July 18, 2019

Community Invited Open House for National Night Out August 6

The Santa Cruz Police Department is celebrating for National Night Out with a free community Open House event at police headquarters located at 155 Center Street on Tuesday, August 6 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm. The Open House is an opportunity for the Santa Cruz Police Department to say thank you to residents for having an active partnership to improve our community.

The open house features activities for kids and adults, station tours, and live demonstrations. Plus, the Santa Cruz Police Officers Association will have a booth passing out free cotton candy!

“We are very pleased to open the doors of our facility and family to the community. We want everyone to get an up-close and personal look at how our Department serves their city,” said Police Chief Andrew Mills. “We’re extremely grateful to our residents for supporting the Department and allowing us to provide community-oriented policing in Santa Cruz.”

Meet the Chiefs, Officers, CSOs, Rangers, and professional staff and learn what goes into policing a City of 65,000 residents and millions of annual visitors. Join us for Open House activities including:

• Tours of the Police Department
• K-9 Demonstration
• Hop in, take a closer look at our Police Vehicles
• Crime Scene Investigation Interactive Activity
• Equipment Displays & Demos - Try It On!
• Police Motorcycle Skills Demonstration
• Learn about Police Careers & Volunteering
• Crime Prevention Information
• Refreshments, Giveaways & Much More!

FREE parking provided at Depot Parking Lot 107 Center Street and bike valet at SCPD for Open House attendees on Tuesday, August 6 from 4:00 to 7:00 pm.

Family-friendly FREE Open House event, SCPD invites everyone to bring your friends and families for a fun night at police headquarters.

National Night Out enhances the relationship between neighbors and law enforcement to encourage a sense of community. It provides an excellent opportunity to bring police and neighbors together under favorable circumstances. 

For more information or questions about SCPD Open House event for National Night Out, please call (831) 420-5844 or email jblaschke@cityofsantacruz.com

July 3, 2019

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over This 4th of July Holiday

The 4th of July holiday is a time to enjoy fireworks and show country pride but is also traditionally one of the more dangerous times on the road.

To keep families safe this Independence Day, Santa Cruz Police Department will have increased enforcement focused on impaired driving during the 4th of July holiday.

Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over This 4th of July Holiday

According to preliminary data from the California Highway Patrol, seven people were killed and 73 injured in alcohol-related crashes statewide on the fourth of July last year. Every deadly crash involved a driver who had been drinking. 

“Drinking and driving is a bad combination,” Santa Cruz Police Department Sergeant Scott Garner said. “The consequences are abundantly clear, yet people still make the poor decision to drive after drinking. Please be smart and make this 4th of July holiday a fun and memorable one.”

If you are headed to 4th of July parties, designate a sober driver before heading out for the evening. If you are hosting a party, offer non-alcoholic drinks for designated sober drivers and monitor who is drinking. See people leaving who have been drinking? Check how they are getting home. Offer to let them stay the night if a sober driver is not available to take them home.

“Driving with just a buzz doesn’t cut it,” Sergeant Garner said. “With the rise in ride-share options, there really is no excuse for driving impaired.”

The average cost of a DUI arrest is approximately $13,500, accounting for vehicle impound fees, fines, attorney fees, auto insurance hikes and other penalties. Santa Cruz Police Department also reminds residents that prescription drugs, over-the-counter medications and marijuana can all be impairing and land you a DUI, especially in combination with alcohol and/or other drugs.

Funding for DUI enforcement was provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.

June 26, 2019

Citywide July 4th Safety Enhancement Zone – All Fireworks Prohibited in City of Santa Cruz

July 4th Citywide Safety Enhancement Zone - All Fireworks Prohibited
Violations Subject To Triple Fine Penalties
Midnight July 4th through 3:00 a.m. July 5th
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. Council has approved a citywide Safety Enhancement Zone from July 4 to July 5th, 2019. 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.

All firework of any kind is prohibited. Santa Cruz Police and Fire Inspectors 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 assigned triple fines, violations include:

  • Fireworks possession
  • Possession of Open Containers or Consumption of Alcoholic Beverages in Public Places
  • Graffiti
  • Noise Violations
  • Trespassing
  • Misconduct 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, the Santa Cruz Police encourages you to call the non-emergency line 831-471-1131 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.

Map of Santa Cruz City Limits - Citywide Safety Enhancement Zone 
12:00 a.m. Wednesday, July 4th through 3:00 a.m. Thursday, July 5th

June 10, 2019

Good Samaritan Receives Chief's Commendation

This Good Samaritan displayed the willingness to risk his safety to help another…a readiness usually reserved for police officers and firefighters.
Over the weekend, SCPD responded to the 300 block Ocean Street for the report of an assault on a shop owner and his son. Officers arrived and found the suspect Jose Mendoza, 25 years old from San Jose, detained by a Good Samaritan.

Our Samaritan, who prefers to remain anonymous, witnessed the suspect hitting the business owner multiple times in the face. He immediately came to the owner's assistance and tackled the suspect to the ground and held him there until officers arrived.

Responding Officer Hansen was so impressed by the civilian's actions; he recommended the civilian for a Chief's Commendation and Challenge Coin. We couldn't agree more.

"This community hero took the rare action of inserting himself into a situation with inherent danger and risk to his safety to help someone in need," said Chief Mills Thank you for your quick actions.

The suspect Jose Mendoza is a violent parolee who also left his 5-year-old child in an idling car outside the shop when he went back inside to assault the owner. Officers arrested Mr. Mendoza for assault with a deadly weapon, child endangerment, and damaging a communication device with intent to prevent help.

May 30, 2019

SCPD Announces Promotion of Sergeant Joshua Trog

The Santa Cruz Police Department is proud to announce the promotion of Detective Joshua Trog to the rank of Sergeant.

Sergeant Trog, an 11-year veteran of the department, will be assigned to the Operations Division. “We are fortunate to have such a high level of candidates in the promotion process. Josh will shine as a leader and supervisor in our department”, said Chief Mills. He will be a vital part of moving the department forward.

Sergeant Trog is a member and the Assistant Team Leader of the Department’s Emergency Services Unit (ESU) tactical team and a member of the Honor Guard. Before his promotion, Joshua served in the Neighborhood Enforcement Team for three years and worked with Santa Cruz County Anti-Crime Team (SCCACT). Joshua was a Field Training Officer, a firearms instructor, and a Less-Lethal Weapons Instructor. Most recently, he worked in the Investigations Bureau as a Detective.

Please join us in congratulating Sergeant Trog on achieving a significant milestone in his career.

May 28, 2019

Operation City Strides “Walk The Block”

The Santa Cruz Police Department invites you, your neighbors and businesses to Walk the Block as part of Operation City Strides. This program promotes "Walk the Block" patrols with the Chief of Police, Officers, and the Citizens they serve.

YOU and any City Residents, Business Owner, Neighbors, Community Groups Along with the Chief Of Police and SCPD Officers

“Walk the Block” patrols with the Chief of Police, Officers, and the Citizens they serve. Community members choose areas in the city to do walking patrols with SCPD.

Identify the public safety challenges in your neighborhood 
Discuss policing strategy along with crime prevention. 
Reserve your “Walk The Block” date at walktheblock.youcanbook.me

YOU determine the location and how much ground to cover on the walking patrol anywhere in the City of Santa Cruz.

YOU choose available dates throughout JUNE, JULY & AUGUST 2019
Sign-up online at walktheblock.youcanbook.me

SCPD is committed to building diverse and longtime partners in public
safety and working together to keep the city safe for residents, businesses, and visitors.

Book Your Walk The Block Experience 

Additional INFO http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/…/city…/police/walk-the-block | jblaschke@cityofsantacruz.com | 831.420.5844

May 16, 2019

Congratulations & Happy Retirement To Four SCPD Officers

The Santa Cruz Police Department on Thursday said goodbye to four retiring officers whose combined service to the city is 81 years.

Pictured left to right: SGT Azua, Ofc Abarca, SGT Harms & Ofc Guerrasio
In a farewell at Police Headquarters attended by dozens of fellow officers and family, the SCPD staged a final radio broadcast and roll call for the departing officers. Sergeant Michael Harms retires after 22 years of service; Sergeant Bill Azua retires after 24 years of service; Officer Dominic Guerrasio retires after 27 years of service, and Officer Thomas Abarca retires after 8 years of service.

These are four professionals with a lot of experience. "This is a good day for the retirees and we are rich with a positive legacy they leave behind for the department. We thank them and their families. Their retirements are well-deserved", said Chief Mills.

Police Sergeant Michael Harms, Badge 120, retires after 22 years of service. Sergeant Harms started his career as a Santa Cruz Police Officer in the Operations Division working patrol. He served in the Traffic Division, in SWAT, as Honor Guard, and as a Field Training Officer. He worked in Investigations, as a Detective and finished as the Persons Crimes Sergeant.

Sergeant Harms earned the rank of Police Sergeant in 2006 and worked both Operations assignments, which included Patrol and Community Service Patrol. He was instrumental in implementing the Department's first volunteer program and coordinated the first Teen Academy.

Sergeant Bill Azua, Badge 107, retires after 24 years of service.
Sergeant Azua began his career with the Santa Cruz Police Department on January 23,1995 as a Patrol Officer in the Operations Division. Bill has served on the Beach Team, Neighbor Enforcement Team, the Downtown Unit, in the Narcotic Enforcement Task Force and as a Field Training Officer for over 10 years. He worked extensively investigating various gangs and served on the Heroin Task Force. He also served as the homeless shelter liaison, wrote over 300 search warrants, and taught at the Departments Citizen Police Academy for 18 years.

Sergeant Azua was promoted to the rank of Police Sergeant in 2015 and worked as a Patrol Sergeant, Parks Sergeant and as a Neighborhood Policing Team Sergeant.

Officer Dominic Guerrasio, Badge 163, who is retiring after 27 years of service. Officer Guerrasio first worked at the Police Department as a Community Service Aide. 
Dominic was hired as a Police Officer and graduated from the Police Academy in 1992. He started his journey as a Santa Cruz Police Officer in the Operations division working Patrol.

Officer Guerrasio was assigned to the Traffic Unit twice and served as a Trainer and Motor Vehicle Collision Investigator for numerous years. 
Guerrasio wrapped up his career as a Field Training Officer. 

Officer Thomas Abarca served the city of Santa Cruz for 8 years and also served our country in the Marine Corps. Officer Abarca retires today due to an injury.

On behalf of the men and women of the Santa Cruz Police Department, we thank you for your many years of exemplary service to the people of Santa Cruz, and to the Santa Cruz Police Department. Your service has made a difference in the City of Santa Cruz. The SCPD family express its best wishes to you for a fulfilling and well-deserved retirement.

Congratulations and all the best in your future endeavors.