Press Releases

Fatal Vehicle Pedestrian Collision

Release Date/Time: 8/3/2016 12:54 PM

Incident: Fatal Vehicle Pedestrian Collision

Report #: 16-071563

Date: Wednesday, 8/3/2016

Time: 12:55 PM

Location: North Main North of Bernal Drive

On July 30th at about 1012 PM a 43-year-old male was driving northbound in the  #1 lane of North Main Street just north of Bernal Drive at approximately 25 mph. His 24-year-old female passenger observed a pedestrian crossing eastbound from the median into the #1 lane and tried to warn the driver. There was not enough time to react and the pedestrian, Johnny Albert Pineda, age 25, stepped into the path of the vehicle. Pineda went onto the hood and into the windshield. He suffered two broken legs and life threatening head injures. He was transported in extremely critical condition to Natividad Medical Center where he later died. The driver had no signs of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and had a valid driver's license. He volunteered to take a blood test. It is believed that Pineda was homeless and was staying at a homeless encampment at Sherwood Park.

The case is still under investigation.

This is the 7th fatal traffic collision this year in Salinas and the fourth involving a vehicle vs. a pedestrian.

Release Authorized by: Sergeant Gerard D Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7975

Shooting Update--Homicide

Release Date/Time: 8/3/2016 8:36 AM

Incident: Shooting Update--Homicide

Report #: 16-071608

Date: Wednesday, 8/3/2016

Time: 8:30 AM

Location: 2100 block of N. Main St.

On Sunday, July 31, 2016, at approximately 9:00 pm, officers were dispatched to the 2100 block N. Main St. on the report of a shooting.  When officers arrived they found Salvador Duran (25) was suffering from multiple gunshot wounds.  Duran was provided medical care and transported to Natividad Medical Center in critical condition. 

Duran was with friends in the area of the 2100 block of N. Main St. when they were approached by at least two males. For unknown reasons, two males pulled out handguns and fired multiple rounds. After the shooting, the suspects fled in an unknown direction and no vehicle information could be obtained. No other persons were injured by the gunfire. 

On August 2nd, we were advised by the Monterey County Coroner's Office that Duran died as a result of his injuries. Duran is the 20th homicide of the year and is considered gang related. The homicide that occurred later that evening, in the 300 block of Iris Dr., does not appear to be related at this time. 

Release Authorized by: Christopher Lane, Investigations Sergeant

Telephone: (831) 758-7496


Release Date/Time: 8/1/2016 9:07 AM

Incident: Homicide

Date: Monday, 8/1/2016

Time: 1:15 AM

Location: 300 Block of Iris Drive

Officers responded to reports of shots fired in the area of Iris Dr and Tyler St. They located Manuel Hoyos, age 28, in his vehicle after he suffered a gunshot wound.  Medical arrived and he was pronounced at the scene.  There are no witnesses and no other information regarding the suspects.

This is the 19th homicide of the year and is being investigated as gang related.  The Investigations Bureau is asking anyone who may have seen the shooting occur or may have seen a vehicle fleeing the area, contact Detective Schwener at (831) 758-7276 or Detective Currier at (831) 758-7125. If you would like to remain anonymous, you can call the Salinas Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at 831-775-4222, or the We-Tip Line at 1-800-78-CRIME, or text information to the Text Tip Line with the code "SPD831" to "847411".

Release Authorized by: Sgt. Brian Johnson

Telephone: (831) 758-7128

Officer Ernie Sanchez Retirement

Release Date/Time: 7/29/2016 1:22 PM

Incident: Officer Ernie Sanchez Retirement

Date: Monday, 8/1/2016

Time: 7:30 am

Location: 100 Howard St.

The Salinas Police Department would like to announce the retirement of Officer Ernie Sanchez.  His final briefing will be Monday, August 1, 2016 at 7:30 a.m. in the Salinas Police Activities League building, across the street from the Salinas Police Department. 

Ernesto Sanchez, known by the department as Ernie, was born in Michoacan, Mexico and moved to the United States at the age of ten. He attended local elementary schools and graduated from North Salinas High School.  He became a United States Citizen in January 1991. 

Ernie was hired as a Police Recruit and graduated from the Gavilan Police Academy. He was sworn in as a Police Officer on July 26, 1991.  

Ernie's collateral duties included: Crime Scene Investigator, Narcotics Detective, Traffic Enforcement Officer, Hostage Negotiator, Field Training Officer, Crisis Intervention Team Member and English/Spanish Translator. 

Ernie has worked as a Crime Scene Investigator longer than all of the current CSI's combined.  

Throughout his career Ernie received numerous commendations for his professionalism, positive attitude, dedication to duty and always going out of his way to assist anyone in need.  

In November 1993, Ernie received a commendation from City Mayor Alan Styles for his professional response during a major disturbance and in January 2002, Ernie received the Award of Valor from the Monterey County Peace Officers Association. 

After 25 years of service, Ernie is looking forward to retirement where he can spend more time with his family.  


Release Authorized by: Commander Henry Gomez

Telephone: (831) 758-7279

4th of July DUI enforcement

Release Date/Time: 6/29/2016 2:59 PM

Incident: 4th of July DUI enforcement

Report #: N/A

Date: Wednesday, 6/29/2016

Time: 2:58 PM

Location: Monterey and San Benito Counties

This Fourth of July, There's No Excuse— 'Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over” by the Avoid the 20 Monterey and San Benito Counties' DUI Task Force

Every year Americans head out on our nation's highways to celebrate the Fourth of July at picnics, parties, parades and more. For many, the celebration frequently includes drinking alcohol, which, unfortunately, too often leads to drunk driving on one of the most heavily traveled holidays of the year. From 2010-2014, 39 percent of all traffic fatalities over the Fourth of July period occurred in alcohol-impaired driving crashes. There were 397 people killed nationally in motor vehicle crashes in 2014 over the Fourth of July holiday. Of those fatalities, 41 percent were killed in crashes involving a driver or motorcycle operator with a blood alcohol concentration (BAC) of .08 or higher. In California during the holiday, an average of 6 people are killed and 110 are seriously injured each year.

To crack down on drunk driving this Fourth of July, the Avoid the 20 DUI task force will be out in full force, aggressively targeting those who put lives in danger.

• Several DUI Saturation patrols will deploy on Friday and Saturday in different cities throughout Monterey and San Benito Counties.

• CHP officers will deploy a Maximum Enforcement Period during the 3 day weekend with all available officers patrolling freeways and county roads.

'If you're thinking about drinking and driving this Fourth of July; Dont do it! Every police agency in both counties will be out looking for you,” said Traffic Sergeant Gerry Ross. 'The ‘Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over' campaign means zero tolerance for drunk driving – no excuses.” The consequences of drunk driving are that serious. Not only are impaired drivers putting their lives and the lives of others at risk, but a DUI arrest means a loss of freedom and money that can include going to jail, losing a driver license, and paying steep financial costs of $10,000 or more.

The Avoid the 20 DUI Task Force recommends these safe alternatives to drinking and driving.

• Plan a safe way home before the fun begins.

• Before drinking, designate a sober driver.

• DDVIP: The California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP mobile app is available for free download on iOS and Android devices. The DDVIP app allows users to 'Map a Spot” with their current location to find DDVIP partnering establishments in their area or a 'List of Spots” to search all participating bars and restaurants throughout California. Users can stay up-to-date with the latest from DDVIP and see what other users are saying via its social tab. Also through the app, for those who want to imbibe but also make it a point to plan ahead, users can easily order a sober ride from Uber, Lyft or Curb – all from one screen.

• DRUGS, MEDICATION & ALCOHOL= CRASHES: Recent statistics reveal that 30 percent of drivers in fatal crashes had one or more drugs in their systems. A study of active drivers showed more tested positive for drugs that may impair driving (14 percent) than did for alcohol (7.3 percent). Of the drugs, marijuana was most prevalent, at 7.4 percent, slightly more than alcohol.

• If you happen to see a drunk driver on the road, don't hesitate – 'Report Drunk Drivers! Call 911!”

• If you know someone who is about to drive or ride while impaired, take your friend's keys and help your friend make other arrangements to get to where he or she is going safely.

Funding for the Avoid the 20 DUI Campaign is a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration. The Avoid DUI Task Force will deploy checkpoints and DUI patrols next during the 18 day August/Labor Day DUI Mobilization.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Click It or Ticket Campaign

Release Date/Time: 5/19/2016 9:57 AM

Incident: Click It or Ticket Campaign

Report #: N/A

Date: Thursday, 5/19/2016

Time: 9:53 AM

Location: City of Salinas

New 'Coast to Coast” Seat Belt Enforcement Effort Aims to Increase Click It or Ticket Participation, Save Lives

Salinas CA – From May 23 to June 5, 2016, local law enforcement personnel will participate in the national Click It or Ticket campaign in an effort to save lives through increased seat belt use. This education enforcement period comes ahead of the Memorial Day holiday, one of the busiest travel weekends of the year.

According to research conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, while 88.5 percent of passenger vehicle occupants buckled up in 2015, almost 50 percent of occupants of fatal crashes nationwide are not restrained. In some states, the rate is as high as 70 percent unrestrained in fatal crashes. In California, more than a half million people travel our roadways at grave risk without proper restraints. These facts gravely highlight the need for increased education, awareness and enforcement of seat belt use.

This year, NHTSA is aiming to increase campaign participation even more by coordinating a 'Coast to Coast” seat belt education and enforcement effort with the California Highway Patrol and law enforcement around the I-10, I-40, I-70 and I-80 corridors. Additionally, law enforcement agencies statewide are joining the Click It or Ticket effort to emphasize the 'Coast to Coast” seat belt safety awareness campaign in all 50 states.

'Throughout the nation the principal job of law enforcement is to protect its citizens,” said Sergeant Gerry Ross of the Salinas Police Department. 'One of the best ways we can protect people is to make sure they are buckling up. We see the deadly and often gruesome results that come from those who fail to wear their seat belt. I've seen people walk away uninjured from some pretty gnarly crashes because they were buckled up. If you want to survive a crash and minimize any injuries, take a second to buckle up before driving away.”

In 2014, nearly half of the 21,022 passenger vehicle occupants killed in crashes nationally were unrestrained, according to NHTSA. During the nighttime hours of 6 p.m. to 5:59 a.m., that number increased to 57 percent of those killed. Law enforcement agencies will write citations day and night, with a zero-tolerance approach. 'Hundreds of thousands of citizens will be traveling this Memorial Day weekend, as well as throughout the summer vacation season. We want to make sure that people are buckling up to keep themselves and their families safe. It is the greatest defense in a vehicle crash,” said Rhonda Craft, Director of the California Office of Traffic Safety. For more information on the Click It or Ticket campaign, please visit

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

2016 Fall Session of the Salinas Police Community Academy

2016 Fall Session of the Salinas Police Community Academy


The Salinas Police Department will present a Community Academy from September 1st through November 17th, 2016.  The Community Academy will run from 6:00 PM to 9:00 PM each Thursday night for 12 consecutive weeks, with the final class to be held on November 17th, 2016. 

Community Academy participants will have the opportunity to go on a ride-along with a patrol officer, observe what the Salinas Police SWAT team does, learn all about our Crime Scene Investigation Unit, participate in scenarios, watch a demonstration of the K9 program, learn about the hiring process of police officers and much more.

Each night features a new topic, with speakers, demonstrations and discussions. We will answer questions and give an in-depth, behind the scenes look at police operations. 

To attend the Community Academy obtain an application and submit it to the Salinas Police Department, Community Services Unit by Friday, August 19th 2016.  Applicants must be at least 18 years old, live or work in Salinas or involved in a community-based organization that provides services to Salinas residents. Applicants must not be on probation or parole or have any recent felonies on their record.

Class size is limited to 25 - 30 students; so prospective applicants should not wait to submit their application.  Applications may be obtained by sending an email request for a Community Academy application to [email protected] Applications can be returned by filling them out on your computer and returning them via email or by printing them out and returning the hard copy to Sergeant Heath Johnson/Community Services Unit, 222 Lincoln Avenue, Salinas, CA, 93901. Applications may also be picked up and turned in at the Salinas Police Department Front Desk. 

If you have questions, feel free to email or call Sergeant Heath Johnson at 831-758-7247.

Motorcycle vs. DUI Driver

Release Date/Time: 7/27/2016 12:12 AM

Incident: Motorcycle vs. DUI Driver

Report #: 16 07 1341

Date: Tuesday, 7/26/2016

Time: 9:18 PM

Location: Boronda / Rider Ave.

A 22-year-old male was riding eastbound on Boronda at Rider Avenue when Mateo Perez (31), turned left from westbound Boronda onto Rider Avenue in front of him. The motorcycle struck Perez' vehicle resulting in serious injuries. Perez fled the scene. A witness took a photo of Perez' vehicle capturing the license plate, and officers located the vehicle and Perez at Natividad Creek Park. Perez was positively identified as the driver of the vehicle involved in the collision. Perez' blood alcohol content was determined to be almost twice the legal limit. He was booked into County Jail for felony DUI, and felony hit and run.

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Gang Member Possession of Firearm with Narcotics, etc..

Release Date/Time: 7/26/2016 4:56 PM

Incident: Gang Member Possession of Firearm with Narcotics, etc..

Report #: 16-071278

Date: Monday, 7/25/2016

Time: 6:10 PM

Location: Parking Lot of 914 Acosta Plaza

Officers on foot in the area of Acosta Plaza observed two subjects; Marcos Sanchez, 19 and a 22-year-old sitting in a vehicle in the parking lot. Upon walking up to the car officers smelled marijuana and asked the driver to step from the vehicle. A search of the driver, Marcos Sanchez, 19, revealed a loaded .380 Kel Tec semi-auto in his right front pocket. Four bindles of cocaine and a small amount of marijuana were found in the vehicle. Sanchez was booked in County Jail and the 22-year-old passenger was released.

Release Authorized by: Cmdr. John C. Murray

Telephone: (831) 758-7250


Question of the Day

What can I do if there is a loud party in my neighborhood?

If someone is having a loud party in your neighborhood you may call the Police Department for assistance. When deciding whether to call the police you must also decide whether the noise is at a level that your peace is being disturbed. If it is, you next need to decide whether you would be willing to press formal charges in order to get the noise to stop or be turned down to a tolerable level.

Most often, the mere fact that you are willing to press charges will help us to solve the problem so that no actual charges need be pressed. If you...

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