is pretty much meaningless to those of us not in the PD. In my humble opinion, acronyms do a huge disservice to any organization seeking to welcome outsiders. Why, afterall, would I bother to clear my Tuesday evening schedule to go to a meeting to celebrate some gal named Sara?

Well, this rose has a new name: Area Commander Meetings. While I applaud the decision to change the name of the meeting, I'm still really worried this meeting title won't mean anything to anyone who doesnt' already attend the meetings.

Imagine a new resident of Pomona finding herself checking the city's meeting schedule (I'm assuming such a schedule exists, but this is purely a guess) in hopes of finding a way to get involved in the local happenings. Will she jump at the opportunity to attend the Area Commander Meeting? Nope. Why? Because she won't know what the heck it means or who the heck is invited.

In a nutshell, I think we need another name. What are your suggestions? Perhaps "Town Hall with Police Department," "Community forum," "Police and community forum," "LOL"?

6. The Community Programs office is hoppin'. During the month of March they attended 19 Neighborhood Watch meetings, gave 3 presentations, and attended 5 events (including Little League Opening Day and doing detail for President Obama's visit).

7. Mark your calendar. All are invited and encouraged to attend:

* Senior Scam Stopper workshop. May 1, 9 - 11 AM. Washington Park Senior Center. 865 E. Grand Ave. For more info, call 909-621-2783.

* City wide beautification day is May 9. Pick your favorite little patch of Pomona and spruce it up. Contact to register or get more info (or read the April 6 post on the topic).

* The next community-wide Neighborhood Watch meeting (whatever it is called). May 12th from 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM. Council Chambers. Special topic: Issues facing the northwest quadrant of Pomona.

8. The Main Event. Carrie Cruz, Pomona's emergency services and risk coordinator, gave a splendid presentation about disaster preparedness. She also gave us all sassy pink raffle tickets. M&I Surplus (Garey & LaVerne) donated some great prizes, including a hefty backpack loaded with disaster preparedness supplies. Carrie has kindly granted permission to post her slides on the blog, so I'll do that as a separate post.

Shots Heard March 7 28

Stolen Vehicles March 7 28

Assaults March 7 28

Recovered Stolen Vehicles March 7 28

Robbery March 7 28

Disaster Preparedness

Please find below slides from Carrie Cruz's April 15 presentation to Pomona residents about disaster preparedness. If you have questions, please contact Carrie at Thank you, Carrie, for a wonderful presentations (and thank you to local merchant M & I Surplus for the great door prizes)!

Sara Shakeout Pres

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

The New Dog in Town

The Daily Bulletin shares two exciting points in this article.

#1. There's a new member of the K9 unit. Welcome, Baco! (Do we think it is a long 'a' or short 'a'?)

#2. The Fraternal Order of Eagles hosts a weekly taco night; proceeds go to support the acquisition of dogs for the K9 unit. Monday nights at 6 PM. Eagles Lodge, 954 W. Mission Blvd. Sure, twist my arm; I'll feed my face with tacos to support a good cause. I'm so there. Who's with me?

New K9 training for patrol in Pomona

Dog is company's gift

POMONA - Baco, the newest member of the Police Department's canine unit, is in the fourth week of training and getting ready to begin patrol duties with his handler.

The 3 1/2-year-old Belgian Malinois has shown he's energetic, alert, brave and sociable with his handler, Officer Theo Joseph.

"He's just shown he's going to be a very good patrol dog," Joseph said.

Baco replaces Buddy, another Belgian Malinois, who was euthanized early this year after being diagnosed with cancer.

Buddy's death caught everyone by surprise, said Sgt. Mike Ellis, who oversees the Police Department's canine program.

Because the dog's death came suddenly, no one was able to plan for a replacement, Ellis said.

The department's canines are purchased with donations from local business clubs and fraternal organizations.

One such group is the Fraternal Order of the Eagles, which holds weekly taco nights to raise money to purchase dogs for the Police Department.

However, none of the organizations was prepared to purchase a dog, nor was the Police Department, which has little money to spare due to budget reductions, Ellis said.

With the need for a full canine-handler contingent, the Police Department approached Canidae All Pet Food Products and explained the situation.

Canidae representatives listened and assisted by providing the $10,300 needed to purchase a new dog, Ellis said.

"This is the first dog we've purchased," said Robert Bemis, sales manager for Canidae, though it's not the first time the firm has worked with law enforcement.

The company supports some law enforcement agencies by providing food for their canine programs, Bemis said.

The company's aid came at a critical time, but now the Police Department must prepare for the forthcoming retirement of another dog, Rocky.

Rocky will retire in about three months after 11 years of service, Ellis said.

People interested in contributing toward the purchase of Rocky's replacement can attend the Eagles' taco nights, which begin at 6 p.m. Mondays at the Eagles Lodge, 954 W. Mission Blvd.

Checks can also be made out to the "Eagles K9 Fund" and mailed in care of Sgt. Mike Ellis to the Pomona Police Department, 490 W. Mission Blvd., Pomona, CA 91766. Donations will be forwarded to the Eagles.

Joseph said canines are a valuable resource to officers, helping in the search for suspects, evidence and weapons.

Once Joseph and Baco complete their training together they'll work in patrol for about a year. Then Baco will begin training in another field of police canine work such as narcotics searches, an area Buddy was trained in, Joseph said.

The area in which Baco and Joseph will train will depend on factors that include the officer's preferences and the Police Department's needs, he said.

In the meantime Joseph is looking forward to working with Baco.

"I'm hoping it'll be for a long while," he said.

911 wireless in Pomona

I earlier posted about the 911 wireless capability being rolled out in Claremont, and Pride asked me to check on Pomona. So being lazy, I sent an email to the police department, and they were nice enough to call me yesterday. Yes, Pomona is compliant with the 911 wireless system. I guess we beat Claremont (toss in the image of me jumping up and down).

There is one glitch in the system, in that according to the Goddess of Pomona, those areas adjacent to the freeway may still find that their wireless calls were routed to the CHP rather than the Pomona PD. Hey, it's not a perfect world, but at least we keep moving forward..........most of the time.

Monday, April 13, 2009

S.A.R.A Reminder

Tomorrow, Tuesday night, S.A.R.A. meeting (that translates to community wide Neighborhood watch) 7:00 PM in the City Council Chambers.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Preparing for 2010 Census

Between now and July 2009, individuals preparing for the 2010 Census Survey will be going door to door in the residential neighborhoods of Pomona. If someone claims they are from the Census, but you believe otherwise, be sure to ask for identification. The individual should also be carrying a bag with the census logo and a little hand-held computer.

If you're still unsure whether the person is legit, call dispatch or Paul Greening, Field Operations Supervisor of the Census, Glendora District. His number is 562-916-4057.

Community in the park

Here are some images from today's Easter gathering in Garfield Park. The organizers, a local church, must be delighted with the turn out. Highlights included live music, an egg hunt, a sermon, and yummy food. The many attendees seemed to have a really wonderful time. Thank you to everyone for using the park in such a positive way! We hope to see you back soon.

We managed to distribute a big stack of fliers announcing our upcoming Neighborhood Watch meeting (April 25), the focus of which will be on strategies for giving the park a face lift.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Web-cam crime fighting

Taking a break from my to-do list, I decided to check There I found an intriguing article about web-cam crime fighting. A home owner had installed a web cam at her home after the home was burglarized. One day while watching the camera feed from her workplace, she witnessed two men robbing her again (they also grabbed a snack from her fridge). She called the police and they busted the perpetrators.

Here's a community policing idea -- what if we install web cams around the city's trouble-spots and then distributed the feed via the city's web page. We could all pitch in to monitor happenings around town. Whenever a resident is curious about activity happening across the street -- say, the shadows moving in the dark over in the park after it is closed -- she or he could log onto the site and get a look. If something fishy is going on, a call could be made to dispatch.

I know, I know -- this idea sounds rather "big brother." But, if the city posted notices (e.g., Notice: This public space may be monitored by video surveillance) and the cameras focused only on public spaces, I think I'd be comfortable with the idea. I might even give up my trashy reality TV shows to watch the realities of our streets.

What do others think? What would be the hardware and software needs of something like this? Are there wireless web cams that would make it possible to move the cameras wherever they are needed? What about legality?

Friday, April 10, 2009

Silly rabbit, eggs are for kids

I have no idea who "Rock City Crusades" is, but the organization is hosting an event this Sunday in Garfield Park. Judging from their double-sided full color glossy postcard advertisements, they've got a bit of a budget to work with. Here's what the postcard says:

Garfield Park Easter Giveaway
Hosted by Rock City Crusades

Giving away Easter baskets to the first 100 kids!
Free meal provided for everyone!

Sunday, April 12 from 11AM - 3PM
For information contact us at 909-622-2005

Garfield Park
801 E. Holt Ave.
Pomona, CA 91767

Past community events in Garfield Park have been a ton of fun, so I'm hoping we're in store for some great community building. Yes, Stew and I will have our Neighborhood Watch fliers in tow, hoping to raise awareness of efforts in the area. We'll probably get there around 12:30, after the 11:00 yoga class at Village Dance in Claremont.

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Pomona's Finest

I must say, with the exception of one really awkward call to dispatch a few months ago, all of my interactions with the Pomona Police Department have been tremendously positive. And now this -- an off-duty Pomona police officer tackles a man who was assaulting a woman. Thank you, dear officer, whoever you are. Just one more piece of evidence that our police officers know their stuff.

Here's the story from the Daily Bulletin:

Off-duty officer nabs suspect

NORCO - An off-duty Pomona police officer tackled and detained a man after he attempted to rape a woman Saturday morning and then stabbed a retired deputy.

Riverside County Sheriff's deputies responded at 10:25 a.m. to a business in the 3900 block of California Avenue to a report of a robbery and stabbing.

When they arrived, they found a man suffering from several stab wounds to his hands and legs, according to a sheriff's news release.

That victim turned out to be a retired Orange County Sheriff's deputy who along with an off-duty Pomona police officer ran into the business to help a woman they heard screaming for help.

The incident began when the two men who were in a business next door and heard a woman screaming. They ran into the establishment and found the woman manager being assaulted by a knife-wielding man.

When they ran to assist her, the suspect turned on them.

The retired deputy was stabbed several times during a struggle, according to the release. The suspect ran from the business with the Pomona officer giving chase. He chased the suspect south on California and then west on Sixth Street where he tackled him.

He was able to hold the suspect until Riverside deputies arrived.

The suspect has been identified as Gary Michael Olson, 47, of Eastvale. He was booked into Robert Presley Detention Center on suspicion of two counts of attempted murder, one count of assault to commit rape, one count of assault with a deadly weapon and one count of burglary. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.

There was no information on whether the suspect knew the victim or if he is suspected in any similar incidents in the area.

Officials at the Pomona Police Department did not comment on the incident because they have not seen the sheriff's report.

However, the officer involved is a long-time veteran of the department and is assigned to the Patrol Unit, officials said.

The retired deputy was treated at a nearby hospital for his wounds Saturday and released.

Anyone with more information on this incident is asked to call Investigator Boyd at the Jurupa Valley Station at (951)955-9886.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Beautification Day

If your Neighborhood Watch group is planning to participate in our Third Annual Beautification Day, please email me at

The event is Saturday, May 9. Clean-up is 8-12, free lunch, entertainment, and health screenings for participants at the Fairplex, 12-3. We are hoping to get every Neighborhood Watch on board. Groups can select their own sites or help with an existing site.

Participants include: Western University, Pomona Valley Medical Center, YMCA, Boys and Girls Club, Parks and Recreation, City Department Heads, Cal Poly, Diamond Ranch Highschool Sports Teams, Fists of Gold, Young Men and Women of Tomorrow, Boy Scouts, Girl Scouts, Fairplex, and Pomona Chamber of Commerce.

Sunday, April 5, 2009

Last Call!

Are there any issues on your radar you would like the PD to address during the next community-wide Neighborhood Watch meeting (aka SARA meeting), which is scheduled for Tuesday, April 14 at 7:00 PM in Council Chambers? Anything added to the list by Tuesday, April 7 will be included in a note to Cpl. Haggerty.

So far, we have:

1. [held over from last meeting] How does the community get access to Pomona PD press releases?

2. [from Ed, with Pride's paraphrase] How frequently do patrols pop into park restrooms to check for shady activity? Would it be possible to make checks a regular part of patrols by parks?

What else is on your mind?

Hooligan sorts

This afternoon I found myself behind a cop car hurrying off to somewhere. Come to find out, the cruiser's destination was Garfield Park.

As I pulled into the neighborhood, I saw the officer approaching a young lad who still held in his hand a can of white spray paint. It seems a neighbor called dispatch (woot!) while the youth took his sweet time to tag the storage building in the park. One neighbor tells me it took the kiddo a good 20 minutes to do his handy work.

Two tid bits about this incident strike me as particularly fascinating:

1. The tagging took place at 4:00 this afternoon. Broad day light. The park was hopping with activity. How very brazen.

2. The tagger used white spray paint on a beige building. I don't claim any expertise in the tagging business, but wouldn't one shoot for perhaps a bit more contrast?

A bit later, probably around 6:00, there was another incident in the park to which three or four squad cars responded. I'm not sure what that one was all about.

Rumor has it the cops arrested a couple in Lincoln Park the other day for having sex in broad daylight -- well, there was a little blanky involved. Good lord.

Let's keep calling dispatch.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Click-it or Ticket

"During the months of April and May Pomona police will actively enforce the seat belt laws."

Can someone please interpret this sentence for me? I'm not opposed to public safety campaigns, but could we use different language when we're describing it. If we are going to set aside two months for a seat belt enforcement season, when is the red light violator season or the speeding down Towne season? I'll settle for the speeding in a school zone season.

Sorry, I have a few festering issues, and this DB mini-column sent me over the edge. Hmmm, if not 'actively', how do you 'passively' enforce the seat belt laws? ....not enforcing them, perhaps.