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Anaheim Police Department History: 1970


Civil disobedience during the late 1960s and early 70s was prevalent throughout the United States. The City of Anaheim was not spared their share of these disturbances. On August 6, 1970, Disneyland was the unlikely location for an event referred to as "Yippie Day." Towards the summer of 1970, thousands of flyers were being distributed, and advertisements were placed, in the Los Angeles Free Press inviting "Yippies" to attend the First International "Yippie Pow Wow."

Publicity in the underground newspaper was high and approximately 100,000 leaflets were distributed throughout the nation.

According to Police investigations, the leaflets were distributed and the event was coordinated from a residence in the 1200 block of West La Palma Avenue in Anaheim. Hippies were encouraged to attend this non-sponsored event "to liberate Minnie Mouse, have free rein of the park and infiltrate Tom Sawyer's Island." Warned that Disneyland would not allow the Yippies admission to the park without a ticket, the coordinators encouraged people to "tear down the walls." The LA Free Press warned its readers to prepare for a confrontation, advising that Anaheim Police Officers were under going riot training and may be heavily armed. With this information, the Anaheim police Department prepared for a major confrontation, working with their strategy for the unauthorized visitation of an anticipated crowd of 20,000 plus Yippies to the Magic Kingdom.

Officials with the Anaheim Police Department and other Orange County police agencies began training their officers in crowd control. On the morning of August 6, 1970, Anaheim Police and Disneyland personnel were prepared for the Yippie take-over. As the gates opened, 300 Yippies made their entrance into the park. Anaheim Police waited in riot formation behind Main Street while Disneyland administrators and cast members dealt with the small group of unruly hippies. Once inside the park, the Yippies received an unexpected confrontation from regular park guests. Disneyland personnel handled these minor confrontations as hundreds of police officers remained in the back lot. It appeared that Disneyland personnel had things well in hand and the day would remain relatively peaceful. As the day wore on, so did the emotions and tempers of the paying park guests and Yippies. The Yippies assembled on Main Street and tried to gain unity in an attempt to disrupt park activity and cause damage to the park. As security officers attempted to gain order, one of Disneyland's security officers was assaulted. At that point the police were called upon to evict the Yippies from the park. As park guests watched and cheered, hundreds of police officers marched onto Main Street in formation and began their slow and deliberate sweep to clear the unruly crowd.

Instead of departing, the Yippies broke up and spread throughout the park. Police remained in formation on Main Street as Disneyland personnel cleared the park section by section and declared the park closed for the day.

Disneyland was officially closed at 7:10 p.m. but police continued to deal with confrontations with Yippies on surrounding park properties, including the Disneyland Hotel. It was not until 11:50 p.m. that they were allowed to leave.

Aside from the Anaheim Police Department, over 200 additional police officers were utilized as the Orange, Westminster, Fullerton and La Palma Police Departments. Jailers, Cadets and Explorers assisted in booking prisoners and manning the command posts. The California Highway Patrol took charge of traffic surrounding the park, and other local police agencies remained on standby alert. Security in and around the Anaheim Police building was heavy, with armed officers standing guard at all entrances. Each police agency providing assistance incurred their own costs for providing personnel in this mutual aid response. Cost to the Anaheim Police Department alone came to a grand total of $62,930.

Civil disobedience continued throughout the early 70s. The city of Anaheim was proud of their new Convention Center, which was used for large conventions, special shows and exhibits and concerts. Off-duty officers of the Anaheim Police Department were able to supplement their income by providing necessary security at many of these special events. On November 1,1970, a concert was held on the arena of the Anaheim Convention Center featuring the musical group "Grand Funk Railroad." Crowds attending this concert had grown too large and could not be accommodated inside the arena. Officers on hand had to contend with an angry and hostile group of youths intent on seeing their favorite rock group. Upset at not being able to purchase tickets to this sold out event, the crowd began to smash plate glass windows and doors of the Convention Center. Anaheim's officers found themselves overwhelmed by the multitude of youths.

At 10:25 p.m., "Code Charlie Checkmate" was activated throughout Orange County requesting aid from other police agencies. Anaheim Police Officers barricaded themselves inside the main entrances behind concrete pillars, holding off the angry crowd by spraying canisters of Mace at them until backups arrived.

Within a short time help arrived in the form of hundreds of police officers from the cities of Brea, Buena Park, Costa Mesa, Cypress, Fountain Valley, Fullerton, Huntington Beach, Los Alamitos, Laguna Beach, La Palma, Newport Beach, Orange, Placentia, Santa Ana, San Clemente, Seal Beach, Stanton, Tustin and Westminster Police Departments along with the California Highway Patrol and Orange County Sheriffs Department and Orange County Animal Control. When the riot was over, 382 law enforcement officers had come to help control the crowd. The assistance was overwhelming to even the most experienced officers. A Sheriffs Sergeant told the newspaper media, "I never saw so many officers in my life!"

In 1970, Chief Michel organized a new team of officers who would be taking a new and innovative approach to law enforcement. A cadre of ten officers and two Sergeants were selected for the Special Enforcement Bureau, a detail which would be the forerunner to what would be later known as the Crime Task Force and Community Services Bureau. The S.E.B. officers were quite versatile in handling almost any type of problems and crimes that were encountered by the Anaheim Police Department. This team could work undercover one day, uniformed assignments the next day, and crime prevention programs in between. Upon disbanding this program five years later, the department organized a full time crime prevention bureau, along with transferring the S.E.B. officers to the Vice/ Narcotics Bureau and the newly developed "night detectives."

In April of 1970, Chief Michel started a new program for college students interested in careers in law enforcement. The Police Cadet program was organized and implemented, bringing on board a group of potential police officer candidates who would be learning about this career through experience, and providing inexpensive manpower to the police department at the same time.

In 1971, the size of Anaheim continued to grow and a new tool was adopted into the city to assist in keeping the peace. Through the perseverance of Chief Michel, Anaheim purchased two new helicopters as part of the police fleet of patrol units. Noting the major growth of the community, Chief Michel purchased Anaheim's first helicopters and named them "Angel".

As the city continued to grow, so did the Police Department. In 1972 alone, Chief Michel hired a total of forty-six new police officers. The newly appointed Officers of this era received their academy training at the North Orange County Police Academy, which was conducted through Fullerton College and administered in both the Anaheim and Fullerton Police facilities on a revolving basis.

This era reflected public dissatisfaction with police in general. Much of the public felt distant from their protectors. Police throughout the nation made a concerted effort to make the police more approachable.

Officials of the Anaheim Police Department considered new methods to make the public aware of the human factor of the law enforcement officers. During this time, two officers began a new program, visiting school children to bridge the gap that existed between the police and the community. Officers Rick Bastrup and Colin Clark and a few of their friends became "The Good Guys", a musical group of uniformed police officers who visited local school, playing their music to the delight of both the youths and school administrators.

Another nation-wide trend was to change the harsh police image by switching from the traditional black and white patrol cars to softer-appearing all white patrol cars. In 1973, Anaheim joined in and officers began driving friendlier appearing all white cars. Female Officers were not new to law enforcement but had previously been limited to investigative and clerical duties. Titles alone during the early times reflected gender as personnel were referred to as Policemen and Policewomen. By the 1970s, females were becoming more prevalent in this previously male-oriented field. By now, women were joining their male counterparts on the streets and performing the same duties as men. The titles of "Policemen" and "Policewomen" were changed to the all-inclusive title of "Police Officers."

Police Cadet Marcia Russell was the first to break the gender barrier. In 1974, she was promoted to the rank of Police officer, becoming the first female patrol officer of the Anaheim Police Department. Upon completion of the Police Academy, Officer Russell was assigned to work as a patrol officer. A few years later, she was assigned to the position of Detective.

In November of 1973, problems began to develop between the Chief of Police and members of his department. The Anaheim Police Association (APA) became involved salary negotiations and encountered opposition from the City of Anaheim. The Association believed that they did not have the support of the council and their Chief. Up until this point, the APA had served primarily as a "flower fund" providing moral support to its members during illness or deaths in the family.

By 1973, direction in the organization changed and the new directors were concentrating on the salaries and benefits of their members. Thus, the APA began to flex its political muscle for the first time. Thus began a political feud between the APA, City Administration and the Chief of Police. Within months, tempers flared, politicians were involved and a major confrontation was brewing. For the first time in the history of the department, Police Officers and their family members picketed City Hall, asking that the city offer the officers equitable wages in a reasonable pay package to bring them in line with other police agencies. A billboard was donated to the Association bearing the message "Welcome to Anaheim, Home of 300 Underpaid Cops."

Among other tactics used by the Association members, a slow down on ticket writing was implemented and members withdrew from all voluntary overtime services, at the Anaheim Stadium and Convention Center. The problems of the department affected a great many people. Morale in the department was low.

Friction between the City and the APA was high. Family members were affected and service to the community along with community support to police fluctuated. All of this had severe impact on the Police Chief. Towards the end of November, Chief Michel was hospitalized, undergoing tests for a possible heart attack.

Problems continued well in the incoming year. It was not until the early months of 1974 that negotiations were completed on the pay and benefits of department personnel. Chief Michel retired from the Anaheim Police Department in 1974. David B. Michel is a man who is to be credited with bringing the City of Anaheim and its Police Department many new programs, which are still in existence today. Through his leadership and hard work, these programs were organized and implemented and will remain for many years. Listed among Michel's many accomplishments: he started the Anaheim Police helicopter program; hired the first female patrol officer; established the first Crime Prevention unit; began organizing specialized units such as the Special Enforcement Bureau; started the Cadet Program and continued to increase the size of the department to keep in line with the growth of the city, just to name a few. All of this was done amid a tumultuous time of civil unrest and public dissatisfaction with law enforcement. Although he retired from law enforcement, David B. Michel maintained his close association with many in the law enforcement community and continued to live in Anaheim.

1974 - 1978 - HAROLD A. BASTRUPChief Harold A Bastrup

In February of 1974, Harold Bastrup was appointed as the new Chief of the Anaheim Police Department. Hired as an Anaheim Police Patrolman on July 8,1955, Harold Bastrup rose through the ranks of the department to be promoted to Sergeant, Lieutenant and Chief. Prior to working for the Anaheim Police Department, Chief Bastrup worked for the Alaska Railroad and the Kenosha Wisconsin Sheriffs' Office.

As Chief of Police, Bastrup brought many changes to the Anaheim Police Department, including the rotating shift system, the organization of the Tactical and Control Team, the end of the use of saps by patrol officers, the establishment of the driver safety award, the start of the annual department Medal of Valor/ Department Awards Program and the implementation of a cautious pursuit policy, a step that brought the Chief a great deal of criticism.

The policy was implemented because of an unusually high number of traffic collisions involving patrol cars during high-speed chases. In his policy, a maximum 50 mph speed limit was imposed on all "Code 3" runs on city streets and a 70 mph maximum speed limit on freeway chases.

Activity at the Anaheim Stadium kept the Anaheim Police Department busy during the 1970s. Along with the regularly scheduled sporting events, rock concerts were held inside the stadium grounds, bringing musical acts ranging from the Beach Boys to the Grateful Dead. Along with large crowds came the impossible task of trying to enforce drug laws. Although many were arrested for a wide variety of illegal substance laws, countless others escaped arrest while blending into the large sea of concertgoers. Festival seating, a popular arrangement for the period, made for an impossible task of providing adequate protection for all attendees. While many came to see and hear their favorite musicians, officers could only stand and watch as many others chose to ignore laws and take drugs. Aside from these issues, other problems arose after the concerts. Because concert participants were seated on the playing field of the ballpark, marijuana was found growing in the outfield weeks after many concerts. City crews kept busy eradicating marijuana plants before the beginning of the Angel baseball games.

On August 15,1975, a tragic accident occurred, taking the life of one of Anaheim's Police Officers. A drug-involved surveillance mission took officers of this department into the area of Idyllwild.

Investigators of the Anaheim Police Department involved in this surveillance were assisted by the Anaheim Police helicopter, piloted by Officers Gary A. Nelson and Robert DePartee. While monitoring the route of the drug suspects, "Angel" collided into a high mountain of Idyllwild, instantly killing Officer Nelson and seriously injuring co-pilot DePartee. The Department was stunned and went into deep mourning for their comrade. Hundreds of law enforcement officials throughout California joined in the funeral services to pay their final respects for Anaheim's second law enforcement officer to be killed in the line of duty.

In a fitting tribute, years later, the Anaheim Police Department Heliport was dedicated to the memory of Officer Gary A. Nelson.

Janine A. Farquhar became the first black female Police Officer of the Anaheim Police Department on April 15, 1977. The twenty-eight year old officer was one of 14 new police officers hired at the time.

Within a month, Johnny Estrada became the first black male Police Officer hired by the City of Anaheim.

Criminal activity remained constant throughout Anaheim in the late 70s. Responding to calls of shots fired was not unusual for certain areas of the community, however, one such call resulted in problems that would impact the Department for a long time. On July 30, 1978, police responded to a call of shots fired in the area of Little People's Park in the vicinity of Santa Ana and Lemon Streets. As officers attempted to find out what happened, they met with a group of onlookers.

During their investigation, they arrested a male individual who interfered with their investigation. As officers apprehended the male, they were bombarded with rocks and bottles from the remaining onlookers. A call for help brought additional police officers and more arrests were made. For the time being, officers quelled the disturbance resulting from their attempt to enforce the laws of the State. Subsequently, members of the local Hispanic community charged officers with claims of harassment and brutality, bringing on the political ramifications that accompany such claims.

Investigations by the Orange County District Attorneys Office and the Grand Jury were conducted to determine fault or clear the officers. The Orange County office of the District Attorney released a report stating that there had been two incidents of improper force by police, but the two officers could not be identified. As a result of the incident, many changes took place in the department.

Officers were required to carry business cards. The police complaint procedure was revised, offering citizens the opportunity to pick up complaint forms at their local branch libraries. Also, Officers were required to attend cultural awareness training sessions. Other reforms were implemented; the Police Community Relations Board was created; patrol cars were designed with four-inch unit numeric decals and officers were required to wear large embroidered name patches on their jackets.

With what appeared to be a lack of community support, internal morale again decreased within the organization. The "Problems of Little People's Park" was an issue that wouldn't die. Members of a downtown residential community continued to accuse the department of racism, demanding changes within the department. Chief Harold A. Bastrup retired from the Anaheim Police Department on December 29, 1978. Over the years, Chief Bastrup has been credited for his work in the training programs of this department. He implemented the highly needed Tactical Approach and Control Team, which would later become the Special Weapons and Tactics Detail (SWAT.)

He was also responsible for establishing the Anaheim Police Explorer Post, working with these young men and women from 1963 until the time of his retirement.

Chief Bastrup has remained active in the Anaheim community since retiring from law enforcement, serving on numerous community boards, as he did during his employment with the Police Department. Chief Bastrup and his wife maintain their residence in Anaheim, a city that he obviously takes great pride in.


On January 4, 1979, forty-seven year old George P. Tielsch was sworn in as Chief of the Anaheim Police Department. At the time of his appointment, Chief Tielsch received an annual salary of $44,137 to assume control of the department, consisting of 290 sworn Police Officers, 106 non-sworn employees and 109 part-time employees. His entire operating budget for the department was $14,753,806 to protect a city of 205,00 residents and over 15 million annual visitors.

Chief Tielsch started his law enforcement career with the Inglewood Police Department, where he worked as a Patrol Officer. He moved to the Los Angeles County Sheriffs Department, where he rose through the ranks from Deputy Sheriff to Captain. In 1967, he became the Chief of the Garden Grove Police Department. Three years later, he moved to the Seattle Police Department as Police Chief, and later transferred to the City of Santa Monica, where he served as Police Chief prior to coming to Anaheim. As a side note, Chief Tielsch almost did not come to Anaheim, as he was in contention for the position of Chief of the Los Angeles Police Department. He scored number one for the job but it was given to Daryl Gates.

Chief Tielsch came to the Anaheim Police Department; an agency embroiled in controversy, low morale and a Department accused of having poor community relations. From his first day Chief Tielsch was highly scrutinized by the members of the Mexican-American community, who continued to bring accusations of police brutality. In October of 1979, the Police Community Relations Board (PCRB) unjustly accused the Chief of being hostile and uncommunicative towards Hispanics. The PCRB demanded a Police Civilian Review Board and accused the Anaheim Police Department of racism, alleging that the department reacts poorly in their relations with the community.

Chief Tielsch tried hard to improve morale among his officers, provide for better relationships within the community and provide a higher level of service to the people of Anaheim. As Officers and Detectives continued to investigate criminal activities, management sought new ways to improve the department.