June 26, 2017

City of Santa Cruz July 4th Citywide Safety Enhancement Zone

With thousands expected to visit Santa Cruz over the upcoming Independence Day holiday weekend, the Santa Cruz City Council has taken steps to ensure the City remains safe and clean for everyone.
The Santa Cruz City Council has approved a citywide Safety Enhancement Zone from July 4 to July 5th, 2017. The safety enhancement designation, which includes tripling the fees for violations of the City’s municipal code such as the illegal discharge of fireworks, littering and public consumption of alcohol.

Santa Cruz Police will be out in force the days leading up to and on July 4th to ensure that community members and visitors enjoy a safe holiday experience.
Every available officer will be proactively enforcing all violations designated for triple fines under the Safety Enhancement Zone. Some of those designated triple fines, violations include:
• Fireworks possession
• Possession of Open Containers or Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages in Public Places
• Graffiti
• Noise Violations
• Trespassing
• Conduct on Public Property
• Urinating/Defecating in Public

Santa Cruz Police and Fire Department would like to remind residents and visitors that all fireworks, including those marked “Safe and Sane,” are ILLEGAL in the City of Santa Cruz.
If you witness the discharge of illegal fireworks or any of the violations listed above, the Santa Cruz Police

The department strongly encourages you to call 9-1-1 immediately to report the incident. Our patrol teams will be busy, but we will respond to complaints of illegal fireworks. We ask that you are willing to assist us in identifying and signing a complaint against the person(s) responsible. This means the person in possession of the fireworks or the one responsible for putting flame to fuse. We also ask you to be willing to testify in court, if necessary. With the increased fire danger this year, we are relying on our partnership with the community to keep us all safe this 4th of July.

For those who would like to enjoy fireworks, please plan to attend a safe and professionally controlled firework show to ensure the safety of your family, friends, and property.

June 25, 2017

Dynamic Teamwork SCFD, SCPD & SCSO Leads to Return Of Stolen Property And Arrest!

On Saturday, June 24, 2017, Santa Cruz Police, Santa Cruz Fire, and Santa Cruz Sheriffs combined forces to make an arrest and return approximately $5,000 worth of stolen property to Tepui Tents.
It all began with a Santa Cruz Firefighter who observed a trio of suspicious individuals with brand new camping gear that did not appear to belong to them. This firefighter recognized the high-end outdoor clothing and products. The sharp-eyed firefighter took the above photo and called SCPD. That unique brand of equipment came from a Tepui Tents store in Soquel that reported two burglaries in the last week.

The suspicious circumstance promptly relayed to SCPD set into motion an investigation that led to an arrest and returned property. Santa Cruz Police responded and detained the three suspects. Information gathered from the suspects at the scene led officers to contact a fourth suspect who had sold them the gear.

The fourth subject possessed even more of the stolen goods. Since the burglary initially occurred in the Santa Cruz Sheriff's jurisdiction, the quick-thinking SCPD officers contacted SCSO and the owner of the store to identify the stolen merchandise.
Teamwork resulted in the owner getting over $5,000 of stolen merchandise returned. Working together brings tangible benefits to our community. #SantaCruzFire #SantaCruzCountySheriff #SantaCruzPolice
SCPD arrested and booked John Thompson, 39, from Santa Cruz, for felony possession of stolen property. California's receiving stolen property law, Penal Code 496, makes it a crime to buy, receive, conceal, sell, or withhold from the owner, any property that they know has been stolen.

The Santa Cruz Police Department continues to encourage community members to be partners in public safety. Please continue to contact SCPD when suspicious activity occurs in your neighborhood. Call 9-1-1, Anonymous Tip Line (831) 420-5995 or send us a tip online.

June 21, 2017

One Less Gun On The Street

Thanks to the quick actions of SCPD officers responding to a domestic disturbance nobody was injured.

At about 2:11 pm on Tuesday 6/20/17, SCPD Officers responded to a report of a domestic disturbance at a residence in the 200 block of Pearl Street.

Due to the nature of the call, officers detained Norberto Gonzales, 18 years old, from Santa Cruz. During a pat search of the suspect, officers discovered a loaded H&R .22 caliber revolver in his possession.

Norberto Gonzales, 18 years old, from Santa Cruz
The officers quickly defused this situation and took the suspect into custody. Whenever weapons are involved in an emotionally charged domestic situation, it poses additional risks to everyone.

SCPD booked Norberto Gonzales into jail for resisting arrest and carrying a concealed weapon.

The Santa Cruz Police Department continues to encourage residents to be partners in public safety. Please continue to contact SCPD when suspicious activity occurs in your neighborhood. Call 9-1-1, Anonymous Tip Line (831) 420-5995 or send us a tip online at http://cityofsantacruz.com/departments/police/how-do-i/leave-a-crime-tip

June 14, 2017

SCPD Proud and Honored To Participate In Law Enforcement Torch Run For Special Olympics

Today, SCPD was honored to carry the torch on our leg through Santa Cruz. Our team of runners made their way from Harbor Beach along the coast through downtown and finished on the courthouse steps.

The torch journeyed from one end of the county to the other. SCPD was one of eight law enforcement agencies in Santa Cruz County to participate in the torch run to support Special Olympics.
A PROUD TRADITION -  Every year a team of SCPD officers runs for this worthy cause each June. The Special Olympics torch is hand-carried from Southern California to the Summer Olympics site by law enforcement officers throughout the state.
The mission of the Northern California Law Enforcement Torch Run is to support Special Olympics Programs by raising funds and promoting public awareness while enhancing the quality of life for our athletes. SCPD has participated in the Law Enforcement Torch Run since its inception in 1981.
Charged with being “Guardians of the Flame,” law enforcement officers carry the torch throughout California handing it off in each jurisdiction.
Proud to be in such good company for a great cause. Well done everyone!
If you are interested in donating to our local Special Olympics athlete programs, visit the donation website:

June 9, 2017

Domestic Violence Suspect Arrested With Loaded Gun

Randy Lewthwaite, 35 years old from Santa Cruz
On Thursday 6/8/17 at approximately 8:40 pm, Santa Cruz Police Department Officers arrested 35-year-old Randy Lewthwaite of Santa Cruz for a domestic violence incident that occurred earlier in the day. The suspect had gotten into a fight with a female victim earlier in his home. The victim, 31 years old, reported that Randy Lewthwaite punched her in the head with brass knuckles. She sustained a bruise on the side of her temple.

The investigating officer received information that the suspect was carrying a loaded firearm. The investigation also revealed a misdemeanor warrant for Mr. Lewthwaite’s  arrest.

The SCPD patrol team on the swing shift were on the lookout for the suspect. A sharp-eyed officer located Mr. Lewthwaite walking on Washburn Avenue.  The patrol team quickly detained him. Santa Cruz Police recovered a .22 caliber handgun hidden in Lewthwaite’s front waistband.

The High Standard Dura-Matic handgun had a .22 caliber hollow-point round in the chamber. The weapon's magazine had ten additional .22 hollow-point rounds in it.
Mr. Lewthwaite was booked into jail for (1) Assault with a deadly weapon, (2) Inflict Injury on Cohabitant, and (3) Carrying a concealed weapon.

Outstanding work by SCPD Patrol Team!

What To Do If You Are a Victim of Domestic Violence
1. Call 911 and report the incident.
2. Go to a safe place such as a domestic violence shelter.
3. If necessary, seek medical attention. Any injuries should be documented and photographed.
4. Find the support of caring people. Tell someone you trust about the abuse.
REMEMBER: You are not alone. Help is available.

June 7, 2017

Join SCPD in Congratulating The 10th Graduating P.R.I.D.E. Class

Last week, SCPD celebrated 31 youths who took on new challenges and adventures this school year in our P.R.I.D.E. course. Personal Responsible Individual Development in Ethics (PRIDE) is a program to support middle school-aged kids. It is designed to help young teens understand the impact of their life choices. Our approach is to engage, mentor and educate students on how to make healthy choices.
“The PRIDE Program gives us the opportunity to build lasting relationships with students, which can positively change the way they interact with law enforcement for a lifetime”. - SCPD Deputy Chief Rick Martinez
SCPD is working in conjunction with Santa Cruz City Schools and the County Office of Education. Our program is a multi-faceted approach to early prevention and intervention for local youth in our community.
The program was developed to guide teens in self-awareness and the decision-making process. Through a variety of field trips, presentations, and activities, teens realize both the positive and negative impacts of decision making.

For example, during the course on bad decision making, participants heard from former gang members, drug users, and gang investigators. They toured San Quentin prison, SCPD and even a local morgue.
The second part of the program focuses on positive decision making. Speakers highlight successes as a result of avoiding gangs and drugs. The speakers included successful athletes, business people, police officers, elected officials, educators, and others. Field trips to UC Santa Cruz and Google, bowling, horseback riding and a day trip to San Francisco are among the highlights for kids.
At the completion of the course, the teens participate in a graduation with officers, family, and friends.
If you'd like to learn more about SCPD's youth programs or become a mentor, visit www.santacruzpolice.com or contact Community Services at (831) 420-5952 or email:lgomez@cityofsantacruz.com

June 2, 2017

Retiring Police Chief Vogel Receives Memorable Farewell

Members of the Santa Cruz community and leadership turned out to this week to pay tribute to Chief Vogel. He was presented with numerous plaques and a commemorative badge to honor his time and achievements at the Santa Cruz Police Department.
"It's been my honor and privilege to serve the City of Santa Cruz,” said Chief Vogel.

To show their appreciation for more than three decades of dedicated service to the community, the department's officers gave him a send-off Thursday afternoon when he left his office for the final time.

The traditional "walk-out" when he left headquarters included a broadcast radio sign off duty for the last time. SCPD also presented Chief Vogel with the flag that flew on his last day.
Click here for Chief Vogel’s final radio log off with a photo montage. 
"It has been an amazing journey working with our community. I am honored to have worked alongside the dedicated and brave officers at the Santa Cruz Police Department.”- Chief Vogel