August 20, 2018

Santa Cruz Police Welcomes Students and Reminds Residents of Back-To-School Safety

As parents and students get ready to return to school this week, the Santa Cruz Police Department extends a friendly reminder to drivers to follow safety precautions on the roadways. Classes start this Wednesday, August 22nd. Expect hundreds of the City of Santa Cruz youth to be traveling on foot, on bicycles, and in vehicles in the coming weeks.
During this week and next, Santa Cruz police officers are strategically positioned around the City in school zones, to remind residents of the lower speed limits, and to heighten awareness of children on sidewalks.

“We will be visible to remind parents, motorists and everyone in our community that your children’s safety is a priority for us. We will have officers present in the school zones during the morning and afternoon traffic patterns. Our goal is to remind drivers to slow down when children are present and to remember road safety rules,” said Santa Cruz Police Chief Andy Mills.

Chief Mills and officers will be out at our local elementary schools greeting children, and their families as they arrive on the first day. “We want to welcome and celebrate all kids to kick off the new school year. There will be plenty of smiles, high-fives, and words of encouragement as students arrive on campus. Our department values the opportunity engage in positive interactions with our younger citizens," said Chief Mills.
Follow these safety tips to be mindful as the start of the new school year always means more traffic and congestion on city streets.

Before classes start, parents should review the drop-off procedures for their child’s school and be aware of the school’s designated bus and loading/unloading areas. According to the National Safe Routes to School program, more children are hit by cars near schools than any other location.

No Texting/Talking and Driving! It is never a good idea, and always illegal to use a handheld electronic device while driving

Plan and Be Patient! Plan to leave earlier than usual to accommodate the extra traffic and be patient with other parents and new drivers.

Slow Down! School zones speed limits drop to 25 miles per hour

No Double Parking! This blocks visibility for children and vehicles

Drop Off/Pick Up on the Same Side of the Street as the School! Don't load or unload children across the street from the school

Carpool! It reduces the number of vehicles at the school

Stop for School Buses! It is against the law to pass a school bus when the lights are on

Yield to Pedestrians! Always stop for children or adults crossing the street and for school patrol officers or crossing guards holding a stop sign 

August 16, 2018

Help Us Identify Suspect and Getaway Van Involved in Stabbing Case 18S-04619.

Be On The Lookout Getaway Van Involved in Stabbing
SCPD Detective Williams is attempting to locate suspects who got away in this van that was involved in a stabbing that occurred on 8/05/2018 around 5:59 am. A male victim got into an altercation with an unknown woman over a conflict involving his dog. The female suspect then stabbed the victim in the parking lot of 2111 Mission St on the west side of Santa Cruz and fled the scene on foot.
The suspect is described as a Hispanic woman between early to mid-20 years of age, 5’7” tall with a medium build, with a brown short “pixie” style haircut. The female suspect was seen in association with the unknown male driver of the van in the depicted van. The van was described as maroon and brown in color by the victim. 

The victim sustained a non-life-threatening injury to his face and was released from the hospital a few hours after the incident.

The Santa Cruz Police is actively investigating this case 18S-04619. Anyone with information regarding the suspects and getaway van is encouraged to contact Detective Williams at 420-5839 or If you have information, but wish to remain anonymous, tips can be sent through our Tip Line (831) 420-5995 or 

August 15, 2018

Santa Cruz Police Offers $2,000 Referral Bonus To The Public for Lateral Police Hires

Santa Cruz Police will offer a first-of-its-kind Citizen Hiring Bonus to community members who recruit sworn police officers from anywhere in the U.S. to transfer to the Santa Cruz Police Department.

Community members can receive $2,000 when they refer a lateral police officer hired by the SCPD.

The Santa Cruz Police Department is always searching for good people to join the team. Research has shown, and experience supports, that new hires who come into the organization through referrals are excellent contributors.

That’s where the community recruiting comes in! The new Citizen Hiring Bonus Program also is an important way to include the public in the police officer recruitment process by incentivizing people to recommend qualified police officers and who would be beneficial to the Santa Cruz Police Department. Members of the public would be eligible for an incentive of up to $2,000!

“This program extends our marketing reach — call it ‘crowd recruiting,’” Police Chief Andy Mills said. “We think there is immense value in community members participating in the process of recruiting the good, capable officers charged with protecting our city.”

Eligible officers can be recruited from anywhere in the U.S. They must have completed police academy and spent time as a sworn officer with a police agency. The officer, when applying, can designate who referred him or her and to make that person eligible for the $2,000 Citizen Hiring Bonus.

The incentive bonus will be paid out in installments. The first $1,000 is disbursed when the candidate is sworn in. The second disbursement of $1,000 is paid when the candidate completes the first six months of employment. Also, the lateral officer will personally receive a $20,000 sign on bonus for completing the hiring requirements.

Inquiring officers can call Chief Mills office at
(831) 420 -5810.  Officers can apply online

Citizens Hiring Bonus Program Details

Contact the Santa Cruz Police recruitment team at with any questions.

August 4, 2018

Great Police Work Armed Robber Pursuit & Arrest

On  Friday August 3, 2018 around 12:20 pm, Santa Cruz Police responded to an armed robbery that occurred at West Cliff Drive and Swift Street. The suspect robber approached the victims while they were sitting in their vehicle. The suspect held a knife against one of the victims arms and said, “That’s my stuff, give it to me.” For fear that they would get stabbed, the victims gave the suspect their iPhones and clothing. The suspect drove off in a dark blue Toyota 4-Runner with a black dog inside the vehicle.

Within minutes, SCPD Officer Howard-Gibbon located a vehicle matching the description of the robbery suspect’s vehicle near Mission/Laurel Street. Officer Howard-Gibbon initiated a car stop near 1100 block of Laurel Street. The driver, Matthew Stevens, briefly stepped out of the vehicle and verbally engaged Officer Howard-Gibbon then sped away in his vehicle, and a pursuit was initiated.
Officer Howard-Gibbon dedicated pursuit of the suspect ended at the 4100 block of La Madrona Drive when the suspect collided his 4-Runner into a large boulder and a wooden post. Mr. Stevens then fled on foot.

Sergeant Cecena initiated a perimeter around the area. With the assistance of CHP patrol units and AIR support, SVPD, SCSO, and SCPD, Matthew Stevens was arrested in the rear parking lot of the Scotts Valley Hilton.

Matthew Stevens, 44 years old from Santa Cruz, is on probation and has a history with law enforcement. Yesterday’s charges for Mr. Stevens include armed robbery, violation of probation and felony reckless evading.

Outstanding teamwork captured this suspect in quick order.

SCPD is dedicated to our community with ongoing efforts to keep Santa Cruz a safe place to live, work and raise a family. #SafetyThroughVigilance #SantaCruzPolice

August 1, 2018

Santa Cruz Police Mid -Year Crime Stats 2018

On August 1, 2018, Santa Cruz police released the data on crime reported to the police for the first half of the year. Overall, crime has decreased in Santa Cruz with sexual assaults showing the largest decline of 51%. Of note, violent and property crime experienced a decrease, while aggravated assaults and arson increased.
While the department is pleased that fewer people have been victimized, we recognize one victim is too many. Chief Mills is appreciative of hard-working staff and involved the community members that has taken the opportunity to improve the safety of Santa Cruz through vigilance and community involvement.

Quarterly crime statistics for the City of Santa Cruz

Chief Mills shares additional perspective regarding crime stat data

Join Us Tuesday, August 7th SCPD Serves Up Ice Cream with a Cop AND Coffee with a Cop Events

Santa Cruz Police Invites You and Your Kids to Ice Cream with a Cop & Coffee with a Cop on August 7, 2018

This coming Tuesday, August 7, the Santa Cruz Police Department invites everyone in the community to come out to one of two locations to enjoy an ice cream treat or coffee on us and meet their neighborhood officers. In the morning, Santa Cruz Police serves up Coffee with a Cop to bring community members and police together in informal setting to discuss community issues, build relationships and drink coffee.

In an effort to reach kids and adults alike, Santa Cruz Police Department offers Ice Cream with a Cop, a spin-off of Coffee with a Cop, but for kids. Ice Cream with a Cop aims to bridge relationships between local police officers and kids in a fun venue designed to build trust and friendships. Each child will receive a free ice cream cone or cup!

Coffee with a Cop
Tuesday, August 7, 2018, from 9:00 am -10:30 am at Starbucks, 1901 Mission Street and Dufour
Community, Conversation, and Coffee.

Ice Cream with a Cop
Tuesday, August 7, 2018, from 3:00 pm -7:00 pm at Marini’s Downtown, 1308 Pacific Avenue
Kids receive a free ice cream cone or cup. Hosted by SCPD
Community, conversation, and ice cream!

These events are just one of many ways we are bringing the police and community together to build positive relationships. No agendas or speeches, just a chance to say hello. Ask us questions, discuss issues, and get to know more about each other.

July 30, 2018

Street Smarts Back-to-School Traffic Safety Blast on Aug. 4 Offers Games, Prizes, Bike Rodeo and Raffle

The City of Santa Cruz welcomes drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians of all ages to Street Smarts Back-to-School Traffic Safety Blast from 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 4, at Laurel Park, 301 Center St. The event features 12 traffic safety booths with fun-filled activities that underscore safe rules of the road plus one free raffle ticket per person for 25 prizes including new bike, helmets and reflective gear.

Young and old can experience the impairment caused by texting while driving and cycling through Impact Teen Drivers’ “intexticated” goggle-walk and AT&T’s It Can Wait interactive simulator.

Ecology Action will lead youth on a bike obstacle course that teaches best safety practices. They will offer bike helmet fittings at their table along with pedestrian and bike safety activity sheets.

The Santa Cruz Police Department’s booth will feature Santa Cruz City Schools Crossing Guard Jerry Cacace and Traffic Sgt. Scott Garner to answer questions as well as a traffic safety wheel with prizes. Current eBikes is offering free bike safety check-ups and Bike Santa Cruz County will provide resources to make local bicycling better.

Other booths with family activities include the California Highway Patrol, Santa Cruz County Regional Transportation Commission and AAA. For adults, the JUMP bike program will offer Bike Share test rides and information, and Santa Cruz Neighbors will collect input on neighborhood traffic issues.

The City’s Go Santa Cruz initiative will be represented by Public Works staff who can discuss Safe Routes to School and active transportation projects. The Street Smarts booth will provide traffic safety activity sheets and collect stamped passports to enter the raffle with winners to be announced at 11:30 a.m.

The City of Santa Cruz is grateful to the community partners who are hosting stations and providing prizes noted above, as well as to local vendors Cycle Works, Pacific Ave Cycles and Target for their raffle donations.

Street Smarts is a City of Santa Cruz traffic safety campaign with mission to reduce the number of traffic-related crashes and injuries in Santa Cruz. Year one of the campaign is funded in part by AT&T/It Can Wait, AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah, Pacific Gas and Electric Company and Kaiser Permanente, with media sponsors KION/Telemundo, Good Times, KSCO and Santa Cruz Metro. More information is available at