October 21, 2016

Murder Suspect Kasey Gaskell In Custody

Kasey Gaskell was located and taken into custody in Kansas City, Missouri The Santa Cruz Police Department is announcing the arrest of Kasey Gaskell, the suspect in the 9/26/16 homicide of Shannon Magner as Kasey Gaskell, 43 years old from Santa Cruz. The Kansas City Police Department arrested Mr. Gaskell without incident last night. Kansas City Police notified Santa Cruz Police immediately afterwards at approximately midnight Friday October 21, 2016. Kasey Gaskell was located at a homeless shelter in Kansas City, Missouri.

Santa Cruz Police issued a special press release yesterday on 10/20/16 notifying the media and public in the region that SCPD had been tracking Mr. Gaskell’s movements. His last known location as of 09/23/2016 was Kansas City, KS. It was believed that Mr. Gaskell may have been travelling toward the Green Bay/Greenleaf area of Wisconsin.

Shortly after the press release on 10/20/2016, a call was made to the Kansas City Police Department that a person matching Kasey Gaskell’s description at a local homeless shelter. The tipster had just seen Gaskell’s picture shown on a news broadcast. The arrest was a direct result of that tip.

The Santa Cruz Police Department would like to give special thanks to the Kansas City Police Department for their assistance and the media outlets for sharing the information and the public. Because of the public’s help, law enforcement was able to arrest a fugitive who has been on the lam since 9/21/16.

Kasey Gaskell, 43 years old from Santa Cruz Suspect wanted in Homicide discovered 09/26/2016

Surveillance photo from ATM of Kasey Gaskell
On Monday September 26, 2016 at 4:59 a.m., Santa Cruz Police Officers responded to report of a deceased female in an apartment in the 800 block of Front Street. SCPD Detectives responded to investigate and determined the death to be a murder.

The victim, Shannon Magner, 66 years old, is the suspect’s mother. She was discovered in the apartment rented by Kasey Gaskell. It is believed she was killed on 09/21/2016. An arrest warrant was issued for Mr. Gaskell in connection with the homicide.

At that time, it was believed that Mr. Gaskell fled the area. SCPD Detectives tracked Mr. Gaskell’s movements after the murder. His last known location as of 09/23/2016 was Kansas City, KS. It was believed that Mr. Gaskell may have been travelling toward the Green Bay/Greenleaf area of Wisconsin when the trail went cold. SCPD Detectives are actively pursuing leads as to his whereabouts. The motive is still undetermined. 

The Santa Cruz Police Department and the Santa Cruz County District Attorney’s Office requested the assistance of the FBI in an effort to locate Kasey Gaskell. A Federal Warrant for Unlawful Flight to Avoid Prosecution has been requested. Anyone with information about Kasey Gaskell’s location is encouraged to call 9-1-1, your local Police or Sheriff’s Department or your local FBI Office.
Kasey Gaskell was located and taken into custody in Kansas City, Missouri 

October 19, 2016

Update #2 Officer Involved Shooting – Community Questions

The Santa Cruz Police Department has heard questions and concerns from the community regarding the tragic incident of October 16, 2016, and we would like to provide some clarity on key aspects of this event.

In the early morning hours of October 16th, the majority of the nightshift was dispatched to the emergency incident at the home on Chace Street. The officers were aware that Mr. Arlt had a prior incident of crisis intervention involving our officers on October 11, 2016. During the October 11th incident, our officers attempted to detain Mr. Arlt, who became violent. He was subdued and safely taken into custody after a prolonged struggle. As a result of the October 11th incident, Mr. Arlt was left in the care of the mental health professionals to ensure his safety. The specific details of this incident are being withheld out of respect and consideration to the family at this time.

Each of the officers that responded to the emergency call on October 16th had all completed training in the last year on the Santa Cruz County mental Health protocol. Additionally, those officers had completed training on crisis communication and de-escalation tactics. Those very tactics were deployed during the October 16th incident and had no effect on Mr. Arlt, as he was unresponsive and uncooperative with the verbal commands. Mr. Arlt was also not affected by three separate Taser deployments. Despite these less lethal interventions, Mr. Arlt continued toward the officers raising the metal bow rake over his head in a swinging position, until lethal force was used to stop Mr. Arlt’s advancing attack. This incident unfolded in the span of only 20 seconds.

In relation to the Santa Cruz Police Department’s training for mental health interventions, we exceed State standards for in-service officer training by training in excess of 80 hours annually. Over the past 12 months, all officers received 3 separate trainings specifically related to crisis communications and mental health. The department’s training is overseen by a civilian with 38 years of education experience, including serving as the Deputy Superintendent for the Santa Cruz County Office of Education. The training schedule is attached to this release.

Immediately following this incident, the Santa Cruz Police management convened with the District Attorney’s Office and the Sheriff’s Office. The Santa Cruz Police Department requested the shooting be investigated by the District Attorney’s Office to ensure a thorough and independent investigation into the use of force. At the conclusion of the investigation, the District Attorney’s Office will issue their legal finding on the use of force. Also, in conjunction with the independent criminal investigation, an internal administrative investigation will be completed. Upon completion of the internal investigation, the City’s Independent Police Auditor will review the incident followed with a review by the City Council Public Safety Sub-Committee.

Requests have been made for the audio and video evidence from the incident on October 16th. Any of this evidence could be released by the District Attorney’s Office at the conclusion of their investigation.

2015-2016 Training Year Schedule
October- All County Training (5150 protocol, Coroner’s Cases, Crime Lab Update)
7th- Investigations, Parks, Net
14th- A-Team
21st- B-Team
28th- ESU Training
This training was an all-county training hosted at the Sheriff’s Office. The training was conducted by County Mental Health and the SCSO Crime Lab. The Mental Health portion covered state law mandates and county protocols regarding the evaluation and 72 hour placement of persons in mental health related crisis.

November- (Cultural Diversity, Firearms, Taser)
4th- ESU Training
11th- A-team
18th- B-team
25th- Overlap Day, B-team has the field
Cultural Diversity training taught by recognized and certified instructors from the South Bay Regional Training Consortium. Two hours of Basic handgun training and a two hour Taser update which included some scenario based discussions was also taught.

December- Driver Training PSP, ACT PSP
2nd- ESU Training
9th- A-team
16th- B-team
23rd- Overlap Day, A-team has the field
30th- Overlap Day, B-team has the field
Training fulfilled state POST mandated training requirements for defensive driving and arrest and control. Arrest and control includes hands on training regarding officer self-defense, searching techniques, and ways in which to establish and maintain control of a combative individual both as a single officer and with a partner.

January- (Domestic Violence PSP, Tactical Communications PSP, CPR)
6th- ESU
13th- A-team
20th- B-team
27th- Overlap Day, A-team has the field
State requirements only require two hours of training each for both domestic violence and tactical communication. Tactical Communication was taught for 4 hours instead of the mandated two. This training focused on de-escalation techniques and communication skills necessary in dealing with people in mental health crisis, who are suicidal, or are highly emotional at an event.      This course was taught by an expert recognized by the South Bay Regional Training Consortium. The CPR training was taught by outside expert and fulfilled American Red Cross requirements.

February- (OC/Chemical Agents/Baton/Taser)
3rd- ESU
10th- A-team
17th- B-team
24th- ESU
The course focused on the legal requirements, effects, first aid, and decontamination requirements when using pepper spray or chemical agents (such as tear gas). The use of less lethal tools such as the baton and the Taser were taught with some scenario based learning and hands on practical applications.

March- (Use of Force Scenarios @ CDF)
2nd- ESU
9th- A-team
16th- B-team
23rd- Overlap Day, B-team has the field
30th- ESU (Joint training with HNT)
Training hosted by department instructors. Officers completed six scenarios which focused on armed confrontations, use of force situations where deadly force was not an option, subjects in mental health crisis or wanting to commit suicide by cop, and focused on tactical decision making, planning, and applications of the appropriate type of force to be used.

April- (State Mandated 16 hour firearms course)
6th- ESU
13th- A-team
20th- A-team
27th- Overlap Day, A-team has field
This training day fulfilled a legislative mandate regarding firearms training and use.

May- (State Mandated 16 hour firearms course)
4th- ESU
11th- B-team
18- B-team
21st- Major shift change
This training day fulfilled a legislative mandate regarding firearms training and use.

June- (State Mandated 16 hour firearms course)
16th- Investigations, Parks, Net
17th- Investigations, Parks, Net

October 18, 2016

SCPD Press Release Update #1 Officer Involved Shooting

In the interest of transparency, SCPD issued a media release yesterday afternoon that contained known details of the circumstances surrounding the tragic officer involved shooting. Additionally, we included photos of the actual rake used in the attack on the officers. The text of the press release is below and also available on SCPD Facebook and Website http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/departments/police/press-releases

SCPD Media Release Update #1 Officer Involved Shooting
The Santa Cruz Police Department is updating details on the circumstances involved with the shooting in the early morning hours of October 16, 2016. As a reminder, the investigation is a continuing work in progress. The police department will release details as they become available.

The deceased suspect has been identified as 32 year old Santa Cruz resident Sean Arlt. Mr. Arlt’s family has been notified and the police department has provided support to the family through our full time Victim Advocate.

Early Sunday morning (3:30 AM) on October 16, 2016, Santa Cruz Regional 9-1-1 received an emergency call from a male resident at the Chace Street home. The caller reported that “someone is trying to break into my house”. The caller further indicated that he knew the suspect and stated he was pounding on the front door of the home. The caller emphasized to the dispatcher, “I want someone here in a hurry” and further told the dispatcher, “everyone’s scared”. The dispatcher took the information and the call ended.

As police officers were responding, the caller contacted our dispatch center a second time. The caller stated, “Where are you? There’s someone at my door screaming about killing us”. The caller also expressed concern for a female tenant living in the detached garage of the home. The caller reiterated Mr. Arlt’s threats to kill the occupants. The caller then hung up on the dispatcher. We later learned that the caller had armed himself with a large frying pan to defend himself and his family should Mr. Arlt get into the home.

In all, 4 SCPD officers were dispatched to the call. As SCPD officers arrived, they saw Mr. Arlt near the back door of the home which is accessed from Getchell Street. Mr. Arlt was in a small yard area between the back door and a fence.

The Officers called out to Mr. Arlt and ordered him out of the backyard. Mr. Arlt did not respond to their attempts to communicate with him. Meanwhile, Mr. Arlt armed himself with a wood handled metal bow rake, and emerged from the backyard holding the rake. The officers immediately ordered Mr. Arlt to drop the rake.
Mr. Arlt ignored the officers' repeated commands and walked rapidly toward them holding the rake in a threatening manner over his head as if he was preparing to swing it. Officers repeatedly ordered Mr. Arlt to drop the rake. One of the officers had an audio recorder capturing the confrontation. In the recording, Officers can be heard ordering Mr. Arlt to drop the rake no less than 8 times. Mr. Arlt continued toward the officers. Officers can also be heard ordering Mr. Arlt to “stop” a number of times as he continued toward them while still holding the rake over his head.
The officers retreated back from Mr. Arlt as he continued toward them. At this point, 2 separate officers deployed Tasers at Mr. Arlt in an effort to stop his attack. The Taser deployments were not effective and they did not stop Mr. Arlt's advance. One of the officers deployed a second Taser round which was also ineffective. A total of 3 Taser attempts were made to stop Mr. Arlt’s attack.

Simultaneously, officers continued to retreat until they were backed against parked cars. Mr. Arlt continued toward the officers with the rake held up in the previously described threatening manner. Mr. Arlt got within approximately 10 feet of the officers when lethal force was deployed.

A single officer fired two shots to stop the attack of Mr. Arlt. No other shots were fired. The officers immediately provided Mr. Arlt with medical aid. Mr. Arlt continued to fight with the officers as they attempted to render aid to him. The officers provided medical aid to Mr. Arlt until emergency medical crews arrived.

Two of the responding officers are part of the department's Crisis Negotiation Team specially trained in de-escalation and addressing persons in crisis. In spite of the officers' attempts to communicate with Mr. Arlt, his behavior was erratic and he was not responsive.

Based on the audio recording, once Mr. Arlt emerged from the backyard, this situation unfolded in approximately 20 seconds. Because of the rapid succession of events, the officers did not have the opportunity to dialogue and negotiate with Mr. Arlt.

In addition to the officer’s statements and audio recording, there was a civilian student ride along accompanying one of the officers. In his interview, the student ride along gave an account that is consistent with the statement of the involved officers.

The rake used by Mr. Arlt was approximately 5 feet in length with a metal head containing 14 metal tines. A photo of the actual rake is attached to this media release.

October 17, 2016

Statements from Police Chief and Mayor regarding the police officer-involved shooting incident on 10/16/16

Statement from Police Chief Kevin Vogel Regarding Police-involved Shooting
I want to acknowledge the thoughts expressed by the Santa Cruz community in light of the tragic shooting involving our Police Officers in the early morning hours of October 16th. An event like this impacts a community leaving questions, concerns and emotional scars.

The Santa Cruz Police Department is committed to transparency and independence in the investigation of this tragic shooting. Santa Cruz Police management met with the District Attorney and Sheriff’s Office and immediately invoked the countywide Critical Incident Protocol. This process was put in place years ago by the law enforcement leaders in this county to address such circumstances. The Santa Cruz Police Department requested the District Attorney’s Office take the lead role in the investigation to ensure a transparent, thorough and independent review. At the conclusion of the investigation, the District Attorney will issue a finding.

In addition to the District Attorney’s investigation, the police department will conduct an administrative investigation. This investigation will examine if the officers acted within the department’s use of force policy. This investigation will be subject to oversight by the City’s Independent Police Auditor and ultimately the City Council’s Public Safety Sub-committee who
will report back to Council.

The Police Department is communicating with the suspect’s family and offered them support through our full time Victim Advocate. We are committed to supporting and communicating with the family throughout this investigation.

We also recognize that our officers are affected by their involvement in this tragic situation. We are taking measures to reach out and care for our staff. All of the officers involved have been placed on administrative leave to allow us the opportunity to conduct the investigation and care for their needs before they return to duty protecting our City.

As more details of the event become available, we will release information to keep the public informed.
-- Police Chief Kevin Vogel

Statement from Mayor Cynthia Mathews Regarding Police‐involved Shooting
By now, most of our community has learned about the officer‐involved shooting that took place in the early morning hours of Sunday, October 16th. Several of our Police Officers responded to a very dangerous situation that ultimately resulted in the use of lethal force. This is a very rare
occurrence in our City and we are treating it seriously, with particular attention to the handling of the investigation.

Above all, I, along with the entire City Council, mourn the loss of a Santa Cruz community member and recognize the greater impact of this event on all of us. Regardless of the circumstances or if we personally knew or did not know the individual, it is tragedy to lose a
fellow community member.

The investigation into the exact events that led to this outcome will be the work of the next several days and weeks. We are grateful that the District Attorney was willing to take the lead on an independent and objective investigation, with the assistance of the Sheriff’s Office. Our
officers are lending every possible resource to this work and we thank the Police Department for its suggestion of outside agency support for the investigation. Finally, we want to recognize the toll that this incident has taken on all members of the Police Department.

As the investigation proceeds, more information will be provided to the public. We appreciate your patience and understanding as we balance providing up‐to‐the‐minute information to the community with protecting the integrity of the investigation. -- Mayor Cynthia Mathews

October 12, 2016

Santa Cruz Police Department Highlights Community-Oriented Policing Tradition

Santa Cruz Police Department Highlights Community-Oriented Policing Tradition

The Santa Cruz Police Department today announced it will mark the 10th annual Officer Jim Howes Community Service Award presentation through an upcoming series of articles exploring the department’s longstanding commitment to Community-Oriented Policing.

The five-part series will delve into the strategies and practices Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) officers utilize to engage and collaborate with residents and business owners to reduce and prevent crime, build trust and create mutual respect.

Policing helps us align the department’s values with those of Santa Cruz,” Deputy Police Chief Rick Martinez said. “Policing isn’t just about making arrests, it’s about partnering to find long-term solutions on issues affecting our city.”

SCPD has been on the forefront of Community-Oriented Policing since the department first enacted the philosophy more than 20 years ago under the direction of then-Police Chief Steve Belcher. Many of the progressive programs and policies SCPD has employed for decades also are recommended by the President’s Task Force on 21st Century Policing Report, which was finalized in 2015.

“We wanted to work with the community more. The department should be an open book,” said Belcher, who helped institute a proactive problem-solving response to neighborhood issues that emphasized community partnerships.
Up until that point, SCPD had been a traditional police department focused on response times and making arrests. But rising crime rates coupled with tensions locally — shootings, immigration raids, out-of-control beach parties — and around the country, including the 1992 L.A. riots, led Belcher and SCPD to reassess their policing model.

Community-Oriented Policing looks at the root cause of an issue. Rather than repeatedly deal with the same call for service, officers gave new attention to problem solving in order to prevent the issues from reoccurring.

“Officers became responsible not just for responding to calls, but for solving the problems the calls reported,” Belcher said. “It was an evolutionary process.”

Early Community-Oriented Policing initiatives in Santa Cruz included:
· Specifically assigned beats for officers so they could get to know neighborhoods and residents could become familiar with them.
· Launching the first Citizen Police Academy classes to offer transparency about how policing works in Santa Cruz.
· Installing dashcams in patrol cars to record police work.
· Establishing civilian oversight for enhanced accountability.
· Partnering with other agencies — such as the City Parks and Recreation Department, State Parks, the state department of Alcohol Beverage Control and more — to find creative solutions to problems.
· Starting Neighborhood Watch programs, led by the Community Policing Coordinator, who was Officer Jim Howes.

“We had to close that missing link,” Belcher said. “It sounds very simple but it was revolutionary and it paid dividends.”

Officer Jim Howes served as a Santa Cruz Police Officer for 26 years and was known throughout the City for his positive approach and partnership building between the City and community. The Officer Jim Howes Community Service Award was established in 2007 when he retired, and is given annually to one city employee and one community member for outstanding service to the community. Nominations are open through Thursday, Nov. 3.

SCPD’s progressive approach to Community-Oriented Policing has changed the culture of the police department over time, and many of the programs started under Chief Belcher continue today. The five-part series to be shared on the SCPD blog (http://santacruzpolice.blogspot.com/) and will explore the many Community-Oriented Policing programs developed and implemented by SCPD, such as:

· Youth initiatives to connect with kids and prevent crime, while building trust.
· Intervention programs that support community-based partnerships to reduce crime and address vulnerable populations.
· Policies that provide transparency, accountability and opportunities for community engagement.
· The use of technology, including social media, to build community interaction, trust and legitimacy.

The final installment of the series will discuss the department’s ongoing efforts to be responsive and relevant to the community it serves, including new and expanded programs that are in the works.
The Santa Cruz Police Department (SCPD) is committed to working in partnership with the community to enhance public safety, prevent crime, enforce laws and protect the rights of all people through innovative problem-solving approaches. A progressive, professional organization, SCPD officers are dedicated to conducting themselves with the highest ethical standards and the department is accountable to the community. SCPD has 94 sworn officers and 29 civilian staff to protect and serve Santa Cruz’s 64,000 residents and millions of annual visitors. Learn more at www.santacruzpolice.com, http://santacruzpolice.blogspot.com, or via Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube and Pinterset.

October 5, 2016

Help SCPD Identify TWO Suspect Bike Thieves Caught on Video

Do you recognize these two suspect bike thieves caught on video?  If so, please notify SCPD. 
SCPD YouTube Channel https://youtu.be/K1MfZO128yA
The bicycle was stolen from a locked enclosure in the 1400 block of Mission Street.  Check out this video of two suspects stealing the bicycle.  The surveillance video shows the bike theft that occurred on 9-22-16 in the 1400 block of Mission Street.

The video shows suspect #1:  A white male adult; approximately 5'11'' and 180lbs; wearing a dark hat with a neon lid and "Cali" on the front and back. He climbs over and enters the enclosure and proceeds to struggle to get the bicycle over the fence.  Suspect #2 then comes on scene, and proceeds to assist suspect #1 get the bicycle over the fence.

Suspect #2 is described as a white male adult, between 25 and 35 years of age, approximately 5'9'' tall, 170lbs, blond hair, and wearing a green ball cap with a feather in it and gray T-shirt.   He has a goatee beard approximately 3" long.

The stolen bicycle is a blue Town & Country 3 speed, men's style cruiser.  SCPD would like to get this bike back to the rightful owner. The bike was the victims transportation to and from work.

Anyone with information about either suspect’s identity or the location of the bike is encouraged to contact SCPD (831) 420-5820. Anonymous Tip Line (831) 420-5995 or http://www.cityofsantacruz.com/departments/police/how-do-i/leave-a-crime-tip/report-a-crime-tip

SCPD recovers hundreds of bikes, but since many aren't registered by serial number, the police have no way to track down the owners. Help improve the chances of your bicycle being returned by registering it with SCPD’s Online Bicycle Registration program. It’s FREE! 

Bike Theft: Realities & Risks


The Santa Cruz Police Department continues to encourage residents to be partners in public safety. Anyone with information regarding criminal activity is encouraged to contact the Santa Cruz Police Department at (831) 420-5820 or Anonymous Tip Line (831) 420-5995.

October 4, 2016

SCPD Host Annual Multi-Agency Motorcycle Recertification

The Santa Cruz Police Department Traffic Unit hosted an annual multi-agency motorcycle recertification training day on Wednesday, September 28th, 2016. Officers are required to successfully complete this intense training each year. After the training is completed, officers participate in a skills competition. Winners get their names added to a trophy that is displayed at the winning agency until the next year’s competition. The trophy is a source of pride for the winning officers and their respective agency.  (Similar to the Stanley Cup).
However, this year, every agency forfeited their right to compete in order to honor California Highway Patrol Sergeant Kevin Enox. Sgt. Enox tragically passed away on July 12, 2014. Sgt. Enox was well respected and a mentor to most of the officers participating. California Highway Patrol Captain Paul Vincent and Mark Riggins, Sgt. Enox’s family members, graciously accepted the trophy to honor Sgt. Enox.
The trophy will be displayed at the Santa Cruz CHP office for the next year and the memorial plaque will be permanently displayed on the Sgt. Kevin Enox memorial trophy.

In addition to Santa Cruz Police officers, Santa Cruz CHP, Monterey CHP, Redwood City CHP, Watsonville PD, Scotts Valley PD and Capitola PD all sent representatives. In total, there were 40 motorcycle officers in attendance.

SCPD would like to extend a thank you to all agencies that participated and would like to send a special thanks to CHP Officer Sam Courtney for the incredible multi-surface training ride.
We would also like to thank retired SCPD Chief Belcher, Deputy Chief Locke, and Lt. Vlassis for returning to duty temporarily to provide us with an amazing lunch.