August 21, 2017

Santa Cruz Police Back To School Reminders And Support City of Santa Cruz Street Smarts Traffic Safety Campaign

The Santa Cruz Police Department wants to remind the community that Santa Cruz City Schools will be back in session this week. Chief Andy Mills, as well as commanders, will be out at our local elementary schools greeting the children as they arrive on the first day of school. As part of our commitment to the public’s safety the Santa Cruz Police Department will be conducting an education and enforcement campaign, which is aimed at school zones around the City of Santa Cruz.
SCPD Traffic Units will be looking for drivers that are using cell phones, speeding in school zones, illegally passing school buses, failing to yield at crosswalks, and any other violation that may endanger school children on their way to and from school. The focus is on increasing awareness of ‘distracted driving’ and pedestrian safety. The enforcement will be conducted mainly, but not limited to 7:15 a.m. - 8:30 a.m. hour when children are on their way to school.
“Our number one priority is the safety of our community, including students, parents and school staff,” Chief Mills said. “The new school year is a busy time for families and increases traffic congestion on the roadways. It is important that everyone slow down.” Follow these safety tips to ensure a safe transition back to school.
Back to School Safety Tips for Motorist
• Drivers are encouraged to leave earlier than usual to accommodate increased commute time
• Observe posted speed limits, especially 25 MPH school speed zones
• Watch for crossing guards around most elementary schools who will be stopping traffic so children can safely cross the street
• When dropping off children, please do so in the designated school drop off areas
• Above all, drivers are encouraged to remain patient during any travel delays and remember the goal is for everyone to arrive at their destination safely!
Back to School Safety Tips for Pedestrians
• Never walk while texting. If you need to send a text, move out of the way of others and stop on the sidewalk.
• Always walk on the sidewalk. If there is no sidewalk and you have to walk in the road, always walk FACING traffic.
• Cross only at corners or marked crosswalks.
• Stop at the curb, or the edge of the road.
• Walk in groups, there is safety in numbers. Groups are more likely to be seen by drivers.
• Before crossing the street, stop and look left, then right, then left again. When vehicles are stopped, make eye contact with the driver to ensure they know you are there before proceeding.
• If you see a car, wait until it goes by. Then look left, right and left again until traffic is clear and it is safe to cross.
“Our goal has always been and continues to be the safety of your children, pedestrians, and commuters to and from schools at the beginning and end of each day”, said Chief Mills.

City of Santa Cruz Launches Street Smarts Traffic Safety Campaign
This week the City of Santa Cruz is launching Street Smarts, a new traffic safety campaign with mission to reduce the number of traffic-related crashes and injuries in the City of Santa Cruz. The public education campaign intends to improve the roadway behavior of drivers, bicyclists and pedestrians—everyone who uses Santa Cruz roadways.
Street Smarts public education efforts target City of Santa Cruz traffic-related problems that include speeding and distracted driving. Pertinent messages that also raise awareness of our most vulnerable road users are now posted on banners in front of elementary and middle schools, on street poles, buses and City vehicles. Messages are also being delivered in print and through television and radio broadcast and social media. UC Santa Cruz will be extending Street Smarts messaging throughout their campus community.

The Santa Cruz Police Department will be delivering quarterly Street Smarts presentations open to all City residents.

Santa Cruz City Schools and Santa Cruz County Health Services Agency are partnered with Street Smarts for elementary school assemblies that will be presented in the second half of the school year. The assemblies will be created with middle school students who participate in after-school clubs. Details are available at
Street Smarts officially begins with a family-friendly celebration on Wednesday, Sept. 13, at Kaiser Permanente Arena. Santa Cruz Warriors mascot Mav’Riks, UC Santa Cruz’s Sammy the Slug and California Highway Patrol’s Chipmunk Chipper will lead young and old in activities that underscore safe rules of the road. There will be 15 booths with interactive games, bike valet service, a bike safety obstacle course and one free raffle ticket per person for prizes including Southwest round-trip air tickets, new bikes, free car service, walking shoes, reflective gear and more.

The celebratory event kick-starts the many ways that Street Smarts will help the community contribute to a safer City of Santa Cruz in which to live, work and play.

For more information including free yard signs and bumper stickers available to all City of Santa Cruz residents in English or Spanish, please visit

Special thank you to Street Smarts campaign sponsors: AAA Northern California, Nevada & Utah, AT&T, PG&E, Kaiser Permanente and media sponsors KION 5/46 News Channel/Telemundo 23, Good Times, KSCO and Santa Cruz Metropolitan Transit District.

August 15, 2017

***INCREASED CITYWIDE TRAFFIC ENFORCEMENT *** Wednesday, August 16th, 2017 with Allied Agencies

The Santa Cruz Police Department will be hosting a BADGES (Before Aggressive Driving Gets Everyone Stopped) detail tomorrow, Wednesday, August 16th, 2017. The purpose of this collaboration is to stop aggressive driving and to reduce traffic violations and collisions throughout the city. Traffic officers from agencies throughout the country will be joining up with the SCPD’s Traffic Unit for enforcement and educational stops throughout the city.
Practice safe walking, biking and driving today and every day!
Traffic safety is a topic frequently on the minds of residents and police alike. The SCPD Traffic Unit strives every day to reduce the number of traffic incidents throughout our city through education, engagement, working with the traffic engineering department, and enforcement.

August 7, 2017

Great Police Work - Shooter Arrested & Search Warrant Nets Drugs, Firearms & $36,500

Last week, after an in-depth investigation, Santa Cruz Police arrested Deshawn Hatfield in the 7/16 /17 attempted homicide shooting which also led Detectives to a drug dealing operation. Santa Cruz Police Department and the Neighborhood Enforcement Team (NET) executed a search warrant at a residence in the 100 block of Kennan Street. Officers found 20 grams of methamphetamine, 1 pound of cocaine, 14 ounces of crack cocaine, 5 pounds of marijuana, firearms, dozens of rounds of ammunition, and $36,500 cash.

The initial investigation began on 07/16/17, around 2:00 a.m., an attempted homicide occurred in the 700 block of Pacific Ave. A 33-year-old, male victim was shot once in the neck and life flighted to an out-of-county trauma center. The victim has since recovered.
The suspects, described as two black male adults, fled the scene after the shooting. Detectives worked through the night and the following week collecting evidence and following up on leads. As a result, Deshawn Hatfield and Terrence Tolliver were identified as persons of interest in the case but had yet to be located.
Deshawn Hatfield, 27 years old from Santa Cruz
Terrance Tolliver, 30 years old from Santa Cruz 
On 07/31/17, around 1:00 a.m., Hatfield and Tolliver were both spotted and arrested in the 200 block of Front Street. Deshawn Hatfield, 27 years old from Santa Cruz, was arrested for possession for sales of crack cocaine and methamphetamine.
Terrance Tolliver, 30 years old from Santa Cruz was arrested for possession of a loaded stolen firearm and probation violation.
After interviewing both suspects regarding the 7/16/17 shooting incident, Detectives arrested Deshawn Hatfield for being the shooter in the attempt-homicide. Mr. Tolliver was released pending further investigation.

On 08/02/17 Detectives and SCPD NET served a search warrant at an address associated with Deshawn Hatfield and Terrence Tolliver on the 100 block of Kennan Street in Santa Cruz. Upon execution of the search warrant, officers recovered evidence in the attempted homicide and illegal drug manufacturing and sales located inside the home.

Officers seized the following evidence:
Loaded Sawed off .22 rifle
Loaded .22 caliber semi-automatic firearm
Homemade shotgun
Various rounds of Ammunition
Extended magazine for semi-automatic firearm
Stun gun
Money counter
$36,500 US Currency
20 grams of methamphetamine
1 pound of cocaine
14 ounces of crack cocaine
Approximately 5 pounds of marijuana

"I cannot express how grateful I am to my officers who made the arrests possible. Because of their efforts, the suspect involved in the attempted homicide is now in custody. It was the great teamwork and effort of our detectives and Neighborhood Enforcement Team who pieced together facts and circumstances leading to the identification and apprehension of the suspect which then also allowed us to shut down a drug operation.” said Chief Mills.

Community members wanting to assist this investigation with information are encouraged to contact the Santa Cruz Police Department Investigation Unit at (831) 420-5820.

August 1, 2017

Detective Juan Gallegos Retires After 22 Years

Happy Retirement
THANK YOU, Detective Juan Gallegos!
Today is Sergeant Juan Gallegos’ last day. We'd like to take this time to congratulate Juan for his long and local law enforcement career.
Juan was hired in 1995 and hit the ground running, working on assignments such as patrol, school resource officer, alcohol enforcement unit, field training officer, investigations, and many ATV shifts on the beach.
Juan’s favorite aspect of working for Santa Cruz PD was the men and women he worked beside daily. “I will miss the camaraderie amongst the officers," said Detective Gallegos, "and, I will also miss the interesting and valuable relationships with the community in Santa Cruz.”
Juan credits the people he worked with and the relationships he built over his 22-year career as a key to his long and happy tenure at SCPD.
Please join us in a fond farewell to Juan, who will be missed by his co-workers, and the community. 
Thank you for your service, Juan.

July 31, 2017

Join SCPD In Welcoming Santa Cruz Police Chief Andrew Mills

Today, Chief Andrew Mills begins his new post at the Santa Cruz Police Department. Chief Mills’ official swearing-in ceremony will take place at City Hall Courtyard on August 7, 2017, at 4:00 p.m. The public is invited to attend the swearing-in ceremony to meet Chief Mills.

Andrew Mills recently served as the Chief of Police for the City of Eureka, California. Eureka, a city of about 30,000 residents, situated in one of the most beautiful places on Earth. Eureka is surrounded by jolly gigantic redwood trees, a mesmerizing ocean and some of the best outdoor adventures in California. It is also home to urban problems in a rural community. While in Eureka Chief Mills helped the department become community centric, regain respect as a police agency, and yet compassionately confront some of the societies the most difficult problems, including homelessness. He also serves on as a representative for the California Chiefs of Police Association.

Formerly Andy was a San Diego Police captain assigned to Eastern and Western Divisions. Each of the commands served populations of about 150,000 residents and 200 employees. Before that, he served as the commanding officer of Criminal Intelligence and Counter Terrorism, two tours in the Gang Unit where he implemented Intelligence Led Policing, created an in house intelligence collection system and served on a statewide executive committee for gangs. Recently Mills helped create and implement the Major City Chief’s Criminal Intelligence Enterprise, adopted by the Major City Chiefs from the largest cities in the nation.

Mills was the 2000 recipient of the Police Executive Research Forum’s Gary P. Hayes Award for his contributions to improving the quality of police service nationally. Andy managed one patrol team that won the Herman Goldstein Award for Excellence in Problem-Oriented Policing and three others that were Goldstein finalists. His work in the field is documented in several publications produced by PERF and the COPS Office. Mills has published articles on the National Criminal Intelligence Enterprise (NCIE), police leadership, problem-solving and police ethics in Problem Solving Quarterly, Law Enforcement News and several National Institute of Justice publications. He has lectured at conferences and has provided training to scores of police agencies, including agencies in Washington, D.C., Houston, Chicago, Los Angeles, Bogota, Mexicali, Rio de Janeiro and Wellington NZ.

Swearing-In Ceremony for Santa Cruz Police Chief Andrew Mills
City Manager Martin Bernal will be hosting a swearing in ceremony for the newly selected Chief of the Santa Cruz Police Department, Andrew Mills. The ceremony is scheduled to take place Monday, August 7th at 4:00 p.m. at the City Hall Courtyard. Following the oath of office, Chief Mills will comment on his new position as head of the Santa Cruz Police Department.

Mayor Cynthia Chase, City Manager Martin Bernal, and Chief Andrew Mills
WHAT: Swearing in Ceremony for Police Chief Andrew Mills
WHERE: City Hall Courtyard 809 Center 
Street, Santa Cruz
WHEN: Monday, August 7th, 2017 4:00 p.m.

July 26, 2017

Santa Cruz Police Department Set To Test Body-Worn Cameras

SCPD Launches Body-Worn Camera Field Test
(SANTA CRUZ, CA) – Santa Cruz Police Department today announced the launch of a body-worn camera pilot test program.

“We are excited to finally bring this body-camera initiative to our department,” said Deputy Chief Rick Martinez. “It speaks directly to our desire to be transparent with our community.” The overall goal of the body worn camera program is to enhance community trust by documenting law enforcement encounters with the public while advocating accountability, transparency, and professionalism.

A group of 11 patrol officers volunteered to wear the body-worn cameras during a month-long trial period. The field-testing phase will allow officers to assess the effectiveness of the body camera equipment. The test group of officers will participate in a mandatory training session before patrol use.

The cameras are to be tested on officers who work in both urban and suburban patrol units, including specialized units like Traffic Enforcement and Bike Patrol. The strategy will provide a variety of video footage and the accompanying data generated by officers who work in a variety of assignments and environments.

The test period is also an opportunity to examine the department’s proposed policy on body-worn cameras. A work group of members of the Santa Cruz Police Department has spent time researching lessons learned at other agencies (Santa Cruz County Sheriff, Capitola PD, Salinas PD, Gilroy PD and San Jose PD) and studying federal directives in preparation for the implementation of body cameras in the City of Santa Cruz.

The implementation of a policy for body worn cameras is a “working document” during the field-testing phase. It is subject to change depending on our assessment of the equipment’s effectiveness. The Chief's Advisory Committee, composed of community members, reviewed the policy in May 2017. The department considered the suggestions and comments provided by the community stakeholders. Where legally possible, amendments were made to the document.

Video footage generated during the test period is considered the same as the police dashboard camera video. It is subject to the provisions of the Evidence Codes and the Public Records Acts and cannot be released if it is evidentiary.

Full implementation and deployment will be contingent on the assessment of the vendor’s equipment culminating the field-testing stage. The approximate cost to outfit the entire department with body-worn cameras is $390,000.

Santa Cruz Police Department encourages feedback from the community as it continues to become familiar with this new technology and refine best practices incorporating body-worn cameras.

Questions and comments regarding SCPD Body-Worn Camera can be submitted here

Santa Cruz Police Department Body-Worn Camera Policy
Frequently Asked Questions - English
Frequently Asked Questions -Spanish

For more information, please visit SCPD Community Policing

July 25, 2017

Great Witness & Good Police Work Gets One More Gun Off The Street and DUI Driver too!

On Sunday, 7/23/17 morning, a community member flagged down an SCPD officer during the Wharf To Wharf race. The citizen witnessed a suspect brandishing a gun near the Beach Flats area. This witness gave a good description, including the green Chevy Tahoe driven by the suspect.
The officer immediately broadcasted the subject's and the vehicle's description. Several SCPD Patrols sprang into action and quickly located the suspect Tahoe. SCPD conducted a high-risk car stop on Chestnut Street. Three suspects affiliated with the Norteno gang were removed from the Tahoe.
Officers discovered a Ruger P90 .45 caliber pistol tucked between the driver's seat and center console. Officers also found an open container of beer and a spent .45 caliber casing in the vehicle.
Arthur Torres, 28 years old from Watsonville
SCPD identified the driver of the truck as Arthur Torres, 28 years old from Watsonville. The other two occupants are Jose Chavez, 26 years old from Santa Cruz, and Ricardo De La Cruz, 25 years old from Capitola.
Jose Chavez, 26 years old from Santa Cruz

Ricardo De La Cruz, 25 years old from Capitola
All three were arrested for conspiracy to commit a crime, participating in a criminal street gang, and carrying a concealed weapon. Torres also faces DUI charges. All three have known gang affiliations.
The Santa Cruz Police Department encourages 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.