Tag Archives: police

Home invasion robbery in Southport

NEWS-LEDGER — MARCH 5, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Three men with handguns are sought by police after they entered a house on Sherman Island Road on February 25, assaulting a pair of men inside and making off with about $1,420 worth of electronics.

According to a police report, the crime was reported at 10:18 p.m. from the Southport house.

Three suspects, each carrying a handgun, “physically assaulted the two victims inside, and stole several items. All suspects brandished handguns at both victims, and physically assaulted both victims with their handguns.”

Lieutenant Tod Sockman of the West Sacramento Police Department elaborated for the News-Ledger:

“Three (suspects) wearing jackets and gloves broke into an attached garage, and then the house, while the occupant and his roommate were home,” said Sockman. “They were looking for marijuana — they kept repeating over and over, ‘Where’s the weed? Where’s the weed?’”

Apparently, they were at the wrong house.

“There was no weed,” said Sockman.

The victims were a pair of men age 50 and 52, according to the report. One suffered a black eye and reports he may have been hit on the back of the head with a handgun.

Taken in the robbery were a $600 iPhone, a $250 car stereo and a $550 laptop computer.

There were no detailed descriptions of the suspects, and no escape car was seen.

 

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For CHiPs, the path starts here

  The CHP Academy’s memorial fountain, in a central part of the Reed Avenue campus . The fountain is ringed with brass plaques honoring each of the California Highway Patrol officers killed in the line of duty since the agency was founded. Some of the brass markers can be seen in the foreground              (News-Ledger photos/Steve Marschke)

The CHP Academy’s memorial fountain, in a central part of the Reed Avenue campus . The fountain is ringed with brass plaques honoring each of the California Highway Patrol officers killed in the line of duty since the agency was founded. Some of the brass markers can be seen in the foreground (News-Ledger photos/Steve Marschke)

NEWS-LEDGER — FEB 19, 2014 —

By Thomas Farley
News-Ledger Correspondent

“Safety, Service, Security”: that’s the motto of the California Highway Patrol.

The men and women officers who uphold that motto begin their careers right here in West Sacramento. Located on 457 acres off of Reed Avenue in the city’s northwest, the present CHP Academy began construction in 1974 and graduated its first class of recruits in 1976.

Capt. Chuck King CHP Academy Commander (News-Ledger photo)

Capt. Chuck King
CHP Academy Commander
(News-Ledger photo)

The Academy Commander, Captain Chuck King, recently invited the News-Ledger to tour the property. Judging by the number of cars in the parking lots, it was apparent upon arrival that the Academy is a major employer. Approximately two hundred part-time and full time employees work at the site, including sixty non-uniformed CHP employees. These people do everything from administrative tasks to cooking in the kitchens.

Next to the lobby in the headquarters is the recently completed CHP museum. It houses three motorcycles from years’ past as well as exhibits detailing the history of the Highway Patrol. Clearly evident are tradition, pride in service, and an esprit de corps among C.H.P. staff.

Step through the administration building, and you’ll find a central courtyard and the badge-shaped, five-pointed Memorial Fountain. The fountain pays tribute to the 225 California Highway Patrol Officers that have been killed in the line of duty since the organization was founded in 1929. (The most recent officers to give their lives were Officers Juan Gonzalez and Brian Law, partners and friends who graduated together in 2008 from the academy. The pair died Monday morning in a crash while responding to a call near Fresno.)

Every week, in a tradition that binds the generations of graduating classes to each other, cadets polish the brass name plaques that are affixed to the sides of the fountain.

CADETS -- mostly men with fresh short haircuts -- listen as instructors explain how to investigate a traffic accident   (News-Ledger photo)

CADETS — mostly men with fresh short haircuts — listen as instructors explain how to investigate a traffic accident (News-Ledger photo)

King led News-Ledger reporters toward the dormitories, which accommodate recruits during their 27-week training session. Nearby were classrooms, a gymnasium, and even a PX (a market). Facing the courtyard is a dining commons that can seat 400 people at a time. Some two hundred cadets in two training classes are presently at the school.

“We’re a completely self-contained facility,” King says. “The cadets live here for the duration of their training. And we are the only CHP Academy in the state. A lot of people are surprised at that. Since 1976, every officer you see working the road has gone through this academy.”

Inside the classroom was an amphitheater with rows of seats perched high above each other. Instructors in the well of the room supervised the class. Cadets looked on intently as two of their peers demonstrated how they would conduct a hypothetical accident investigation.

A rifle range, a pistol, range, a helipad, and a running track, are just some of the facilities beyond the main campus buildings. But the pride of the Academy is its Emergency Vehicle Operations Course, or EVOC. This is a set of specialized tracks that allow cadets to practice everything from wet-weather driving to high-speed maneuvers.

One of those driving courses is a “skid pad” – a large stretch of pavement outfitted with pop-up sprinklers, and graded to create puddles several inches deep. The sprinklers were activated for a driving demonstration. Patrol cars used for foul-weather driving practice are deliberately equipped with “bald” tires – all the better to practice hydroplaning and emergency steering techniques on wet roads.
Captain King explained that all of the water from the sprinklers is re-circulated and recycled.

Officer Julie Saraiva, an EVOC instructor, introduced herself to reporters and promptly threw a practice car around two laps and a dozen “S” turns. At each curve she accelerated and then put on the brakes, sliding the car into one turn and then another.

 CHP driving instructor Julie Saraiva demonstrates how to get a patrol car into a skid -- and, more importantly, how to get out. A reporter is in the passenger’s seat.  (News-Ledger photos/Steve Marschke)

CHP driving instructor Julie Saraiva demonstrates how to get a patrol car into a skid — and, more importantly, how to get out. A reporter is in the passenger’s seat.
(News-Ledger photos/Steve Marschke)

Then a visiting reporter took the wheel, at one point overcorrecting in a wet skid and spinning the car 180 degrees to face the wrong way. Instructor Saraiva nevertheless gave him good marks for a first session on the skid pad.

“Skid pad” driving is just part of their total EVOC training, one of 42 total “learning domains” that a cadet must master.

The CHP is selective. Captain King stated that over 20,000 people applied last year. The cadets now on-site represent just one percent of that number.

What quality does an applicant need most?

“The most important characteristic for a future officer is integrity, a good moral compass,” said King. “After they get to the Academy, the most important thing is dedication and staying focused on the training.”

To patrol California’s highways, C.H.P. officers must first take the road through West Sacramento.

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Former West Sac police officer faces up to life in prison after jury finds him guilty on 18 counts

SERGIO ALVAREZ, accused West Sacramento Police Officer (booking photo, Yolo County Jail)

Former West Sac
police officer
Sergio Alvarez
(booking photo)

Former West Sac
police officer
Sergio Alvarez
(booking photo)

NEWS-LEDGER ONLINE — FEB 27, 2014 —

A Yolo County jury today announced “guilty” verdicts on 18 felony counts related to sexual assault and kidnapping, in a case involving former West Sacramento Police Officer Sergio Alvarez, reports the Yolo County D.A.’s office. He faces a sentence of up to life in prison.

The jury deadlocked on nine other counts.

Alvarez, 38,  was accused of taking advantage of five women he encountered while patrolling West Sacramento on the graveyard shift as a local officer in 2011-2012.  He was arrested a year ago, and pleaded not guilty.

His defense attorney conceded misdeeds by the officer, denying some charges and saying that other relationships involving the alleged victims and Alvarez had been consensual.

More in next week’s News-Ledger.

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Teen injured by gunshot in car

FROM THE NEWS-LEDGER — FEB. 19, 2014 —

By Steve Marschke
News-Ledger Editor

Four teens face charges after an apparent accidental shooting inside a parked car on February 7.

The shooting happened at about 1 p.m. on the 2600-block of Franklyn Way in West Sacramento. A neighbor heard a gunshot and called police.

Investigators believe a handgun went off inside a car occupied by four teens age 16-17. A 16-year old male was shot in the abdomen.

The car then began driving and encountered a patrol car nearby.

“The only got to the end of the block and the cops showed up on scene,” said Lieutenant Tod Sockman of the West Sacramento Police Department. “They weren’t trying to hide.”

All of the teens – including the injured victim, who is now recovering – say the shooting was an accident.

“One of the other kids had it and they were playing with it,” said Sockman. “I think they thought it was a BB gun. They were playing with it and it went off.”

The gun turned out to be reported stolen.

The teens were cited for reckless discharge of a firearm, possession of a loaded firearm in a vehicle, and possession of a stolen firearm.

The victim was treated at UC Davis Medical Center.

 

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