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Monday, April 20, 2015

Correctioanl officer shot at North Kern State Prison

KERO 23DELANO, Calif. - Kern County Sheriff's Deputies say there was a shooting at North Kern State Prison. Just after 7 p.m. deputies said someone got near the prison gates, and starting shooting.

Officials at the prison said that anywhere between 15 to 20 rounds were fired and that one correctional officer was wounded.

Officials said that the bullets were flying over the responding officers' heads and that the injuries to the correctional officer don't appear to be life-threatening.

The prison is located about 36 miles north of Bakersfield in Delano.

The name of the correctional officer who was shot has not yet been released publicly.

Deputies locked down the area, had armed personnel surrounding the prison and shell casings were found around a vehicle near the prison.

Officials said that they believe someone from outside shot into the prison injuring the correctional officer.

From Highway 43 going east on West Cecil Way to Casey Avenue and all streets surrounding the prison were blocked off.

A count was conducted and all inmates were accounted for.

As of 11 p.m., officials were still searching for the shooter.

Friday, April 3, 2015

In Memory of Officer Gilbert Cortez & K-9 Mattie

This fundraiser is to support a trust fund for the children of Officer Cortez.
Shirts start at $16.50, Orders placed by 4/30/15 will ship by 5/15/15

Friday, March 27, 2015


ABC 30The Fresno Police Department's second in command has been arrested in a federal drug conspiracy investigation. Deputy Chief Keith Foster, 51, is accused of distributing and possessing drugs.

Deputy Chief Keith Foster is accused of distributing and possessing oxycodone, marijuana, and heroin. He was arrested on Thursday after a year long investigation by the FBI and ATF.

Fresno Police Chief Jerry Dyer met with his staff to address any questions they have after the announcement -- and also to reassure them that no one, including officers, is above the law.

Deputy Chief Foster is one of three deputy chiefs in the department. Chief Jerry Dyer says Foster's job is to oversee patrol -- and each of the four policing districts in the city. Foster became a deputy chief eight years ago.

At the news conference Thursday afternoon, Chief Dyer said he was just made aware of this case -- after Foster was arrested on Thursday. Federal investigators are not revealing details of the investigation, other than to say they have surveillance, which includes Deputy Chief Foster. Investigators were authorized to use wire taps on telephones.

"This is a very sad day for the Fresno Police Department, the citizens of Fresno, and the law enforcement profession," said Dyer. continue reading...

California loosens Jessica's Law rules on where sex offenders can live

LA TimesCalifornia officials announced Thursday that the state would stop enforcing a key provision of a voter-approved law that prohibits all registered sex offenders from living near schools.

The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation said it would no longer impose the blanket restrictions outlined in Jessica's Law that forbids all sex offenders from living within 2,000 feet of a school or park, regardless of whether their crimes involved children.

High-risk sex offenders and those whose crimes involved children under 14 will still be prohibited from living within a half-mile of a school, the CDCR emphasized. Otherwise, officials will assess each parolee based on factors relating to their individual cases, the agency said.

The shift comes nine years after California voters approved the controversial law, which has made it difficult for some sex offenders to find places to live.

The California Supreme Court on March 2 unanimously ruled that Jessica's Law violated the constitutional rights of parolees living in San Diego County who had argued that the limitations made it impossible for them to obtain housing. As a result, advocates said, some parolees were living in places like riverbeds and alleys.

"While the court's ruling is specific to San Diego County, its rationale is not," CDCR spokesman Luis Patino said Thursday. "After reviewing the court's analysis, the state attorney general's office advised CDCR that applying the blanket mandatory residency restrictions of Jessica's Law would be found to be unconstitutional in every county." continue reading...

Around Town: Burglaries may be linked to Prop. 47

La Canada Valley SunThere's been another rash of burglaries in La Cañada, but first, a disclaimer: Around Town is a lifestyle column. Nothing in this column constitutes legal advice.

That said, a few of us were standing outside the Equinox spin studio in Pasadena. A lady from San Marino said that her town had been hit with a rash of home burglaries. A gentleman from La Cañada mentioned the break-ins in La Cañada.

The first question on everyone's lips is, “Why?”

The second is, “How do we prevent it?”

One theory is that the rising crime rate is the direct result of Proposition 47, passed last November, which mandated the resentencing and release of thousands of inmates from our state prisons.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein wrote an op-ed opposing Proposition 47. “Simply put, the reduction in sentences proposed by Proposition 47 would ultimately lead to the release of thousands of dangerous criminals, and a wholesale reclassification of many dangerous felonies as misdemeanors would put the people of California at continued risk going forward,” said Feinstein.

Under Proposition 47, many drug offenses, formerly felonies, have been reclassified as misdemeanors and under AB 109, certain state prisoners were released to the county jails. continue reading...

D.A.'s Office to oppose another parole request for man who killed high school girl on prom night in 1991

OC RegisterThe Orange County District Attorney’s Office in a hearing Friday is expected to oppose parole for a man who shot and killed a high school girl in Anaheim on prom night two decades ago.

Paul Crowder, 42, was convicted of second-degree murder and sentenced to 19 years to life in prison in 1991 for the death of 17-year-old Berlyn Cosman, a straight-A student who was shot as she slept in an Anaheim hotel room after a post-prom party.

Crowder has twice won grants of parole but those were overturned by Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger in 2010 and again by Gov. Jerry Brown in 2011.

He was denied parole for five years in 2012, but an appeals court ruled there was not enough evidence to show that Crowder would be a danger to society and ordered the state Board of Parole to set a release date.

The Board on Friday will reconsider Crowder’s parole eligibility in light of recent prison violations, including conspiracy to distribute a controlled substance, possession of drug paraphernalia and having a cellphone in his cell at the Deuel Vocational Institution in Tracy, prosecutors said.

“Crowder has not taken responsibility for his crime and continues to show a lack of remorse,” the OCDA said in a statement. “He maintains that the gun went off accidentally when he tripped as he was entering the hotel room.” continue reading...

Thursday, March 26, 2015

Prison population down, payroll up

U-T San DiegoCalifornia’s realignment program, which moved thousands of state inmates to county jails, helped push prison populations down — but it didn’t lower the cost of paying guards and other correctional staff.

Overtime hit a six-year high last year, allowing hundreds of prison system employees to more than double their pay. That’s created a situation in which more than a third of officers make more than $100,000 a year.

The payroll costs for the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation have grown $248 million per year higher than they were in 2009, a 5.3 percent increase. During the same period, the population under supervision fell 38 percent.

Corrections staffing has been reduced, to 61,500 from a six-year high of 68,500 in 2009. Overtime pay for those remaining has ticked up, to a six-year high of $574.6 million last year.

In its 2012 blueprint for change, the prison system pledged not only to cut the non-violent inmate population under realignment, but also to rein in the system’s unwieldy budget.

“If you look at it simplistically, people may presume if you reduce the inmate population, you will reduce costs, but the purpose of the blueprint and the purpose of the court’s recommendation to us is to reduce the population as a means to other ends — to increase mental health care, medical care, rehabilitation and education,” said Bill Sessa, a spokesman for the corrections department. continue reading...

Saturday, March 21, 2015


ABC 7A major bust in San Jose has revealed a complex gang hierarchy that took a cut of crime profits and funneled that money to a state prison.

Twenty-four members of the gang Nuestra Familia have been indicted and will be going on trial next month.

The gang members were allegedly selling drugs and shaking down merchants for protection money.Operation Red October rounded up two dozen San Jose gang members, who answered to inmates hundreds of miles away.

The crimes were happening in the streets of San Jose and the orders were coming from 400 miles north from behind the walls at Pelican Bay State Prison. That's where three so-called generals of the Nuestra Familia gang called the shots.

"They went so far as to say, 'This is how you do a killing. This is how you do a robbery,' and these were being directed from the behind the walls of jail and prison," said Santa Clara County supervising deputy district attorney Marisa McKeown.

The directives were written in code and smuggled out in the body cavities of inmates leaving on parole. Known as kites, the orders were found in the possession of one of the top street gang leaders in San Jose. continue reading...

Gun found on shooting suspect fatally wounded after standoff

THE BAKERSFIELD CALIFORNIANPolice provided new details Friday regarding the fatal shooting of a former California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation employee who shot a man and then holed up at a hotel near Interstate 5 and Stockdale Highway.

Police said two SWAT officers shot at suspect Rober Burdge and a gun was found in Burdge's possession after the standoff ended at 8:32 a.m. Thursday at the Vagabond Inn. Burdge was pronounced dead at Kern Medical Center about 2 1/2 hours later.

The officers who fired have been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation.

Burdge shot a man -- a current employee of the CDCR -- after lying in wait at the man's northwest Bakersfield residence Wednesday evening, police said. Hit once, the man was able to get inside his house and barricade the door.

He survived and was taken to a local hospital for treatment. Police say an alleged marital affair involving one of the men may have led to the shooting.

Burdge fled the area and officers discovered he may have been driving a dark blue Mercedes Benz two-door. Police said California Highway Patrol officers found a car matching that description abandoned a quarter mile west of I-5 on Stockdale Highway at 4:10 a.m. continue reading...

Friday, March 20, 2015

Report: Prison guard danced on bar, flashed gun

KCRA3California's inspector general says the state corrections department has a problem with off-duty prison guards brandishing or carrying firearms while they are intoxicated.

A report released Friday says one correctional officer danced atop a bar while drunkenly flashing his gun several times at private citizens in the tavern.

Another drunken officer pointed a .40 caliber semi-automatic handgun at a citizen's chest during an argument.

The inspector general says they are two of seven incidents since June 2014 that show the department needs to automatically and immediately revoke permits to carry concealed weapons for officers caught drinking alcohol while possessing weapons.

Correctional officers are allowed to carry concealed weapons off duty.

The inspector general says the department should follow the lead of other state law enforcement agencies that have revocation policies.

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Veteran prison dog handler resigns over new drug search program

News 10An expert dog handler and trainer who spent decades with the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says he was threatened by a superior when he tried to point out what he believes are flaws in a new program aimed at reducing prison drug smuggling.

Wayne Conrad, 61, resigned in September as the CDCR began ramping up a plan to begin using dogs to search prison staff and visitors.

Conrad first learned dog handling skills in the Marine Corps and later worked with a canine unit for the New York City Housing Authority before being hired by the California prison system in 1985, where he worked as a handler and trainer for 21 years.

CDCR called Conrad out of retirement in 2009 to organize a statewide program to use dogs to detect contraband cell phones in addition to narcotics and tobacco.

The team eventually grew to 32 dogs.

"And the beauty is that it was done with no funding," Conrad said. "All the dogs we received, they were either Belgian malinois, German shepherds or Dutch shepherds. They were all donated or found in rescues. These dogs didn't cost the department anything."

Conrad said one of the dogs, a German shepherd named Drako, discovered 1,000 cell phones.

As CDCR began implementing its new drug interdiction pilot program last year with initial funding of $5.2 million, it began paying at least $5,000 each for what Conrad said were a dozen German shorthaired pointers and Labrador retrievers.

The state will also use ion scanners, full body scanners and physical searches to try to stem the flow of drugs into California prisons. continue reading...

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Correctional Officer from Salinas Valley State Prison pulls woman from burning car

A Mercedes SUV burns in the background. A Salinas Valley State Prison Officer pulled Rhea Nabua, 33, from the burning car on Feb. 1.
A Mercedes SUV burns in the background. A Salinas Valley State Prison Officer pulled Rhea Nabua, 33, from the burning car on Feb. 1.

A Salinas Valley State Prison (SVSP) Correctional Officer recently pulled a woman from a burning car, saving her life. As she lies in a hospital bed in a coma, the officer is still trying to help.

While driving home after completing Third Watch at SVSP, Correctional Officer Mike Johnson came across the scene of an accident. As one of the first on scene, he credits his California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation training for his actions.
The accident
“I observed a vehicle on fire and a second vehicle was smoldering,” he said of the Feb. 1 incident. “It appeared to be a head-on collision. My most immediate concern was an SUV-style Mercedes. The front was engulfed in flames.”
Johnson, a Correctional Officer since July 2009, said his training kicked in.
“The first thing I did was treat it like a Code 2 response and that was to get a quick review of the scene and determine what my assets were,” he said. “There were two people driving by who pulled over. The first guy I told to call 911 and grabbed him to follow me to a vehicle. We went to the first car that wasn’t on fire. There was a lady who was conscious and breathing. She asked what happened. I told her she’d been in an accident. I said, ‘I’m going to leave this guy here with you and you’ll be OK.’ I left him with her and went to the other car.”
He grabbed the other bystander and put him to work.
Officer Mike Johnson started his CDCR career in July 2009.
Officer Mike Johnson started his CDCR career in July 2009.
“Then I went to the Mercedes, which was on fire. I saw a female had been ejected from the front passenger side and was lying face down on the ground about eight feet away from the vehicle,” he said. “There was a man who was to the right of that, outside the vehicle, kneeling up against the fence and in a great deal of pain. So, the second person on scene, I grabbed him and said, ‘Hey, I need you to help me get this person away from the vehicle.’ So we picked her up and carried her about 50 feet where it was safe and laid her on the ground, closer to the man.”
Johnson turned his attention back to the burning Mercedes.
“I asked the man if there was anyone else inside the vehicle. He said he didn’t know. I asked him his name and he didn’t answer,” he said. “He was obviously going into shock.”