Press Releases

Salinas Police Department Wins Grant to Buy Body Cameras

Release Date/Time: 12/1/2014 11:00 AM

Incident: Salinas Police Department Wins Grant to Buy Body Cameras

Date: Monday, 12/1/2014

Time: 11:00 AM

Location: Salinas Police Department

Release Authorized by: Spencer Critchley, Acting PIO

Telephone: (831) 998-3000

The Salinas Police Department will be able to go ahead with a longstanding plan to equip its officers with body worn cameras, thanks to a $100,000 grant by the nonprofit Monterey Peninsula Foundation.

The grant was announced by Police Chief Kelly McMillin at a press conference today at the police department.

"We are delighted and grateful to receive this generous gift from the Foundation," said Chief McMillin. "Body worn cameras are a proven tool for supporting accuracy, accountability and transparency. Those are critical priorities for us, for the public and for the all-important relationship between us."

The Foundation's grant will be augmented by more than $49,000 in discretionary funds previously made available by the Bureau of State and Community Corrections under Assembly Bill 109, the public safety realignment measure that allows for the transfer of low-level offenders from state to local incarceration.

The Chief has wanted to buy body cameras for the department since he was appointed to his current role in 2011, but was prevented by the severe budget constraints faced by both the Department and the City.

In June, he applied to the Monterey Peninsula Foundation for grant funding, and the MPF board recently voted to approve the application.

With the grant money in hand, the Police Department will now move forward in choosing from among a variety of systems offered by different manufacturers.

'We're primarily looking for reliability, resolution, security and cost-effectiveness,” said Commander Mike Groves, whose duties include forensic technology. 'We've been testing alternatives for about three months, so we're already well on our way. We expect to take a recommendation to the City Council within the next two to three months.”

Body worn cameras attach to an officer's uniform and record everything he or she does during an interaction with a member of the public. The recording is then transferred to a secure server after the officer's shift. In order to protect both evidence integrity and the public's privacy rights, access to the footage is tightly controlled, and no one is able to access or alter it unnoticed.

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Gang Member w. Firearm / Wanted Subject

Release Date/Time: 11/29/2014 6:47 PM

Incident: Gang Member w. Firearm / Wanted Subject

Report #: 14-111384

Date: Saturday, 11/29/2014

Time: 3:22 PM

Location: Williams / Freedom

Members of the Salinas Police Department's Violence Suppression Unit conducted a traffic stop for vehicle code violations.  Joshua Nunez (27) was arrested for an $80,000 felony warrant.  Robert Gabriel (21) was arrested after officers found a loaded gun in his pocket.  Both Nunez and Gabriel are gang members and they were both lodged in county jail.

Release Authorized by: Sgt. Gray

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Parade of Lights Traffic Advisory

The Parade of Lights event will take place on Sunday, November 30th.  Street closures for the parade will begin at 4:30 pm and the parade will be begin at 6:00 pm.  Streets closures for the parade include:

  • South Main St. between Romie Lane and John St.
  • 100, 200, and 300 blocks of Main St.
  • Salinas Street between West Market Street and San Luis Street

Please use alternate routes to avoid delays.

 

Suspicious Person Knocking on Doors

Suspicious Person Knocking on Doors

Yesterday a Hispanic male in his late 40's, approx. 6' tall, thin with an acne complexion, wearing a black leather jacket and dark color jeans knocked on a door in the North Salinas area. He called the female resident by name and requested she let him inside. He said he was there to test the water. He did not have any identifying information. He kept telling the female that it would be a quick test. She did not open the door and continued to question him. She felt very uneasy because he knew her name and was really trying to talk her into opening the door. He even told her she was smart not to open her door to a stranger, but said he was fine. She called police and he left before we arrived.

We searched the area but did not find anyone matching that description. While we do not know this persons intentions, it is clear he had no business knocking on this woman's door requesting to be let inside. She trusted her instincts and refused to open her door.

This happens from time to time and is a good reminder to everyone to follow basic safety rules, one being not opening doors to strangers. If you do not have a peep hole in your door, consider getting one and mounting it in a spot where the shortest member of your family can see through. It may require 2 separate peep holes, one higher for adults and one lower for smaller kids. These are cheap, easy to install and available at local hardware stores.

Remember that if you see something suspicious, trust your instincts and call police. We take these calls seriously and will do our best to respond quickly.

Armed Robbery with Shots Fired

Release Date/Time: 11/23/2014 2:02 PM

Incident: Armed Robbery with Shots Fired

Report #: 14-111159

Date: Sunday, 11/23/2014

Time: 12:06 PM

Location: 241 John St - John St Mini Mart

An Hispanic male, approximately 18-years old, wearing a black hoodie and black face mask entered the store and demanded money. The 59-year old clerk did not resist and gave the suspect all the money in the till. The suspect struck the victim in the face with a pistol and fired one round into the screen of the surveillance monitor before fleeing Northbound on Front St. The camera and recorder were not damaged and a large caliber casing was recovered at the scene. Officers were in the area immediately, along with a CHP helicopter, but the suspect was not located. The video security system was taken to the police department for processing.

Release Authorized by: Sheldon Bryan

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Attempted Homicide

Release Date/Time: 11/19/2014 12:43 AM

Incident: Attempted Homicide

Report #: 14-110928

Date: Tuesday, 11/18/2014

Time: 8:09 PM

Location: 20 S. Hebbron Ave.

Officers were dispatched to a report of shots fired with a man down. When they arrived on scene, they found Gabriel Lopez Jr. (18) down on the driveway, suffering from multiple gunshot wounds. It was reported that multiple rounds were heard.  There were people in the area at the time of the shooting but none would come forward to provide information.  Lopez was immediately transported to Natividad Medical Center where at the time of this posting is in critical condition.

Anyone with information is encouraged to contact Detective Zuniga at 758-7929 or Detective Roman at 758-7913.  Information can be left anonymously at 758-7133 or 775-4222. 

Release Authorized by: Sergeant Jeff Gibson

Telephone: (831) 758-7128

Shooting Victim

Release Date/Time: 11/18/2014 10:46 PM

Incident: Shooting Victim

Report #: 14-110925

Date: Tuesday, 11/18/2014

Time: 6:11 PM

Location: 700 block of Kilbreth Avenue

The 27 year old male victim was walking on Kilbreth Avenue, possibly with a second person, when he was confronted by two Hispanic male suspects, 18-20 years of age.  One of the suspects had a semi auto handgun.  The suspect yelled something at the victim and shot multiple rounds at him as he chased him southbound on Kilbreth Avenue.  4 parked vehicles were struck by gunfire.  There was mention that there may have been a second victim but we were unable to locate that person.  The one victim sustained several gunshot wounds but none were life threatening.  The victim was not cooperative.  This shooting is being investigated as gang related. 

Release Authorized by: Commander David Crabill

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Attempted Murder

Release Date/Time: 11/17/2014 11:50 PM

Incident: Attempted Murder

Date: Monday, 11/17/2014

Time: 6:49 PM

Location: 1600 Block of Atherton Way

Officers responded to a report of a victim of a head wound in the 1600 block of Atherton Wy. Steven Ferguson (45) was in a verbal argument with his 69 year old father, who lives in the home with him. During the argument, Steven pushed his father down and threatened to kill him before striking him in the head with a hatchet, causing a severe, but non-life threatening laceration. The father was able to get up and fled the home to a neighbor, who called police. Initial officers arrived on scene within minutes and were told that Steven was last known to be in the home alone.  A perimeter was set and hailing and attempted calls to Steven begun, but we had no response and it was becoming unknown if he was still in the home or if he had fled prior to our arrival. At approximately 2150 hours, while officers were still at the home, officers on scene with the father at Natividad Medial Center, determined Steven was  in the parking lot, As they attempted contact he was non-cooperative and tried to turn and walk away when he was TASED and taken into custody. He was later boked into Monterey County Jail for attempted murder. 

Release Authorized by: Stan Cooper, Commander

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Search Warrant

Release Date/Time: 11/13/2014 4:45 PM

Incident: Search Warrant

Report #: 14-110633

Date: Thursday, 11/13/2014

Time: 9:50 PM

Location: 200 block Williams Rd

Members of the Salinas Police Department's Violence Suppression Unit served a search warrant in the 200 block of Williams Rd.  Officers located methamphetamine, cocaine and marijuana consistant with drug sales.  Two handguns were also found, one was reported stolen and the other was unregistered.  Felix Soto (56) was lodged in county jail for numerous charges related to illegal gun possession and drug sales.

Release Authorized by: Sgt. Gray

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Salinas Police Introduce "Here to Hear / Aquí para escuchar" Meetings

Salinas Police Department Hear to Hear meetings: Learn moreRelease Date/Time: 11/12/2014 11:00 AM

Incident: Salinas Police Introduce "Here to Hear / Aquí para escuchar" Meetings

Date: Wednesday, 11/12/2014

Time: 11:00 AM

Location: Hebbron Family Center, Salinas

Release Authorized by: Spencer Critchley, Acting PIO

Telephone: (831) 998-3000

As part of a commitment to deepening connections between residents and the police who serve them, the Salinas Police Department is inviting members of the public to request small group meetings with Chief Kelly McMillin or other senior staff.

Any resident of Salinas will be able to request a "Here to Hear" or "Aquí para escuchar" meeting by filling out a short web form, by filling out a paper form at the police station or other locations around the City, or by making a phone call (details are below).

Here to Hear meetings will take place in an informal setting outside police headquarters. In order to encourage open dialog, the identities of the people attending the meeting will be kept confidential unless they choose otherwise. To ensure that each attendee has a chance to participate, groups will be limited to six or fewer people at a time. Meetings can be conducted in English or Spanish.

"I've had quite a few meetings like this already and I know they're valuable," said Chief McMillin. "We want to make sure people know this option is available for them and to make it as easy as possible."

The small group meetings complement the larger public meetings frequently attended by the Chief and other officers.

"The big, public meetings are important too," said Chief McMillin. "In these smaller ones there's time to go deeper, and people may feel more comfortable speaking frankly."

Here to Hear goes live on November 12, 2014, with the launch of the web request form at salinaspd.com/here-to-hear and in Spanish at salinaspd.com/aqui-para-escuchar. Paper forms will initially be available at the police station and City Hall, and will be offered to community organizations, churches and others. The phone number to call on or after November 12 will be (831) 758-7286.

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