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Scenes from the Turkey Giveaway
|Chief Whent and his senior staff are on hand to greet everyone.|
|A sea of people at the Turkey Giveaway||Area 3 Commander Rick Orozco shares a laugh|
Robber Captured Same Day
On November 19, 2013 at approximately 9:25 AM, Oakland Police responded to a robbery/assault call in the 2800 block of School Street in East Oakland. Officers Michel Khem and Luis Espinoza received information from officers at the crime scene about the suspect's vehicle.
The same day, Officers Khem and Espinoza located the suspect vehicle in West Oakland and arrested a 28-year-old male, an Oakland resident, in connection with the robbery and assault.
A robbery call was made and the suspect later admitted to being involved with the robbery. Thanks to these young officers for their hard work and dedication. A job well done.
Pictures Worth a Thousand Words – Officer Bryant Ocampo Provides Compelling Evidence to the DA’s Office
On Wednesday, November 6, 2013, Alameda County District Attorney Norbert Chu sent a note to Lieutenant Kevin Wiley expressing his appreciation for Officer Bryant Ocampo, who went “above and beyond” in the recent case in which Luke “Sasha” Fleischman, 18, was set on fire as he slept on an AC Transit bus.
Officer Ocampo accompanied the victim to the hospital, where he had the foresight to take photos of the victim’s injuries in the absence of a crime scene technician. When DA Chu asked about the victim’s condition, Officer Ocampo mentioned that he had taken photos. Within the hour, he had a CD on DA Chu’s desk. “That’s the sort of initiative that as a DA I appreciate,” said DA Chu. “It is clear Bryant understands that this is necessary and important evidence that I need to evaluate the case.”
“Once OPD Always OPD”
On October 16, 2013, retired Oakland Police Officer Arthur Cravanas, 87, stepped back in time when he returned to the Oakland Police Department (OPD) and walked into the Office of the Chief of Police. He was flanked by his four daughters, returning with him to his roots at OPD for a walk down Memory Lane.
Arthur Cravanas began his career in 1952 as the fourth African-American to pass the civil service exam for the City of Oakland Police Department. After serving as a Patrol Officer for 3½ years, he transferred to the Juvenile Division (Youth Services Division), where he worked for 14 years. During this time, he spearheaded a self-defense program for women through the Oakland Adult Education Program, worked with at-risk children and families (providing first-time experiences, like airplane and helicopter rides, for the children), and helped OPD sponsor a youth baseball team. According to Art, “Chief Gain gave the officers in Juvenile a lot of liberties in what they wanted to do.”
From 1969 until his retirement in 1979, Art served in the Community Services Division as one of three Community Relations Officers (now known as Public Information Officers). Art encouraged strong interaction between OPD, churches, businesses, individuals and the community at large. In the 1960s, he provided Public Safety classes throughout the Oakland Unified School District to students and community advocates. He also had a weekly community service television program, interviewing celebrities such as B.B. King and Freda Payne. During the latter part of the sixties he had an office on 85th Avenue and East 14th Street as part of OPD’s Community Outreach Program. At the same time, he taught Criminal Justice courses at Merritt College.
The Cravanas daughters all expressed their heartfelt thanks and appreciation for the warm reception they received from OPD. Daughter Carla said, “The impact our father had in the Oakland community can only be measured by the many, many times people would hear our name and say ‘Are you Art Cravanas’s daughter?’”
(story & pictures, Michele Silvia)
Go to our Facebook page for more photos of the Cravanas visit
Celebrating Outstanding Service
At a ceremony held Friday, October 11, 2013, the Oakland Police Department paused to honor 27 Oakland police officers and civilian employees, recognizing individuals and teams for their hard work, dedication, courage and distinguished service to the City and the citizens of Oakland.
- Blue Star Medals (injured in the line of duty) were awarded to Officers Eric Karsseboom and D’Vour Thurston
- Silver Star Medals (courageous action) were awarded to Officers Rochard Holton and D’Vour Thurston
- Medals of Merit (meritorious service) were awarded to Officer Steve Valle, Sergeant Bobby Hookfin, and Sergeant Holly Joshi
- A Community Service Award (outstanding service within the framework of community policing) was awarded to Lieutenant Randell Wingate
- Unit Citations (meritorious and exemplary performance while assigned to an organizational unit) were awarded to the Violent Crime Unit (Sergeant Holly Joshi, Lieutenant Trevelyon Jones, Sergeant Frederick Shavies, and Officers Jose Barocio, Daniel Bruce, Roberto Garcia, Kathryn Jones, Billy Matthews, Joel Ruiz, Jeffrey Smoak, and Anthony Tedesco) and the Area 4 Crime Reduction Team (Sergeant Darrin Downum and Officers Jesse Lawless, Mega Lee, Timothy Martin, Billy Matthews, James Pulsipher, Joel Ruiz, and Martin Ziebarth).
- The Chief’s Certificate of Commendation (outstanding service) was awarded to Sergeants Angelica Mendoza, James Rullamas, and Jeffrey Van Sloten
- Finally, Police Records Specialist Garret Conklin's wife, Shirley, accepted a Posthumous Award given for the instrumental work Garret did while serving in the PAS Unit (Personnel Assessment System).
Blue Star Medals
Blue Star Medal Presented to Officer Eric Karsseboom
On January 21, 2013, the Criminal Investigation Division needed assistance locating several people were wanted for attempted murder. Intel indicated that a vehicle possibly used in the attempted murder was parked in the rear of an apartment building on the 1700 block of Seminary Avenue. Despite the fact that he had just finished his regular assignment, Officer Eric Karsseboom, a member of the Gang Intelligence Task Force, offered to help out.
Upon his arrival at the apartment complex, Officer Karsseboom located the vehicle in the parking lot area at the rear of the apartment building. As he was leaving, the gate locked. At this point, he was confronted by three armed subjects, all armed with handguns, who began an unprovoked and vicious assault on him.
During the assault, Officer Karsseboom was shot in the arm and pistol whipped. In spite of his wounds, he was able to fight back and disarm the subject who shot him. The subjects fled, but Officer Karsseboom maintained his presence of mind and was able to provide vital information about all three subjects and the direction of their flight.
A perimeter was established, and the three were taken into custody and charged for their part in the attack.
Blue Star Medal Presented to Officer D'Vour Thurston
On January 25, 2013, Officer D’Vour Thurston was working an overtime assignment in Patrol. While responding to the scene of a hit-and-run collision, he heard three gunshots in close proximity. As he began canvassing the area, Officer Thurston observed a man running southbound on 48th Avenue onto E. 12th Street. Uncertain whether the man was a victim or a suspect, Officer Thurston decided to follow him to investigate further.
When the man ducked behind a parked car, Officer Thurston temporarily lost sight of him. As Officer Thurston opened his side door to investigate, the man began shooting at him, striking him on his left thigh, before fleeing the scene. Without hesitation or thought of his injury, Officer Thurston chased after the man and warned another officer that the man was armed. The gunman was subsequently apprehended.
Despite being wounded, Officer Thurston placed himself in harm’s way to take immediate and heroic action, demonstrating the ability to make mature, responsible decisions in a dangerous situation.
Lives were saved that night due his bravery and quick thinking.
Silver Star Medals
The Silver Star medal was presented to Officers D’Vour Thurston and Rochard Holton for their courageous action during the January 25, 2013 shooting (described in detail above).
Officer D'Vour Thurston
On January 25, 2013, Officer D’Vour Thurston was working an overtime assignment in Patrol. While responding to the scene of a hit-and-run collision, he heard three gunshots in close proximity. As he began canvassing the area, Officer Thurston observed a man running southbound on 48th Avenue onto E. 12th Street. Uncertain whether the man was a victim or a suspect, Officer Thurston decided to follow him to investigate further. The man then ambushed and shot Officer Thurston. Without hesitation or thought of his injury, Officer Thurston chased after the man and warned another officer that the man was armed. Despite being wounded, Officer Thurston placed himself in harm’s way to take immediate and heroic action, demonstrating the ability to make mature, responsible decisions in a dangerous situation.
Officer Rochard Holton
On January 25, 2013, Officer Rochard Holton distinguished himself in the performance of outstanding service to the Oakland Police Department as a member of the Patrol Division in Area Four. On January 25, 2013, while responding to the scene of a hit-and-run collision with Officer D’Vour Thurston, he heard three gunshots in close proximity.
As he was canvassing the area, Officer Holton observed a man running southbound on 48th Avenue onto E. 12th Street. Uncertain whether the man was a victim or a suspect, Officer Holton decided to follow him to investigate further.
|Chief Whent and Officer Holton|
The man then ambushed and shot Officer Thurston and ran with a firearm in his hand. Officer Holton engaged in a foot pursuit with the armed suspect and was able to take him into custody with the help of other officers. Officer Holton demonstrated the ability to make mature, responsible decisions amidst danger.
Medals of Merit
Officer Steve Valle, Sergeant Holly Joshi, and Sergeant Bobby Hookfin received Medals of Merit for meritous service.
Officer Steve Valle
Officer Steve Valle distinguished himself in the performance of outstanding service to the Oakland Police Department as a member of the Criminal Investigation Division (CID). While in CID, he was the case agent on several high profile investigations of extremely violent gang members. Officer Valle specifically targeted those responsible for violence and was successful in dismantling several prolific gangs.
On January 21, 2013, Officer Valle responded to a scene where an undercover officer had been beaten and shot. He was able to build rapport with numerous citizens to ascertain the suspects’ whereabouts, developing information rapidly to allow first responders to confirm suspects’ identifications and make arrests.
Officer Valle worked tirelessly for the next 48 hours to track and locate additional suspects and witnesses, key evidence and firearms. Although this crime occurred in Oakland, the long arm of law enforcement reached out to the Atlanta International Airport to take the remaining suspect into custody. This was due to Officer Valle’s sound communication skills and relentless pursuit of justice.
Sergeant Holly Joshi
Sergeant Holly Joshi distinguished herself in the performance of outstanding service to the Oakland Police Department as a supervisor of the Human Trafficking and Child Exploitation Unit. This commendation specifically recognizes Sgt. Joshi for her tireless effort to develop a training program and train all ranks on the impact of human tracking and its correlation with violent crime.Sgt. Joshi also successfully wrote a grant proposal that brought additional funding to the Oakland Police Department to help strengthen the City of Oakland’s fight against human trafficking.
Sgt. Joshi is a nationally known expert on the subject of human trafficking, having worked on very complex cases that required partnerships with local and federal agencies. Her work with the FBI led to the creation of the first FBI/OPD full time Human Tracking Trafficking Task Force, which increased the Department’s ability to investigate more complex cases that cross state lines.
Sergeant Bobby Hookfin
Sergeant Bobby Hookfin distinguished himself in the performance of outstanding service to the Oakland Police Department as a member of the Tactical Negotiation Team. Sgt. Hookfin has been the primary negotiator for many of the Department’s high risk crowd control protests and events. In 2009, Sgt. Hookfin was the lead negotiator with the Grant family during the Johannes Mehserle protests. Due to Sgt. Hookfin’s influence, the Grant family called for peace and calm. The Department prepared for citywide riots, but only a one-day protest occurred in the downtown area. In 2012, Sgt. Hookfin was the lead negotiator with the Blueford family, successfully persuading over 200 protesters to leave a City Council meeting peacefully.
That same year he negotiated with different anti-police group leaders to conduct their protests in the downtown area peacefully. Sgt. Hookfin is considered an expert in the field of negotiations with protest groups and was a speaker on negotiating with protest groups at the 2012 California Hostage Negotiators Conference. In 2013, Chief Jordan selected Sgt. Hookfin to lead an effort in bringing together citizens, faith-based organizations, and community activists so they could have a direct line of communication with the Department
Community Service Award
|Chief Sean Whent and Lieutenant Randy Wingate|
Community Service Award Presented to Lieutenant Randell Wingate
Among those honored was Lieutenant Randell Wingate, Area 4 Special Resource Commander, who was presented with the Community Service Award.
During a recent outbreak of extreme violence, Lt. Wingate discovered that local gang members had targeted a young man (“Elton” – not his real name) because he refused to participate in their criminal activities. Lt. Wingate offered ways to help.
About a week later, Lt. Wingate received a desperate phone call at 3:00 in the morning. Elton was on the line. Lt. Wingate reassured him and told him that he would give him the opportunity to change his life.
And he did just that. As a first step, Lt. Wingate tried to connect Elton with various social services. Discovering that the process was slow, and realizing that the young man needed immediate assistance, Lt. Wingate took the necessary steps to get Elton into a junior college. He personally relocated Elton, paid for his expenses, supported his academics by proofreading his papers, and provided other guidance.
Elton is now a sophomore with a 3.33 GPA.
Touring the OPD Communications Division
On Wednesday, September 4, 2013, the community group EBAYC (East Bay Asian Youth Center) was taken on a tour of the OPD Communications Division as a part of an effort to strengthen our relationship with the Latino and Asian Community. The group is very proactive and involved in our crime reduction efforts. Police Communication Dispatcher Antoinette Garcia was their guide and did a fantastic job answering questions and providing information. My hope is to educate the group on how to report crimes, about some of the challenges with the 911 system, how to better use the non-emergency number, and how to be our voice in the community.
- Captain Ricardo Orozco, Area 3 Commander
EBAYC with Dispatcher Antoinette Garcia and Captain Ricardo Orozco (next to the flag)
Oakland Police Foundation
The Oakland Police Foundation was established to create financial and community support for OPD in its efforts to meet the needs and services of the community by achieving law enforcement excellence and gaining citizen understanding and support.
The Foundation’s main focus is to raise awareness and support for the important unbudgeted or “discretionary” needs of the Department that will improve crime prevention and law enforcement efficiencies. Your donations are tax deductible and will be used to:
- Improve officer safety
- Combat family & youth violence
- Support innovative technology and research
- Provide employee development and training for all members of the Oakland Police Department.
For more information, go to the Oakland Police Foundation homepage.
The Memorial Wall honors all Oakland police officers who have died in the line of duty since 1867. Each officer's name and end-of-watch date are engraved on the black marble wall in the foyer of the Police Administration Building on Broadway and 7th Street. Learn more about each officer.