Torrico’s Safe Surrender bill vetoed

Just got a press release stating that Alberto Torrico’s Safe Surrender bill was vetoed this week by Governor Schwarzenegger. The bill, which overwhelmingly passed both the state Senate and Assembly, would have extended the time that mothers have to safely surrender their newborn to designated agencies. As it is right now, the bill, signed in 2001, gives mothers 72 hours to surrender their newborn to fire stations and emergency rooms, an alternative to abandoning the child. The proposed bill would have given mothers a week to make that decision, and would have placed the state Department of Social Services in charge of the Surrender program.


Crime in Fremont

I’m going to have a story in tomorrow’s paper about the council debate Monday. With so many candidates and only so much room for copy, it’s tricky and frustrating to write those stories. I’m going to use the blog to go into depth about a couple of the things brought up in the debate.

One is crime. Several candidates said crime is on the rise, and Fremont needs more police. Here are the FBI stats for the past three years. More tomorrow.

In 2007, Fremont had 606 violent crimes and 5,173 property crimes

In 2006, Fremont had 569 violent crimes and 5,298 property crimes

In 2005, Fremont had 521 violent crimes and 4,803 property crimes


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.


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.


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.


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.


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


Fremont teachers to return

A reader recently asked me for an update on the investigation into a Mission San Jose High School teacher who received an anonymous threatening letter back in March.

The letter was sexually suggestive in nature and made reference to the Virginia Tech shooting.

The teacher and her husband, who also worked at the high school, were placed on paid leave shortly after.

Well, it’s been four months later, and investigators don’t have any new, solid leads.

“Pending new information, the case is suspended,” Fremont police Detective Bill Veteran said this month.

Meanwhile, the school district’s assistant superintendent of human resources, Steve Betando, told me that the teacher and her husband will return to work with Fremont Unified. Whether either one will be assigned back to MSJHS has yet to be determined, he said.

Image from s.Bradi.’s site at flickr.com.