Tag Archives: California

Santa Cruz Police Officer With PTSD Fights for Disability Retirement

For many years, former Santa Cruz police officer Josafat “Joe” Rodriguez Jr. didn’t know he was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

A veteran of the Persian Gulf War, the 44 year old from Salinas at first didn’t acknowledge that the wail of a police siren triggered memories of sirens he heard during the war. The desert sirens warned of nerve-gas attacks, and Rodriguez would don a gas mask and take cover with his fellow Marines.

As a Santa Cruz police officer years later, Rodriguez joined the county’s Narcotics Enforcement Team and participated in guns-drawn drug raids on homes that also reminded him of the war. Even working at the police station, where people walked casually in halls carrying guns and wearing uniforms, was enough to give him an anxiety attack.

Now, according to attorneys involved in a court case that has spanned five years, an inability from him or anyone else to recognize his symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder may cost him a disability retirement worth tens of thousands of dollars.

Shaffman, Rodriguez’ attorney, said Rodriguez struggled for a long time to understand his own mental health problems. He has since remarried and had a third child.

“Rodriguez gave enormous service and sacrifice to his country and this community at great personal cost. “He has no anger towards the city for how he has been treated, as he understands no one realized when he left that he was suffering from PTSD,” said Shaffman.

Now, Shaffman said, “His deepest desire is to continue to heal his own PTSD and help his fellow war veterans heal theirs.”


The Veterans Affairs crisis line can be reached at 800-273-8255 ext. 1 or by texting 838255 or visiting www.VeteransCrisisLine.net.


Read more in the Santa Cruz Sentinel.

Source: www.santacruzsentinel.com

Police Sergeant Shot and Killed In California Traffic Stop

A Hayward police sergeant was shot and killed early Wednesday by a suspect during a traffic stop, authorities said. Sgt. Scott Lunger, a 15-year veteran, was shot by someone in a white pickup truck, which he had he stopped because it was being driven erratically, police said. The second officer was not injured.

Acting Police Chief Mark Koller declined to say Wednesday if the driver was shot or injured, citing an ongoing investigation.
A person of interest was detained but has not been arrested or determined to be a suspect in the slaying.

Lunger is the second San Francisco Bay Area police officer killed in the line of duty this year.

In March San Jose Officer Michael Johnson was shot and killed while checking on a mentally ill man who had threated to shoot himself and kill his wife. The man, 57-year-old Scott Dunham fired the fatal bullet. He was also shot and killed that day though he may have shot himself.


Source: www.sfgate.com

Fresno Police Department Is Taking Policing Into The Future In A Real Time Crime Center

The Fresno Police Department is taking law enforcement into the future in a Real Time Crime Center they unveiled Tuesday.
It’s a technological marvel, rivaling real time crime centers you might see in New York City, Chicago or Los Angeles. And it came much cheaper, with a price tag of zero dollars. But it’s so good, some wonder how to keep their lives private without staying inside their homes.
For police officers, a 911 call can mean a life threatening situation is seconds away, but what’s behind the door they approach may be a mystery.
“Our officers oftentimes are expected to know the unknown, see the unseen, and then make split second decisions with limited facts,” said Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer.
Chief Dyer is hoping to shed light on the unknown and unseen by using his newest crime-fighting tool — the Real Time Crime Center. The most serious 911 calls will be funneled here, where officers will use the latest technology to fill in some of the blanks.


Watch the report on ABC 30.

Source: abc30.com

Plane Battling California Fire Grounded By Hobby Drone

A drone flying above a 20,000-acre brush fire in the San Bernardino Mountains interfered with the firefight Wednesday, officials say.

CBS Los Angeles reports that the fixed-wing air craft had to be grounded due to FAA regulations after a drone was seen flying over the Onyx Summit area around 5:30 p.m., Cal Fire officials say.


“Tonight a hobby drone grounded firefighting aircraft by flying over the #LakeFire. When you fly…we CAN’T! Puts our pilots lives at risk.” — CAL FIRE PIO Berlant (@CALFIRE_PIO) June 25, 2015

A spokesperson for the agency says the sheriff’s department was contacted. In a tweet posted around 7:30 p.m., Cal Fire Public Information Officer Daniel Berlant wrote that pilots’ lives were put at risk due to the “hobby drone.”

In a recent drone incident, firefighters had to turn the hose on the interfering drone.

Read more on CBS News.

Source: www.cbsnews.com

Long Beach Police Officer Shot By Fellow Cop In Attempted Murder During Gunfire Exchange

A Long Beach police officer wounded during an exchange of gunfire with a suspect was shot by a fellow officer, police officials said Wednesday.

Investigators determined that a bullet recovered from the wounded officer came from the weapon of another officer, who was shooting at 31-year-old Eric Arroyo on Sunday at an apartment complex in the 3000 block of East Artesia Boulevard, according to the Long Beach Police Department. The officer’s injuries were not life-threatening. He was not identified.

Investigators said additional ballistic evidence showed that Arroyo shot at more than one officer, and police said they still planned to present a case to the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office for a possible charge of attempted murder of a police officer.


Read more in Los Angeles Times.

Source: www.latimes.com

Retired LA Judge Fires On Officers He Called To His Home – Thankfully He Was a Bad Shot

In Los Angeles’ legal community, James A. Bascue was a towering and admired figure.

As a top prosecutor, he became a national expert on gang prosecutions. Appointed to the bench, he rose to presiding judge of Los Angeles Superior Court.

But shortly after 2 a.m. Thursday, Bascue found himself on the other side of the law.

Los Angeles police said they arrived at Bascue’s West L.A. townhouse to find him inside holding two guns. Authorities said he fired on officers, prompting a standoff with a SWAT team that ended with the arrest of the 75-year-old retired jurist.

Watch the report in LA Times.

Source: www.latimes.com

Drones a Possibility for Palm Springs Local Law Enforcement

Could the use of drones by law enforcement help in the capture of suspects or in the case of missing persons? The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is actively looking for grants to buy unmanned aircrafts or drones for search and rescues. Palm Springs police said its bird’s-eye view could help save lives. Palm Springs mounted search-and-rescue has looked into the technology, especially for areas where helicopters can’t go.

“Those areas where those folks are stuck are generally very remote; using an unmanned aircraft system would show us where the person is to kind of guide our reaction to the situation,” said Palm Springs Police Lt. Mike Kovaleff. 

Watch the report on News Channel 3/CBS Local.

Source: www.kesq.com

San Diego Police Officer Wounded In Shooting

A female San Diego police officer was shot in her upper chest at a Kearny Mesa interchange Sunday morning, and rushed by a fellow officer to nearby Sharp Memorial Hospital. The suspect was shot dead, and police later learned his car might be linked to a series of shootings aimed at buildings in that area, including the Kearny Mesa headquarters of the San Diego Gas & Electric Company.

Source: www.cbs8.com

Top Hats and Gold Cuffs: the Curious Case of California’s Fake Masonic Police Force

A trio has been charged with impersonating police officers – among them an aide to state attorney general and Democratic rising star Kamala Harris. A minister, an aide to the attorney general of California and a purported Emmy winner could face up to a year in county jail, after they were arrested in late April for posing as members of a fictional police department supposedly tied to the Knights Templar.

Source: www.theguardian.com