Friday, March 27, 2009

Youth Services Unit busy as always

The following announcement came across Web Alert Thursday evening. The last page includes some great tips and resources. I love that the flier includes a phone number to call if you would like to start a Neighborhood Watch in your area: 909-620-2318.

Web Alert 032609

Thursday, March 26, 2009

911 wireless in Claremont

Does anyone know if we have this capability in Pomona?

Wireless 911 System Now Operational in the City of Claremont

The Claremont Police Department has been working in partnership with the State Office of Public Safety, Wireless 911 Section, and six wireless service providers to complete the Wireless 911 project in Claremont. This program was funded through a State grant obtained through the Police Department. The program was completed on March 16th, 2009.

When you dial 911 on your cell phone in the City of Claremont, the call no longer goes to the California Highway Patrol communications center; the call now goes to the Claremont Police Department communications center. However, the system is not 100% percent accurate. If the caller is calling from the City boundaries the call could be sent to a surrounding city, additionally if the caller is calling from the freeway, within the City limits, the call is directed to the California Highway Patrol.

The system will provide enhanced service to the citizens and visitors to the City of Claremont. When a 911 cell phone call is made, the call is displayed on the Police Department's communications center screens, giving the cell phone caller information, as well as the latitude and longitude of the caller. This information is computer translated onto a map of the City and an icon appears showing where the caller is located. This wireless 911 system will greatly reduce the wait time for police responses within the City and enhance the availability of Police and Fire Department resources.

From the Claremont PD neighborhood e-watch.

Are you ready?

As I mentioned yesterday, the next community-wide Neighborhood Watch meeting (April 14 at 7:00 PM in Council Chambers) will focus on emergency preparedness.

Carrie Cruz [see footnote], the Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for the City of Pomona, will talk with us about how to prepare for the next big earthquake or other emergency.

Fear as a motivational tool is usually less than successful because people get all worked up and then stick their heads in the sand as a coping strategy. That said, fear coupled with information about how to reduce the anxiety is a solid tactic for getting people to take action.

"Why do I bother sharing this little reflection?," you might ask. Well, take a look at the PD's flier and you'll see what I'm talking about: a big ol' fear message coupled with a really obvious point of action: ATTEND THIS EVENT!

Do it for your own well-being. Do it for your family. Do it for your community. In the words of the goddess Nike, "Just do it." Side note: I do wish the goddess Pomona had a nifty one liner like that -- any ideas? Maybe "just pluck it." Although the goddess might see such a directive as applying the fruit harvest, I imagine I could use it in quite a number of situations.

Emergency Preparedness

Footnote: Cpl. Haggerty explained that Carrie Cruz is responsible for making sure all city employees are prepared and trained for any kind of major emergency that occurs within the city. She is also the liaison between our city and outside cities during major emergency situations.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Issues to discuss at April 14 SARA meeting

The next community-wide Neighborhood Watch meeting (aka SARA meeting) will take place on Tuesday, April 14 at 7:00 PM in Council Chambers.

I understand the meeting will focus on emergency preparedness (I'll see if I can get more specifics). That said, I believe there will be a little time for the usual Q & A. To help streamline things a bit, PD welcomes questions before the meeting.

To that end, feel free to post a comment with any questions or issues, big or small, you'd like the police department to address during the meeting. I will forward any concerns/questions posted by April 7 to Cpl. Brian Haggerty. Be as specific as you can so PD can respond in kind.

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?

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Garfield Park NW: Saturday @ 3:00

Rumor has it some of our trusty blog readers are not yet part of a NW group. Fear not! You are invited to join the Garfield Park NW group this Saturday at 3:00. We will meet at the picnic tables in the northwest corner of the park. The park is located on Holt 1 block east of San Antonio.

Saturday's meeting will largely focus on learning more about the concerns held by Reeves Street apartment residents and brainstorming what we can do as a neighborhood to create a safe and welcoming community.

Monday, March 23, 2009

And the "duh" award goes to...

So let me get this straight: Group A provides its address to Couple B so Couple B can come by (with cash?) to purchase jewelry from Group A. Group A robs Couple B. Couple B provides Group A's address to the police. And...drum roll...police find Couple B's stolen property at the address. Isn't there an award of some sort for criminals who demonstrate a decided lack of forethought?

From KCAL News:

"Police are searching for a man suspected of robbing two Perris residents at gunpoint in Pomona Sunday afternoon authorities said.

"The 44-year-old man and a 38-year-old woman were robbed in the 1200 block of West Mission Boulevard about 3:30 p.m. Sunday, said Pomona police Lt. Paul Hitt.

"The pair went to the location to buy jewelry from a potential seller, Hitt said.

"The victims gave police a description of the suspects and the address of an apartment building in the 1500 block of West Mission Boulevard.

"When officers arrived at the location, they found two men and a woman matching the description of the robbers and took Ronald Chavez, 41, Pedro Reyes, 33, and Omara Bautista, 29 into custody, Hitt said.

"During a search of the location, police found the victims' stolen property, Hitt said.

"A fourth suspect, described as an older man, was still at large, Hitt said
early Monday.

"Anyone with information about the robbers call Pomona police at (909) 620-2156."

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Young kids' commentary

Last Thursday, while awaiting Obama's motorcade, I found myself enjoying a neighborly conversation with two kids who live on the block.

The little boy, perhaps age 5, told me that when he grows up he would like to be a cop. The little girl, perhaps age 7, told him that their mother wouldn't let the little boy be a cop because cops kill people.

I quickly chimed in, explaining cops only hurt people when those people are doing really, really bad things.

The kids corrected me immediately. The little boy -- a kindergartner -- said, "nuh uh, because sometimes the cops take those sticks and hit people over and over and they die."

The kids were right: Sometimes some police officers use force for brutality rather than protection.

The kids had learned about such incidents from their mother and incarcerated older brother. Their young minds are likely trying to reconcile those truths with the truths of their experiences -- the officer who smiled and said hi to the kids as they sat on the curb, the motorcycle cop who waved at them while on patrol.

Perhaps these are the experiences that prompt a child to say, "I want to be a cop when I grow up." Certainly these experiences help create trusting relationships between the community and the police, even when so many families have good reason to mistrust.

As I prepared to head on my way down the street, I said to the boy, "You know what, you are right. Sometimes we hear about cops who behave badly. That's why we need even more good people like you to be cops."

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Welcome, Obama!

A friend called around 9:30 this morning to tell me San Antonio was blocked off for Obama's visit to Pomona. I jumped out of bed (yes, I was still in bed at 9:30) and walked the one block to San Antonio.

I hit the street for wonderful conversation with enthusiastic neighbors of all ages, many of whom were debating the best chants to holler for Obama. Then, at 10:30 AM, the Presidential motorcade passed through our neighborhood. Cheers and smiles greeted the President and his 45 auto/motorcycle entourage.

I, for one, felt a tremendous amount of civic pride as I watched the events unfold. Take a look at these pictures. So many smiles!

The Pomona PD did an amazing job. Officers engaged residents with the utmost respect. They managed to keep security air tight ("keep your feet off the roadway") while keeping moods sky high. The motorcycle cops impressed with their driving skills and their waves to the kiddos. Whooosh + waves = solid entertainment.
[Thanks to Iggy for the video!]

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Sad and scary news

The LA Times reports:

Two Gas Company Workers Found Shot to Death

One of the victims was a resident of Pomona (300 block of East La Verne). The other victim was a resident of Anaheim. My heart goes out to the families of the victims.

UPDATE: Suspected gunman in the two shootings shoots himself. See the LA Times story here.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Garfield Park bathroom: Three arrests

Those of us who live near Garfield Park may have noticed the three police cruisers in (that's right: in) the park around 12:30 today. I called the Watch Commander to see if he could share any information. Come to find out, officers had been in the park looking for someone wanted on a charge unrelated to the park when they happened upon people doing drugs in the bathrooms. Officers made three arrests. Thank you to the PD for keeping our parks safe!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

3/14: Police and community forum

Saturday, March 14
9:30 AM - 12:30 PM

Hughes Community Center
1700 Danbury Road
Claremont CA

Police Chiefs from Claremont, LaVerne, Montclair, Ontario, and Pomona will be there to answer your questions. For more information please contact Candace Barry at (909) 218 - 0988 or

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Report out from SARA Meeting: 3/10/09

A crowd of 21 residents (17 of whom were women -- any insights on this gender asymmetry?) joined a whoppin' nine members of the Pomona Police Department (1 woman -- again, insights?) for the March installment of the community-wide Neighborhood Watch meeting. My minutes and musings appear below. Want to know what I found to be the most exciting "oh ah" info without having to do all the pesky reading? Skip to items #3 and #9.

1. Quadrant Commanders, at your service. Acting Chief Keetle is ready to roll out the Area Commander concept. As you may recall from last month's post, each of the four Watch Commanders will serve as the go-to person for questions and concerns about one of the quadrants (map, names, and contact information coming soon). Beginning in May, the four Watch Commanders will take turns facilitating the monthly SARA meetings. The entire community is invited to attend all meetings, though individual meetings will focus specifically on the issues of a given quadrant.

2. Speaking in my best Kai Ryssdal voice, "let's do the numbers." The month of February brought us:

* 36 incidents of shots heard (down from 55 in January)

* 23 robberies (30 in January)

* 11 assaults (19 in January)

* 138 burglaries (146 in January); note, these numbers include auto, commercial, and residential burglaries.

* 83 stolen vehicles (90 in January)

* 41 stolen vehicles recovered by Pomona PD (39 in January)

* 48 stolen vehicles recovered by other agencies (43 in January)

Thus, a bit of drop appears consistently across categories. Of course, there is that whole 28 days in February issue. Pesky calendar.

3. Smile, you're on the graffiti cam! Using "Weed & Seed" money, the city installed two graffiti cameras in a local park (alas, I neglected to write down which park). The motion-activated cameras become operational at dusk. After giving a verbal warning, the camera takes a flash photo. Why the verbal warning you may ask? It is intended to act as a deterrent. Although the cameras have not yet lead to any arrests, we know they are operational because they captured some stunning images of people mingling at a community event one recent evening. Two more cameras will be mounted soon. Personally, I'm hoping for an end-of-the-year slide show -- except if the cameras capture prostitution; I don't want to see that.

4. Ask and ye shall receive. Last month the meeting organizers requested a heads-up about any issues or concerns individuals planned to bring to the March meeting so that the PD could look up info and respond accordingly. Issues submitted by the PomonaWatch blog and the PD responses appear below:

* Illegal DVD and CD sales in the parking lot of the 99 cent only store on Holt and Paloma. PD received just two calls about such sales. If you see anything shady in parking lots -- other than trees -- please call dispatch.

* How many red light and stop light violations? The breakdown is not available. The traffic guru tells us such infractions are considered minor compared to the types of violations that tend to lead to accidents (including speeding, chaotic turns, etc.). Ed, care to take this one? More on traffic violations below.

* How do we get access to press releases? This one is still under investigation. Blogs are a form of media, right? Perhaps we qualify as press.

* If we call the PD about graffiti are we taking an officer off the streets? Yes. But, the report is very quick, especially if the graffiti sits still for its photograph. The officer will be back on the street in no time. So call the PD.

5. Web Watch: Mutant laptops. A bunch of Pomona Unified laptops have sprouted legs and walked away. Please call the PD if you have an info. Another web watch alert came out today concerning graffiti; I haven't seen it yet, but will post it once it arrives in the trusty inbox.

6. The Community Programs office is hoppin'. During the month of February they attended 13 Neighborhood Watch meetings, attended 1 manager/tenet meeting, and made 5 presentations.

7. Citations and Violations. During the month of February, motor officers made 956 citations, 247 impounds, and 3 arrests (I think it is three -- the squiggle on the page could be a 7). During this same period, parking officers made 2115 citations, 31 video citations, 172 impounds, and 11 grand theft auto recoveries.

8. Checking in on check points. During the month of February, check point personell screened 1372 vehicles, impounded 20 of the vehicles, issued 25 citations, and made 4 arrests. Three of the arrests were for DUIs, including one guy who arrived driving on his rims with a 40 ounce beer and a bottle of vodka in the passenger seat. Individuals attending the meeting expressed thankfulness that the check-point protesters didn't divert these drunk drivers around the check point.

9. Three cheers for an impressive downward linear trend! During the February meeting someone asked how the 2008 traffic fatality stats compare to previous years. Check this out:

* 22 in 2003
* 11 in 2004
* 10 in 2005
* 4 in 2006
* 7 in 2007
* 4 in 2008

Does anyone know when the check points started? These are impressive data. I'm curious to know more about the timing of interventions like the check points.

10. Gang hot zones. 1300 block of East Kingsley and 700 block of East End. Call the gang and narcotics hotline with information: 909-802-7477.

11. The not-so-dirty dozen. On February 20th the Police Department engaged in Operation Bed Check in South Pomona. The PD checked 12 different probation locations to make sure individuals were in compliance with court-ordered curfews. Eleven of the people were at home, safe and sound. The parents of the 12th person were easily able to reach him by phone.

Interestingly, while out and about doing the spot checks, the officers happened upon four individuals dressed in black, lugging around a bunch of spray paint. Busted.

12. Another mission accomplished. On March 6 the police department did a truancy sweep which resulted in 105 citations (kids not in school who should have been). You might ask, "Why would the PD spend precious resources trying to get kids to go to school?" Evidently much day-time crime is attributed to truants including burglaries and graffiti.

13. Hard times.
As with other city departments, the PD has been asked to cut its budget by 10%. Acting Chief Keetle aims to do so without cutting sworn personell, noting a city needs its patrols, detectives, dispatchers, and the like. Tonight I learned the city is approved to emply 200 sworn officers but is currently operating with just 183.

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

* Police and community forum: An open dialouge. Saturday, March 14th from 9:30 AM - 12:30 PM. Hughes Community Center, 1700 Danbury Road, Claremont CA. Police Chiefs from Claremont, LaVerne, Montclair, Ontario, and Pomona will be there to answer your questions. Let's make sure Pomona represents!

* The next community-wide Neighborhood Watch meeting. April 14th from 7:00 PM - 8:30 PM. Council Chambers. Special topic: EMERGENY PREPAREDNESS.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Your Ideas Needed: Projects for Pomona Beautification Day

May 9 is Pomona Beautification Day (that's two short months from now!). Teams work from 8 AM - noon, and then head to the fairgrounds for a free BBQ and celebration (12:30 PM - 3 PM). Participants can either select their own site or call the organizers for an assignment (909-621-5252).

Here's my question, what kinds of projects do you think would be appropriate for this sort of event? Our NW group would like to pull together a project of some sort; would love to hear your ideas.

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Joy ride in a police cruiser?

Check out Skrip's post about hooligans "borrowing" a Montebello police cruiser for a joy ride and then stealing fire arms from the police cruiser. Seriously, if you're going to steal cars and fire arms, why would you steal from the police? Not the crunchiest chip in the bag, eh?

[Insert here theme music from the TV show COPS...bad boys, bad boys*]

* As an equal opportunity crime fighter, I do not assume the hooligan(s) in this case is male.

Today's image from . Great art, Moyayuki!

Saturday, March 7, 2009

And the winner is...

Last week I posted a single-item poll asking, "How frequently does your Neighborhood Watch group meet?" Response options ranged from "once per month" to "What NW group?" The people of pomonawatch have spoken. Well, that's not entirely true -- just seven of us have spoken; and I may have inadvertently voted twice -- so maybe just six of us have spoken.

Four out of the seven respondents selected the "What NW group?" response option. I feel a little tear welling. Fear not. Those of you without a NW group have us, your e-neighbors who can send e-bread and e-milk through your DSL. In case you're game for a little live-action community building, there's always the monthly community-wide NW meetings (second Tuesday of the month at 7PM in Council Chambers -- these are the SARA meetings). And, if you're feeling up to it, consider starting your own NW group. Blog posts labeled "NW Tool Kit" provide some ideas for getting started.

My big goal for next time: a bigger sample size.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Reminder: SARA Meeting Tuesday at 7PM

The Pomona PD will host its monthly community-wide Neighborhood Watch meeting this Tuesday at 7PM in Council Chambers. Holler out if you are interested in getting together for an informal meet-and-greet at dba after the main event. See you there!

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Val Vista Neighborhood Watch

The next meeting of the VAL VISTA NEIGHBORHOOD WATCH will be on Wednesday, March 11, 2009, from 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. at the Ganesha Park Recreational Facility.

Councilman Steve Acthley will be speaking on proposals before the City Council and there effect on our neighborhood and Lucy Ramierz from the Ordinance Department of the City of Pomona will be speaking about code violations.

Lecture: "Preventing violence: Critiques of the criminal justice system"

Preventing Violence: Critiques of the Criminal Justice System

Dr. James Gilligan, Visiting Professor of Psychiatry and Social Policy

March 11, 2009
Lecture & Dinner
5:00 - 7:00 p.m.
Founders Room,
McConnell Center, Pitzer College

To RSVP and for more information, contact CCCSI at 909.607.8183 or

This lecture is part of the Changemakers Spring 2009 Speaker Series. Changemakers is a CCCSI program to promote social responsibility and community engagement through scholarship, action and advocacy.

Dr. James Gilligan is a visiting professor of psychiatry and social policy at the University of Pennsylvania, teaching on the causes and prevention of violence. Gilligan explores the causes and prevention of the human propensity to engage in violent behavior, from individual (homicide and suicide) to collective (war, terrorism and genocide). Gilligan's unique approach reframes violence not as a moral and legal problem but as a bio-psycho-social problem in public health and preventive medicine. Violence, from this perspective is seen as a form of lethal and life-threatening pathology that threatens the survival of the human species. Gilligan is president of the Center for the Study of Violence and a distinguished visiting scholar and adjunct professor at New York University, faculty of the Department of Psychiatry at the Harvard Medical School and a visiting fellow at the Institute of Criminology, Cambridge University, England. He is the author of Violence: Reflections on a National Epidemic and Preventing Violence: An Agenda for the Coming Century.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Presentation: "Child Safety"

As I mentioned in an earlier post, last week Sonia presented information to the Garfield Park Neighborhood Watch group about child safety. The slides from the presentation appear below.

Thank you to Sonia for the presentation (and the permission to post)! Thank you to Calwatch for teaching me how to post slides!

Child Safety

Web Watch: Stolen Laptop Computers

From Web Watch alert dated March 2, 2009:

The Pomona Police Department is seeking information on stolen laptop computers. During the past year, Pomona Unified School District has experienced a high degree of theft of laptop computers from various middle schools within the City of Pomona. The Pomona Police Department, Detective Bureau Burglary Unit, has been working to investigate these thefts and apprehend those responsible for these burglaries.
The Pomona Unified School District etches an identifier on the bottom of each piece of equipment with the following ID Tag "PUSD 91766". Also please note that individuals may have attempted to scratch the ID Tag to make it unrecognizable.
If you have information regarding property of this kind or have seen property that is being sold with this type of identifier please notify the Pomona Police Department Burglary Unit at 909-620-2287 or 909-620-2356. Persons wishing to remain anonymous may also call WE-TIP at 1-800-78-CRIME.
Det. Anderson/Det. Weidner

Tuesday, March 3, 2009

Lecture: "Collective Efficacy in Rich, Poor, and Middle Class Neighborhoods in Los Angeles"

THIS Thursday...

"Collective Efficacy in Rich, Poor, and Middle Class

Neighborhoods in Los Angeles"

Thursday, March 5
11:00 a.m.
Hahn 108
Pomona College (see campus map here)

Anne R. Pebley
Fred H. Bixby Chair of Community Health Sciences

Professor Pebley's research focuses on fertility and marriage patterns, children's health and welfare, and family organization in the United States and other countries. She is past-President of the Population Association of America, and has collaborated with researchers and institutions in Central America, West, Central and East Africa, and Bangladesh and India. Currently she is serving as co-Director of the Los Angeles Family and Neighborhood Survey (L.A.FANS), a longitudinal study of families in Los Angeles County and the neighborhoods where they live.

Peddling Wares in Parking Lots

Is it just me, or is business hopping in the parking lot of the "99 cent only store" on Holt and Paloma? I was in the parking lot twice this past week. Both times young men were approaching people getting into and out of cars, attempting to sell bootlegged DVDs and CDs.

Sure, I'm guessing the guy who camps out in front of Cardenas selling the little stuffed toys probably doesn't hold a city permit to sell or anything like that, but at least he is pretty up front about what he is doing and he isn't approaching vehicles. Moreover, there's at least a chance he's selling legally obtained wares.

The DVD and CD guys are definitely not selling legally obtained materials. Yesterday, the kid (maybe age 14 or 15) dropped his big black duffel bag in front of my car and then walked across the parking lot. He returned about a minute later. I casually asked what he had in the bag; he said DVDs. Ever concerned about his best interests (ha ha), I let him know the cops were in the lot a couple days ago busting people. This may or may not be true; I know I called dispatch to report the shady dealings a couple days ago, but I didn't stick around to see if the cops were able to stop by.

Monday, March 2, 2009

Last call

Last call! If there are specific issues -- however narrow or broad -- you would like to see addressed at the March 10 community-wide Neighborhood Watch meeting, post them here by day's end March 3. We'll send the issues to the Crime Prevention Office. Officers will investigate the issues and report out to the community during the March 10 meeting. In turn, I will post my oh-so-sassy minutes on this oh-so-nifty page.

Sunday, March 1, 2009

More numbers worth knowing

During Saturday's Neighborhood Watch meeting, Sonia and Brenda shared a couple phone number worth knowing; these all deal with traffic-related issues.

To report damaged street signs: 620-3665

To submit a request for a new street sign (e.g., street sign needed): 620-2263

To request the trailer with the speed monitor and sign: 620-2081