Sacto 9-1-1
November 4, 2013
Citrus Heights police rally community to aid local families during holidays

The Citrus Heights Police Department is partnering with local service clubs, schools, neighborhood groups, businesses and individuals to meet the holiday needs of several families in the community.

The fifth annual Holiday Referral Program aims to provide needy families with food, household items, and toys and clothes for the children.

Organizers stress that they rely heavily on the community to make the effort a success. Last year, the Police Department worked with more than 40 service clubs, business groups, social organizations, churches, schools and other members of the community to assist 80 families, including 180 children and 160 adults.

November 4, 2013
Rocklin residents invited to comment on police services

Rocklin residents will have an opportunity to offer comment on the city's police services when a law enforcement accreditation team visits next month.

Beginning Dec. 1, a team of assessors from the Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies Inc. will examine all aspects of the Rocklin Police Department's policies, procedures, management, operations, investigations and support services, according to a department news release.

The department was first accredited in March 2008 and received reaccreditation in March 2011.

October 14, 2013
Fraud Awareness Fair set for Wednesday in West Sacramento

Individuals interested in learning how to avoid becoming victims of scams are invited to attend the sixth annual Yolo-Sacramento Fraud Awareness Fair on Wednesday in West Sacramento.

The event is offered free of charge from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the City Hall Galleria, 1110 West Capitol Ave., West Sacramento.

Representatives of federal, state and local law enforcement agencies will discuss how to recognize, report and avoid the latest financial scams. Topics will include how to safely hire a contractor, purchase an annuity and obtain a free credit report, according to a Yolo County District Attorney's Office news release.

October 14, 2013
Dinner to benefit El Dorado County Sheriff's Explorers program

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Explorers will hold a fundraising spaghetti feed Saturday in Cameron Park.

All proceeds will go to Explorer Post No. 457 to fund competitions and the 2014 Explorer Nationals, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children 12 and younger.

October 11, 2013
Cops seek tips to benefit Special Olympics

Law enforcement officers in the Sacramento area will be serving in a different capacity Saturday, working as waiters and waitresses at Red Robin restaurants and collecting tips to support Special Olympics.

Sacramento County sheriff's deputies will be serving lunch from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and dinner from 4 to 8 p.m. as part of the Tip-A-Cop event at four Red Robin locations: 360 Palladio Parkway, No. 410 in Folsom; 1184 Galleria Blvd. in Roseville; 751 E Joiner Parkway in Lincoln; and 7990 Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights.

Members of the Elk Grove Police Department will volunteer their services from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. at the Red Robin at 8245 Laguna Blvd., Elk Grove.

October 7, 2013
Firefighters ask Apple Hill visitors to join in 'Fill the Boot' fundraising effort

Visitors to Apple Hill during the next two weekends will have an opportunity to join firefighters in an annual fundraising effort.

Employees of the El Dorado-Amador Unit of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection will be conducting their "Fill the Boot" drive on behalf of the Muscular Dysrtophy Association/Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis from 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Able's Apple Acres at Hassler and Carson Roads and on Oct. 19 at High Hill Ranch, 2901 High Hill Road.

"El Dorado County residents and Apple Hill visitors have been enormously generous in filling the boot in the past and we expect that they will give what they can again this year," Cal Fire Unit Chief Kelly Keenan said in a written statement.

October 7, 2013
Elk Grove police offer free catalytic converter etching Sunday

The Elk Grove Police Department and Jiffy Lube will team up to conduct a free catalytic converter etching event from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Sunday.

During the "Etch and Catch" event at Jiffy Lube, 9611 Auto Center Drive in Elk Grove, vehicle owners can have their vehicle's license plate number etched on the catalytic converter. The etching may deter thieves from stealing the converter, according to a Police Department news release. License plate numbers on catalytic converters also provide law enforcement officers with information needed to identify stolen property, contact victims and apprehend criminals.

The Etch and Catch event is open people from all communities and no appointment is necessary. The service will be provided on a first-come, first served basis.

October 7, 2013
Sacramento County sheriff to offer collection sites during Prescription Drug Take-Back Day

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department will join with the Drug Enforcement Agency in the seventh nationwide Drug Take-Back Day on Oct. 26.

From 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., potentially dangerous, expired, unused and unwanted prescription drugs will be collected at four sites in the Sheriff's Department's jurisdiction:

• Sheriff's Garfield Station, 5510 Garfield Ave., in the Foothill Farms area.

October 2, 2013
Woodland police introduce computer-based program to predict, curb crime

The Woodland Police Department has launched a new computer program that uses local crime data to anticipate and reduce criminal activity.

PredPol, or Predictive Policing, is described as Internet-based software that uses an algorithm to assist officers in deciding where their patrols would be most effective, according to a Police Department news release. Using an earthquake aftershock algorithm, the system employs verified crime data to predict future offenses in 500-square-foot locations. The program uses historical information and current data to determine patterns.

No personal information is used in the program, officials said, only the type, place and time of the crime.

October 1, 2013
Metro Fire begins transition to smaller, fuel-efficient ambulances

Sprinter ambulance.jpgIn a move to cut costs and improve fuel efficiency, the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District today added four new, smaller ambulances to its fleet.

The Sprinter ambulances (pictured) cost less to purchase and maintain, and consume less fuel than the full-size fire medic vehicles, according to a district news release. Although the passenger compartment is smaller, patients in the back of the ambulances will be just as comfortable as in the larger vehicles, officials said, and the same medical equipment will be used.

With the launch of the Single Role Paramedic Program earlier this year, the district was able to reduce costs while enhancing its ability to respond to medical emergencies, officials said, explaining that the role of paramedics and emergency medical technicians on these ambulances will be strictly medical. Because they will not engage in firefighting, they don't need specialized firefighting gear and equipment, allowing the district to use smaller ambulances with less storage space.

Officials said the remainder of the district's ambulance fleet is expected to be replaced with the smaller ambulances in 2014.

Photo courtesy Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District

September 18, 2013
Some wireless 911 calls routed directly to Sacramento police dispatchers

The Sacramento Police Department has launched the first phase of a plan to take wireless 911 calls.

The department today began taking wireless 911 calls in a limited area of South Natomas. The calls in that area will be routed directly to the Sacramento Police Department's Communications Center. Until now, all wireless 911 calls within the city were routed through the California Highway Patrol Communication Center before being transferred to a police dispatcher.

The goal is to improve 911 answer times and decrease emergency service response times for wireless callers, according to a Police Department news release. Eventually, officials said, Sacramento police dispatchers will take all cellular 911 calls within the city, saving time that can be critical in an emergency situation.

Funding for the first phase of the Police Department's wireless deployment plan was funded by Measure U, a sales tax increase approved by Sacramento voters last November.

September 18, 2013
CHP offers driver safety classes for area teenagers

The California Highway Patrol is offering Start Smart driver safety education classes for prospective and newly licensed teenage drivers and their parents or guardians.

The classes are open to drivers age 15 through 19. Sessions at the CHP's East Area office, 11336 Trade Center Drive, Rancho Cordva, are scheduled from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. Sept. 24, Oct. 22, Nov. 19 and Dec. 17.

CHP officials cite National Highway Traffic Safety Administration statistics showing that, mile for mile, teenagers are involved in three times as many fatal crashes as all other drivers.

September 17, 2013
Burial service set Wednesday for unidentified infant found in Roseville park

A burial service, arranged by the Placer County Coroner's Office, will be held Wednesday morning for the unidentified baby girl whose body was found in Roseville's Saugstand Park in July.

The baby will be laid to rest after a brief service at 10 a.m. in the new Auburn Public Cemetery, 2040 Collins Drive, Auburn. The service is open to the public.

On the morning of July 8, Roseville park maintenance workers found a box hidden in bushes in Saugstand Park. Inside the box, carefully wrapped in a blanket and a plastic bag, was the body of a deceased newborn girl with the umbilical cord still attached, according to a Police Department news release. Officials said the baby appeared to have been dead for a few days, noting that there were no signs of traumatic injury, and she may have been stillborn.

The cause of death is still unknown, pending the final autopsy a report. No one has come forward to identify the infant.

September 16, 2013
Sacramento police offer driver safety class for teens, parents

The Sacramento Police Department is offering a free driver safety class for teenage drivers and their parents or guardians.

The class is intended to help teen drivers by teaching them how to handle various driving situations. Officials cite statistics that show teen drivers are found to be at fault in 66 percent of all fatal accidents in which they are involved, although they represent only 4 percent of the state's licensed drivers. Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for Americans 15 to 20 years old.

The class will be held from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 26 in the Hall of Honor at the Public Safety Center, 5770 Freeport Blvd. The session is free and open to 15- to 19-year-olds, who must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

September 13, 2013
Sobriety checkpoint scheduled tonight in Sacramento

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint tonight at 16th and C streets.

Beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for five to seven hours, motorists traveling through the intersection will be contacted by uniformed officers, who will check for alcohol and/or drug-impaired drivers. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, according to a Police Department news release.

Officers also will check to make sure all drivers have a valid driver's license.

Officials warn that anyone caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

September 12, 2013
Rancho Cordova police roll out program to encourage safe bicycling

Rancho Cordova bicyclists younger than 12 years old can receive a ticket to free ice cream cone if a police officer spots them wearing bicycle helmets and following the rules of the road.

The Rancho Cordova Police Department, in partnership with the Folsom Cordova Unified School District and Rancho Cordova McDonald's, has initiated a Bicycle Safe/Back to School outreach program, issuing positive reinforcement safety citations to children.

Officers contacting children who are not wearing helmets may issue a safety citation providing the youngsters an opportunity to receive one free bicycle helmet from the Cordova Lane Center at 2460 Cordova Lane, according to a Police Department news release.

August 27, 2013
RT exercise to focus on terrorism response capabilities

The Sacramento Regional Transit District will conduct a field exercise Wednesday morning to evaluate the emergency response capabilities of RT and regional emergency service providers.

The scenario involves a mock threat of terrorism, according to an RT news release.

The exercise will take place at Regional Transit's south bus parking lot, across from the agency's administrative offices at 1400 29th St. Part of the exercise also will be conducted in the train storage area at the Watt/Interstate 80 rail station.


August 15, 2013
Placer, Elk Grove programs offer behind-scene look at law enforcement

Placer County and Elk Grove residents interested in gaining insight to law enforcement in their respective communities can sign up for citizens academies.

The Placer County Sheriff's Office will offer its eight-session Community Awareness Academy beginning Sept. 4 and concluding Sept. 30. Participants will have an opportunity to hear from members of the department's special units and take field trips to the Placer County Jail and morgue, 911 dispatch center and air operations hangar.

Classes, scheduled from 6 to 9 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays, will be held in the Community Room at the Placer County sheriff's headquarters, 2929 Richardson Drive, in the Dewitt Center in north Auburn.

August 12, 2013
Folsom police to target drivers endangering pedestrians

The Folsom Police Department is warning motorists of planned decoy operations targeting drivers who disobey pedestrian safety laws.

During August and September, the department will send out teams on two separate dates looking for violations. The teams will use a police officer in plain clothes, who will lawfully cross the street, while uniformed officers in marked patrol vehicles will be nearby to stop any driver who does not yield for the pedestrian.

Although the dates and locations of the decoy operations will not be announced, police said they will focus on certain violations:

July 30, 2013
Academy to acquaint El Dorado County residents with law enforcement procedures

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office is accepting applications for its Citizens Law Enforcement Academy.

The 17-week academy, which begins Aug. 27, is intended to familiarize El Dorado County residents with aspects of law enforcement and the Sheriff's Office's role in the community.

The Sheriff's Office has instituted concepts of community-oriented policing and problem solving. The program aims to open a positive line of communication with citizens and involve the community in some of the decisions regarding law enforcement, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

July 22, 2013
Cross-country campaign aims to prevent I-80 fatalities

The California Highway Patrol is joining 10 other state highway patrol agencies nationwide in the I-80 Challenge, an eight-day campaign that aims to prevent fatalities on the 2,900 miles of Interstate 80 from California to New York.

Beginning Wednesday and continuing through July 31, highway patrol officers will step up traffic safety, enforcement and education efforts along I-80, according to a CHP news release.

The campaign was organized by the Iowa State Patrol after research identified an increase in traffic fatalities along Interstate 80 during the summer vacation period. Statistically, someone dies in a collision ever eight days on I-80 in California, officials said. Of those fatalities, 22 percent are speed related, 4 percent are attributed to distracted driving, 27 percent are alcohol related and 30 percent involve failure to wear a seat belt.

July 18, 2013
Elk Grove propane storage plant to use flares tonight

Moving to head off any concerns among area residents and passers-by, Cosumnes Fire Department officials announced that the Suburban Propane storage plant in Elk Grove will be using its "flare" system this evening.

The flare is a controlled burn of excess propane that is often visible from off-site locations, especially in twilight and darkness, according to a Fire Department news release. Although infrequent, the flare is part of the plant's routine operations and not an emergency situation, fire officials said.

July 16, 2013
Crime prevention class offered for Placer business owners

Business owners can learn how to protect themselves and their businesses during a free class offered Aug. 19 by the Placer County Sheriff's Office.

Topics will include identity theft and counterfeiting; dealing with transients; high-tech crimes; business security; crime reporting and arrests; internal theft; and trespassing and parking concerns.

The class is scheduled from 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. at the Sheriff's Office in Auburn.

Reservations are required. To register or request more information, call community service officers Amanda Rogers or Kim Rivera at (530) 889-6922, or email arogers@placer.ca.gov or krivera@placer.ca.gov .

July 10, 2013
Officials say recent fire, power outage point to need for disaster plans

Fire officials say a wildland fire last week that left approximately 49,000 El Dorado County residents without power at the peak of a heat wave illustrates the importance of disaster preparedness.

The fire July 1 was started by a vehicle traveling along Highway 50 and closed a section of the freeway during the evening commute. The fire occurred near a Pacific Gas and Electric Co. substation, and power was cut for a short period.

California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection officials said it was clear that many people in the area weren't prepared to cope with the relatively brief power outage. Emergency preparedness experts say people need to be prepared to do without water or power for a minimum of 72 hours.

July 10, 2013
CHP to offer free child safety seat check-ups Saturday

The California Highway Patrol will conduct a free child passenger safety seat check-up event Saturday at the Target store, 2505 Riverside Blvd., Sacramento.

Certified child passenger safety technicians will be on hand from 8 to 11 a.m. to check car seats for proper installation, and to advise parents and caregivers how to choose appropriate car seats and properly install them in their vehicle.

Drive-up visits are welcome. Parents or caregivers are encouraged to have their children present during the fitting and installation of the car seat or booster seat.

July 10, 2013
Sheriff's Department to offer medication disposal site

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department announced that its North Patrol Division office will serve a regular drop-off location for expired medications.

The department is partnering with the California Product Stewardship Council and Sacramento leaders in the "Don't Rush to Flush" campaign. Expired pharmaceuticals, including prescription and over-the-counter drugs, pet medications and medicated ointments can be deposited in a secured drop-off bin between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. at the sheriff's office at 5510 Garfield Ave. in the Foothill Farms area.

To prepare medications for disposal:

• At home, remove, scratch off or black out personal information from the containers to protect identity.

June 27, 2013
Stepped-up enforcement on Lake Tahoe to target impaired boaters

The South Lake Tahoe Police Department's marine units will participate this weekend in Operation Dry Water, a nationwide campaign highlighting the risks and dangers of operating boats under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

Stepped-up enforcement Friday through Sunday is intended to raise awareness in advance of the Fourth of July, according to a Police Department news release. Independence Day, falling on a Thursday this year, will kick off a four-day weekend for thousands of California boaters looking to spend time on the water with family and friends.

Officials warn that alcohol can impair a boater's judgment, balance, vision and reaction time, and can increase fatigue and susceptibility to the effects of immersion in cold water. Sun, wind, noise, vibration and motion, all common to boating, also intensify the side effect of alcohol, drugs and some prescription medications.

June 25, 2013
Celebrants reminded of El Dorado County fireworks ban

Fire officials are encouraging people who will be celebrating the Fourth of July in El Dorado County to attend a public fireworks show.

They also are issuing a reminder that all individual fireworks, including the "safe and sane" variety, are illegal in the county. Because of the risk of wildfires, an El Dorado County ordinance prohibits the use and possession of the type of fireworks commonly sold in surrounding areas such as Sacramento County.

"There is 'zero tolerance' when it comes to the use of possession of fireworks in El Dorado County by Cal Fire, local fire districts and local law enforcement agencies," Kelly Keenan, chief of the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Amador-El Dorado-Sacramento Unit, said in a written statement.

June 25, 2013
Folsom police campaign aims to improve pedestrian safety

The Folsom Police Department is launching a public education campaign in an effort to increase pedestrian safety.

Titled "It's Up to All of Us," the campaign will use advertising, the Internet, enforcement and community outreach to deliver messages that focus on reducing pedestrian fatalities and injuries.

During 2011 in Folsom, there were six vehicle accidents involving pedestrians and six pedestrians were injured. During 2012, that number increased to 11 accidents with 11 injuries, according to a Police Department news release. Pedestrians suffered no fatal injuries related to vehicle accidents during that two-year period.

June 25, 2013
Bone marrow drive for police officer in Sacramento

A bone marrow registry drive will be held Saturday for a police officer and Sacramento area resident diagnosed with an aggressive blood cancer.

Gerald Vincent, 46, has lymphoma and has endured extensive and painful cancer treatments. He needs a bone marrow transplant, but a matching donor has not been found.

Vincent has had a long career serving not only as a patrol officer but also a firefighter, primarily in the Rohnert Park area.

BloodSource is holding the "Be The Match" bone marrow registry drive for Vincent from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Ignite Community Church, 7901 Stevenson Ave. Match registrants must be between the ages of 18 and 44 years old.

June 24, 2013
Update: 11-month-old Antioch girl found safe

An 11-month-old girl abducted from Antioch this morning has been found safe, according to authorities.

However, the man accused of abducting Justice Alasheia Benton has not been located, according to the Amber Alert deactivation.

The suspect was identified in the alert as 23-year-old Joshua Elijah Benton, described as a 5-foot-8-inch, light-skinned black man weighing 144 pounds. He has brown eyes and "twisty" hair, according to the alert. He was last seen wearing white shorts, a blue t-shirt, flip flops and a brown hat.

Benton was described as being possibly armed and dangerous. Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call Antioch police at (925) 778-2441.

June 18, 2013
New Sacramento police app for iPhone annnounced

There's a new app for that if you want to contact the Sacramento Police Department.

The department today announced the launching of the SacPD Mobile iPhone app. The app provides access to:

• Contact Us (emergency 9-1-1 link or detailed phone directory)

• Report an Issue (non-emergency and anonymously if desired)

• View Missing Persons Pictures

• View Area's Most Wanted

• Cold Case Files

• School Resource Officer Contact List

• Social Media Sites: Facebook, Twitter, nextdoor.com, You Tube, Nixle

• SacPD Press Releases

• Web Link Window to links including Flickr, Traffic Court Portal, SacPD involved community events, victim resources, reverse 911 registration and safety information.

To download the SacPD app, go the Apple Store and search for "SacPD Mobile." The department promises similar Android and Blackberry versions soon.

June 13, 2013
Sacramento police plan Friday night sobriety checkpoint

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint Friday night on Del Paso Road near Five Star Way in North Natomas.

Beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for five to seven hours, uniformed officers will contact motorists traveling though the checkpoint looking for drivers who are under the influence of drugs or alcohol. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, according to a Police Department news release. Officers also will check to make sure all drivers have a valid driver's license.

Police warn that motorists caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension and insurance cost increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000.

May 31, 2013
DUI patrols to target impaired drivers near Folsom Lake

Law enforcement officers will be on the lookout for impaired drivers near the Granite Bay access to Folsom Lake this weekend.

Placer County's DUI task force will deploy saturation patrols targeting people driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol in the Beal's Point and Granite Bay areas. The patrols will be conducted from 3 to 8 p.m. Sunday.

The activity, part of the Avoid the 7 campaign, will involve officers from seven local law enforcement agencies: the California Highway Patrol; State Parks; Placer County Sheriff's Department; and the Auburn, Rocklin, Roseville and Lincoln police departments.

Officials urge drivers not to take the chance of being arrested for a drunken driving. Not only do motorists driving under the influence risk killing or injuring themselves or others, they also risk the trauma and financial costs of a crash or an arrest. Violators often face jail time, the loss of their driver's license, higher insurance rates, attorney fees, time away from work and other expenses.

May 30, 2013
Free 'Etch and Catch' catalytic converter event in Sacramento

Motorists can have license plate numbers etched onto the catalytic converters on their vehicles for free in east Sacramento on Saturday.

The Sacramento Police Department is partnering with A Auto to etch the license plate numbers onto catalytic converters at the "Etch and Catch" event. The effort takes place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday at A Auto, 6101 Folsom Boulevard.

The etched numbers may deter the taking of the air pollution control devices and can help law enforcement tie captured thieves to specific converter thefts.

May 23, 2013
Sacramento police honor employees at annual awards ceremony

The Sacramento Police Department hosted an awards ceremony today to recognize more than two dozen of its employees and volunteers.

The annual event is designed to honor "those that work tirelessly to keep our community safe," said Officer Doug Morse.

spd commendations.JPGThe 17 officers who received the bronze medal of valor are: Officers Mike Blessing, Gary Dahl, Andy Davis, Natalie Duckham, Todd Edgerton, Kevin Griffin, Doug Rosin, Michael Severi, Ryan Trefethen, Randy Van Dusen, Ray Villegas and Steve Walters; sergeants Greg Brown, Adam Green, John Lightfoot and Mike Nichols; and Lt. Dennis Joy.

May 10, 2013
Saturday night DUI checkpoint planned on Arden Way

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint Saturday night on Arden Way near Challenge Way.

It will begin at 8 p.m. and continue for five to seven hours.

Motorists traveling through the checkpoint will be contacted by uniformed officers, who will check for drivers who are under the influence of alcohol or drugs. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, according to a Police Department news release.

April 25, 2013
Permits required to burn residential debris beginning May 1

Amador and El Dorado County residents planning to burn debris on their property are reminded that residential burn permits will be required beginning Wednesday.

The permits are issued to the public free of charge and are valid for three years from the date of issuance. They allow for burning of dry vegetation -- not household trash -- that originates on the landowner's property, according to a news release from the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Amador-El Dorado Unit. The permits are available at most of the area's staffed fire stations.

Cal Fire officials remind residents that the use of burn barrels is no longer legal in Amador and El Dorado counties.

April 19, 2013
Placerville police offer new system to keep citizens informed

Placerville residents can receive timely information on police-related activities through a communication system that connects the community with the Police Department.

The Placerville Police Department is connected with Nixle, which allows officers on the street to send messages and citizens to receive real-time updates on incidents such as school lockdowns, road closures and missing persons. Residents can choose to receive the information by SMS, email, over the Web, or by mobile application, according to a Police Department news release.

Messages can be directed to specific geographic regions or groups, notifying school groups of campus lockdowns, for example, or businesses of burglary suspects. The system also can be used to notify tourists and other visitors about special events in the city.

Police encourage all El Dorado County residents, as well as people who often visit Placerville to sign up for Nixle.

To sign up, go to the city's website at www.cityofplacerville.org and click on the Nixle link. Put in 95667 as the zip code to receive information specific to the city of Placerville.

April 9, 2013
El Dorado County volunteers offer home security services

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Team of Active Retirees -- STAR -- is offering two programs to help residents improve home security when they are away from their residences and on vacation.

The STAR Unit offers training, literature and outlines to help residents establish Neighborhood Watch programs for their neighborhood. The unit also will provide a one-time presentation about the program to an interested street or neighborhood.

STAR will also provide vacation checks of homes when residents are on vacation. While on patrol, STAR volunteers stop by the home, check the perimeter and make sure that the residence is in good condition and hasn't been a victim of crime. If they find a problem, the volunteers alert sheriff's deputies so they can investigate. The house checks are offered at least twice a week to homeowners on vacation.

The vacation house checks and help in establishing Neighborhood Watch programs are available free of charge to anyone living in the unincorporated area of El Dorado County. To request services, or information about becoming a STAR volunteer, call the Placerville STAR office at (530) 621-7545, or the Tahoe office, (530) 573-3005.

April 9, 2013
Placer County class to focus on business security issues

The Placer County Sheriff's Office is offering a free class April 25 to help business owners protect themselves and their businesses.

The class is scheduled from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. in the Loomis Depot conference room, 5775 Horseshoe Bar Road, Loomis. Topics for discussion include identity theft and counterfeiting, dealing with transients, high-tech crimes, business security, crime reporting and arrests, internal theft, and trespassing and parking concerns.

Reservations are due by April 22. For more information or to sign up for the class, call Lynn Harrison, community services officer, at (916) 652-2419, or email lharriso@placer.ca.gov.

March 27, 2013
LowBrau to host fundraiser for reward in midtown homicide case

Sacramento's popular new beer hall LowBrau will be hosting a fundraiser Saturday night to contribute to a reward fund for information in the case of Josiah Humphreys, the 28-year-old man fatally beaten in midtown earlier this month.

Early in the morning March 17, Humphreys was beaten at the corner of 18th and P streets by three suspects who have not yet been identified by Sacramento police. His family and friends started a reward fund for information that leads to arrests in the case and have raised almost $5,000, said Humphreys' sister, Veronica.

The fundraiser will begin at 7 p.m. at LowBrau, 1050 20th Street, and last until closing time. Several businesses and restaurants in town have donated items for a raffle that will benefit the fund, and several others are sponsoring the event, said Tom Goode, a friend of Humphreys.

March 16, 2013
Officials warn dry winter, warm weather increase fire risks

Due to lack of rain and unseasonably warm weather, fire season has come early this year.

Officials with the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Nevada-Yuba-Placer Unit are urging residents to use caution when burning debris. Although spring doesn't arrive until next week, the lack of moisture and the increase in temperatures in recent days have quickly dried vegetation in many parts of Northern California, according to a Cal Fire news release.

Cal Fire officials say they have responded to a large number of fires this past week that were caused by escaped debris burns.

March 14, 2013
CHP enforcement effort targets aggressive drivers on State Route 12

The California Highway Patrol will be targeting unsafe drivers on Highway 12 during a special enforcement effort this weekend.

Officials announced that the CHP's Valley Division will deploy additional officers to patrol the route in a zero tolerance enforcement operation scheduled to begin Friday and continue through Sunday. The goal is to reduce the number of fatal injury traffic collisions attributed to aggressive driving, unsafe speed, unsafe passing and improper turning movements, along with other violations on the highway, according to a CHP news release.

Officials cited statistical data from the CHP's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System showing that from 2009 to 2011, the most recent year for which final figures are available, there were 105 collisions, resulting in the deaths of six people and injury to 90 others.

March 12, 2013
Meeting set for prospective Rocklin police, fire volunteers

Rocklin's police and fire departments will hold an orientation meeting for people interested in assisting the public safety agencies as volunteers.

Volunteers play a key role in helping the departments provide a high level of service to the community and undertake projects not otherwise feasible because of limited resources, according to a Police Department news release.

The Police Department has openings for volunteers in patrol, records and front counter clerical support, code enforcement and child safety education, including giving presentations at elementary schools. These functions require volunteers who are available during the day Monday through Friday.

March 11, 2013
Sacramento police K9 association seeks donations for raffle

The Sacramento Police Canine Association is asking for donations of items to be raffled off to raise money for the care of current and retired police K-9s.

The items would be raffled off at the association's annual comedy night fundraiser Monday.

bodie.JPGTickets to that event are sold out, but the association is asking for new items such as gift certificates, complimentary passes and merchandise for the raffle.

The association is a nonprofit group that covers expenses not covered by the Sacramento Police Department, such as community outreach efforts, some training equipment and veterinary care and burial expenses for retired police dogs.

Sgt. Steve Oliveira, head of the K-9 unit, said three K9s - Crash, Hutch and Sonic - are expected to retire this year and will need the association's support. K9 Bodie, who is pictured at left and was shot by a suspect last year, is still receiving treatment for his injuries and also might be a beneficiary.

Anyone interested in donating items can contact the association at (916) 551-4300 or (916) 808-8282 or www.spdk9.org.

March 7, 2013
Sacramento police launch new crime-mapping program on website

The Sacramento Police Department has a new online crime mapping program available on its website - one that also features an accompanying app for Apple devices.

Officials say the program, called RAIDS Online, is more user-friendly than the mapping technology previously available on the website.

The program also allows users to sign up for email alerts when there is a crime reported in specific locations, said police Officer Michele Gigante. A user can sign up for alerts regarding crime in their neighborhood, for example, or near his or her child's school.

Users of the iPhone, iPad or iPod Touch also can download the accompanying app from the app store, Gigante said.

Gigante said police hope community members will take advantage of the program to watch for trends in their neighborhoods and promote safety as well as communication among neighbors.

"It arms the community with information," she said.

To access the program, created by BAIR Analytics, go to www.sacpd.org and click on "RAIDS Online" on the left-hand side. To register for the alerts, click on "Sign Up for Crime Alerts" at the top, or do so through www.raidsonline.com.

March 7, 2013
Sheriff's office to hold meeting in El Dorado Hills

The first of five community meetings in 2013 presented by the El Dorado County Sheriff's Office will be held later this month in El Dorado Hills.

The public will be able to speak to Sheriff John D'Agostini and other members of the sheriff's office during the meeting that runs from 6 to 8 p.m. March 21 at Oak Meadow School on Silva Valley Parkway.

The sheriff's crime analyst will speak about crime trends in the community. Law enforcement personnel will be able to answer questions about all facets of the sheriff's office.

March 1, 2013
Academy to acquaint Yolo County residents with criminal justice system

Applications are available for the Yolo County District Attorney Citizens Academy.

Now in its second year, the academy is sponsored by the DA's Office in cooperation with the Yolo County Sheriff's Office, Yolo County Probation Department and the Davis, West Sacramento, Winters and Woodland police departments.

The academy is a 10-week course designed to involve diverse communities in learning about the criminal justice system, with the goal of improving relationships and communication, according to a news release.

February 28, 2013
CHP offers 'Start Smart' traffic safety class for teenage drivers

The California Highway Patrol is offering a traffic safety class for teenage drivers and their parents or guardians.

The "Start Smart" program targets new or soon-to-be-licensed drivers 15 to 19 years old. The class is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. March 13 at the CHP Valley Division office at 2555 First Ave., Sacramento

The class will cover collision avoidance techniques, driver responsibility, collision trends, distracted driving laws, alcohol-related driving laws and the provisional license process. It will incorporate videos and classroom discussion, and participants will have an opportunity to ask questions of CHP officers.

February 27, 2013
Elk Grove police seek teen drivers for distracted driving program

The Elk Grove Police Department is seeking 100 teenage drivers to participate in a simulated distracted driving program intended to educate teens about driving safety.

The young drivers are sought to take part in the "3D: Distracted Driving Demonstration" program during the week of March 25-29. Twenty students per day, during two different time periods, will participate in the demonstrations on a closed driving course.

They will take part in several driving scenarios while performing another task, such as using a smart phone to text or talk, applying makeup, eating and reaching for items in the car, according to a Police Department news release.

A certified driving instructor from the Police Department will accompany each teenager as a passenger to ensure that the driver performs the tasks and to intervene if necessary to ensure safety.

February 21, 2013
Sacramento County Sheriff's Department seeks volunteers

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is accepting applications from men and women interested in joining its VIPS -- Volunteers in Partnership with the Sheriff -- program.

VIPS members assist the department with a variety of duties, such as writing crime reports, performing residential security checks and assisting with neighborhood association groups. Volunteers are asked to commit to at least four hours per week, or 16 hours per month.

Applications are available online at www.sacsheriff.com. For additional information, call Deputy Stephanie Landry, VIPS coordinator, at (916) 874-4101, or email volunteers@sacsheriff.com.

February 20, 2013
Placer County enforcement effort to target distracted drivers

The Placer County Sheriff's Office will provide stepped-up enforcement of cell phone laws Monday through March 8.

The enforcement effort is part of a special federally funded pilot program using the region to test tactics that may be employed nationwide in the future, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Deputies will be out in force in Colfax, north Auburn and Loomis to issue tickets to drivers using hand-held cell phones or texting.

February 14, 2013
Firefighters plan safety fair, fundraising in Citrus Heights

The intersection of Sunrise Boulevard and Greenback Lane in Citrus Heights will serve as a fundraising hub for firefighters who will ask passing motorists to help fill their boots to aid burn survivors.

This year's "Fill the Boot" drive in Citrus Heights is scheduled Friday through Monday. Firefighters will be on hand to collect donations from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, Saturday and Sunday, and from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday.

A free safety fair also is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday outside at Sunrise Mall.

February 13, 2013
Sacramento police offer driver safety class for teenagers

The Sacramento Police Department is offering a free driver safety class for teenage drivers and their parents or guardians.

The "Start Smart" class is free and open to drivers age 15 to 19.

The next class is scheduled from 5:30 to 8 p.m. Feb. 21 in the Hall of Honor at the Public Safety Center, 5770 Freeport Blvd., Sacramento. Teen participants must be accompanied by a parent or guardian.

February 13, 2013
Simulator to demonstrate dangers of texting while driving

A car simulator in which drivers can safely experience the dangers of texting while driving will be at Ponderosa High School in Shingle Springs on Thursday.

The simulator, provided by AT&T, is part of a joint effort by the telecommunications company and El Dorado County District Attorney Vern Pierson to educate young drivers about the dangers of texting and driving, according to a District Attorney's Office news release. The simulator will be on campus from 7 a.m. to 3 p.m.

AT&T's national "It Can Wait" campaign encourages motorists to take the "No Texting and Driving" pledge. More than 1.2 million people have pledged never to text and drive as a result of the campaign.

Drivers can learn more about the It Can Wait campaign and download the AT&T DriveMode mobile app, intended to curb the urge to text and drive, at itcanwait.com.

February 12, 2013
Firefighters to hold 'Fill the Boot' drive in Cameron Park

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Amador-El Dorado Unit will hold its 11th annual Fill the Boot for Burns fundraising event Saturday at three locations in Cameron Park.

From 8 a.m. to 4 p.m., firefighters will collect donations at the corner of Cameron Park and Country Club drives, Merrychase Drive and Cambridge Road, and Green Valley and Cambridge roads. Area residents can drive by and donate.

Money raised from the event will go toward sending young burn victims to burn camps, and to research programs for the advancement of burn treatment and rehabilitation.

February 7, 2013
Public invited to coffee with cops in Elk Grove this morning

Elk Grove residents have the opportunity to speak with local police officers over a cup of coffee this morning.

Officers from the Elk Grove Police Department's Problem Oriented Policing Unit will be available from 7 to 9 a.m. today at two McDonald's restaurant locations, 8282 Laguna Blvd. and 8710 Elk Grove Blvd., as part of the "Coffee with a Cop" program.

The program is intended to strengthen the partnership between the Police Department and the community. Residents can ask specific or general questions related to their neighborhood.

January 31, 2013
Elk Grove residents invited talk with police over coffee

Elk Grove residents will have an opportunity to discuss questions and concerns with local police officers over a cup of coffee Feb. 7.

Officers from the Elk Grove Police Department's Problem Oriented Policing Unit will be available from 7 to 9 a.m. at two McDonald's restaurant locations, 8282 Laguna Blvd. and 8710 Elk Grove Blvd., as part of the "Coffee with a Cop" program.

The program is intended to strengthen the partnership between the Police Department and the community. Residents can ask specific or general questions related to their neighborhood.

Additional dates and locations for get-togethers will be posted on the Police Department's website at www.elkgrovepd.org as they become available.

January 28, 2013
Meeting tonight to discuss mailbox break-ins in Pocket-Greenhaven area

A community meeting will be held this evening to discuss mailbox break-ins in Sacramento's Pocket- Greenhaven area.

The meeting with representatives of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service is scheduled from 6 to 7 p.m. at the Robbie Waters Pocket-Greenhaven Library, 7335 Gloria Drive.

Troy Dickinson, a spokesman for the Postal Inspection Service in Sacramento, said the meeting is intended to gather information from residents and to provide information on how to report mailbox break-ins and mail theft.

January 25, 2013
Sobriety checkpoint planned tonight in South Natomas

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver license checkpoint tonight in the South Natomas area.

Beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for five to seven hours, motorists traveling on Truxel Road near Bannon Creek Drive will be contacted by uniformed officers, who will check for alcohol or drug-impaired drivers. When possible, specially trained officers will be available to evaluate those suspected of drug-impaired driving, according to a Police Department news release.

Motorists caught driving impaired can expect jail, license suspension and insurance increases, as well as fines, fees, DUI classes and other expenses that can exceed $10,000, police said.

January 22, 2013
Truckee officials warn against skating on area lakes, ponds

Truckee police and fire officials are warning people of the dangers of ice skating on Sierra lakes or ponds.

They cited particular concern about people seen skating on Donner Lake. Despite extremely cold conditions during the past month, warmer temperatures recently have made the ice unstable.

Unlike the eastern United States, the Truckee area typically doesn't experience the consistently cold temperatures to sustain ice on area lakes and ponds due to their size and water currents, according to a city of Truckee news release. Current conditions on Donner Lake are similar to conditions five years ago when a skater fell through the ice and drowned. The ice was thought to be strong and safe, but it proved to be thin and weak, officials said.

January 22, 2013
Sacramento Police Department announces hiring process, informational workshops

By Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

The Sacramento Police Department has announced that the agency is hiring for the first time in several years, thanks in part to money that will come from the voter-approved Measure U sales tax increase.

The department is hiring recruits to attend its academy and police officers who would move laterally from another agency.

Agency officials are not yet sure exactly how many officers will be hired, as they wait to hear how much of the Measure U funding the department will receive. However, officials said they want to get the word out after a long hiatus from sponsoring recruits through the police academy.

January 18, 2013
Services for Galt officer scheduled Monday in Roseville

Services for Galt Police Officer Kevin Tonn will be held at 11 a.m. Monday at Adventure Christian Church, 6401 Stanford Ranch Road, Roseville.

Following the service, a procession will travel from the church to East Lawn Memorial Park, 5757 Greenback Lane, where he will be laid to rest.

A reception will be held at the Citrus Heights Community Center, 6300 Fountain Square Drive, Citrus Heights.

January 15, 2013
Placer County residents can track neighborhood crime online

Placer County residents can sign up to receive online notification of crimes that have occurred in their neighborhood.

By going to the Sheriff's Office's website at www.placer.ca.gov\sheriff, and following the link to Crimemapping.com, residents can sign up to receive alerts, allowing them to keep track of crimes that occur within a 2-mile radius of their homes.

Through Crimemapping.com, the Sheriff's Office provides public access to crime information for unincorporated Placer County, the city of Colfax and the town of Loomis. It is regularly updated with information about certain types of crime reports. People also can search for an address and select the types of crimes and date range they wish to see, or view all crimes in the jurisdiction.

January 11, 2013
Citrus Heights police increase traffic patrols in school zones

The Citrus Heights Police Department is ushering in the new year with stepped-up traffic enforcement in school zones.

With students back in school following the holiday break, police remind motorists to slow down near schools.

The city's Police and General Services departments have been working to improve traffic safety in school zones, installing high-visibility signs to alert motorists, according to a Police Department news release. Drivers are reminded not to exceed 25 mph in school zones and to watch out for children, whose actions can be unexpected.

Officers will be conducting extra patrols in all school areas, enforcing school zone speed limits and looking for distracted driving, as well as right-of-way and pedestrian violations. Parents are reminded to make sure their children wear helmets when riding bicycles or scooters, or skating to school.

January 9, 2013
Law enforcement agencies taking citizens academy sign-ups

The Elk Grove Police Department and Placer County Sheriff's Office are accepting applications for citizens academies.

The programs are designed to provide residents with an inside look at their local law enforcement agency.

Elk Grove's 13-week Citizens' Academy will begin Feb. 12. Sessions will cover procedures for patrol and investigations, vehicle operations, arrest and control techniques, 911 communications, code enforcement and animal control.

January 8, 2013
Community meeting to discuss safety in midtown area

How to stay safe and avoid becoming a crime victim will be discussed Thursday evening during a midtown public safety community meeting.

The meeting, scheduled from 6:30 to 8 p.m. at the Hart Senior Center, 915 27th St., will feature Sacramento City Councilman Steve Hansen and representatives of the Sacramento Police Department, Midtown Business Association and the Marshall School/New Era Park Neighborhood Association. It comes in the wake of what police spokeswoman Officer Michele Gigante described as a uptick in street-level crime in the midtown area in the weeks leading up to Christmas.

The number of incidents has tapered off, but Gigante said police welcome the chance to meet with residents, discuss their concerns and share information to improve public safety.

"We often learn as much from them as they do from us," Gigante said.

January 7, 2013
Roseville police offer academy for business community

The Roseville Police Department is accepting applications for a new program designed to inform members of the business community about crime prevention techniques and the crime reporting process.

The city's first police business academy will consist of four sessions beginning Feb. 12 and concluding Feb. 21.

The program is offered free to members of Roseville's business community. It is intended to foster a better exchange of information between businesses and the Police Department and to help businesses develop best crime-prevention practices, according to a department news release.

December 31, 2012
Citrus Heights activates red-light cameras at two intersections

Red-light enforcement cameras were activated today at two of Citrus Heights' busiest intersections.

Cameras and violation sensors now monitor the intersections at Greenback Lane and Auburn Boulevard and Greenback Lane and Sunrise Boulevard. The program is intended to improve safety and the flow of traffic, according to a Citrus Heights Police Department news release.

Drivers are granted a 30-day grace period following installation of the cameras before authorities begin issuing citations. During January, warning notices will be issued for red-light violations at these intersections. Beginning Jan. 31, violators will receive citations and will be responsible for a $481 fine.

December 28, 2012
New Year's enforcement effort targets impaired drivers

New Year's revelers are reminded to designate a non-drinking driver before heading out to celebrations.

The California Highway Patrol's New Year's maximum enforcement period began at 6 this evening and will continue through 11:59 p.m. Tuesday.

The increased enforcement effort follows a similar one during the recent Christmas holiday. During that 102-hour reporting period in California, 39 people were killed in collisions and CHP officers arrested 1,170 drivers for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs, according to a CHP news release.

December 28, 2012
Sobriety checkpoint set for Saturday night in south Sacramento

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint Saturday night at Franklin Boulevard and Florin Road.

Beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for five to seven hours, motorists traveling through the intersection will be contacted by uniformed officers who will check for people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. They also will check to make sure all drivers have a valid driver's license.

The purpose of the checkpoint is to promote public safety, increase awareness of the dangers associated with drinking and driving, and serve as a deterrent to potential impaired and unlicensed drivers.

December 27, 2012
Red-light cameras to go 'live' Saturday in Rancho Cordova

A new digital red-light photo enforcement camera system has been installed at Zinfandel Drive and White Rock Road in Rancho Cordova and is scheduled to go "live" at 12:01 a.m. Saturday.

For a period of 30 days, red-light violators will be mailed a warning notice. At 12:01 a.m. Jan. 28, red-light violators at the intersection will begin to receive citations by mail.

The citation will include a referral to a website where the violator can view the still and/or video images of the violation. The violator should be able to clearly see where the vehicle was in relation to the intersection's limit line, and the green,yellow and red lights, according to a Rancho Cordova Police Department news release.

Officials said the red-light photo enforcement program is intended to promote increased safety. They say studies have shown a significant reduction in red-light-related crashes at intersections with photo enforcement.

December 18, 2012
Lake Tahoe visitors reminded of winter parking restrictions

The Placer County Sheriff's Office wants people traveling to Lake Tahoe over the holidays to be aware of parking restrictions.

Drivers are reminded that no parking is allowed on county roadways or shoulders of roadways from Nov. 1 through May 1. The restriction includes roads in the Squaw Valley, Alpine Meadows, Northstar and Homewood ski areas. The roadways must remain clear for operation of snow-removal equipment, according to a Sheriff's Office news release.

Vehicles parked in these areas will be ticketed and may be towed. A ticket costs $55.

December 12, 2012
Sheriff's Department outllnes procedure for turning in guns

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department is advising residents of the proper procedures for turning over firearms to a law enforcement agency.

Anyone wishing to bring a gun to one of the Sheriff's Department's facilities must adhere to the guidelines:

• Leave the firearm unloaded in a locked vehicle while contacting sheriff's personnel in the facility.

December 11, 2012
Sacramento County Juvenile Hall officials seek book donations for library

Sacramento County probation officials are asking for book donations as they seek to build up the library at Juvenile Hall.

A new library opened at the hall, formally known as the Youth Detention Facility, this summer. The goal is to promote reading, improve literacy and provide youth with resources to help them prepare for transitioning back into the community, according to the probation department.

Officials are asking for new or gently used books appropriate for youths between the ages of 11 and 17, but note that reading levels vary from kindergarten to college. They are interested in classic literature, textbooks, fiction and non-fiction.

Donations can be dropped off at the Juvenile Hall visiting center, 4136 Branch Center Road in Sacramento between the hours of 8 a.m. and 8 p.m. any day of the week. For more information about how to donate, contact Tydamika Sasser at (916) 875-0566 or sassert@saccounty.net.

December 6, 2012
Sacramento police officer goes 'above and beyond' in helping blind man

alford.JPGIt certainly wasn't a routine call for the Sacramento Police Department. But it was one that earned Officer Maryna Stanionis the gratitude of one Sacramento resident in need of some help.

Last week, 3-year-veteran Stanionis was dispatched to a call of a man needing help finding his dog - not a priority call by any stretch, but it was a slow day, so Stanionis headed to 25th Avenue in Oak Park to check it out.

"I was like, 'Well, that's a new one,'" she said in a later interview.

December 3, 2012
Sheriff, Folsom police chief host community meeting

Two of Sacramento County's top cops will meet the public on Tuesday.

Citizens are invited to meet Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones and Folsom Police Chief Cynthia Renaud at a community meeting from 10 a.m. to noon on Tuesday. The public is invited to discuss any law enforcement concern pertaining to their communities.

The community meeting takes place in the Folsom Community Center, 52 Natoma Street, Folsom.

November 28, 2012
Placerville police expand citizen volunteer program

The Placerville Police Department's SHIELD volunteer program has been expanded to include qualified individuals age 21 and older.

Officials announced that the acronym for the program previously limited to senior volunteers also has been modified to stand for "Specialized Help in Enforcement-like Duties."

SHIELD volunteers can participate in a variety of activities, including vehicle maintenance, office work, traffic control, special events, National Night Out, patrol and vacation checks, according to a department news release.The program offers participants training and an opportunity to provide basic law enforcement support, working alongside members of the Police Department staff.

For more information, call Julie Burns, the police chief's executive assistant, at (530) 642-5210.

November 20, 2012
Sacramento County Sheriff's Department joins Facebook, Twitter

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department recently has grown its social media presence on Twitter and Facebook as part of its community outreach efforts.

A few months ago, the agency joined Facebook, and this month joined Twitter. Officials are using the accounts to distribute news releases, as well as publicize surveillance videos that show outstanding suspects, said sheriff's Sgt. Jason Ramos.

Remember, though, that crimes should not be reported using either social media site. Emergencies should be reported to 911, and non-urgent matters should be reported by calling sheriff's dispatch at (916) 874-5115.

Find the Sheriff's Department on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sacsheriff and on Twitter @sacsheriff.

November 15, 2012
Sacramento theater group suffers thefts, organizes Friday fundraiser

A Sacramento theater group is hosting a fundraiser Friday night to recover from the loss of more than $30,000 in equipment during two burglaries last month.

The thefts were "devastating," according to volunteers with Sacramento's Best of Broadway theater group, and put the non-profit organization's future at risk.

"They've taken away all of our technological infrastructure from us," said Chris Carlson, director of the "Relight the Night" fundraiser planned for Friday night. "In order to produce our show next year, we're either going to have to rent equipment ... or we're going to replace all that equipment."

November 14, 2012
Sacramento deputies to hand out free turkeys at youth basketball event

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Activities League will be hosting its last "Friday Night Hoops" event of the year this Friday - and will be giving out free turkeys to the families of youth participants.

The "Friday Night Hoops" program, hosted at the Dr. Ephraim Williams Family Life Center in Oak Park from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m., pairs sheriff's deputies and at-risk youth from the area in basketball games and drills. The program is designed for children between the ages of 8 and 15 and is free.

In preparation for Thanksgiving next week, deputies this week will be handing out free frozen turkeys to the families of youths who attend Friday night.

Deputies also are seeking donations of frozen turkeys. Those that are not handed out Friday night will be saved for a later event during the holiday season, said Deputy Cary Trzcinski, who heads the Sheriff's Activities League.

To donate, or for more information about the "Friday Night Hoops" event, contact Trzcinski at (916) 627-5606.

November 13, 2012
CHP campaign aims to improve motorcycle safety

The California Highway Patrol is launching a year-long educational campaign to reduce the number of collisions involving motorcycles.

California is home to more than 1.3 million licensed motorcyclists, but each each hundreds are killed and thousands are injured. According to preliminary data from the CHP's Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, the number of motorcyclists killed increased nearly 20 percent from 2010 to 2011. This followed a two-year decline in motorcycle-involved collisions, according to a CHP news release.

"Motorcycle awareness is a priority for the California Highway Patrol and a key to saving lives on the roadway," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a written statement. "Education combined with enforcement will help reinforce the concept that all motorists need to safely share the road."

November 7, 2012
West Sacramento police schedule annual community meetings

The West Sacramento Police Department will hold its annual community meetings at four locations this month.

The meetings offer residents an opportunity to obtain important information and discuss issues of mutual concern. Primary topics will be the city's newly revised alarm ordinance and special event application process, according to a department news release.

To accommodate residents, meetings will be held at different Washington Unified School District schools. Meetings are scheduled from 7 to 8:30 p.m.:

• Thursday at Riverbank Elementary School, 1100 Carrie St., for the Bryte and Broderick areas.

• Tuesday at Westmore Oaks Elementary, 930 Westacre Road, for the central West Sacramento area.

• Nov. 27 at Stonegate Elementary School, 2500 La Jolla St., for the Southport area.

• Nov. 29 at the West Sacramento Police Department, 550 Jefferson Blvd., for the city's commercial areas.

October 25, 2012
Memorial fund set up for relatives of three slain in Rancho Cordova

A memorial fund has been set up for the surviving family members whose loved ones were slain in a bloody attack in Rancho Cordova on Tuesday afternoon.

The Denis Bukhantsov Memorial Trust Fund, set up in the name of the victims' husband and father, was set up through Premier West Bank. The account number is 82804765. There are several branches in the Sacramento region, including one at 9340 East Stockton Boulevard in Elk Grove, 95624.

The fund will benefit the family of 23-year-old Alina Bukhantsov and her two children, 3-year-old Emmanuela and 2-year-old Avenir. Denis Bukhantsov found their bodies in the family's Rancho Cordova duplex on Tuesday afternoon.

The couple's youngest child, a 6-month-old boy, was found safe in another room.

Sacramento County sheriff's detectives arrested Denis Bukhantsov's brother, 19-year-old Grigoriy Bukhantsov, on suspicion of three counts of murder. He is scheduled to be arraigned Friday.

October 19, 2012
Alert students, motorists called key to school bus safety

The California Highway Patrol is reminding school bus riders and motorists to pay attention to each other to ensure safety.

"I see the driver -- the driver sees me" is the theme of this year's National School Bus Safety Week, Oct. 22-26.

Studies show that the most dangerous part of the school bus ride for children is when they get on and off the bus, according to a CHP news release. Motorists are urged to pay close attention to school buses on local roads and to be aware of their flashing lights. In California, flashing yellow lights on a school bus are a warning to slow down and prepare to stop, while flashing red lights require all motorists to stop.

October 18, 2012
Sign-ups open for catalytic converter etching event in Rocklin

The Rocklin Police Department and Sierra College Auto Club will team up to offer free catalytic converter etching Nov. 3.

The event will be held from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the auto shop on the Sierra College campus, 5000 Rocklin Road, Rocklin.

Participants' vehicle license plate number will be etched on the converter and the etching painted for easy recognition. Each vehicle also will receive a small window decal indicating "This vehicle's catalytic converter has been etched by Rocklin PD" This can deter criminals and provide police with investigative tools to identify victims and arrest thieves, according to a Police Department news release.

October 15, 2012
Sheriff's Activities League restarts Friday night basketball program for youth; donors needed

By Kim Minugh
kminugh@sacbee.com

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Activities League has revived its "Friday Night Madness" basketball program for youths in the Oak Park area.

From 6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m. on Oct. 19, Oct. 26 and Nov. 2, teens are invited to the Dr. Ephraim Williams Family Life Center, 4036 14th Avenue, for some basketball with sheriff's deputies and volunteers with the Sheriff's Activities League.

The free program is designed to build relationships between law enforcement officers and residents in the areas they serve, including youths.

September 12, 2012
Red-light cameras installed at Foothill Farms intersection

A new red-light photo enforcement camera system is scheduled to go into operation Thursday at Auburn Boulevard and Garfield Avenue, in the Foothill Farms area.

The system is being tested and is to go "live" at 12:01 a.m., according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's Department news release.

For a period of 30 days, red-light violators will be mailed a warning notice. At 12:01 a.m. Oct. 13, red-light violators at the intersection will begin to receive citations by mail.

September 6, 2012
Lightning strikes spark wildland fires, prompt safety warnings

Lighting activity during the past 24 hours has resulted in 13 wildland fires from 310 lightning strikes in areas served by the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection's Amador-El Dorado Unit.

The unexpected thunderstorm brought lightning with wetting rain in some areas and dry lightning, with little of no rain, in other areas, according to a Cal Fire news release.

"Cal Fire firefighters are aggressively suppressing wildland fires across the unit in the state responsibility lands ranging from very rugged and often isolated areas covered in timber to the oak woodlands in the front country," Brian Estes, incident commander, said in a written statement. "We anticipate that additional wildland fires will erupt as the affected areas dry out later this week."

August 31, 2012
Sacramento police schedule weekend sobriety checkpoints

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct two sobriety and driver's license checkpoints this weekend in an effort to keep impaired drivers off the road.

This first will be held Saturday night at Northgate Boulevard and Patio Drive in the South Natomas area. The second is scheduled Sunday night at Arden and Challenge ways near Arden Fair mall.

Checkpoint operations will begin at 8 p.m. each evening and continue for five to seven hours.

August 30, 2012
Placer agencies receive grant to combat alcohol sales to minors

The Placer County Sheriff's Department has received a grant to help combat underage drinking and alcohol sales to minors during the coming year.

The Auburn, Lincoln, Rocklin and Roseville police departments also will participate in activities funded by the $99,760 grant from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control, according to a Sheriff's Department news release.

Throughout the year, the Sheriff's Department plans to target problematic ABC-licensed establishments that sell alcoholic beverages to minors and obviously intoxicated adult patrons. Minor-decoy and "shoulder-tap" operations also will be conducted countywide to minimize minors' access to alcohol, officials said.

August 24, 2012
Police offer tips to reduce sun-glare-related collisions

The Sacramento Police Department urges motorists to exercise caution during morning and evening commutes when sun glare can make driving hazardous.

Many of Sacramento's streets are laid out along an east-west and north-south grid. During this time of year, police note, sunrise and sunset coincide with morning and evening commutes for many motorists. Glare most affects drivers when the sun is just above the horizon in the first hour of sunrise and the last hour before sunset.

Two years ago, they city of Sacramento had multiple fatal and serious injury collisions in which sun glare was reported as a factor, according to a Police Department news release.

August 24, 2012
Agencies step up DUI checkpoints, patrols this weekend

Law enforcement agencies are continuing their summer/Labor Day campaign to keep impaired drivers off the road, with sobriety checkpoints and saturation patrols scheduled this weekend in the Sacramento region.

The campaign began Aug. 17 and runs through Labor Day. Through midnight Thursday, officers representing 17 law enforcement agencies in Sacramento County reported a total of 132 arrests for driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs. In Placer County, officers representing seven agencies arrested 23 individuals for driving under the influence through midnight Wednesday, according to a news release. No DUI-related deaths were reported in either county since the campaign began last week.

A sobriety checkpoint is scheduled tonight in the city of Sacramento as the second week of the campaign gets under way. Extra DUI saturation patrols will be deployed in the cities of Folsom and Elk Grove tonight and in Citrus Heights and Elk Grove on Saturday night. Extra patrols also will be deployed in Elk Grove on Sunday night.

August 8, 2012
Applications available for Elk Grove Citizens' Academy

The Elk Grove Police Department is accepting applications for its next Citizens' Academy, which begins Sept. 5.

The 14-week program is designed to inform interested residents about the various aspects of municipal policing. It covers patrol and investigations procedures, vehicle operations, arrest and control techniques, 911 communications, code enforcement and animal control.

The Citizens' Academy is offered free of charge and will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at the Elk Grove Police Department.

August 3, 2012
Sacramento Police offer free catalytic converter etching event

The Sacramento Police Department in conjunction with Jiffy Lube will hold a free catalytic converter etching event on Wednesday.

Vehicle owners can have the vehicle license plate numbers etched onto the catalytic converter to aid in recovery of the converter if it is stolen. The event is scheduled from noon to 5 p.m. at the Jiffy Lube at 3424 Northgate Blvd.

The presence of license plate numbers on catalytic converters can provide police with information necessary to identify stolen property, contact victims, and apprehend and prosecute criminals, according to a Police Department news release.

July 24, 2012
Sobriety checkpoint scheduled tonight in North Natomas

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint tonight at Del Paso Road and Five Star Way in the North Natomas area.

Beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for five to seven hours, motorists traveling through the intersection will be stopped by uniformed officers who will check for drivers impaired by alcohol or drugs. They will also check to make sure all drivers have a valid driver's license.

The purpose of the checkpoint is to promote public safety, increase awareness of the dangers associated with drinking and driving, and to deter potential impaired and unlicensed drivers, officials said.

Funding for the program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

July 10, 2012
El Dorado County sheriff seeks retirees for STAR program

The El Dorado County Sheriff's Office is seeking volunteers for its Sheriff's Team of Active Retirees, or STAR, program.

Qualified volunteers serve as "eyes and ears" in support of the department's overall community service efforts.

Those who qualify for the program will participate in an intensive training academy scheduled from 8 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday, Oct. 15-26, with selected days of afternoon training for driver proficiency evaluation, central dispatch visitation and accident-scene control. Following graduation from the training academy, volunteers will participate in post-academy field training conducted by experienced STAR members Oct. 29-Nov. 21 in countywide patrol assignments.

July 3, 2012
Truckee Police Department offers gun safety kits

The Truckee Police Department is offering gun safety kits free to the public.

The kits, provided through a grant from Project ChildSafe, include a cable-style gun locking device, lock installment instructions and a safety booklet.

The kits may be picked up between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Monday through Friday in the Truckee Police Department lobby, 10183 Truckee Airport Road.

For information on firearm safety, see the website at projectchildsafe.org.

July 3, 2012
Sobriety checkpoint set on eve of Independence Day festivities

To encourage a safe and sober celebration of Independence Day, the Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint tonight at Howe and University avenues.

Beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for up to seven hours, uniformed officers will contact motorists traveling through the intersection to check for alcohol- or drug-impaired drivers. Officers also will check to make sure all drivers have a valid driver's license.

The purpose of the checkpoint is to promote public safety, increase awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving, and to deter potentially impaired or unlicensed drivers.

Funding for the program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

June 26, 2012
Fire officials warn of fireworks restrictions in El Dorado, Amador counties

As Independence Day approaches, state fire officials remind residents and visitors to El Dorado and Amador counties of fireworks restrictions.

Because of the risk of wildfires, an El Dorado County ordinance prohibits the use and possession of fireworks, including the "safe and sane" fireworks commonly sold in surrounding areas including Sacramento County.

The California State Department of Forestry and Fire Protection, local fire agencies and law enforcement take the prohibition of fireworks seriously, said Chief Kelly Keenan of Cal Fire's Amador-El Dorado Unit. Anyone caught with fireworks in El Dorado County will have their fireworks confiscated. They also could be cited and face misdemeanor charges that include up to six months in jail, a $500 fine or both.

June 25, 2012
Sacramento-area fire officials urge safe use of fireworks

By David Ruiz

druiz@sacbee.com

Local law and fire departments today reminded Sacramento county residents about the "Zero Tolerance" policy against the purchase, sale, use and possession of illegal fireworks.

At a press conference, State fire marshal Tonya Hoover said violators of the policy will be prosecuted and held accountable for the cost of any fire damage caused by illegal fireworks. "We want everyone to be safe and responsible," she said.

The easiest way to prevent fireworks-related fires, Hoover said, is to buy only "Safe and Sane" fireworks -- those that display the state fire marshal seal of approval on the packaging. Fireworks that explode, leave the ground, or move around the ground uncontrollably are always considered illegal by the state fire marshal.

Fireworks went on sale June 28 and will continue until July 6 at noon.

June 20, 2012
Cal Fire to suspend burn permits in Amador, western El Dorado counties

The California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection announced that burn permits in areas within its jurisdiction in Amador County and the western slope of El Dorado County will be suspended July 2.

That leaves property owners with a little more than a week to burn residential debris piles on permissive burn days.

If it is unsafe to burn because of outdoor temperature, wind, terrain or other factors, fire officials advise waiting until winter to complete burning activities.

June 7, 2012
Citrus Heights police offer traffic safety workshop for teens, parents

The Citrus Heights Police Department will conduct a workshop June 16 for teenagers and their parents focusing on the importance of traffic safety.

Officials cite statistics showing that for both men and women, drivers age 16 to 19 years old have the highest average annual crash and traffic violation rates of any age group. Traffic crashes also are the leading cause of death for teenagers nationwide.

The traffic safety workshop will focus on driver safety, rules of the road, distracted driving, driving under the influence and safety statistics. Parents and teenagers are encouraged to help address the safety concerns.

June 4, 2012
Fire officials: Beware of property maintenance activities that could spark wildfires

Fire officials urge property owners to use caution when engaged in activities such as clearing defensible space and burning debris piles.

Every spring, fire agencies remind homeowners of the importance of clearing dead grass and brush 100 feet from homes to prepare for the fire season, but how they clear this space is equally important to preventing fires, according to a California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection news release.

The spark from a metal lawn mower blade against a rock can easily ignite a wildfire.

May 29, 2012
Red-light camera to go 'live' at Sacramento intersection

A new digital photo enforcement camera has been installed at 16th and W streets in Sacramento and is scheduled to go "live" at 12:01 a.m. Wednesday.

For a period of 30 days, red-light violators will be mailed a warning notice. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. June 29, motorists who run red lights at the intersection will receive a citation, which will include a referral to a website where the violator can view still and/or video images of the violation. The violator should be able to clearly see where his or her vehicle was in relation to the intersection's limit line, and the green, yellow and red lights, according to a news release from the Sacramento Metropolitan Red Light Photo Enforcement Detail.

Officials report up to a 76 percent reduction in red-light-related crashes at city and county intersections with photo-enforcement since the program was implemented. They also report a 28 percent reduction in such crashes at all signal-controlled intersections within the city and county of Sacramento.

May 29, 2012
Police: Open doors, windows invite nighttime intruders

With temperatures expected to climb into the 90s this week, the Sacramento Police Department reminds residents to take measures to safeguard their homes during summer.

Although it may be tempting to go to bed with windows an doors open, this can be an invitation to burglars looking for easy and quiet access to a home. Police recommend closing and locking doors and windows before retiring for the night.

A recent increase in nighttime burglaries to second-story apartments, particularly in the South Natomas area, also has been reported. Residents of upstairs apartments often have a false sense of security, police said.

Anyone with information regarding the break-ins is asked to call the Sacramento Police Department's Dispatch Center at (916) 264-5471 or Crime Alert at (916) 443-4357, or text a tip to 274637. Enter SACTIP followed by the tip information. Callers can remain anonymous and may be eligible for a reward of up to $1,000.

May 25, 2012
Sacramento sheriff's Work Project offers amnesty

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department's Work Project Division has announced a summer amnesty program for individuals who want to return to the Work Project to complete their court-ordered commitment rather than risk arrest.

The one-time weekend amnesty opportunity will be conducted from 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. June 9 at the Work Project office at 700 North 5th St. in Sacramento.

The amnesty program is intended for people who either never reported to or stopped attending the Work Project, but who want to complete their commitment, according to a Sheriff's Department news release. It is designed for anyone with an active sheriff's order of commitment warrant for failure to appear/complete Work Project.

May 23, 2012
Cal Fire boosts staffing, urges preparation for wildfire season

The 2012 "fire season" will officially begin at 8 a.m. Monday, and fire officials urge residents, especially those living or recreating in rural areas, to use caution as the state enters a period of increased risk for wildfires.

The state's final snow survey May 1 found the statewide snowpack water content is only 40 percent of normal. From January though April, California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection crews responded to more than 800 wildfires, nearly two and a half times the approximately 300 the agency responded to during the same period in 2011. This year's number also exceeds the five-year average of more than 600 wildfires for January through April, said Terri Mizuhara, spokeswoman for Cal Fire's Amador-El Dorado Unit.

So far this this month, she said, Cal Fire crews have responded to numerous small fires. Several in Amador and El Dorado counties have been escaped debris fires, Mizuhara said.

May 23, 2012
Sacramento Police Department offers safety class for teenage drivers

The Sacramento Police Department is offering a free driver safety education class targeting new and future teenage drivers.

The Start Smart driving course is scheduled from 5:30 to 8 p.m. May 30 at the Police Department's Central Command Station at 300 Richards Blvd. It is geared for 15- to 18-year-olds and their parents or guardians.

Teenage drivers are found at fault in 66 percent of all fatal collisions in which they are involved, although they represent only 4 percent of the state's licensed drivers, according to a Police Department news release. Motor vehicle accidents are the leading cause of death for Americans age 15 to 20.

May 18, 2012
Sobriety checkpoint planned Saturday in Meadowview area

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint at Meadowview Road and Amherst Street in the Meadowview area Saturday night.

Beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for five to seven hours, motorists traveling through the checkpoint will be contacted by uniformed officers, who will check for drivers under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs. They also will check to make sure all drivers have a valid driver's license.

The checkpoint it intended to promote public safety, increase awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving, and to serve as a deterrent to potential impaired and unlicensed drivers.

Funding for the program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

May 15, 2012
Placer Sheriff's Office offers equestrian day-camp for kids

The Placer County Sheriff's Office is accepting sign-ups for its annual Ride With Pride, a one-day camp that pairs elementary school children with deputies and their horse partners.

Youngsters may choose to attend the camp one of four days -- June 18, 19, 20 or 21 -- at the Gold Country Fairgrounds in Auburn.

Members of the Sheriff's Office, all with equestrian experience, have developed a program to acquaint children with the care, handling and riding of horses. The camp, offered free of charge, is open to children age 7 to 12.

May 9, 2012
CHP offers refresher course for senior drivers

Senior citizens will have an opportunity to tune up their driving skills Friday through a class offered by the California Highway Patrol.

As part of Older Americans Month, the CHP will conduct an "Age Well, Drive Smart" class from 10 a.m. to noon at the CHP Valley Division office, 2555 First Ave. in Sacramento.

Taught by CHP officers and Department of Motor Vehicle personnel, the class will cover rules of the road, as well as age-related physical changes and how to adjust to them. Discussions also will include when it may be time to stop driving and alternatives to driving.

May 7, 2012
Downtown road closures this morning for police memorial

Road closures will occur this morning in downtown Sacramento for a memorial event to honor fallen law enforcement officers.

The California State Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony will take place at 10:30 a.m. today at 10th Street and Capitol Mall. The ceremony honors California peace officers who have died protecting and serving their communities.

For today's event, Capitol Mall will be closed from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. between the Tower Bridge and Ninth Street, and 10th Street will be closed from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. between L and Q streets.

May 3, 2012
Checkpoint, special patrols target impaired drivers in Elk Grove

The Elk Grove Police Department announced that it will conduct a sobriety checkpoint and several special patrols this month as part of a program aimed at keeping impaired drivers off the road.

A sobriety/driver's license checkpoint is to be conducted from 8 p.m. to 2 a.m. May 18 at an undisclosed location within the city limits. Roving DUI saturation patrols also will be deployed from 7 p.m. to 4 a.m. every weekend in May.

Over the past three years, people driving under the influence of alcohol or drugs have resulted in 78 crashes in Elk Grove, claiming the lives of eight people and injuring 110, according to a Police Department news release.

May 3, 2012
'Share the road' campaign spotlights motorcycle safety

May is Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month, and law enforcement agencies throughout the Sacramento region urge drivers to look twice for motorcyclists so all motorists can safely share the road.

California is home to more than 1 million licensed motorcycle riders, according to a California Highway Patrol news release.

"Whether a driver is at an intersection or changing lanes, they should always keep an eye out for motorcyclists," CHP Commissioner Joe Farrow said in a written statement. "Because motorcycles have a much smaller profile than other vehicles, it can be difficult for drivers to judge the distance and speed of an approaching motorcycle."

In 2010, the most recent year for which data is available from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System, 361 people died in California and nearly 11,000 others were injured as a result of a crash involving a motorcycle.

In addition to using safety equipment and riding gear, motorcyclists are encouraged to seek professional training before beginning to ride.

The CHP-administered California Motorcyclist Safety Program offers rider courses for beginning motorcyclists and for riders interested in improving their skills. The program operates more than 120 training sites statewide and expects to train 65,000 motorcyclists this year. For course information and locations, see the the website at http://www.ca-msp.org/.

May 2, 2012
Grace period ends tonight for red-light violators at Elk Grove intersection

Elk Grove police advise motorists that the 30-day grace period for the the newly installed red-light camera at Elk Grove Florin Road and Bond Road will end at 11:59 tonight.

At 12:01 a.m. Thursday, the camera will go "live" and citations, not warning notices, will be issued to drivers who are photographed by the red-light camera enforcement system.

For more information about the system, see the Elk Grove Police Department website, http://www.elkgrovepd.org/traffic/red-light-information.asp, or the Sacramento Superior Court website, http://www.saccourt.ca.gov/traffic/citations-red-light-camera.aspx.

May 2, 2012
Memorial events to honor fallen law enforcement officers

Three memorial events honoring fallen law enforcement officers are scheduled in Sacramento over the next several days.

At noon Thursday, the Sacramento Police/Sheriff's Memorial Foundation will hold its 10th annual Remembrance Ceremony at the memorial site, 500 Arden Way. The ceremony will include a 21-gun salute honoring fallen officers about 12:30 p.m.

A candlelight vigil is scheduled from 8:30 to 9:30 p.m. Sunday, a prelude to Monday's 36th Annual California State Law Enforcement Memorial Ceremony. The vigil will be at the monument site at 10th Street and Capitol Mall. Motorists are advised that 10th Street will be closed to traffic between L and N streets from 8 to 10 p.m.

April 30, 2012
Red-light camera system to go 'live' Tuesday at Calvine Road/Highway 99

A new digital red-light photo-enforcement camera system will go into operation at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday on Calvine Road at the northbound Highway 99 off-ramp in south Sacramento County.

The camera was placed at the location by the Sacramento Metropolitan Red Light Photo Enforcement Detail. The new system has been undergoing tests and is scheduled to go "live" Tuesday.

For a period of 30 days, red-light violators will be mailed warning notices. Beginning at 12:01 a.m. May 31, red-light violators at this intersection will be mailed citations, according to a Sacramento County Sheriff's Office news release.

April 28, 2012
Unwanted prescription meds can be dropped off today

By Mark Glover

mglover@sacbee.com

Sacramento-area residents looking to dispose of unwanted and expired prescription medications can do so today at two sites overseen by authorities.

Both drop-off programs run through 2 p.m.

The Sacramento Police Department and the federal Drug Enforcement Administration officials will accept items at 5770 Freeport Blvd.

The DEA and the Elk Grove Police Department will do the same at the Elk Grove administration building, 8380 Laguna Palms Way.

The events are part of the National Take Back Initiative.

Call The Bee's Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.

April 28, 2012
Sacramento police, Jiffy Lube partner to fight theft

By Mark Glover

mglover@sacbee.com

The Sacramento Police Department is partnering with Jiffy Lube on Wednesday with a free catalytic converter etching event, where motor vehicle license plate numbers will be etched onto catalytic converters.

The "Etch & Catch" event is designed to recover stolen property. Catalytic converters are prime targets of thieves because of their high black market value, the relative ease of stealing them and their lack of identifying markings.

"Etch & Catch" will be noon to 5 p.m. at the Jiffy Lube outlet at 2900 Florin Road in Sacramento.

Officials said the event is open to city of Sacramento residents only, and space is limited. Participants, who will be required to show proof of current city residency, should bring one of the following: a driver's license, vehicle registration or a utility bill.

Reservations are required. To do that, go to www.sacpd.org and click on the "Etch & Catch Event" link. A free ticket to the event can be downloaded from the event flier page.

Call The Bee's Mark Glover, (916) 321-1184.

April 27, 2012
CHP to hold free child safety seat check-up event Saturday

The California Highway Patrol will conduct a child passenger safety seat check-up event Saturday at the IKEA store in West Sacramento.

CHP-certified car seat technicians/instructors will be on hand from 9 a.m. to noon at 700 Ikea Court to help parents make sure children are properly secured.

A new California law that became effective Jan. 1 extends by two years the length of time a child must use a child passenger restraint or safety seat when riding in a motor vehicle. Children must ride in either a car seat or a booster seat until they are 8 years old or 4 feet 9 inches tall.

April 18, 2012
Online registration opens for Kops-N-Kids summer camp

Online signups are being accepted for the 2012 Kops-N-Kids summer camp program that teams Sacramento youth with local law enforcement.

This year's camp is scheduled June 18-22 at Rosemont High School, 9594 Kiefer Blvd. It will run from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday, and 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Friday. The cost is $32 for the entire week, and bus service will be available from select local school districts, according to a Sacramento Police Department news release.

Kops-N-Kids is a nonprofit organization, which has sponsored the weeklong summer sports camp for youths ages 9 through 13 for 26 consecutive years. The campers have an opportunity to interact with law enforcement and fire department personnel, who serve as role models.

April 13, 2012
Rocklin police invite residents to 'chat with the chief'

Rocklin residents will have an opportunity to talk with members of the city's Police Department during three "Chat with the Chief" meetings.

The meetings are intended to provide valuable information to residents, promote new police programs and foster communication with people in the community, according to at Police Department news release.

All three meetings will be identical in content, featuring presentations and question-and-answer sessions led by Police Chief Ron Lawrence, Deputy Chief Dan Ruden and other police managers. During the sessions, the chief and his staff will solicit public comment on designing the the Police Department's strategic plan for fiscal year 2012-13, discuss the department's 2011 Annual Report, provide an overview of new police technology and offer strategies for reducing residential burglaries.

April 12, 2012
Sobriety checkpoint scheduled Friday in Del Paso Heights area

Friday the 13th could be an unlucky day for impaired drivers.

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint at Norwood Avenue and Silver Eagle Road in the Del Paso Heights area beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for five to seven hours.

Motorists traveling through the checkpoint will be contacted by uniformed officers, who will check for alcohol and/or drug-impaired drivers. Officers also will check to make sure all drivers have a valid driver's license.

April 11, 2012
UPDATE: Firefighters seek to ensure functioning smoke alarms in wake of fatal mobile home fire

Firefighters on Saturday will return to the scene of a fatal mobile home fire to make sure that residents of a North Highlands mobile home park have functioning smoke alarms.

Firefighters with the Sacramento Metropolitan Fire District arrived at the mobile home park in the 4100 block of Minuteman Lane shortly before 7:30 a.m. last Saturday to find a mobile home fully engulfed in fire. During a search, they found that a man had died in the fire. He was identified by the Sacramento County Coroner's Office as William Clay Cowgill, 59.

Fire investigators determined that the fire was accidental and found no evidence of a working smoke alarm, according to a fire district news release.

April 10, 2012
Chief Justice is keynote speaker at Yolo Law Day event

Chief Justice of the California Supreme Court Tani Cantil-Sakauye will be the featured speaker later this month at the Yolo County Bar Association's Law Day event.

The theme for Law Day this year is "No Courts, No Justice, No Freedom."

The Law Day gathering is scheduled for 11:30 to 1:30 p.m. April 26 at the Woodland Community & Senior Center, 2001 East St. The bar association hopes to draw lawyers from Yolo County and neighboring counties.

April 9, 2012
Sacramento Sheriff Jones to speak at community meeting

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones will be the guest speaker at County Supervisor Roberta MacGlashan's community meeting this week in Antelope.

The meeting takes place 7 p.m. Thursday at the North Highlands-Antelope Library, 4235 Antelope Road.

The sheriff is scheduled to speak about gang prevention strategies, community outreach programs and other department issues.

April 2, 2012
UPDATE: CHP offers driver safety education class for teenage drivers

The California Highway Patrol's Valley Division will sponsor a driver safety education class Saturday for new and prospective teenage drivers.

The free Start Smart/Impact Teen Drivers class will be held from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at the CHP Valley Division office, 2555 First Ave., Sacramento.

The class will cover collision avoidance techniques, driver responsibility, collision trends, distracted driving laws, alcohol-related driving laws and the provisional license process. It will include hands-on driving techniques such as parallel parking and pre-trip vehicle inspections.

March 28, 2012
Gang awareness is topic of Arden Arcade symposium

A community gang awareness symposium will be sponsored Thursday evening by the Sacramento County Sheriff's Department's Youth Services Unit.

The meeting is scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m. at the Richard T. Conzellmann Community Center, 2201 Cottage Way, in the Arden Arcade area.

It will feature presentations by the sheriff's Youth Services and Gang Suppression units, as well as members of the Sacramento County District Attorney's office and Sacramento City Code Enforcement. Topics will include gangs and schools, gangs and graffiti and consequences of gang violence.

March 22, 2012
Symposium on gang activity scheduled in Arden Arcade area

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department will sponsor a community symposium on gang activity March 29 at the Conzelmann Community Center in Howe Park, at Howe Avenue and Cottage Way.

Scheduled from 6 to 8 p.m., the program is designed specifically for residents of the Arden Arcade area, according to a notice from county Supervisor Susan Peters. It will include multimedia presentations and speakers from the District Attorney's Office, Code Enforcement and the Sheriff's Gang Suppression Unit. Members of the Sheriff's Department will discuss a plan to reduce youth and gang violence in the community.

Peters said similar programs will be scheduled in other parts of the county.

For more information, call (916) 875-8879 or email the Sheriff's Community Impact Program at info@sacscip.org.

March 14, 2012
Golf tournament to benefit Roseville Police Volunteer Program

Sign-ups are being accepted for a golf tournament to benefit the Roseville Police Volunteer Program.

The tournament will tee off at 8 a.m. March 23 at Morgan Creek Golf Course, 8791 Morgan Creek Lane, Roseville.

Roseville Police volunteers contribute thousands of hours to the community each year. They help patrol parks and schools, provide free vacation house checks for residents and perform various other tasks for the Police Department.

All proceeds from the golf tournament will help provide equipment and other needs for the volunteers program, according to a Police Department news release.

March 3, 2012
Fund set up for kids of Cameron Park woman allegedly killed by husband

A fund has been set up for the children of a woman found dead in her Cameron Park home last month and the man accused of killing her.

El Dorado County sheriff's deputies arrested Todd Winkler, 45, after he allegedly killed his wife, 37-year-old Rachel Winkler, after an argument in the couple's home Feb. 27. They had been having marital problems, according to sheriff's officials.

Authorities have not released Rachel Winkler's cause of death.

The couple's children - ages 4, 2, and 9 months - were home at the time of the attack. They are now in the custody of Rachel Winkler's father, Don Hatfield. Family and friends say Hatfield recently lost his wife to cancer and lost his home in the mortgage crisis a year ago.

The fund has been set up to help Hatfield, an artist, find a larger home where he can raise his three young grandchildren with the help of a nanny, according to friends and family.

Donations can be made to Wells Fargo bank account number 6990388875. The routing number is 121042882. For information about how to donate via PayPal, or about fundraising efforts, go here.

March 2, 2012
Sacramento police announce Saturday sobriety checkpoint

The Sacramento Police Department will conduct a sobriety and driver's license checkpoint Saturday night at Fruitridge Road and Mendocino Avenue.

Beginning at 8 p.m. and continuing for up to seven hours, motorists passing through the checkpoint will be contacted by uniformed officers, who will check for alcohol- or drug-impaired drivers. Officers also will check to make sure all drivers have a valid driver's license.

Police said the checkpoint is intended to promote public safety, increase awareness of the dangers of drinking and driving, and to deter potential impaired and unlicensed drivers.

Funding for the program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

March 1, 2012
Sacramento sheriff to hold community meeting tonight

sheriff jones.jpg
Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones is inviting the public to sound off on how the department is doing at a town hall meeting tonight.

The meeting is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. in the department's North Division Service Center, 2500 Marconi Ave., Suite 100, in Arden Arcade.

The sheriff invites citizens to express their opinions regarding the department and the job being done in neighborhoods served by deputies.

PHOTO CAPTION: Sheriff Scott Jones

February 28, 2012
Echo the police dog on the job thanks to East Sacramento Rotary

The Sacramento Rotary Club has donated $10,000 for a new police dog.

The Rotary Club of East Sacramento will formally present a check to Sacramento Police Chief Rick Braziel on Wednesday for the new canine. The donation commemorates Rotary member Bob Jennings, a former president of the club and avid supporter of the police K9 unit. Jenning's son is a Sacramento Police Officer.

The new dog, Echo, a two-year-old Belgian Malinois is already on the job. Echo and his handler, Officer John Azevedo, have completed a three-month training period and hit the streets last week.

February 28, 2012
Rancho Cordova police seek bike donations for April rodeo

The Rancho Cordova Police Department and Police Activities League are seeking bicycle donations for a bike rodeo.

The event is scheduled April 28 as part of Kids Day in the Park.

Bike rodeo participants will learn about bicycle safety and maintenance, and how to fit bike helmets. They also will have an opportunity to run through a bike safety course. Afterward, each youngster will be entered in to a chance to win a free bicycle and helmet.

February 27, 2012
Sacramento sheriff to hold community meeting

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones is inviting the public to sound off on how the department is doing at a town hall meeting Thursday night.

The meeting is scheduled for 5 to 7 p.m. Thursday in the department's North Division Service Center, 2500 Marconi Ave., Suite 100, in Arden Arcade.

The sheriff invites citizens to express their opinions regarding the department and the job being done in neighborhoods served by deputies.

February 15, 2012
Sheriff's unit joins Sacramento Boys and Girls Club in Friday 'Unity for Youth' event

The Sacramento County Sheriff's Department's Youth Services Unit will join with the Boys and Girls Club in a "Unity for Youth" event on Friday.

The event, offered free of charge and open to the public, will be held from 3:30 to 6 p.m. at the Boys and Girls Club, Greater Sacramento Teichert Branch, at 5212 Lemon Hill Ave., Sacramento.

It will feature a variety of activities, including prize drawings, bounce houses, carnival games, face painting and K-9 units.

February 13, 2012
Roseville Fire Department taking sign-ups for Kids Fire Camp

Children interested in learning about the job firefighting will have an opportunity to look behind the scenes during the Roseville Fire Department's Kids Fire Camp, June 25-30.

The department will select 24 campers, ages 11 to 14. Those attending the camp will learn about water safety, first aid, rescue practices, physical fitness and firefighting skills, according to a Fire Department news release. Campers will work in teams and put their skills into action through a variety of hands-on exercises.

Off-duty Roseville firefighters will volunteer their time to serve as camp counselors throughout the week.

February 10, 2012
Program targeting cyberbullying scheduled in Knights Landing

A presentation and discussion of cyberbullying and other issues involving social media will be held Feb. 29 at Yolo County's Knights Landing Branch Library.

The presentation by the UCD Family Protection and Legal Assistance Clinic will focus on the social and legal consequences of cyberbullying, sexting and sextortion. The session is designed for parents who may attend alone or with their children.

The multimedia presentation will be followed by a question and answer period.

February 10, 2012
Sacramento police offer driver safety class for teenagers

The Sacramento Police Department is offering a class on driver safety for teenage drivers and their parents or guardians.

The classes are intended to educate new drivers who lack the experience that is sometimes needed in various driving situations, according to a Police Department news release. Officials site statistics that show teenage drivers are found to be at fault in 66 percent of all fatal accidents in which teens are involved. Motor vehicle collisions are the leading cause of death for Americans ages 15 to 20 years old.

The Smart Start Driving Class, offered free of charge, is open to teenagers 15 to 19 years old. Participation of a parent or guardian is encouraged but not required.

February 6, 2012
Firefighters Burn Institute urges steps to prevent 'scald' burns

In conjunction with National Burn Awareness Week, Feb. 5-11, the Firefighters Burn Institute in Sacramento urges people to take measures to prevent "scald" burns.

Scald burns are the leading cause of death in the home among children age 4 and younger, and account for 40 percent of the burn injuries for children up to age 14, according to a news release.

Such burns, caused by hot liquids or steam, are more often the cause of burn-related injuries among young children than contact burns, which are caused by direct contact with fire and are more prevalent among older children, officials said. The majority of scald burns suffered by children result from hot foods and liquids spilled in the kitchen or other areas where food is prepared and served.

January 27, 2012
Sheriff's volunteers to offer child fingerprinting in El Dorado Hills

Volunteers with the El Dorado County Sheriff's Team of Active Retirees -- STAR -- will offer fingerprint service for children in keeping with the National Child Safety Council's Young People Prints.

The services will be provided free of charge for children and teenagers younger than 18 at the Sheriff's Town Center substation, 4354 Town Center Blvd., Suite 112, El Dorado Hills. A parent or legal guardian must accompany the child.

To ensure prompt service, call (530) 642-4728 or (916) 933-2578 to find out when a volunteer will be available. The substation's normal office hours are 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday. Walk-ins are welcome.

January 26, 2012
Rocklin's first 'Etch & Catch' event booked, second planned in April

Reflecting the level of public concern about the rash of catalytic converter thefts, openings for the Rocklin Police Department's "Etch & Catch" event were filled within 24 hours after sign-ups began.

Police reported that they received more than 150 calls from interested people within the first 24 hours of announcing the Feb. 11 event. All 80 appointments have been filled. Drive-up participants will be accepted the day of the event, but only on a first-come, first-served basis if time and space allow, according to a Police Department news release.

The free etching event is scheduled from 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Les Schwab Tires, 5610 Pacific St., Rocklin. Vehicle license plate numbers will be etched onto catalytic converters to aid police in identifying victims and prosecuting criminals in case of theft.

January 24, 2012
Rocklin Police announce catalytic converter etching event

In response to a rash of catalytic converter thefts in south Placer County, the Rocklin Police Department, in cooperation with local businesses and organizations, has scheduled a free catalytic converter etching event Feb. 11.

In the first three weeks of this year, Rocklin police received 29 reports of catalytic converter thefts. Although some arrests have been made, such thefts continue to occur, according to a Police Department news release.

Catalytic converters, along with copper and other metals, have become a hot commodity among thieves. The catalytic converters are targeted because of their value, the relative ease of stealing them and their lack of identifying markings, police said. The lack of identification makes it difficult to identify victims and to successfully apprehend and prosecute criminals.

January 19, 2012
Academy offers Auburn residents insight into police operations

Auburn residents and business owners interested in learning more about the workings of their police department may apply for the Citizens' Awareness Academy.

Twenty-five people will be admitted to the 10-week program, which begins March 7. Participants will learn about municipal policing, including procedures for patrol and investigations, vehicle operations, arrest and control techniques, emergency communications, animal control and how the department works with other law enforcement agencies.

Classes will meet from 6 to 9 p.m. Wednesdays at City Hall.

January 18, 2012
Applications available for Placer sheriff's Community Awareness Academy

The Placer County Sheriff's Office is accepting applications for its Community Awareness Academy, which offers the public an inside look at the law enforcement agency.

Participants are asked to attend eight classes, each covering a different topic. The classes will take place Monday and Wednesday evenings from March 5 through March 28. Participants will hear from members of the department's special units, including air operations, search and rescue, bomb squad, special enforcement team, marine unit, investigations, hostage negotiators and drug task force. A demonstration also will be given by members of department's K-9 team.

Field trips will include visits to the county jail and morgue, emergency dispatch center and air operations hangar.

January 10, 2012
Speed feedback signs target drivers near Rancho Cordova school

Rancho Cordova officials announced that two speed feedback signs have been installed this week near Mills Middle School and the intersection of Coloma Road and Chase Drive.

The signs, which alert drivers to the speed limit and the speed they are traveling, are intended to encourage motorists to slow down around the school.

The signs originally were proposed at a neighborhood traffic management meeting, attended by approximately 70 residents, to discuss safety concerns, according to a city news release.

Since Rancho Cordova incorporated, officials said, several improvements have been made to improve safety along Coloma Road, including bike lanes, sidewalks, medians, and road resurfacing and paving.

January 9, 2012
Safety officials warn coin-type batteries pose swallowing hazard for young chidren

Public safety officials are warning that coin-style lithium batteries -- found in items ranging from singing greeting cards to remote-controlled electronics devices -- can pose a hazard for young children.

Because these devices are not designed for children, the battery compartments can be easy to open, increasing the risk that small children may get hold of them and swallow them. The batteries, if ingested, can cause serious disabilities or death, according to a news release from the Roseville Fire Department and Safe Kids Placer County.

In 2010, more than 3,400 cases of people swallowing button-style batteries were reported in the United States, and the number of cases resulting in serious injury or death to children has more than quadrupled in the past five years, officials said. The most serious cases have been associated with 20 mm diameter batteries, about the size of a nickel, because they can easily lodge in a small child's throat. All fatalities and 85 percent of major injuries were among children age 4 and younger, according to the news release.

January 6, 2012
CHP offers driver safety classes for teenagers, parents

The California Highway Patrol has scheduled two Start Smart driving classes for teenagers in the Sacramento area.

The driver safety education class targets new and soon-to-be licensed drivers 15 to 19 years old and their parents or guardians.

The class will cover collision avoidance techniques, driver responsibility, collision trends, distracted driving laws and alcohol-related driving laws. CHP officers also will be available to answer questions.

January 4, 2012
Dry weather leads Cal Fire to warn of wildfire dangers

Citing unseasonably dry weather conditions, the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection is urging the public to be particularly cautious about activities that could spark fires.

The year's first snow survey, conducted Tuesday by the state Department of Water Resources, indicated that statewide water content is at 19 percent of normal, setting the course for one of the driest winters on record, according to a Cal Fire news release.

Although many areas of the state are experiencing cooler temperatures, the drier than normal conditions, coupled with wind and low humidity, frequently increased the fire danger over the past month, officials said, with Cal Fire crews responding to more wildfires than they typically do in December.

January 3, 2012
CHP to sponsor child safety seat check-up event Sunday

Parents and guardians who want to be sure child safety seats are properly installed in their vehicles can consult the experts during a child passenger safety seat check-up event Sunday.

From 10 a.m. to 1 p.m., California Highway Patrol certified car seat safety technicians will demonstrate how to properly secure children in safety seats and safety belts at Mel Rapton Honda, 3630 Fulton Ave., Sacramento.

A new California law extends by two years the length of time a child must use a child passenger restraint or safety seat when riding in a motor vehicle. Child passengers must ride in either a car seat or booster seat until the age of 8 or until they are 4 feet, 9 inches tall. Officials stress that child safety seats and safety belts, when installed and used properly, can prevent injuries and save lives.

Funding for the CHP's child passenger restraint program is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

December 21, 2011
New child booster seat law becomes effective Jan. 1

A new state law requiring children younger than 8 to use car booster seats will become effective Jan. 1.

Children younger than 8 also must be properly buckled into a car seat or booster seat, and in the back seat, according to a news release from the California Office of Traffic Safety. In addition, children 8 and older who are not tall enough for the seat belt