Press Releases

Avoid the 20 Summer Campaign

Release Date/Time: 8/10/2015 5:43 PM

Incident: Avoid the 20 Summer Campaign

Report #: N/A

Date: Monday, 8/10/2015

Time: 5:42 PM

Location: Monterey and San Benito Counties

The Avoid the 20 DUI Task Force Will Be Out in Full Force to Catch Drunk Drivers. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over.

As summer winds down, the Avoid the 20 of Monterey and San Benito Counties DUI Task Force is ramping up its enforcement efforts as part of a national crackdown on drunk driving. The 18-day, high-visibility campaign, Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over, is a partnership with the California Office of Traffic Safety to curb impaired driving and save lives. August 21-September 7 (Labor Day), law enforcement partners in Monterey and San Benito Counties, across the state and nationwide will show zero tolerance for drunk driving. Increased state and national messaging about the dangers of driving drunk, coupled with checkpoints and increased officers on the road, aim to drastically reduce the toll of drunk driving. And what a toll it is. In 2013, there were 10,076 people killed in drunk–driving crashes, almost a third of all traffic fatalities according to the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). In California 867 died in drunk driving collisions according to NHTSA. Thirty-eight percent of crash fatalities on Labor Day weekend that year involved drunk drivers with a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) of .08 percent or higher. And we're not just talking about a little bit of alcohol, either. More than a quarter (27 percent) of the crash fatalities that occurred on Labor Day weekend involved drivers with BACs of .15 or higher – almost twice the illegal limit.

The County's DUI Task Force kicks off Friday night by deploying a DUI/Driver's License checkpoint during the first weekend along with several special DUI Saturation Patrols. DUI enforcement will continue through Monday, September 7th.The California Highway Patrol will deploy all available officers onto freeways and county roads as part of their Maximum Enforcement Period over the 3 day holiday weekend. NHTSA data shows that repeat offenders are an especially dangerous facet of the drunk-driving problem. In the month of August from 2009-2013, of the drunk drivers involved in fatal crashes, almost 1 out of 10 (8 percent) of them had already been convicted of at least one drunk-driving offense.

Law Enforcement emphasizes the preventable nature of drunk driving reminding everyone that all it takes is a little planning ahead. Designate a sober driver or call a cab. But whatever you do, don't drink and drive. The California Office of Traffic Safety DDVIP (Designated Driver VIP) mobile app is now available for free download on iOS and Android devices. Launched last year, the new DDVIP app offers enhanced features, allowing 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 will be offered free incentives at each bar to celebrate their life saving role. They 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.

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. Everyone should be mindful that if you're taking medication – whether prescription or over-the-counter – drinking even small amounts of alcohol can greatly intensify the impairment affects. So this August and year-round, remember that there's no excuse for drunk or impaired driving. If you choose to break the law, police, sheriff and CHP official will see you before you see them. Drive Sober or Get Pulled Over. Avoid the 20 DUI Task Force funding is provided by a grant from the California Office of Traffic Safety, through the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration who reminds everyone; Report Drunk Drivers! – Call 9-1-1.

Release Authorized by: Gerard Ross

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Still openings in the 2015 Fall Community Academy

Salinas Police Department 2015 Fall Community Academy


There are still several openings for the Salinas Police Department 2015 Fall Community Academy which starts on Thursday, 9-3-15. The Community Academy is a 12 week program that runs every Thursday night from 6 to 9 PM. This is a great opportunity to come see the internal workings of the Salinas Police Department. You will see first hand what it is like to be a Salinas Police Officer.

Applicants are selected by first come first serve. The only requirements are that you live, work or volunteer in the City of Salinas, be 18 years or older, no probation, parole or felonies.

To get an application, simply send an email to [email protected] and request a Community Academy application. I will email the application to you with instructions on how to get it back to me. If you already have an application, please get it in to me because the spots are going fast.

If you have any questions, please email or call Sgt. H. Johnson, 831-758-7247





Homicide and Attempted Homicide

Release Date/Time: 8/8/2015 2:49 PM

Incident: Homicide and Attempted Homicide

Report #: 15-080362

Date: Friday, 8/7/2015

Time: 10:02 PM

Location: 150 Sherwood Dr.

NMC contacted the police department for a gunshot victim who had arrived in the emergency room.  The victim, Eliot Cerna Guererro (22) was driven to the emergency room by family members.  Guererro died shortly after his arrival. It is believed at this point in the investigation, the shooting occurred at 150 Sherwood Drive.  The victims were confronted by several gang members who challenged the victims about their gang affiliation.  The surviving victim attempted to drive away to avoid a confrontation when the suspect(s) blindly fired upon the vehicle shooting and killing Guererro and narrowly missing a juvenile who was seated behind the victim.  This is being investigated as a gang related homicide although the victim had no apparent gang ties.  If anyone may have witnessed the homicide or can provide information, they are encouraged to contact Detective Derek Gibson at 758-7442.

Release Authorized by: Sergeant Jeff Gibson

Telephone: (831) 758-7128

Car Jacking/Robbery

Release Date/Time: 8/4/2015 4:48 PM

Incident: Car Jacking/Robbery

Date: Tuesday, 8/4/2015

Time: 9:23 AM

Location: 109 John and 31 Chestnut

A 31 year old male used an on-line prostitution site to arrange for a date, agreeing to meet at the Travelers Inn.  Upon arrival, he entered a room and was met by two females.  Immediately, a male armed with a shotgun entered the room and the three robbed the victim of his car keys, phone, and wallet.  The victim was able to escape the room and the male suspect took off in the victims car.  The Victim flagged down a passing motorist and they began to follow the victims stolen car to Chestnut, where they saw the suspect unload some of the victims property and walk towards a house.  Officers arrived on scene and set up a perimeter around the property, which consists of a front home along with 3 detached smaller residences.  Not knowing which home the armed suspect may have entered, officer began hailing for everyone to come out.  While some residents exited soon thereafter, others were delaying and/or  refusing to comply.  Eventually, officers determined they had everyone out of all 4 homes and made entry to clear them.. The original suspect was not located and it appears he had jumped the rear fence onto Maple Dr. before a perimeter was set. A witness stated he had discarded a sweatshirt on the property which was later recovered.  A 44 year old male who resided in one of the rear homes was arrested on an unrelated felony warrant.  The suspect in the original robbery was described as a Hispanic Male late 20's-30's, over 6'tall with a bald head. 

Release Authorized by: Stan Cooper, Cdr

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Burglary Suspects ID Needed

Release Date/Time: 8/4/2015 8:40 AM

Incident:  Burglary Suspects ID Needed

Date: Tuesday, 8/4/2015

Time: 8:40 AM

Location:  Safeway/ Creekbridge Shopping Center

On July 29th three suspects entered the Safeway Store in the Creekbridge Shopping Center and went to the liquor aisle.  They filled a shopping cart and hand basket with liquor.  The three suspects walked directly to the exit and left the store without paying for the liquor and fled in a small black 4-door car.  The liquor was valued at $1,500.  Suspect 1 was a hispanic female adult in her twenties wearing a tan colored shirt.  She has long dark colored hair pulled back in a ponytail.  Suspect 2 is a hispanic female adult in her twenties in a red tank top and black sweatpants with writing on the left thigh.  She has dark hair pulled back in a ponytail. Suspect 3 is a hispanic male adult in his late twenties or early thirties wearing a light colored ball cap and white t-shirt.  He had a mustache and goatee.  Anyone recognizing the suspects is asked to contact Detective Byron Gansen at 831-758-7137 or by email at [email protected] or the tip-line at 831-775-4222 or We-Tip at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Release Authorized by:   Cdr. Dave Shaw

Telephone:  831-758-7271

Salinas Police Department 2015 Fall Community Academy

Salinas Police Department 2015 Fall Community Academy

The original announcement for the 2015 Fall Community Academy had the incorrect start date. The start date for this Community Academy is Thursday, September 3rd. The academy will run every Thursday night for 12 consecutive weeks. Please see the press release below for more information


The Salinas Police Department will present a Community Academy from September 3rd through November 19th, 2015.  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 19th, 2015. 

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, discussions and field trips. 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 Monday 17th 2015.  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 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 758-7247.

Homicide--Shooting UPDATE

See previous press release..

At approximately 9:47 PM Salinas Police Officers responded to 1100 Block of Pacific Ave regarding 2 gunshot victims. When Officers arrived they found Israel Guzman Ramirez (26) suffering from a gunshot wound.  Ramirez was transported to NMC where he later died. Officers on scene also located a second victim, a 22 year old male, suffering from a gunshot wound. The 22 year old victim was transported to the hospital where he is expected to survive and in stable condition. Both victims are field workers, and don't have any known gang ties. It was reported that a grey or silver 4 door sedan leaving the area at a high rate of speed may have been involved.  At this time there is little or no suspect information and anyone who may have information that may assist in this investigation is urged to contact the Salinas Police Department at 831-758-7226.


Release Date/Time: 7/30/2015 1:47 AM

Incident: Homicide

Report #: 15-071641

Date: Wednesday, 7/29/2015

Time: 9:47 PM

Location: 1100 block of Pacific Ave

On Wednesday, July 29th at approximately 9:45 pm officers from the Salinas Police Department responded to the 1100 block of Pacific Ave on a report of two victims of a shooting. When they arrived they found two adult males suffering from gunshot wounds. Both of the victims were transported a local hospital. One of the victims, age 26 died as a result of his injuries. His identity is being withheld at this time pending notification of the next of kin. The second victim is currently listed in stable condition. It is unknown at this time if this incident is gang related.

Salinas Police Detectives are looking for additional witnesses or anyone who may have information regarding this incident. Witnesses are encouraged to contact Detective Jared Sivertson at 831-758-7132 or Detective David Poulin at 831-758-7270.  If you would like to remain anonymous, you can also call the Salinas Police Department Anonymous Tip Line at 831-775-4222 or the We-Tip-Line at 1-800-78-CRIME.

Release Authorized by: Jim Arensdorf

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

DUI Collision with Injuries, Hit and Run, Probation Violation, etc...

Release Date/Time: 7/28/2015 3:36 PM

Incident: DUI Collision with Injuries, Hit and Run, Probation Violation, etc...

Report #: 15-071564

Date: Tuesday, 7/28/2015

Time: 11:19 AM

Location: Market Way and Soledad Street

Salinas Police Officers were dispatched to the area of Market Way and Soledad Street regarding a hit and run collision involving a vehicle and several pedestrians.  Witnesses had provided officers with a description of the suspect (driver) and vehicle.  A responding police sergeant located the vehicle and its driver, Floribella Pahua, 34, on Market Way near Lake Alley.  Pahua had driven the wrong way on Market Way from Bridge Street and struck several encampments and shopping carts in the area.  At the intersection of Market Way and Soledad Street she collided with three pedestrians and fled the scene.  All three pedestrians received minor injuries.  Two refused medical treatment but one was transported to the hospital for treatment.  Pahua displayed signs of being under the influence of alcohol and/or drugs and was arrested for driving under the influence and felony hit and run with injury.  Pahua was found to have 5 prior DUI convictions.  She lied about her name and was found to be driving on a suspended license.  She was also in violation of her felony probation terms.  Pahua was booked into the Monterey County Jail.

Release Authorized by: Commander David Crabill

Telephone: (831) 758-7250

Armed Robbery

Release Date/Time: 7/25/2015 2:53 PM

Incident: Armed Robbery

Date: Saturday, 7/25/2015

Time: 11:56 AM

Location: Mountain Mikes 931 W Alisal

2 males entered Mountain Mikes, one armed with a handgun.  The masked men demanded money from from the register and took a wallet and cell phone from an employee.  They were last seen running from the business across Alisal St. 

Release Authorized by: Stan Cooper, Cdr

Telephone: (831) 758-7250


Question of the Day

What can I do if I see a car parked in my neighborhood which I think may be abandoned?

The City of Salinas has people specifically designated to handle abandoned vehicles and long-term parking problems. These problems are generally handled on a complaint basis. The abandoned vehicle office hours are Monday - Friday, 8:00 a.m.- 5:00 p.m. The phone number, day or night, is (831) 758-7316.

The following information will help you determine whether or not a vehicle has been abandoned or is a long-term parking problem:


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