An officer involved shooting and the arrest of a known drug dealer were two of the Rancho Cordova Police Department’s (RCPD) major incidents this week. According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Office Spokesman Sergeant Tony Turnbull, a wanted suspect pulled a gun on officers at a storage facility in Rancho Cordova in the 2600 block of Sunrise Avenue. The 29-year-old male suspect had outstanding felony warrants and law enforcement had been searching for him for several days and acted on a tip about the suspect’s whereabouts.
When officers from the Sheriff’s Department Major Crimes Bureau and Special Enforcement Detail located the man, he was inside a vehicle, with a gun in his hand. According to the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, “As detectives went to make contact with the suspect, he exited the passenger side of the car with a handgun in his hand. The suspect began to raise the handgun. Fearing for his safety, one of the detectives discharged his firearm at the suspect. The suspect was struck by gunfire and fled on foot into a portal door leading into the storage building. The suspect was subsequently taken into custody and the handgun was secured. Deputies immediately began life saving measures.”
The Sacramento Metro Fire Department arrived on scene and the suspect was transported to a local hospital where he remained until Tuesday evening. According to new Rancho Cordova Police Department Chief Christopher Pittman, the suspect was released and transported to the Sacramento County Jail late Tuesday.
The injured suspect had outstanding felony warrants for his arrest. One warrant was for burglary, grand theft, receiving stolen property and possession of a firearm by a felon and the second was for a violation of mandatory supervision. No one else was injured. An investigation is underway. The officer involved is a fourteen-year veteran and per policy and procedure, is on paid administrative leave pending the investigation.
Also on January 13, the RCPD Crime Suppression Unit (CSU) made use of another tip on the location of a suspect known to be a drug dealer on probation. A probation search found the man in possession of a large quantity of methamphetamine. The suspect was subsequently arrested and booked on new charges.
Just after 7:00 am on January 7th, Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 9000 block of Folsom Boulevard for multiple callers reporting a house fire. First arriving crews found heavy fire coming from a four-plex and immediately initiated fire attack. While firefighting operations were occurring in the unit of origin, additional firefighters initiated fire attack in a second involved unit and began searching for trapped residents.
A common attic throughout the four-plex allowed the fire to spread quickly. With a coordinated fire attack, the thirty-five firefighters on scene extinguished the fire, containing it to the attic and two units. Two units sustained major fire damage. The other two had fire damage in the attic, but only smoke damage inside; firefighters were able to salvage all of the personal belongings from these units. Residents from all four units were displaced; Red Cross was requested to assist the ten adults and four children with temporary housing. The cause of the fire is undetermined. Damage is estimated at $250,000; no injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported.
Rancho Cordova’s City Manager, Cyrus Abhar, announced that he has appointed Chris Pittman as the new Rancho Cordova Police Chief. Pittman, a Sheriff’s Captain with twenty-two years of experience with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department, will fill the role vacated by the recent retirement of former Police Chief Michael Goold in December of 2016.
“We are pleased to welcome Chris Pittman as our City’s new Chief of Police,” said Mr. Abhar. “Chief Pittman is well-known in our community, having served previously as Assistant Chief of Police in Rancho Cordova in 2014 and as the current President of the Rancho Cordova Police Activities League. His long history, wealth of experience, and commitment to Rancho Cordova all make him an excellent choice to lead our police department.”
Pittman began his career in law enforcement with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department in 1994 and has served in a variety of roles, including Deputy Sheriff, Sergeant, Detective Sergeant, Lieutenant and Captain. He has been assigned to the Rio Cosumnes Correctional Center, the U.S. Attorney’s Anti-Violent Crime Initiative Task Force, and the California Multi-Jurisdictional Methamphetamine Enforcement Team. He has served in leadership roles as the Narcotic Investigations Bureau Commander, North Patrol Watch Commander, Folsom Dam Security Bureau Commander, Assistant Division Commander for the Security Services Division, Assistant Division Commander for the East Patrol Division, Assistant Chief of Police for the Rancho Cordova Police Department, and Commander of the Field Support Division where he oversaw a majority of the Sheriff’s Department’s support systems, including the 911 Communications Center.
“I am very excited to be coming back home to Rancho Cordova,” said Chief Pittman. “Serving in Rancho Cordova as the Assistant Chief was the best assignment in my career as a law enforcement officer, and I look forward to working with the City Council and City staff on behalf of our community to continue to make Rancho Cordova a safe and vibrant place to live and work.”
Highly decorated, Pittman has been awarded five Major Incident Ribbons, three Unit Citations, a Distinguished Service Medal, and was the Sheriff’s Department Employee of the Year in 2004.
The City will host opportunities in the near future for the community to get to know its new Chief of Police.
Shortly before 3:00 am on December 25th, Metro Fire crews were dispatched to the 5000 block of Walnut Avenue in North Highlands for a report of flames coming from the roof and rear window of a vacant house. First arriving crews reported a working fire and immediately initiated fire attack.
The fire, which had started on the outside of the boarded-up house, had quickly spread inside. Firefighters forced entry and extinguished the fire, deploying multiple hoselines to different areas of the house to quickly contain the fire. The roof and attic sustained significant fire damage, with total damage estimated at $75,000. No injuries to civilians or firefighters were reported and the cause of the fire is currently under investigation.
Firefighters were on scene less than five minutes after being dispatched, and the fire was already well-involved and had spread from the exterior to the attic and living quarters. Fire doubles in size every minute… if you see smoke, call 9-1-1 early!
Have you seen Rancho Cordova Police Department (RCPD) officers being filmed around town this past week? RCPD had the opportunity to film new California Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) videos. California POST delivers high-quality specialized training videos to law enforcement agencies across the state, and RCPD officers were the stars of the show.
A handful of California families will find it hard to celebrate the holidays this year because they lost their fathers and brothers to senseless violence.
On October 19, Sheriff’s Deputy Jack Hopkins of Modoc County responded to a disturbance call and was shot and killed in the line of duty. He was only 31. On October 6, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Sgt. Steve Owen was shot dead responding to a burglary. The two deaths are a somber reminder that for our peace officers, their lives are on the line every time they are on patrol.
Each of these losses, hundreds of miles apart in our vast state, was a tragedy. But the same month, something far more sinister played out here, showing that America and our law enforcement have entered a new, more dangerous and shameful era that threatens the foundation of the lawful and civil society we enjoy.
Two Palm Springs police officers, Lesley Zerebny, 27, and Jose “Gil” Vega, 63, we murdered in a planned attack committed by John Hernandez Felix. These deaths did not occur during the commission of another crime, they were the crime. Felix set a trap for the officers and ambushed them, shooting them down in cold blood. It was not a one-off event.
In late November, a San Antonio policeman was ambush murdered as well. And, devastatingly, this summer’s hateful and violent anti-police protests culminated in the sickening assassination of five innocent police officers in Dallas. I only wish that the list was complete, but it’s not.
Driven by the media’s hysterical coverage of any shooting death that fits their political narrative of minority oppression at the hands of police, we’re trending into and upside down world where the protectors are viewed as predators. That’s wrong. It’s the open, politically inspired murder of police that is the real “hate crime” epidemic.
In this overheated environment, it’s little surprise that year-over-year law enforcement firearm-related deaths are up 67-percent in 2016.
This growing hostility towards the police is terrible for the men and women who serve to keep us safe, and it’s changing the way they police, with distressing effect.
The “Ferguson Effect” describes a retreat from effective, proactive policing that has been one driver of a multi-decade crime decline that is in danger of reversing. It’s a term rooted in the Ferguson Police shooting of strong-arm robber Michael Brown, where the infamous and false “hands up, don’t shoot!” became the big lie slogan of rioters, activists, and a complicit, left-wing media and political cabal.
Police around the country, fearful of becoming a media story, or tired of the jeering, snarling mobs that now surround and confront them in the course of their duties, have predictably began interacting more cautiously and less frequently with the public, to dire effect.
In Chicago, for example, police stops were down 90-percent in the first part of 2016, compared to 2015. Shootings in that city have skyrocketed. Heather MacDonald, a scholar at the American Enterprise Institute, blames the crime spike in Chicago (and other cities – it’s not a Chicago-specific phenomenon) on the abandonment of “broken windows” policing that sees police actively intervening in small, low-level public enforcement crimes. This retreat leads to disorder and emboldens criminals to commit more serious crimes. It’s a troubling shift in nationwide policing.
To make it worse, California is undertaking an unprecedented de-incarceration effort that is putting tens of thousands of criminals back out on the streets before their sentences are complete and making it more difficult to put offenders behind bars.
“Realignment,” 2014’s Proposition 47, and this year’s Proposition 57, all send a strong message to California criminals that the state is not interested in punishing them for their crimes.
It seems simple to understand that if you introduce more criminals into society, the result will be more crime. True to form, California violent crime jumped 11-percent in the first six months of 2015, compared to 2014. Expect crime to spike even higher.
This is the worst possible time for the police to step back because they fear attacks, shaming or other fallout from simply doing their jobs to preserve law and order and keep us safe. The environment that has inflamed and emboldened sick criminals to murder public safety officers must change. It’s a dangerous job where officers make life-and-death decision in a fraction of a second, and they deserve wide latitude from the public and our deepest thanks.
Are there abuses of police power and individual officers who use bad judgment? Of course. And it’s incumbent on us to hold those bad actors accountable. But it’s foolish to attribute sins of the individuals to the whole profession.
FBI Director James Comey said in October that the “narrative that policing is biased and unfair…threatens the future of policing.” Director Comey should not have stopped there. A media-fueled degradation of respect for law enforcement threatens much more than the future of policing, it threatens the safe, civil society that we take too much for granted.
Honor our police.
Senator Ted Gaines represents the 1st Senate District, which includes all or parts of Alpine, El Dorado, Lassen, Modoc, Nevada, Placer, Plumas, Sacramento, Shasta, Sierra and Siskiyou counties.
Rancho Cordova Police Department Chief Michael Goold announced that he will be retiring at the end of December 2016. Chief Goold has been with the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department for 23 years, serving as the Police Chief in Rancho Cordova during the last three years.
“My time serving the Rancho Cordova community as its Police Chief over the past three years has been an absolute pleasure and the best three years of my career,” said Chief Goold. “I am a resident of Rancho Cordova, as well as Police Chief, so while I will miss serving the community in that capacity, I look forward to still being a part of this community post-retirement.”
The announcement was made during the November 21st City Council meeting by City Manager Cyrus Abhar.
“Chief Goold will be sorely missed,” said Cyrus Abhar, Rancho Cordova’s City Manager. “As Chief of Police, he has implemented many new programs that have made our community a safer and more vibrant place. Chief Goold is a conscientious leader whose contributions will be felt for years to come.”
During his tenure, Chief Goold started the City’s Adopt-a-School Program, an innovative initiative aimed at building relationships of trust between students and officers. In addition, at the City Council’s request, Chief Goold put in place a unique proactive policing team in Rancho Cordova –the Crime Suppression Unit (CSU). The CSU team focuses on proactively reducing violent crime and conducting undercover operations to reduce other types of crime.
“Chief Goold has been the best kind of law enforcement leader, policing with both an eye toward the public safety, as well as a heart toward building community,” said Mayor David Sander. “We wish Chief Goold well in his retirement, and thank him for his excellent service to our community.”