El Cajon Police

FREE CHRISTMAS TREE GIVEAWAY FOR EL CAJON RESIDENTS DEC. 23

 

Source: City of El Cajon

December 21, 2016 (El Cajon) --Newly elected El Cajon City Councilmember Steve Goble and the El Cajon Police Department are hosting a “Free Christmas Tree” giveaway this Friday, December 23rd.

These free Christmas trees will be given out from 7:00 a.m. until 12:00 noon at Cartwright Pest Control, located at 1376 Broadway in El Cajon.   There will be 150 trees, up to 8’ tall and some will include flocking.  The trees will be given out first come, first serve, while supplies last.

EL CAJON POLICE DEPARTMENT HOLIDAY STOREFRONT AT PARKWAY PLAZA

 

Source: City of El Cajon

December 17, 2016 (El Cajon) -- For the 10th consecutive year, the El Cajon Police Department Holiday Storefront returns to Parkway Plaza in El Cajon during the month of December. This unique police storefront has been a popular place to visit during a hectic day of shopping.  There’s nothing to buy, but much to see and learn about holiday and year-round safety from El Cajon Police, Heartland Fire, and Recreation Departments.

HEARING WED. ON RESTRAINING ORDER SOUGHT BY NAACP AGAINST EL CAJON POLICE AND SHERIFF

 

East County News Service

October 25, 2016 (El Cajon) – A hearing is set for tomorrow at 3 p.m. in U.S. District Court in downtown San Diego on a restraining order sought by the NAACP and several individuals who claim they were falsely arrested for holding peaceful protests and vigils in the wake of the Alfred Olango shooting by an El Cajon Police officer.

DETAILS ON PAST SHOOTINGS BY EL CAJON POLICE EMERGE

 

ECM records document 9 of the 12 ECPD shootings in the past decade

By Miriam Raftery

October 9, 2016 (El Cajon)—Yesterday,  the San Diego Union-Tribune reported that El Cajon Police Department had 12 officer-involved shootings in the past 10 years, including five fatal shootings.  According to the U-T,  El Cajon had the highest rate of shooting per 100,000 people of any law enforcement agency in the county.

The U-T story mentioned only two shootings specifically: the recent fatal shooting of Alfred Olango, an African refugee reportedly having a mental health crisis who pointed a vaping device resembling a gun at an officer, and Kelsey Hauser, a white female passenger fatally shot in January 2016 following a high-speed chase of a stolen vehicle that had rammed a police car.

East County Magazine searched our records, which date back to late 2008 when we began publishing,  and found details on a total of nine of the 12 shootings.  At least four of those were fatal, including the two listed above.

DEMONSTRATIONS CONTINUE IN EL CAJON; LAW ENFORCEMENT EXPERTS OFFER OPINIONS ON SHOOTING

 

By Miriam Raftery

October 1, 2016 (El Cajon)—No arrests were made overnight as protests continued for a fourth night and into today, following the shooting of Alfred Olango by El Cajon Police on Tuesday.

Tensions remain despite video released yesterday and a photo showing Olango in a shooting stance, aiming a vaping device at Officer Richard Gonsalves, who has said he believed it to be a gun. 

VIDEO OF EL CAJON POLICE SHOOTING RELEASED

Unrest continues for fourth night, prompting business closures

By Miriam Raftery

Warning:  Graphic content in video

September 30, 2016 (El Cajon)—At a press conference in El Cajon this afternoon, authorities released two videos  in the fatal shooting of Alfred Olango, 38, by police.  The first is surveillance video from a taco shop; the second is cell phone video taken by a witness.

DEMONSTRATIONS CONTINUE OVERNIGHT IN EL CAJON: TEAR GAS DEPLOYED AS PROTEST TURNS VIOLENT

 

2 men wanted for stealing photojournalist’s $15,000 camera Wednesday night

By Miriam Raftery

September 30, 2016 (El Cajon)--Demonstrations continued overnight in El Cajon over the killing of Alfred Olango Tuesday by police.

  After receiving several 911 calls of 50-70 protesters blocking cars and breaking car windows, police declared an unlawful assembly. 10 News reports that tear gas and pepper balls were deployed by police. The station posted video of the incident and reported that protesters also knocked a motorcyclist off a motorcycle. Glass bottles were also thrown at officers. Two arrests were made, according to police.

 “A large group of demonstrators marched through the streets throughout the evening and into the early morning hours,”said Lieutenant Rob Ransweiler.

Police are also investigating theft of a $15,000 camera taken forcibly from a photojournalist.   A video viewed by 250,000 people on social media has led to identification one suspect, San Diego News Video reports.  Public help is requested to identify a second subject shown at the end of a video here: https://www.facebook.com/SDNVtv/videos/918156954956981/

OFFICER INVOLVED IN EL CAJON SHOOTING HAD BEEN DEMOTED FOR SEXUAL HARASSMENT

 

Women officers have fewer use of force incidents, but only 9% of ECPD officers are women. Could more females on the force have prevented death of Alfred Olango?

By Miriam Raftery

September 29,2016 (El Cajon)—Mayor Bill Wells has confirmed that the officer who fired the fatal shots in Tuesday’s controversial shooting of Alfred Olango was  Richard Gonsalves—the same officer embroiled in a sexual harassment scandal last year. 

Could a culture that encouraged women officers to join the force have perhaps prevented Tuesday’s tragedy, before Olango pulled out a vaping device mistaken for a gun?

Multiple studies over 40 years have shown  that women police officers  are better at defusing tense situations and have significantly lower use-of-force rates than male officers,  the Washington Post recently reported.

For example, A 2002 study by the National Center for Women & Policing of excessive force incidents in seven major city police departments found that “the average male officer is over eight and a half times more likely than his female counterpart to have an allegation of excessive force sustained against him … [and] two to three times more likely than the average female officer to have a citizen name him in a complaint of excessive force.”

But the El Cajon Police Department has long drawn criticism for tolerating sexual harassment  and other sexual misconduct by male officers toward women on the force--hardly a history conducive to attracting women seeking careers in law enforcement.

UNREST GROWS IN EL CAJON: MAN KILLED POINTED VAPING DEVICE AT OFFICERS,HAD CRIMINAL RECORD

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left, by Rebecca Williamson, during vigil at shooting sight this evening

September 28,2016 (El Cajon) –Amid mounting tensions and protests this evening,  El Cajon Police released updates in yesterday’s fatal shooting of Alfred Okwera Olango.  

The updated information reveals the Olango, an El Cajon resident, drew a vape smoking device from his pocket and pointed it at officers. The release also indicates a Psychiatric Emergency Response Team was unavailable due to being dispatched to another call.

A 10 News investigation found  Olango had a criminal record including  a 2005 arrest in Colorado as a felon in possession of a firearm—a semi-automatic pistol in the vehicle he was driving. He also pled guilty to receiving stolen property and driving under the influence in 1999, as well as selling cocain in 2001.

In this confrontation, however, Olango was unarmed.  The Ugandan refugee who came to America  after death threats to his famliy was shot and killed after his sister called officers for help due to her brother's erratic actions.

Tonight, crowds clashed with police.  While organizers of a march and vigil sought to keep the peace, some protesters reportedly threw bottles at police and chased a counter-protester wearing a Trump hat after he shouted racial slurs.

PROTESTS ERUPT IN EL CAJON; BLACK MAN SHOT BY POLICE DIES

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo, left: El Cajon Police

Photos (rest) by Robert Gehr (c)

September 28, 2016 (El Cajon)—A shooting of a mentally ill African-American man by El Cajon Police yesterday  has sparked anger among some community members, though police have released a photo suggesting the man assumed a “shooter’s stance” before he was shot and killed.

Following a press conference this morning by police, civil rights leaders spoke at a press conference calling for a federal investigation.  Marches were held downtown and a candlelight vigil is planned tonight at 6 p.m. the El Cajon Police Station forAlfred Olango, 38.

EL CAJON REJECTS FINDINGS OF GRAND JURY REPORTS ON HOMELESSNESS AND POLICE OVERSIGHT

 

By Jonathan Goetz

Photos:  Councilman Tony Ambrose, left, leveled harsh words at Richard Graydon, right, a citizen seeking more help for homeless people.

August 11,2016 (El Cajon) – Tempers grew heated during Tuesday’s El Cajon City Council hearing, where  Council member Tony Ambrose scolded a citizen, Richard Graydon, who had criticized the City's approach to homelessness.  The agenda included the city’s responses to two critical Grand Jury reports, one on homeless issues and the other calling for formation of a citizens’ police oversight board. 

The City determined it already does enough to help homeless people--more than other East County cities-- and also concluded there is no need to allow citizens'oversight of any complaints against El Cajon Police.

EL CAJON POLICE CHARGE FORMER UBER DRIVER WITH 5 MORE SEXUAL ASSAULTS, INCLUDING RAPE OF A 13-YR. OLD

 

East County News Service

May 25, 2016 (El Cajon) – An Uber driver arrested for sexual assault in El Cajon in March now faces charges as a serial rapist. 

El Cajon Police have charged John David Sanchez, 52, with sexually assaulting five additional victims, including raping a 13-year-old child and raping an unconscious person.  Authorities believe those attacks occurred between 2011 and 2014 at Sanchez’s residence in San Diego.

EL CAJON POLICE DEPT. JOINS NATIONAL CAMPAIGN TO END DISTRACTED DRIVING

 

Source: El Cajon Police

April 7, 2016 (El Cajon) – Distracted driving is such an important safety issue that April is recognized as National Distracted Driving Awareness Month.  In California, Police, Sheriff and CHP officials are joining the Office of Traffic Safety, the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB), as well as law enforcement throughout the country, working together to focus on education as well as enforcement.

HOSTAGE SITUATION ENDS SAFELY AFTER SUSPECT FIRED SHOT AT POLICE IN EL CAJON

 

 

 

By Miriam Raftery

 

December 25, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police negotiators have successfully ended a stand-off with a man who was holding a woman hostage and fired at police through the door.  10 News reports that after a breakup with his girlfriend, he brought flowers and a gun, pleading with his ex-girlfriend's mother to allow him to see his son. 

 

After negotiations lasting nearly three hours, the suspect surrendered to police. No one was injured during the incident.

PHOTO OF THE WEEK: DOUBLE RAINBOW OVER EL CAJON

 

East County News Service

Robert Gehr captured an image of this double rainbow arcing over the El Cajon Police Station.

Secondary rainbows are caused by a double reflection of sunlight inside the raindrops, and are the colors appear as mirror images. In Chinese mythology, a double rainbow, due to its reversal of colors, represents the movement from earth to heaven and is considered to be a sign of future success.

EL CAJON POLICE REACH OUT TO PUBLIC TO IMPROVE PEDESTRIAN SAFETY, ANNOUNCE PLANS TO BEEF UP ENFORCEMENT OF TRAFFIC RULES

 

View pedestrian safety video from El Cajon Police: http://vimeo.com/116996655

By Miriam Raftery

November 3, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon has had 13 pedestrian fatalities in the past 20 months. In the prior 36 months, there were 10 fatalities. So in half the time, there have been double the number of pedestrian deaths. 

“That concerns us a great deal,” Police Chief Jim Redman told community members at a public safety forum held last month at the Ronald Reagan Community Center, where the department reached out to share safety tips, hear community suggestions, and advise about a new enforcement campaign aimed at saving lives.  A “Check before you step” campaign aims to educate the public on how to prevent pedestrian injuries and deaths.

DONALD RAY LEWIS WANTED FOR SLAYING OF JAMES MELVIN CRAWFORD JR. IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Suspect Donald Ray Lewis, considered armed and dangerous

August 21, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police have identified the victim in a fatal shooting on August 19th as James Melvin Crawford Jr., an El Cajon Police.

DRIVER SOUGHT WHO HIT FIRE HYDRANT, CAUSED DAMAGE

 

July 27, 2015 (El Cajon ) – El Cajon Police are looking for the driver of a black Mercedes sedan who fled the scene after striking a fire hydrant near the intersection of Ballantyne Street and Madison Avenue in El Cajon on Monday.  The collision caused a 40-foot-high water geyser that damaged several trees nearby, but did not damage homes.

PROWLER SUSPECTED OF FLASHING RESIDENT ARRESTED IN EL CAJON

 

By Miriam Raftery

Photo: Glendale Police

June 25, 2015 (El Cajon) – A rap music artist suspected of breaking into a home and exposing himself to a 30-year-old woman, as well as stalking a 17-year-old girl is now in custody. El Cajon Police arrested 32-year-old Von Ryan Manago, said Lt. Frank La Haye.

Manago has been charged with indecent exposure and burglary. He had previously been arrested for burglarizing a woman's home in Glendale while she was sleeping in 2012.  According to a Glendale News-Press article, Manago is a rap musician who goes by the rapper name Nem-Iz. Born in New Jersey, he has also lived in Raleigh, North Carolina and is the CEO of Writer's Blokk Media, an Indie music label.

For crime buffs out there, here are the bare facts of how police tracked down the prowler flasher suspect.

BURGLARS USED OBITS TO TARGET HOMES ACROSS EAST COUNTY AND SAN DIEGO

 

East County News Service

June 13, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – El Cajon Police has arrested three people charged with a dozen residential burglaries between January and May in El Cajon, Spring Valley and San Diego.  According to Lieutenant Frank La Haye with the El Cajon Police, the thieves targeted people attending funerals of their loved ones.

EL CAJON CLARIFIES POLICIES ON SEXUAL HARASSMENT AT POLICE DEPT.

 

By Miriam Raftery

April 3, 2015 (El Cajon) – In response to reports of multiple sexual harassment  and sexual misconduct claims against the El Cajon Police department through the years, we asked City Manager Doug Williford how many women are on the police force, including management. We also asked what policies have been put in place that aim to prevent sexual harassment.

Williford sent our request to Jim Lynch, director of human resources for the City of El Cajon. Lynch provided this response:

EL CAJON CITY MANAGER DEFENDS DECISION NOT TO FIRE OFFICER ACCUSED OF SEXUAL HARASSMENT; CITIZENS ASK FOR JUSTICE DEPT. PROBE

By Miriam Raftery

March 26, 2015 (El Cajon) – At the El Cajon City Council meeting on Tuesday, several members of the public spoke out to ask that Officer Richard Gonsalves be fired or put on administrative leave pending outcome of a lawsuit by a woman claiming sexual harassment.  Gonsalves has been demoted, but remains on the force.

LAWSUIT IS LATEST IN STRING OF SEXUAL MISCONDUCT CLAIMS AT EL CAJON POLICE

 

An East County Magazine special report

By Miriam Raftery

March 24, 2015 (El Cajon)--An East County Magazine special investigation reveals a long string of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct claims involving the El Cajon Police Department, dating back over the past two decades.  Following a recent sexual harassment lawsuit filed against the ECPD, victims and witnesses to past sexual crimes and alleged sexual misconduct have come forward to speak with ECM about other cases.

Bonnie Price, who is organizing a protest rally Tuesday at 2:15 outside El Cajon's City Council, contends that the Police Department has a "culture of sexual harassment" that may be overly conducive to such actions.

READER’S EDITORIAL: SEX AND THE CITY (OF EL CAJON)

 

By Robert Clark

March 23, 2015 (El Cajon)-- The headline in the San Diego Union-Tribune reads "Women's sex-harassment suit accuses El Cajon cop." 

 The story, however, is not about the sexual harassment suit just filed against Sergeant Richard Gonsalves of the El Cajon PD. (That suit is described  in Miriam Raftery's ECM posting of March 10, 2015.)  The U-T story was published on March 6, 2004, about a suit filed against El Cajon Sergeant Gary Ryno for sexual harassment by four current or former women employees of the Department. The suit also claimed that "Ryno conspicuously wore female undergarments to work . . ."  As of today, I have been unable to determine the outcome of the suit, but will keep searching.

 In another incident reported in the Los Angeles Times on May 22, 2007, former El Cajon police officer William Taylor was sentenced to five years in prison "for demanding sexual favors from women he had arrested."

LOCAL GOVERNMENT REPORT

 

 

East County News Service

January 25, 2015 (San Diego’s East County) – Here are some of the most important items on agendas of our local boards, commissions and councils this week in San Diego’s East County.

EL CAJON POLICE RECOVERS $188,500 WORTH OF CARS PURCHASED FRAUDULENTLY

 

By Miriam Raftery

January 8, 2015 (El Cajon) – El Cajon Police have arrested a woman suspected of fraudulently buying at least seven vehicles at dealerships in El Cajon and San Diego.

EL CAJON MOVES FORWARD ON POLICE BODY CAMERAS

 

By Miriam Raftery

December 11, 2014 (El Cajon ) – By a 5-0 vote, El Cajon’s City Council voted Tuesday to have a study done on the feasibility of body cameras for the city’s police force.

Councilman Gary Kendrick, author of the proposal, told East County Magazine that his research found body cameras elsewhere have reduced complaints against police officers by 80% and that assaults against police officers went down 57%.

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