Culver City Police Department Open House

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The Culver City Police Department will be holding their open house on October 18th from 10 AM to 3 PM.

The public will be able to tour the police station and jail, explore police vehicles and equipment, visit with officers and CSI forensic specialists, watch K-9 demonstrations, view police weapons and even get a picture sitting on a CCPD motorcycle unit!

The event will be held at the Culver City Police Station located at 4040 Duquesne Ave. in Culver City.


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UCLA Water Main Break

A 93 year old water main broke near the campus of UCLA sending a torrent of raging water through parking structures and athletic facilities.

The 30-inch pipe’s rupture shot water 30-feet into the air sending an estimated 20 million gallons roaring onto roads and the campus.

Urban search and rescue crews from the LAFD searched the flooded parking garages for any possible victims. No injuries were reported from the flooding.

From the website of Los Angeles Department of Water and Power:

LADWP crews have completed shutting off water to the 30-inch trunkline that ruptured earlier this afternoon on Sunset Boulevard, near UCLA.

LADWP deployed their new incident command vehicle. This is the first time it has been used.

LADWP deployed their new incident command vehicle. This is the first time it has been used.

Preliminary information indicates that no customers are without water and water quality was not adversely impacted. Crews will begin work immediately to repair the 30-inch ruptured steel-riveted pipe that delivers water to the area at a high velocity from Upper Stone Canyon Reservoir.

Crews shut off three large diameter valves as quickly and safely as they could, taking care to avoid further damage due to pressure in adjacent pipes that could have lead to further ruptures if care was not taken.

Water flow through the pipe was estimated at 75,000 gallons per minute at the peak. LADWP serves approximately 500 million gallons of water to customers each day.

Members of the public are advised to avoid the area.

Recommended traffic detours are as follows: Westbound on Sunset should go south on Beverly Glen then west on Wilshire Boulevard then back north on Veteran/Sepulveda to get around the closure. Eastbound traffic should head south on Veteran/Sepulveda then east on Wilshire Boulevard, then head north on Beverly Glen. For access into UCLA Campus please use Westwood Boulevard.

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Audit Criticizes Sheriff’s Policing of the LA Metro Transit System

Editorial Note: The following article is from Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors member Zev Yaroslavsky’s newsletter.

LASO AuditA hard-hitting new audit says the L.A. County Sheriff’s Department has failed to live up to its multimillion dollar contract to police the Metro system, while the transit agency itself has done a poor job of monitoring the sheriff’s performance.

The audit was commissioned by Metro’s Board of Directors last year and performed by the firm Bazilio Cobb Associates, with a team including members of the Bratton Group, LLC. The May 27 report faulted the sheriff on a number of fronts, including lack of a community-policing plan for the nation’s third-largest bus and rail system, perennial staff vacancies, tardy responses to citizen complaints and inadequate records to support its billings.

Overall, the audit determined that both the Sheriff’s Department and Metro had significant improvements to make.

“We found that Metro needs to substantially strengthen and enhance its oversight of LASD contract performance,” it said. “We found LASD has not met many of the targets for performance metrics, including crime reduction, continuity of staff, and fare enforcement saturation and activity rates.”

The audit was presented to Metro’s System Safety and Operations Committee on Thursday. CEO Art Leahy told the panel that new management at the sheriff’s department now has “an intense focus on delivering the goods here. There’s no finger-pointing, there’s no excuses. They can do better and Metro can do better.”

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Westwood Emergency Preparedness Fair – Sunday July 27th

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The Westwood Neighborhood Council is holding their fourth emergency/disaster preparedness fair on Sunday, July 27th 2014 from noon until 4 PM. This event will be held at the Westwood Presbyterian Church located at 10822 Wilshire Boulevard. Free parking will be available.

Some of the agencies who will be at the fair include the Los Angeles Police Department, the Los Angeles Fire Department, Los Angeles Department of Water and Power, The Los Angeles Emergency Management Department and the American Red Cross.

This event will feature emergency supplies, presentations, demonstrations and “The Big Shaker” earthquake simulator. There will even be a puppet show for the kids!

Thanks to SCMA club member Dominick Falzone for sharing this information.

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Hollywood Commercial Structure Fire

Hollywood Commercial Structure Fire

This morning over 150 Los Angeles Fire Department personnel battled a stubborn commercial structure fire in the Hollywood Area. The blaze was reported around 9 AM at 1001 North Orange Drive, near the intersection of La Brea Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard.

fireThis location is home to Highland Plating Company. According to their company website, they specialize in metal plating and metal coatings.

Since this shop contained potentially hazardous chemicals, all firefighters were ordered to take a defensive posture and to don their breathing apparatus.

The fire was declared a knockdown at approximately 11 AM. No injuries have been reported and firefighters were able to save the surrounding businesses.

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SCMA Presentation by Wayne Smith, Ph.D.

SDR#At our July meeting, club member Wayne Smith, Ph.D. (N6LHV) gave a talk about Software Defined Radios. Wayne demonstrated how a $25 USB dongle designed to receive digital TV broadcasts can be used as an inexpensive SDR and spectrum analyzer.

Professor Wayne demonstrated how,wayne unlike current scanners, his SDR is able to decode MotoTrbo (DMR), NextEdge and Pro-Voice digital radio protocols.

For more detailed information, please download the outline of Professor Wayne’s talk.

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SCMA Guest Speaker – LAFD Deputy Chief Rueda

LAFD Deputy Chief Mario Rueda The Southern California Monitoring Association was honored to have Deputy Chief Mario Rueda with the LAFD as our guest speaker during June’s monthly meeting. 

Deputy Chief Rueda has been serving the city of Los Angeles since 1980. He spoke in detail about his career along with answering many great questions from our members. After his talk, Deputy Chief Rueda was presented with an honorary club membership.

Thank you very much Deputy Chief Rueda for taking the time to speak to our members.

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Riverside County Sheriff Moves to Encrypted Radio System

Riverside Sheriff RadioOn Sunday, January 5th, Riverside County rolled out its much-anticipated and long-delayed public safety radio system that officials say will stretch the signal’s reach and streamline communication between agencies during major emergencies.

The system, known as Public Safety Enterprise Communication (PSEC) is a P25 Phase II system and all communications are encrypted.  The new system cost $172 million to build and will require $16 million annually to operate, county spokesman Ray Smith said Monday, Jan. 6.

The previous radio system (an EDACS analog system) had been in use since 1992, and it didn’t keep up with the county’s growing population and the Sheriff’s Department’s needs.

Riverside County supervisors approved the new system in 2005, and Motorola was awarded a $148 million contract in 2007. The system was scheduled to go online in 2010, but environmental reviews and negotiations for land pushed that date back to the first three months of 2013. And then, problems with the speed and clarity of transmissions delayed the rollout further, announced as the first quarter of 2014 and made official Sunday, Jan. 5. Along the way, the price tag increased.

The new system is P25 and is encrypted. That means only those with department-issued radios will be able to hear conversations between dispatchers and deputies.  No scanners will be able to decode communications on the system.

The scrambled signal should frustrate criminals with smartphone scanner applications who want to learn whether deputies are on their way.

“It is important for the operational safety of the first responders,” Riverside County sheriff’s Lt. Eric Briddick said in a January 2013 interview about the system.

But the encryption also shuts out residents with police radios who want to know immediately what’s going on in their neighborhoods. Scanner enthusiasts had noted dead air Sunday in social media conversations.

The Sheriff’s Department issued a news release Monday about the switchover. That news release can be found here. Sheriff’s spokesman Deputy Albert Martinez referred questions about the system to the county department handling the radio system. A person there took the questions and said she would try to get answers. Those answers did not come Monday.

Among the questions is whether the county was successful in persuading other public-safety agencies to be part of the new system. That would make it easier for police and firefighters in various jurisdictions to communicate during large-scale emergencies and help defray the cost of the system.

In addition to the county sheriff and fire departments, 11 cities have their own police departments, and seven have fire departments.

Cal Fire/Riverside County Fire Chief John Hawkins said Monday that as far as he knows, among Riverside County firefighting agencies, only the county Fire Department is integrated into the new system. Even then, the county Fire Department is using the system mostly for communication by computer, he said. Dispatchers are using a different system for voice broadcasts.

The sheriff’s news release also did not answer whether the system will completely eliminate dead zones — particularly in the desert — that prompted some deputies to use cellphones instead of their car radios to communicate. The county previously had about 20 radio towers for 7,200 square miles. The news release Monday said the new system now has 75.



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L.A. Fire Department Dramatically Overhauls Response to Shootings

New Firefighter TacticsLos Angeles fire officials are dramatically changing how rescuers respond to mass shootings after a gunman with a high-powered rifle mortally wounded a federal security officer in a shooting rampage last month at LAX.

The new goal is to have Los Angeles Fire Department paramedics and firefighters, protected by armed law enforcement teams, rapidly enter potentially dangerous areas during active shooting incidents to treat victims and get them en route to hospital trauma centers.

“The LAX incident really was a paradigm shift for us,” said Fire Department Medical Director Marc Eckstein, an emergency room physician and proponent of the more aggressive approach to rendering medical aid. “There are people whose lives may depend on us getting them out of there quickly.”

Tactical changes had been under consideration but were accelerated and disseminated through the ranks after the Nov. 1 shooting of Gerardo I. Hernandez, the first Transportation Security Administration officer killed in the line of duty.

That morning when rescuers arrived at Los Angeles International Airport, they set up a safe distance away and waited 15 minutes before they were told that Hernandez was lying by an escalator near the entrance of Terminal 3, according to interviews and dispatch logs obtained by The Times.

Police moved Hernandez to paramedics using a wheelchair, and he was taken to a Carson-area trauma hospital, where he was declared dead.

A coroner’s autopsy report found 12 bullets had ripped through the 39-year-old officer’s heart and other organs, and Los Angeles police Chief Charlie Beck has said no rescue effort could have saved him.

Hernandez’s death added new urgency to overhauling the Fire Department’s response to shooting rampages in which gunmen haven’t been apprehended.

With the changes, the department joins a growing number of fire agencies that are borrowing battlefield tactics of military medics to improve the odds of saving victims.

More than 250 people have died nationwide in mass shootings since 1999, federal officials note, including attacks last year on moviegoers at a Colorado theater and students at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The new imperative, experts say, is to reach those with life-threatening wounds quickly, stem their bleeding and get them to trauma centers as fast as possible.

“They need a surgeon,” said Battalion Chief Jeff Adams of the Orange County Fire Authority, which has rewritten procedures and retrained hundreds of rescuers in revised emergency response tactics being championed by the Obama administration.

Recommendations issued by the Federal Emergency Management Agency in September call for fire department medics, working with police, to enter “warm zones” — areas near active shooters where a threat might exist — before the attackers have been fully contained.

Frontline rescuers in communities of every size need to be prepared, said U.S. Fire Administrator Ernest Mitchell Jr. “This can happen anywhere, any time. We don’t want to wait until after the fact and say what we would have done.”

Traditionally at shooting scenes, fire department rescuers have been held back in safe “cold” zones, awaiting orders to go to victims from law enforcement officers clearing “hot” areas where gunmen are active. Hot and warm zones are dynamic, experts say, and can change depending on the movements of the shooter.

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San Bernardino County to get New Radio System – for $158 Million

San Bernardino County Sheriff SUVAfter six years, San Bernardino County is finally on its way to overhauling its antiquated public safety radio system, and will be getting a state-of-the-art digital system at a cost of more than $158 million.

The Board of Supervisors on Tuesday entered into agreements with Motorola Solutions and Aviat U.S. and authorized contract expenditures of $123.3 million to get the project off the ground.

The county has been trying to overhaul its radio system since 2007, but funds became squeezed after the collapse of the housing market in 2008 and stalled the project, county spokesman David Wert said.

For years, the county has used a vintage analog radio system. When repairs are needed, it has had to resort to trolling eBay in search for replacement parts, said Jennifer Hilber, chief information officer for the county’s Information Services Department.

The new Motorola Project 25 digital system will provide the county with stable and reliable digital communications, improved voice clarity and signal strength, and enhanced security features.

Sheriff John McMahon touted the system’s automatic roaming and GPS capabilities.

“The stability and reliability of this system is critical to us,” McMahon told the board on Tuesday. He said the P25 radio system is already being used by San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties, three of six counties comprising the Office of Emergency Services (OES) Region 6 area. The other counties are San Bernardino, Inyo and Mono.

Nearly every public safety agency within San Bernardino County pushed for the radio system’s overhaul, warning that a system crash was imminent.

“The bottom line is the system is going to fail. It’s not if, but when,” Hilber told the board.

The county’s Architecture and Engineering Department has already budgeted $59 million in start-up money for the project, and the county will set aside $20 million a year over the next five years to fully fund the project.


Photo Courtesy San Bernardino County Sheriff


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