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Cape police officers help children with gifts

Cape Coral 10-year-old Arrissa Kubis was on a Christmas mission to find the perfect gift for her mother.

Equipped with an empty shopping cart and a Santa hat, she searched the jewelry section of the Walmart on Del Prado Boulevard looking for the perfect bauble.
Arrissa was one of the 35 children given opportunity to shop for free at the ninth annual Cape Coral Police Department’s Shop with a Cop event Thursday.



Oakland police honor top-performing officers

Two former Oakland police officers received the department’s highest bravery award, the Medal of Valor, on Friday, for actions they took Jan. 20 to assist a severely injured California Highway Patrol officer.

But Officers Matthew Lopez and Megan Sheridan, who risked their lives during a confrontation with an armed robbery suspect, were wearing the uniforms of the Hayward Police Department — which they joined two weeks ago because they feared they might be included in the next round of Oakland police layoffs.

Lopez and Sheridan — possibly the first female Oakland officer to win the Medal of Valor — were among 14 officers and a civilian technician to be honored with awards at a City Hall ceremony.

Oakland police Chief Anthony Batts told the audience the awards and recognition ceremony were “to celebrate these heroes, celebrate their heroism.”

Courage comes in different ways, Batts said, from “rushing into a line of bullets” to making difficult decisions others might not like. He said officers and civilian employees “don’t always get the praise they deserve. Few can do this job. I am very proud of the employees of this organization.”


Hero cops dumped Oakland for Hayward

Two Oakland police officers who came to the aid of California Highway Patrol officers involved in a wild shootout won department medals of valor Friday — while wearing Hayward police uniforms.

Officers Megan Sheridan and Matthew Lopez were among the Oakland cops who responded to a robbery at the Walgreens pharmacy at 51st Street and Telegraph Avenue in North Oakland on Jan. 20.

Moments after a CHP officer was shot and wounded, Sheridan and Lopez risked their lives by dragging him to safety. Sheridan fashioned a makeshift tourniquet to the officer’s right leg and placed him in the back of a police cruiser, which Lopez drove to Highland Hospital in Oakland.

“Your actions exemplify the highest of police standards,” Police Chief Anthony Batts wrote in their commendation letters.

Other officers killed one of the two Walgreens robbery suspects, Maurice Evans Shavers Jr., 21, during the shootout. The other suspect, Alphonso Mitchell, 40, was arrested.

Sheridan and Lopez wore Hayward police uniforms as they accepted medals of valor from Batts on Friday at Oakland City Hall. The two officers, who graduated together from the Oakland Police Academy in 2008, escaped being laid off when the city let 80 officers go in July to close a budget gap. But they decided they would be better off looking for other work.

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/crime/detail?entry_id=72565#ixzz0zqZuAsIA

NYPD cops are one West Side Story that will win Tony Award tonight!

NYPD's Jason Mandra, Don Schroeder, Andy Lopez and Bekim Kalicovic are among tonight’s Tony honorees.

Move over, Officer Krupke!

The NYPD’s Finest will shine on Broadway tonight when cops from the Midtown North and South precincts are honored with a special Tony Award for Excellence in the theater.

Organizers say they had planned to recognize the cops even before they thwarted a car-bombing attempt in the heart of Times Square last month.

“We had decided on this particular Tony honor well before the May 1 incident, which brought the NYPD’s skills to the forefront of a very public stage,” said, Charlotte St. Martin, executive director of The Broadway League. “So our desire to award them for their consistent, day-to-day dedication proved even more appropriate.

“They are great,” she added. “I see them being ambassadors all the time, constantly talking with and posing with theatergoers, getting them across the streets.”

Heading up the NYPD’s 11-member theater squad in Midtown North is Sgt. Andy Lopez, who has been hoofing it on the Great White Way for nearly 20 years.

Woman choking on roast beef saved by sheriff’s deputies

Santa Clara County Sheriff's deputy Darrick Lopez ( Santa Clara County Sheriff ) * « * 1 * »

A lunch of roast beef at a Sizzler restaurant in Morgan Hill could have turned deadly if not for the quick actions of three Santa Clara County sheriff’s deputies.

After a jog, Deputies Darrick Lopez and Ledia Carlsen were enjoying a buffet at the steakhouse on Monterey Road about 12:30 p.m. June 4 when they heard a shout: “Someone is choking.”

The deputies spotted a man making a cell phone call, and a woman lying on the floor. Her face was blue.

Carlsen called dispatch for help. And Lopez leapt into action. Someone was doing chest compressions on the 70-year-old woman, but Lopez could see her heart hadn’t stopped. She was choking. He took over, and hoisted her into a seated position on the floor.

“I got down on my knees, put her back to my belly, and snuggled in tight,” Lopez said.


In tight spots, deputies call in man’s best friend

Deputy Daniel Lopez and his dog Solo have seized more than 1,300 pounds of marijuana since being matched up in January.

“He’s great,” Lopez said. “He is very social and loving and he loves to work. Solo is an all-round, nice dog. He meets the same standards as the other dogs I’ve had.”

The K-9 unit at the Pinal County Sheriff’s Office is putting a bigger emphasis on drug enforcement.

Lopez has been a deputy for 10 years and in law enforcement 12 years. In 2004, he became a K-9 officer and has had several dogs since then.

Solo, a 3-year-old German shepherd/Belgian Malinois mix, is a large dog, weighing nearly 95 pounds. He was born in the Czech Republic and brought to the United States when he was 2.

Solo and Lopez were trained at the Worldwide Canine center in Spring Branch, Texas.


K-9 officers: Police in Orem add a 4th dog to squad

Man’s best friend has taken $250,000 of narcotics off the streets of Orem in the past seven years.

Orem police officer Art Lopez shows a suitcase of illegal drugs that Rudy, an Orem police K-9, found in the trunk of a car during a K-9 demonstration Wednesday. (Stuart Johnson, Deseret News)

And the city’s K-9 squad now has new reinforcements, with the recent addition of a fourth Belgian Malinois, 3-year-old Vedor. Officers showed off their dogs’ drug-finding and suspect-catching skills Wednesday.

Rudy, at 7 years old the longest-serving dog, used his keen sense of smell — 800 times greater than a human’s — to lead him to the trunk of a car holding a suitcase full of drugs. He then scratched the license plate to indicate where the stash was.

The dogs go through eight weeks of basic training on obedience and tracking, then another eight weeks of “drug school” where they learn to sniff out marijuana, methamphetamine, heroin and cocaine.

They then live with their handlers and are used daily by narcotics detectives.

“We spend more time with them than any member of our family,” said Cpl. Art Lopez, who oversees the squad. “If anything happened to them, we’d be devastated.”

The $9,600 tab for Vedor was covered by a federal grant. Like the rest of the dogs, he was imported from Holland and selected from a vendor in California.

Lopez said Orem police prefer Belgian Malinois over German or Dutch shepherds because they tend to be more social. They are typically retired when they are between 8 and 10 years old.

According to Lopez, his dogs have found drugs in every hiding place imaginable: behind secret doors, in engine compartments, even in a baby’s diaper. Drug dealers try to hide the scent with anything from mustard to axle grease — all to no avail.

And when a suspect is on the run, the threat of a dog’s bite at 650 pounds of pressure per square inch is often more intimidating than any weapon police carry.

“They’d rather fight with officers than with a police dog,” Lopez said, as Rudy easily bowled over a reporter wearing a protective suit and dragged her along the ground.

“A lot of drug dealers are in prison right now because of these dogs.”

By Paul Koepp