November 8, 2018

Santa Cruz Police Department Receives Traffic Education and Enforcement Grant

The Santa Cruz Police Department has been awarded a $110,000 grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) for a year-long enforcement and public awareness program. The traffic safety program is intended to educate the public on safe roadway habits and deter people from violating traffic laws or practicing other unsafe behaviors that lead to injuries and fatalities.

“Santa Cruz continues to work towards improving our roadways for all users, and traffic enforcement is a key tool in achieving this. With the OTS grant, the department will focus on school zones surrounding bell times, strategic enforcement at locations with a history of collisions, and nighttime enforcement during weekends targeting driving under the influence.”-Santa Cruz Police Chief Andrew Mills

The grant from OTS will fund various education and enforcement activities for the 2019 federal fiscal year (Oct. 1, 2018 to Sept. 30, 2019):

· DUI saturation patrols to take suspected alcohol/drug-impaired drivers – and those unlicensed or with a revoked/suspended license – off the road.

· Patrols at intersections with increased incidents of pedestrian and bike collisions.

· Speeding, red light and stop sign enforcement.

· Compilation of DUI “Hot Sheets” identifying repeat DUI offenders

· Specialized DUI and drugged driving training to identify and apprehend suspected impaired drivers.

In 2016, 3,623 people were killed in crashes across the state, a 7 percent increase from 2015, according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. Particularly alarming is the rise in pedestrian deaths, with 867 pedestrians killed on California roadways in 2016, a nearly 33 percent increase from 2012. Along with the growing dangers of distracting technologies like phones and drug-impaired driving, this grant funding will provide opportunities to combat these dangerous and illegal behaviors.

“Almost all crashes are preventable,” OTS director Rhonda Craft said. “Education and enforcement go hand in hand helping change behaviors that cause devastating crashes.”

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

November 5, 2018

Another Arson Arrest - Case 18S-08311 Santa Cruz Police Media Release

On Thursday, November 1, 2018, at approximately 12:13 pm, the Santa Cruz Police and Fire Departments responded to a structure fire located at Vapor Cleaners on 285 Water Street. Fire Inspectors determined that the fire was intentionally set and classified it as an act of arson. Detectives recovered video surveillance from several nearby locations.
The following investigation led to the identification of the arson suspect Laurentino Lopez-Gomez, a 31-year-old transient in Santa Cruz.

On Sunday, November 4, 2018, while on a routine patrol, an alert Santa Cruz Ranger observed Mr. Lopez-Gomez sitting in the area along the 200 block of River Street. Ranger Roskelly recognized the arson suspect from an SCPD wanted poster and alerted patrol officers to his location.

Officers took Laurentino Lopez-Gomez into custody without incident. During an interview, Mr. Lopez-Gomez made incriminating statements and was subsequently booked for the arson.

November 1, 2018

2018 Halloween Stats and Case of Interest

An estimated 6,000 people converged on downtown Santa Cruz to celebrate Halloween last night. This event has become the largest single informal gathering in the city. The Santa Cruz Police Department is pleased to announce that Halloween 2018 transpired without any significant incidents of violence during the festivities downtown. 
The Santa Cruz Police Department is pleased to announce that Halloween 2018 transpired without any significant incidents of violence during the festivities downtown. 
Notable arrest downtown on Halloween Case 18S-08284
Around 9:49 pm on 10/31/18, Santa Cruz Police officers on foot patrol contacted a man too intoxicated to take care of himself. Officer located a Highpoint 380' caliber pistol inside his backpack. The gun was loaded with a magazine and a bullet in the chamber. The serial numbers on the gun were scratched off.
Jimi Carrozzo, 34-year-old transient in Santa Cruz was arrested for drunk and disorderly conduct, carrying a concealed weapon with an altered identification and an outstanding warrant.

The Santa Cruz Police Department kept busy over the 24 hours of Halloween through the night and into the early morning hours of November 1st. We handled 352 calls for service. SCPD deployed officers throughout the city as well as a significant contingent of officers on foot in the Downtown corridor. The Halloween crowd demeanor on Pacific Avenue was relatively calm and celebratory.

The Downtown Deployment reported the following activity for Halloween Night 2018:
17 Arrests
For Public intoxication, Warrants, Drugs

57 Citations Issued
36 were for Triple Fine violations. Of the Triple Fine citations issued, most were for open containers of alcohol and public urination.

For comparison, in 2017 there were 18 arrests and 42 citations. Overall, downtown Santa Cruz, arrests were down by one, and citations were up from 2017.

Halloween police presence required extra officers from law enforcement agencies, including the Santa Cruz Sheriff’s Office, Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team, Capitola PD, Watsonville PD, Scotts Valley PD, UCSC PD, Santa Cruz State Parks, California Highway Patrol, and Santa Cruz County Probation. Law enforcement officers from Alcohol Beverage and Control, State Parole and the Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office Gang Team were present to support SCPD.

We want to thank all of the agencies who dedicated personnel and resources to assist the City of Santa Cruz throughout the night.



October 30, 2018

UPDATE: Suspect Arrested In Arson & Vandalism Case

 
CASE UPDATE: On Sunday, October 29, 2018, at approximately 3:40 p.m., a Santa Cruz Police Department Ranger observed a man walking in the 100 block of Emmett Street who resembled the description of a suspect arsonist. Soon after, Detectives contacted the suspect identified as 25-year-old Eduardo Lopez, transient in Santa Cruz. He was a match in surveillance videos from the business.
At the time of his arrest, Eduardo Lopez had two outstanding warrants and was booked into Santa Cruz County Jail for arson and felony vandalism.

BACKGROUND: On August 22, 2018, around 4:44 a.m., Santa Cruz Police and Fire responded to 1100 block of River Street following the report of a small, suspicious fire within a landscaped area, across from the Tannery Arts Center. Santa Cruz Fire personnel arrived shortly after and found two small fires within the planted area. These small fires were quickly extinguished and caused only minor damage to the ground cover.
While conducting a follow-up investigation into the suspicious fires, police investigators were advised of felony vandalism that had occurred within the Tannery Arts Center complex, at about the same time. Detectives were able to recover several security videos from the surrounding area, and upon viewing them, were able to confirm the same unidentified male suspect was responsible for both crimes.

October 26, 2018

Halloween 2018 Safety Enhancement Zone in Downtown Santa Cruz - Triple Fines - Road Closures - SCPD Preparations

Halloween is fast approaching. While you are doing your last minute costume and candy shopping, the Santa Cruz Police Department is completing our preparations for Halloween Night 2018. We bring in 100+ uniformed personnel, lighting and other equipment to ensure your Halloween is as safe as possible.
To encourage respectful behavior, the City of Santa Cruz enacts a Safety Enhancement Zone designation in the downtown corridor for Halloween 2018. The Safety Enhancement Zone begins on Wednesday, October 31st at 12:01 AM and runs through Thursday, November 1st at noon.

The Safety Enhancement Zone includes TRIPLE FINES for certain Municipal Code violations committed in the zone during the designated times. In addition to the Triple Fines, the Safety Enhancement Zone also dictates road closures and No Parking zones.

Annually, Halloween draws large crowds to the downtown during the evening and late night. The police department utilizes officers from the Santa Cruz Police Department and neighboring agencies to staff the event. Officers use a proactive strategy to minimize problems and reduce the opportunity for alcohol-fueled problems and inappropriate behavior throughout the night.


Halloween 2018 Road closures and No Parking locations
No Parking/Tow Away zone from 10:00 a.m. October 31st to 10:00 a.m. November 1st on the following streets:
§ Pacific Avenue between Laurel Street and Water Street.
§ Cooper Street between Pacific Avenue and Front Street.
§ Cathcart Street between Cedar and Pacific Avenue.
§ Soquel Avenue between Pacific Avenue and Frazier Louis Lane.

No Parking/Tow Away zone from 5:00 p.m. October 31st to 3:00 a.m. November 1st, on the following streets:
§ Front Street between Soquel Avenue and Laurel Street.
§ River Street between South River Street and Front Street
§ Front Street between River Street and Soquel Avenue
§ Front Street between Water Street and River Street.

No Parking/Tow Away zone from 5:00 p.m. October 31st to 3:00 a.m. November 1st, on the following streets:
§ Locust Street between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street.
§ Walnut Avenue between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street Parking Garage.
§ Cathcart Street between Pacific Avenue and Front Street.
§ Church Street between Pacific Avenue and Double Decker Parking Garage

Temporary road closures from 5:00 p.m. October 31st to 03:00 a.m. November 1st, on the following streets:
§ Walnut Avenue between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street.
§ Maple Street between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street.
§ Locust Street between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street.
§ Soquel Avenue between Pacific Avenue and Front Street.
§ Front Street between Soquel Avenue and Laurel Street.
§ Front Street between Water Street and River Street.
§ Church Street between Pacific Avenue and Double Decker Parking Garage.

Temporary road closures from 10:00 a.m. October 31st to 10:00 a.m. November 1st, on the following streets:
§ Pacific Avenue between Laurel Street and Water Street.
§ Cathcart Street between Cedar Street and Front Street.
§ Cooper Street between Pacific Avenue and Front Street.
§ Lincoln Street between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street.
§ Elm Street between Pacific Avenue and Cedar Street.
The temporary rerouting of Birch Lane from an eastbound one-way roadway to a westbound one-way roadway will occur from 5:00 p.m. till 3:00 a.m. Signage will be posted at each entrance to indicate the proper traffic flow.

October 22, 2018

National Teen Driver Safety Week is Oct. 21-27

Rules for the Road: 
Week Dedicated to Teaching Teen Drivers 
How to be Safe Behind the Wheel 
National Teen Driver Safety Week is Oct. 21-27

This week is National Teen Driver Safety Week, and the Santa Cruz Police Department wants to remind parents and guardians the importance of talking to their teen drivers about new responsibilities and rules that come with operating a vehicle.

“For teens, getting a license is a rite of passage tied to freedom and independence, but is also something that can be dangerous because teens lack experience behind the wheel and are more likely to take risks,” said Chief Andrew Mills. “National Teen Driver Safety Week is a way to encourage all parents to instill good driving habits that help their teens stay safe on the road.”

The reality is that vehicle crashes remain the leading cause of death for teens ages 15 to 18. According to data from the Statewide Integrated Traffic Records System (SWITRS), there were 73,736 crashes in 2016 involving drivers 16 to 20 years old in California alone. In those crashes, 437 people were killed.

Throughout the week (Oct. 21-27), the Santa Cruz Police Department will join the California Office of Traffic Safety (OTS) in offering tips to parents and caregivers on how to talk to teens about the consequences of making dangerous and illegal choices behind the wheel.

· Graduated Driver License (GDL): Learn about California’s GDL laws, which place restrictions on passengers and driving late at night during the first year they have a license.

· Lead by example: Practice safe driving yourself. Have practice driving sessions with your teen.

· Set Ground Rules: No cell phones, no passengers, no speeding, no alcohol, no drowsy driving, and always buckle up. No keys until they know the rules. Establish consequences you will enforce if your teen breaks the rules.

· With driving comes great responsibility: Remind your teen that driving requires your full attention. Texts and phone calls can wait. Teach them about zero-tolerance laws, and the adult consequences they face for driving after drinking or using drugs. Urge them to never ride with someone who has been drinking or using drugs.

“Whether it’s drinking and driving, not wearing a seat belt, speeding, driving distracted or with friends in the car, it’s important for parents to let their teen know that driving is not a right, but a privilege,” said Chief Mills. “It can be taken away when they don’t follow the rules.”

To learn more about teen driver safety, visit the Governors Highway Safety Association (GHSA) website at http://ghsa.org/html/issues/teens/index.html



 


October 11, 2018

Santa Cruz Police Arrest Suspect In Child Annoyance Case

MEDIA RELEASE: On Thursday, October 4, 2018, an unidentified male adult suspect approached several high school aged female victims on and around the campus of Santa Cruz High School and Downtown Santa Cruz. A total of 8 known victims, underage girls, as young as 14 years old have come forward describing similar child annoyance experience. The suspect would approach the girls unsolicited and then ask for their names, phone numbers and asked the girls out on dates.
Patrol Officers were able to positively identify the suspect as Kelsey Eisenman 23 years old from Santa Cruz. The teenage victims confirmed he was the man who followed and annoyed them. Detectives then obtained an arrest warrant for Kelsey Eisenman for eight counts of Child Annoying violation 647.6 of the Penal Code. The investigation also revealed that Mr. Eisenman has a prior arrest in 2016 for the same activity.

On Wednesday, October 10, 2018, Officer Mulvihill was conducting extra checks and recognized the suspect as he was walking in the downtown area. Officer Mulvihill contacted the suspect, who initially provided a false name. Officer Mulvihill confirmed Mr. Eisenman's true identity and arrested him on the warrant. While in custody, suspect Mr. Eisenman made spontaneous and incriminating statements regarding his conduct with the victims.

The Santa Cruz Police Department commends the Santa Cruz High School personnel for taking proactive steps and immediately notifying police of his presence and behavior on campus.

This case underscores the importance of the working relationship and full cooperation between Santa Cruz City Schools and the Police. SCPD School Resource Officer is on duty to ensure the safety of students and staff in our city schools.

Concerned parents and other victims, please call, the Santa Cruz Police Department Investigations Unit at (831) 420-5839 or email dwilliams@cityofsantacruz.com