Javier Ayala wanted to be a police officer for as long as he can remember.
After working for seven years at photographic equipment company, the 27-year-old Watsonville High School graduate decided it was time to act. He enrolled in the police academy at Evergreen College in San Jose, graduating in November.
Thursday, surrounded by family, friends and police officers, Ayala was sworn in as Watsonville Police Department’s newest officer.
“It’s something I won’t take for granted,” Ayala said. “I worked too hard to get here.”
Ayala was born and raised in the Pajaro Valley, helping out on the family farm. His family, he said, helped him stay on the right path.
South Beloit officers are once again carrying Tasers after being recertified and retrained. Police Chief Dean Stiegemeier reissued the Taser guns earlier this week.
“This is another tool we can use, and I’ve seen in my experience that this is an extremely effective tool,” Stiegemeier said.
The Tasers were put away last April, about one month after the Winnebago County Sheriff Department began temporarily supervising the South Beloit police force while the city searched for a new chief.
Apparently the police do have a sense of humor.
This 1960 photo depicting policemen in drag was posted on the LAPD Central Division Facebook page Wednesday — and it’s not pretty.
But these police officers weren’t just dressing up for Halloween; they were part of an operation to catch a purse snatcher turned murderer.
Remember the gloom and doom predictions from police union officials in 2011 about how a plan to impose a 10 percent salary cut for rookie officers would have a disastrous impact on the Oakland Police Department’s recruitment and retention efforts?
Well, guess what?
There are at least 2,300 people who still consider $70,000 a year a pretty decent starting salary – even for what veteran police officers describe as one of the most dangerous police jobs in the nation.
It was three years ago that Pittsburgh police officers Eric Kelly, Stephen Mayhle and Paul Sciullo II were killed in a standoff in Stanton Heights.
Wednesday night, friends, relatives and fellow officers attended a special memorial service for the patrolmen at St. Joseph Church in Bloomfield.
Organizers say they wanted it to be a solemn tribute, but also an uplifting celebration of their lives and the sacrifices they made.
Rony, Greencastle’s police dog, will soon be patrolling the streets from the back of a new vehicle.
Greencastle Borough Council members learned Monday night that a used 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe has arrived.
The vehicle, a 2004 Chevrolet Tahoe, will be the new K-9 unit for Rony and his handler.
The transmission failed on the old K-9 vehicle. In addition, the former vehicle caused some concerns because with Rony in the back seat anyone who was arrested had to ride in the front passenger seat, right beside the police officer.
Well, it’s seven decades if you count them in dog years.
The careers of Antar and Max, both German shepherds with the K-9 unit, will be recognized Thursday by Tampa City Council. Officially, the canines will be removed from the “police inventory” due to old age and health issues, according to a resolution.
In reality, both dogs can look forward to leisure and luxury for the rest of their lives.
The four-footed, fur-faced cops that make up the finely tuned K-9 unit in West Valley City earn their keep and the respect and love of their human counterparts.
“They do a ton of things that man can only dream of,” said officer Todd Zahlmann. “They’re so athletic and quick — and then how they work with their noses is incredible.”