Category Archives: Tustin Police Department
On December 6, 1972, Tustin Police Officer Waldron “Wally” Karp was on patrol when he answered a call to backup an Orange County Deputy Sheriff who was responding to a “man with a gun” call. As they approached the residence, they heard rustling in the bushes outside. They called for the suspect to come out. Instead, the suspect fired and hit Officer Karp and a sheriffs deputy.
On January 7, 1973, Officer Karp succumbed to his injuries and passed away. He was a Marine combat veteran and a family man who left behind a grieving wife and children.
For years, Karp’s photo hung in the lobby of the Tustin Police Department as the sole reminder of his sacrifice. But, in 2001, the work and planning of a group of employees led to the construction of a proper memorial for the only TPD officer to die in the line of duty. The memorial stands outside the department’s entrance as a reminder to all not just of Karp’s sacrifice, but the dedication of each police officer that enters the door of the Tustin Police Department.
The memorial ceremony will take place on the 42nd anniversary of Karp’s death, January 7, 2015 at 5;30 pm. The memorial is located in front of the police department, 300 Centennial Drive, Tustin CA.
Barring emergencies, the Tustin City Council and Planning Commission will not meet again this year. In fact, the city has closed shop until after the new year. Hopefully, the police department will see a calm end of the year and we won’t see any firey crashes or folks too unhappy with their Christmas gifts.
Although the year passed quickly, we did have our fair share of problems. I don’t think the folks on Nisson Road will forget the sudden gathering of SWAT vehicles and cops looking for an armed suspect in a shooting near their apartment buildings.
In February, Tustin PD responded to a domestic violence call at apartments in the same area and were confronted by an armed suspect. The suspect was subsequently shot and killed, triggering protests both in the streets and in the city council chamber. Lawsuits have been filed and the DA is investigating. However, under their policy, the results of the investigation may never be known.
City fathers also had problems with the Orange County DA’s ill-conceived Sex Offender statute. After it failed to pass the smell test with the courts, various cities -including Tustin- quickly moved to repeal their ordinances that were mostly fashioned after the county’s. To date, nothing has taken it’s place. Oh, don’t worry. The state has laws the police can continue to enforce that will protect your children….and probably better than anything our used-car-salesman DA could come up with.
Our new Chief of Police, Charlie Cellano, may think he stepped into it. Fortunately, he is a veteran of the Tustin PD and (presumably) knew what he was getting into when he took over from Scott Jordan. The new chief was sworn in in February. You may not have noticed because, as he revealed to me in an interview, he has a rather unique style of management that encourages officers to work with residents. His “Coffee with a Cop” program has officers meeting and greeting at local coffee shops in an effort to make them look more approachable. Now, if we could just get the city council from showing up and trying to steal the show.
Police did make the city safer for us all when, sometime in October, they contained a rampaging Emu that had escaped it’s pen in Old Town Tustin. The police report claimed their was no threat or danger to public safety but, you know how those Emus are when they get riled. Rumor had it some officers were later asking for beak-proof vests but that hasn’t been substantiated.
And, of course, those of you who are into fantasy baseball, the new year continues to hold hope for the Angels moving to Tustin. Earlier in the year, team owner Arte Moreno broke off talks with Anaheim about renewal of their stadium lease. Moreno then made a big show of holding talks with other cities, including Tustin. The city council finally revealed they were in discussion with the owner about the move. Their attempt to laugh it off has been squelched by the continued Closed Session discussions with Moreno’s front corporation, Pacific Coast Investors.
I wouldn’t hold my breath. Moreno could be trying to put pressure on Anaheim. He has also spoken with Irvine, a more likely relocation of the team. If he is serious about making a move, he will most certainly demand a new tax-payer paid stadium out of the deal. That would put pressure on a city known better for its hometown neighborhoods than its entertainment prowess.
Old Town Tustin has also received renewed attention by the city. Normally, given the Community Develpment Department’s previous hatred of the area, I would tell you to be afraid, be very afraid. But, it seems our CDD Director, Elizabeth Binsack, has changed her stripes and is now looking to revitalize the area. A series of city sponsored outreach meetings have sparked interest by the residents and businesses of Old Town.
The ambitious plan includes making it easier to build on residential lots by changing the status of “granny flats” and apartments. As well, the city commissioned a study and a series of community meetings to engender support for an Old Town revitalization effort. The city has held two such meetings over the year and plans to hold at least one more.
Of course, part of this effort is due to cost. The effort is likely to cost the city a bundle of money, should proposals be realized. And, the likely increase in tax base from the sales will not dissuade Binsack from seeking further underwriting either through taxes or bond issues. Good luck with that.
So, although we had a few stumbles as we draw our city out of the depths of recession, things are looking brighter as we look ahead. It’s hard to believe our town now numbers over 78,000 residents. That’s an increase of 20,000 since I moved here in 1995. And we aren’t done yet. Since city manager Jeff Parker took back the reins of master developer of the Tustin Legacy, develpment of new tracts, homes and apartment buildings has taken off. Next year shows no signs of abatement.
While we’re at it, we’ll give kudos to Jeff Parker for his overall management of the city. While we can be (and are) harsh critics of individual issues that may come up, Parker and this city council led by Al Murray, have done a pretty good job of keeping the city on track through some pretty scary times. Let’s hope they keep it up.
And whichever way they go, we’ll be there putting their feet to the fire. Happy New Year.
Do me a favor and don’t be a victim to stupidity. Drunk driving is a serious offense that can easily exceed $10,000. And, don’t believe so-called DUI attorneys claiming a high success rate. There is a reason cops are successful in stopping drunks. And, the breath or chemical test is pretty proof positive, with the old days of fooling the test with Listerine a thing of the past.
With that in mind, here is a schedule of DUI activities from the Orange County Sheriff:
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Lt. Jeff Hallock, 714.904.7042
Winter Holiday Mobilization Schedule of Operations
SANTA ANA, Calif. (December 12, 2014) – The Southern California Avoid DUI Task Force is announcing its upcoming enforcement operations for the Winter Holiday DUI Campaign. The following schedule of operations, dates, and locations are provided for broadcast.
DUI / Driver’s License Checkpoint
- Friday December 12, 1900-0300, Cities of Garden Grove, Placentia & Tustin
- Friday December 19, 1900-0300, Cities of Fountain Valley, Huntington Beach, Irvine, La Habra, Mission
Viejo, Orange & Garden Grove
- Saturday December 20, 1900-0300, City of Laguna Beach
- Saturday December 27, 1900-0300, Cities of Westminster & Santa Ana
- The City of Anaheim will be conducting additional DUI / Driver’s License Checkpoints with dates TBD.
DUI Saturation Patrols
- Friday, December 12, 2000-0300, Cities of Anaheim, Costa Mesa, Irvine and La Habra
- Saturday, December 13, 2000-0300, City of Irvine, Laguna Beach, Anaheim, Tustin and Brea
- Tuesday, December 16, 2000-0300, City of Anaheim
- Thursday, December 18, 2000-0300, City of Anaheim
- Friday, December 19, 2000-0300, Cities of Anaheim & Costa Mesa
- Saturday, December 20, 2000-0300, Cities of Anaheim & Irvine
- Tuesday, December 23, 2000-0300, City of Anaheim
- Saturday, December 27, 2000-0300, Cities of Anaheim, La Habra & Orange
- Tuesday, December 30, 2000-0300, City of Anaheim
- Wednesday, December 31, 2000-0300, Cities of Anaheim, Irvine, Placentia, Westminster and Brea
- The City of Fountain Valley and the Orange County Sheriff’s Department will be conducting additional Saturation Patrols with dates to be determined.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact:
July 29, 2014 Lt. Robert Wright
DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint Planned
Tustin, CA – The Tustin Police Department Traffic Unit will be conducting a DUI/Drivers License Checkpoint on August 15, 2014 at an undisclosed location within the city limits between the hours of 8:00 p.m. to 3:00 a.m.
The deterrent effect of DUI checkpoints is a proven resource in reducing the number of persons killed and injured in alcohol or drug involved crashes. Research shows that crashes involving an impaired driver can be reduced by up to 20 percent when well-publicized DUI checkpoints and proactive DUI patrols are conducted routinely.
In California, this deadly crime led to 774 deaths because someone failed to designate a sober driver. Nationally, the latest data shows nearly 10,000 were killed by an impaired driver. “Over the course of the past three years, DUI collisions have claimed 4 lives and resulted in 62 injury crashes impacting members of our community,” said Sgt. Brian Greene.
Officers will be looking for signs of alcohol and/or drug impairment with officers checking drivers for proper licensing delaying motorists only momentarily. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving.
Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.
According to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), checkpoints have provided the most effective documented results of any of the DUI enforcement strategies, while also yielding considerable cost savings of $6 for every $1 spent. Nearly 90 percent of California drivers approve of DUI checkpoints.
DUI Checkpoints are placed in locations based on collision statistics and frequency of DUI arrests affording the greatest opportunity for achieving drunk and drugged driving deterrence. Locations are chosen with safety considerations for the officers and the public.
Drivers caught driving impaired can expect the impact of a DUI arrest to include jail time, fines, fees, DUI classes, other expenses that can exceed $10,000 not to mention the embarrassment when friends and family find out.
Funding for this checkpoint is provided to the Tustin Police Department by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, reminding everyone to ‘Report Drunk Drivers – Call 9-1-1’.