Friday, May 22, 2009

Maybe the guy who makes the funny noises with his mouth will be there!

Oh wait, I'm thinking Police Academy the movie. This is Citizen's Academy the real thing. The Citizen's Academy looks like a great program; too bad I'll be out of town for a bunch of it otherwise I would apply. Bummer. At any rate, here are the details in case somebody else would like to apply (and, if you attend, know you have a standing invitation to blog about your experiences).

Citizen Academy Flier

Citizen Academy Application

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Block Party this Saturday at 5:00 PM

If you live in the Garfield Park area, or consider yourself a friend of the park, you're invited to attend our block party this Saturday at 5:00 PM. Hot dogs, chips, and sodas provided. Rumor has it McGruff the Crime Dog will be there. Chomp!

Friday, May 15, 2009

Homide update

No sidewalks in this post.

Brian Day from the San Gabriel Valley Tribune reports that two suspects have been arrested for the murder of Roberto Marie Romero on Glen Oak Ave. The two suspects and the victim were all West Covina residents. The article offers no explanation for why the killing took place on a Pomona street at 5AM. Perhaps the convenient access to freeway on- and off-ramps?

Thanks to the Pomona PD and the other agencies that worked on the arrests. If you were a DB reader a couple of years back, you might remember that the DB published a rather unflattering critique of the homicide clearance rate for Pomona PD.......................I know it will never happen, but wouldn't another article be nice.

PD Budget Cuts

Below is an excerpt from a story by Monica Rodriguez, which appears in Thursday's Contra Costa Times. I'm curious to know how the grounding of the Pomona PD's helicopters will impact the PD's ability to police the city.

Take a look at the full story for a list of other cuts (including library cuts). The story reminds us, yet again, of the importance of buying from local businesses when possible -- sales-tax revenues matter.

[Begin quoted text]

Police: The Police Department will take one of the biggest hits in terms of personnel reductions. It will need to eliminate a total of 34 positions, 16 of which are non-sworn and 18 sworn. The 18 positions are vacant spots that will remain unfunded, but could be filled if economic conditions improve, Chamberlain said.

Among the sworn positions cut are an assistant chief post and a lieutenant in charge of internal affairs. The responsibilities would be shifted to the chief of police.

A number of the non-sworn positions have made it possible for sworn personnel to concentrate on policing activities, and losing those positions will require officers to pick up some of those tasks and give others to remaining civilian personnel, acting Police Chief Dave Keetle said.

Efforts are under way to sell the older of the department's two helicopters.

A newer air craft, which was purchased last year, would be grounded to save money, Keetle said.

Another option would be to reduce costs by having the city become part of a regional program designed to provide police helicopter services to various departments, he said.

[End quoted text]

Who you gonna call?

If there's something strange
In your neighborhood.
Who you gonna call?

Sure, call Ghostbusters if you're on the market for a little paranormal elimination.

If, on the other hand, you would like to share your crime concerns with a Lieutenant, are looking for information about crime in your area (including following up on a concern logged previously), or are interested in learning how to start a Neighborhood Watch, then call your friendly neighborhood Area Commander or Community Service Officer (CSO).

Who are these fine folks?, you might ask. Six CSOs serve as the liaisons between the community and the police department. These are your "go to" people for all sorts of community organizing and program needs (e.g., National Night Out, arranging a police visit to a school to talk about stranger danger).

Check out the map below to find out who the CSO is for your area. Then call or drop an e-mail to introduce yourself. I've met three of the CSOs thus far; they are a knowledgable and approachable bunch. Let them know how they can support your efforts to bite crime and build community.

Each of the four Area Commanders are in charge of coordinating the policing efforts in a specific quadrant of our city. Pick up the phone and call your Area Commander (see map below) to raise a concern (e.g., "We're really worried by all the people going in and out of that vacant building. Can someone look into it and get back to me?"). What?! Ask an Area Commander to get back to you? How forward!

Indeed. In fact, Acting Cheif Keetle explained during a recent community/PD meeting that one of his goals in developing the Area Commander model is to make sure every one of us has a single person on the PD to touch base with when we have concerns about crime in our neighborhoods and when we need to follow up on issues raised previously (vs. bouncing from person to person in hopes of finding the gal or guy who is able to answer your question).

The four Area Commanders will meet regularly with the public -- residents of their quadrant and everyone else -- to respond to concerns, offer updates on special initiatives, etc. The next such meeting will take place on Tuesday, June 9th at 7 PM in Council Chambers. Lt. Rilloraza will respond to any concerns he's heard about in the area North of Holt and East of Garey. So, call him with your concerns and then show up to the meeting to hear what he can tell us.

(I'm curious to know if anyone else has the Ghostbusters theme song cursing through their noggin.)

Lt Commander Areas

CSO District Map May 2009

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Preventing Residential Burglary

Although most of Tuesday evenings community meeting with the Pomona PD concerned traffic, compliance, and theft issues from the northwest quadrant of Pomona, part of the meeting featured a presentation by Brenda Sutherland on how to prevent residential burglary.

Brenda kindly offered to make her powerpoint slides available to the blog. So, in case you missed the presentation, take a look:

Residential Burglary and Physical Security for NW

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

Good Riddins

The once-clustered picnic tables in the northwest corner of Garfield Park disappeared today. This is good news. Really.

Although one might imagine the picnic tables would have served as a wonderful gathering place for families interested in evening barbecues, the picnic tables instead served as a club house for ne'erdowells.

Lots and lots of suspicious activity took place there over the years. Tagging, drinking, drug sales. As Bill Evans, Parks Operations Supervisor, pointed out, "You wouldn't believe what is in those trash cans." I kinda wish I had asked for a list to post for you all.

The four picnic tables will be redistributed around the park over the coming weeks (maybe months -- I'm not sure of the planned time line). So, there will still be plenty of places for families to gather, just no one obvious spot for big groups nestled far away from the watchful eyes of people passing on Holt.

Eventually the concrete slabs that housed the picnic tables will get removed, though a neighbor suggested a basketball hoop for shooting hoops (if the slabs do get removed, I'm hoping to haul some of the broken concrete over to my yard to make a new flower bed ). In the meantime, we've got a killer four-square field. Come on by with your kick ball and we'll get a tourney going.

We anticipate further changes in the coming months. Possible additions include a volleyball court, a level practice field for youth soccer teams, and lighting and fencing to better protect the goddess. Possible deletions: the removal of the defunct storage building near the southwest corner of the park. Definite revamps: New playground equipment.

Thank you to the City of Pomona for helping beautify this wonderful postage stamp of a park!

Monday, May 11, 2009


The victim of Pomona's first homicide in May was found on the 1800 block of Glenpark Street. The blurb in the Daily Bulletin was nothing more than a cut and paste press release, so we really don't have much information. Even the sex and age of the victim wasn't supplied. If you choose to read any further, please don't expect any epiphanies about this homicide or any others. This post is one massive digression, and it's driving force is my belief that 99.9% of people in Pomona are law-abiding citizens.

I wasn't familiar with Glenpark street, so I took a little virtual visit with the help of Google maps. It really looks like a typical street that could be found in any of the cities around Pomona. Glenpark street is within a couple blocks of two elementary schools (Arroyo and Cortez), Marshall Middle School, and Ganesha High School. The housing stock appears to be the typical 1950s vintage with 2 to 4 bedrooms and 1 or 2 baths. Nothing from the virtual tour would lead to believe that this street shouldn't be perfectly safe. The only issue that really leaves me dumbfounded is how a street that's been in the city for 50+ years has no sidewalks. I can understand that the street design at the time might have included no sidewalks, but what's our excuse now?

If someone is selling their house in this neighborhood what are we saying to potential buyers? Yeah, this is Pomona, we expect kids to walk in the middle of the street or to walk along a dirt path when they go to school. Are we holding down our property values because we aren't complaining? Are we complaining, but the city isn't responding? Why aren't Council members clamoring for sidewalks?

Last month over at M-M-M-My Pomona I called it shameful that "Safe Routes to School" money was being targeted as a funding source for a street barrier in the Lincoln Park neighborhood. If you Google map Glenpark Street or even better, drive down the street, you'll begin to understand my frustration with how the city is apparently prioritizing projects. Why aren't those of us in the more affluent neighborhoods becoming the voice for the less fortunate? Why aren't we asking the obvious question, "If Lincoln Park has sidewalks, then why shouldn't Glenpark?"

So to end my digression, how did I get from a homicide to sidewalks..................................because I REALLY don't think Pomona's biggest problem is crime. Livability? Yes! Crime? Not really! Make the city more livable, and you'll reduce your crime problem.

Friday, May 8, 2009

Happy Beautification Day!

Happy Beautification Day! If you missed the boat and didn't get a group organized for tomorrow's big event, there's a chance another group will adopt you. Last year Stew and I stopped by a local elementary school and ended up contributing to the creation of community garden. Our efforts landed us wrist band passes to the post-clean up festivities at the Fairplex. So, if you're up for an adventure, toodle around town and lend a hand where you can.

I'd love to hear about your experiences tomorrow; post a comment if you're willing.

Thursday, May 7, 2009

Don't tempt a thief

Alas, the last two weeks have required more than the usual number of hours at work. An end is in sight. I stand ready to assuage guilt over my blogosphere absence. Fear not, I bring an announcement. The Pomona PD invites us all to attend:

Learn how to prevent becoming a burglary victim.
Tuesday, May 12 at 7PM
Council Chambers
400 Civic Center Plaza

For further information, contact 909-620-2377.

Anyone care to meet up at dba after the informational event?