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Police activity near American High School

If you were driving near American High School today about 2 p.m., you probably noticed the large number of police officers roving the area. Police detained at least 20 people and stopped an apparent gang fight before it started.

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Fremont SWAT takes second at Urban Shield

Still trying to confirm this, but it appears the Fremont Police Department’s SWAT contingent took second place in the Urban Shield anti-terrorism exercise held last weekend throughout the East Bay. Apparently the group finished just behind the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department, which clearly has a leg up on SWAT situations due to the “routine” calls they receive in that jurisdiction. Fremont SWAT took first place honors in 2007, the first year of the state-wide competition.

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Fremont officers honored by the governor

In today’s paper there is a short item about two Fremont police officers receiving the Medal of Valor from the governor this week for their efforts last November when they saved a 40-year-old woman from her burning apartment on Mowry Avenue. Here’s the picture of the officers with the governor. This did not appear in the paper. Officers John Anderson and Brian Shadle are persons three and four from left to right in this image.

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For the record I am not a criminal

For about 15 minutes, The Argus’ Web site had me listed as a suspected criminal. I wrote a story this morning about an armed robbery at the Quick Stopon Farwell Drive, and because of a coding error my byline (the part that says “By Ben Aguirre Jr.”) was linked to the headline and appeared on our Web site in the same line of text. Click the image here to see the screen shot. I found it amusing.

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Swat action in Union City NOT related to ‘local’ homicide

If you happened to hear about the raid on a Union City home this morning you’re probably wondering what it’s all about. Well, Union City police, the ones who busted into the home on Galaxy Way about 6 a.m., told me that it was related to a homicide case in Hayward and then referred me to a different agency for more information.  We’ve got a reporter at The Daily Review working on the details, but it appears that at least a half-dozen suspected gang members were arrested related to a killing in Hayward last month. Check The Review for information later. We should have the full story in our paper tomorrow.

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Fremont Chief on burglar alarms

Chief Steckler dispenses advise on burglar alarms on my favorite Niles chat group:

Hi Everyone:I don’t want to get into the debate of alarm systems and the Police Department response policy, other than to say they generally act as a deterrent and most burglars would rather attempt a burglary at a residential structure that is not alarmed.

With that said, I would strongly suggest that any alarm company you choose should be one that will respond to an alarm activation with private security to determine if the alarm is a malfunction or a real attempt at a burglary.  National statistics for the past 30 years, and what held true in Fremont since I have been here is that 99.3% of all alarms are a malfunction.  The three primary casual factors for malfunctioning alarms are human error (the homeowner forgets to reset), substandard alarm equipment, and substandard installation and training for the alarm owner. Continue Reading

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street vendors = low priority

A Fremont fellow has been waging a letter writing campaign to force out fruit vendors on his street. I haven’t written anything about it for the paper because it seems like small potatoes. Apparently the cops feel the same way

Here’s a bit from one letter:

For the past two months driving from my house and back I have been stopped in my tracks every time when I get to the bottom of Parkmeadow Ct.  At the intersection of Parkmeadow Court and Grimmer Boulevard an unlicensed and non-permitted person is selling numerous fruits in a residential district and knowingly putting the lives of pedestrians and drivers in harms way.  Not to mention the individuals may be here illegally.  What about the fact that because the fruits are not being regulated someone ends up dying of salmonella poisoning.  I have at least 10 times contacted Dennis Robinson, Operations Supervisor and the Police Department to no unveil.  This letter is my next step hoping that it may light a fire under someone and some real enforcement may take place.

Now here is a portion Chief Steckler’s response::

We are trying to address the issue of street side fruit vendors with some of the other City Departments that have authority over this type of activity.  Our Street Crimes Unit is helping.
This is a very low priority issue for the Police Department.  In my time as Chief of Police which is over 16 years I do not recall a single incident where a street fruit vendor has been the causal factor in any type of traffic accident, nor have we had any reports of criminal activities involving these vendors.  In fact I cannot find a single complaint from a citizen about their activities besides your complaint.  This is not to say that people dislike the idea of a street fruit vendor, simply that no one has taken the time or effort to call the police department.