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Anaheim Police Department History: 1990

1990's

1988 - 1993 - JOSEPH T. MOLLOY3

Joe Molloy began his police career as a Reserve Police Officer with the City of Monterey Park Police Department in 1962. In 1964, he was hired by the Azusa Police Department as a full-time Police Officer.

Within a short time, he was promoted to the position of Sergeant and Lieutenant. In 1977, Molloy transferred to the Culver City Police Department with a new position of Captain, serving there until 1980.

In 1980, Joseph Molloy was selected to be the Chief of the Alhambra Police Department. Molloy's popularity was evident on his first day with this city. At the traditional swearing-in ceremony held at City Hall on June 6,1988, the City Council chamber was filed with a standing room only crowd.

Colleagues, friends, family members, department personnel and Chiefs from other law enforcement agencies joined to watch Assistant City Manger Jim Ruth swear in the new Chief.

As the newly-appointed Chief was being inducted into his new position, the realities of the job awaited him. Members of the department continued working around the clock to maintain peace throughout the town. Anaheim, with its population now in excess of 245,000 citizens, continued to grow and attract new citizens, new businesses and tourists. The size of the city was now nearing forty-five square miles.

Traffic accidents, homicides, burglaries, robberies and rapes were some of the many crimes taking place throughout Anaheim. By 1988, vehicle pursuits again dominated the news and unusual occurrence reports of the department. By this era, hazardous material spills and other related incidents were by now a cause for concern for municipalities and the public. The Anaheim Police Department now found it necessary to have a hazardous materials expert on the force.

As officers and other support personnel continued working to handle the incoming criminal complaints, other efforts were taking place to prevent future criminal activity. Neighborhood Watches were being instituted and crime prevention techniques were being instructed to the citizens of this community.

A new drug-prevention program. "D.A.R.E." (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) was also introduced to the city.

TRAGEDY STRIKES AGAIN

On October 16, 1988, tragedy again struck the department. For the third time in the history of the Anaheim Police Department, an officer was killed in the line of duty. On a quiet Sunday morning, football fans were arriving at the Anaheim Stadium for a game between the Los Angeles Rams and the San Francisco 49ers. Traffic Controllers and motor officers began their routine duty of preparing to direct traffic into the stadium parking lot for this special event.

Motorcycle officers patrolled the surrounding streets to insure a smooth and safe entry for all visitors coming to this venue. At 11:50 a.m. Motorcycle Officer Robert T. Roulston was riding his Kawasaki 1000cc police motorcycle eastbound on Katella Avenue east of State College Boulevard. A Toyota, traveling westbound on Katella Avenue, headed towards the Stadium parking lot entrance. The Toyota, driven by a twenty-nine year old physician, turned left towards the stadium employee/media entrance, directly across the path of the on-coming motor officer. Within seconds, the police motorcycle collided with the Toyota. Forty minutes later, the thirty-eight year old officer died.

All members of the department mourned the loss of this friend and colleague. At the funeral service held at the Crystal Cathedral, over 1700 people came to bid goodbye to Officer Bob "Pooh Bear" Roulston. In the funeral procession, immediately following the service, more than 600 police vehicles, including over 300 Police Motorcycles snaked their way to the cemetery in Fullerton.

On October 19,1988, another milestone occurred within the department. Officer Patty Wasielewski, a former patrol officer and detective, was promoted to the rank of Sergeant, becoming Anaheim's first female to be assigned as a patrol supervisor.

Because of the rise in gang and drug activity, certain neighborhoods throughout the city required special attention. Community Policing brought officers back into these neighborhoods to combat specific problems. Working with a vast cadre of city and county organizations, police returned the calm and peacefulness to these neighborhoods such as the "Jeffrey-Lynne" and "Haster-Wakefield" areas.

Other activities during this era kept the Anaheim Police Department busy. Reminiscent of the 1950's, cruising was again in vogue. Hundreds of people gathered weekly on the area of State College Boulevard to socialize and show off their cars. Maintaining the smooth flow of traffic and handling the disturbance complaints associated with this regular gathering impacted the normal service of the department, as well as depleting manpower and financially impacting the A.P.D.

4On October 1, 1989, a cosmetic change was made in the department. The khaki-colored uniforms worn by the Anaheim Police Officers for approximately 40 years were retired and replaced with new navy blue uniforms.

In order to unify the appearance of municipal peace officers throughout the state, all police agencies in Orange County wearing tan uniforms changed to the blue shirts and pants. Within a few months, Anaheim's patrol cars were changed from the all white cars back to the traditional black and white cars.

Concerts at the Anaheim Convention Center and Anaheim Stadium had ceased to exist since the mid-70's. By 1989, a new site had taken over as the musical entertainment venue of the city. The Celebrity Theatre, located on Broadway adjacent to City Hall, attracted major recording stars. Unfortunately for the community and the Anaheim Police Department, a few of these concerts and shows also brought added problems. In 1988 and 1989, the theater was the site of mini-riots, a shooting and many other disturbances. Since the A.P.D. was not used for concert security, these emergency calls for service at the events depleted manpower and impacted the level of service throughout the community.

By the summer of 1991, the "Police 2000" building renovation project was finally completed. Years of planning, inconveniences and major work brought a much larger working facility. On June 22, 1991, a ceremony was held to dedicate the newly remodeled police building. Hundreds of dignitaries, department employees, friends and citizens attended as the "Mark A. Stephenson Police Station" was officially opened to the public.

For many years, police have worked traditional shifts: eight hours a day, five days a week. In order to provide greater patrol coverage on the streets, the Anaheim Police Department implemented a new work schedule for patrol officers. On March 27, 1992, patrol officers began working twelve hours a day for three days a week. Although officers worked longer hours, this new schedule proved itself to be popular by allowing the police four days off, while providing for better coverage of the city.

April 29, 1992, is a day that will be remembered by millions of people throughout the United States for many years. Riots broke out in nearby Los Angeles as a result of a court decision made public in the early hours of this day. The uprising actually began one year earlier when, on March 3, 1991, four Los Angeles Police Officers were accused of "beating" a motorist who fought police after a high speed chase. A portion of the latter part of the incident was caught on videotape and displayed over the television airwaves on news programs throughout the nation. Although the news media chose to show only a brief portion of the battle with this combative suspect, the public was angered by what they saw. Public outcry demanded reforms within law enforcement organizations. Four Los Angeles Officers were charged with assaulting Rodney King. When the jury acquitted the officers on the charges, a large portion of the Los Angeles community began rioting. Hundreds of buildings were burned and innocent people were beaten by the rioting masses as rioting continued for 5 days. Officers of the Anaheim Police Department were sent to Los Angeles to assist in bringing calm to their community. Fortunately, rioting did not break out in Anaheim nor surrounding Orange County communities.

THE END OF AN ERA

On July 27, 1993, tragedy occurred which took everyone by surprise. Before sunrise, Chief Joseph Molloy arrived at the police station, as he usually did, to begin his workday with a morning exercise workout.

At approximately 8:15 a.m., the department was shocked to discover that Chief Joseph T. Molloy had passed away in his office after suffering a fatal heart attack.

Chief Joe Molloy, an exceptional athlete and fitness buff, who appeared to be in outstanding shape, died at the age of 54 while in his fifth year as Chief of the Anaheim Police Department.

Joseph Molloy brought new ideas and a new style of leadership to Anaheim. He improved on existing programs and started new projects to meet with the changing times. He will forever be remembered and respected for his countless accomplishments, his sense of humor, his dedication, leadership, compassion and friendship. His untimely passing left a void in the department.

Faced with the unexpected loss of Chief Molloy, City Manager Jim Ruth and the City Council asked former Anaheim Police Chief Jimmie D. Kennedy to return to the Anaheim Police Department as interim Police Chief while a nationwide search was conducted to find a permanent replacement. On August 18, 1993, Jim Kennedy was sworn in as the Anaheim Police Chief for the second time in his career, returning to the department to begin what would be a four-month temporary assignment.

Chief Kennedy found himself thrust into a department in the midst of many positive and negative activities, including a labor dispute, promotional testing and rising crime. Through his past experience, Chief Kennedy was able to lead the department to as much normalcy as possible while the department struggled with the death of its leader and trying times.

One of his first tasks was to finalize the Sergeants promotional testing, which had been started by Chief Joe Molloy. Chief Kennedy completed the pending process, established an eligibility list and personally promoted a few of the top candidates.

Many other activities were taking place at the same time. Salary negotiations between the city and APD were underway, which later led to the picketing of City Hall and the first-ever "blue-flu" job action. Many officers were in a dilemma, fighting with the choice between the need to be fairly treated in terms of salary and benefits for the job they were doing, and their dedication to duty. In the end, with a solid display of solidarity, the officers staged a job action. It was with heavy hearts that they took this action.

Plans were also being finalized to provide traffic control and security at the Anaheim Arena, a new sports and entertainment venue soon to be opened in the city. The name was later changed to Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.

Jim Kennedy's return as Chief brought a sense of personal closure to his law enforcement career, a feeling he states he didn't completely have in 1987. In the mid '80's, Chief Kennedy and his staff had begun to implement "Police 2000," a project designed to remodel and expand the police building. Chief Kennedy and his staff dedicated a great deal of work on "Police 2000," designing, planning and securing finances for the major project. Jim Kennedy retired before the construction was fully underway.

During this second term, Chief Kennedy was able to return to his department and work in the completed police building. Although saddened by the reason for his return, Chief Kennedy received a great sense of fulfillment in returning to the Anaheim Police Department.

21994-1999 - RANDALL GASTON

On December 23, 1993, City Manager Jim Ruth announced that Captain Randy Gaston of the Anaheim Police Department had been recommended to lead the department as the new Police Chief. Assuming the office of interim chief as he awaited Council ratification, Randy Gaston assumed temporary duties on January 4, 1994. At 6:25pm on January 11, 1994, Randy Gaston was sworn in as the new Anaheim Police Chief, thus achieving the ultimate promotion in his Anaheim law enforcement career.

Chosen from a field of forty candidates, Randy Gaston, a 28-year veteran of the Anaheim Police Department, was selected to oversee the 522-employee department and an annual budget of $50.8 million. Upon entering office, Chief Gaston immediately reorganized the department by downsizing from five to four divisions in order to decrease administrative costs. Chief Gaston also began focusing on the expansion of the community-based policing concept in an effort to reduce crime and meet the needs of our growing community.

New Badges

Over the course of department history, the design of the badge has changed to reflect the taste of the department, Marshal or Chief. For over twenty years, members of the department had sought to change the design of our uniform badge.

Numerous design and cost studies were made under different police administrations but it was under the administration of Chief Molloy that a serious effort was made to change the design of the badge. Working with the Sun Badge Company of San Dimas, the Badge Committee, consisting of Detective Rick Cabrera and Motor Officer Brian Stack, designed a prototype which was given strong consideration. At the time Chief Molloy passed away, a final decision had not been made.

The Badge Committee continued to pursue a change, working closely with Chief Randy Gaston to continue exploring different options. After reviewing many concepts, Chief Gaston gave authorization to adopt an oval shaped design that portrayed the police building, the Anaheim City seal and two American flags.

In December of 1994, the Anaheim Police Department changed the design of the badge from the long-standing eagle style shield to a new oval shaped badge. To avoid a financial impact to the department and taxpayers, uniformed personnel were authorized to purchase their old badges, with the money going towards the purchase of the new badges.

To commemorate the badge change and the history of our department, the Anaheim Police Historical Society made available for sale a special limited edition commemorative replica badge set of all the known badges of the Anaheim Police Department. Sold in 1995, the limited edition set quickly became a highly priced collector item.

The Blue Flu Job Action

For the first time in the history of our department, Anaheim Police Officers staged a one-day "blue flu" walkout in 1994. Members of the Anaheim Police Association staged the sickout to protest a stalemate in contract talks. At the time of the action, officers had gone without a contract since July of 1992 and had not received a pay raise since July of 1991. Frustrated with the stalemate, many avenues were taken to resolve the pay issue, including picketing throughout the city. On October 5, 1993, over 400 Anaheim Police Officers, family members and supporters picketed a city council meeting asking for higher pay. As months passed, APA members felt they had to resort to extreme measures. On Tuesday, January 18th, 197 of the 205 scheduled Patrol Officers, Sergeants, Detectives and Investigators called in sick in show of solidarity in a commitment to their beliefs. APD Captains and Lieutenants were aided by officers from the Orange, Fullerton, Buena Park and Garden Grove Police Departments and Orange County Sheriff's Department in handling calls for service. Officers, friends, family, and associates picketed City Hall and Disneyland. Eventually, the City of Anaheim and Association members were able to agree to suitable terms.

Town Marshal Lehman Honored in Washington

On June 23, 1872, Anaheim Town Marshal Charles F. Lehman was killed in the line of duty. Marshal Lehman, the third town Marshal of this city, died while handling a disturbance at a saloon a few feet north of our present day Downtown Community Center. Although a great deal of publicity was given to the murder at the time, Marshal Lehman's death had been forgotten and had gone unrecognized in Anaheim's official history.

Over 100 years after his death, Chief Jimmie D. Kennedy learned of the tragedy through descendants of Marshal Lehman. In the mid-1980's, Chief Kennedy officially recognized Marshal Lehman as the first Anaheim law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty, in a ceremony held in the briefing room of the Anaheim Police Department. The story was investigated in detail in 1993 for publication in the 1993 APD Commemorative Yearbook.

In early 1995, Chief Randall W. Gaston contacted the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Inc., in Washington D.C. and requested Marshal Lehman's name be added to the National Peace Officer Memorial Wall. Approval was granted and in May of 1996, Chief Gaston dispatched Color Guard members Sergeant Jim Moore and Investigator Rick Martinez to represent the Anaheim Police Department and the Lehman family at a candlelight ceremony in Washington D.C., where Marshal Lehman's name was unveiled on the Memorial Wall.

Anaheim Cemetery Recognition

In 1992, APD research revealed Marshal Lehman was buried in an unmarked grave at the Anaheim Cemetery. In order to provide proper recognition to the public servant that gave his life for his community, members of the department organized an effort to place a monument on the gravesite. The Crown Imperial Monument Company of Anaheim donated a headstone and the Orange County Cemetery Board donated labor and ceremony service fees to honor Marshal Lehman.

On July 23, 1996, on the 124th anniversary of the tragedy, a graveside ceremony was held to unveil a monument recognizing Charles F. Lehman as the "First Anaheim Law Enforcement Officer killed in the line of duty." Members of the department, city officials and members of the Anaheim community attended the ceremony, conducted by Chief Randall Gaston.

Unfortunately, the nature of law enforcement exposes our officers to life threatening dangers on a daily basis. The day-to-day professional tactics displayed by our officer's decreases the dangers, but can not guarantee our safety. The Anaheim Police Department has experienced tragedy and grief on a few occasions. In the history of our department we have lost three officers who died in the line of duty. Two of them were accidents, and only one, Marshal Lahmon, was killed by a suspect.

Historically, only four Anaheim Law enforcement officials have been wounded by gunfire in the performance of their duties. On July 9, 1912, Marshal Kellenberger was shot while handling a report of an unknown male in the downtown area.

Initially, the wounds appeared to be fatal, but Marshall Kellenberger recovered from his injuries and returned to duty.

In the early 1980's, Sergeant Kraemer attempted to make a car stop for a minor traffic violation. The driver accelerated and a pursuit ensued, ending when the violator crashed his vehicle at Orange and Nutwood. Exiting his vehicle with gun in hand, the suspect opened fire on Sergeant Kraemer, striking him in his abdomen. Sgt. Kraemer returned fire as the suspects fled on foot. The suspects were later captured and Sergeant Kraemer eventually recovered from his wounds and returned to duty.

In the evening hours of Friday, September 18, 1995, a male subject approached a resident, pointed a gun at the individual, fired a shot and fled the area on foot. Officer's Tim Garcia and Jeff Imperial were the first to arrive in the area. Officer Garcia observed the suspect walking on Harbor Boulevard and attempted to detain him. The suspect fled into a remote complex. Both Officer Garcia and Imperial established a perimeter around the complex. When they approached the hiding suspect he opened fire on the officers. Officer Garcia was struck by bullets, although gravely wounded he and Officer Imperial returned fire and killed the suspect. Officer Imperial then tended to his partner and Officer Garcia recovered and returned to duty. Both officers were awarded the Medal of Valor for their actions during the incident.

On Monday morning, July 10, 2000, Anaheim Police Officer Thomas "Kasey" Geary was on patrol in the southeast section of Anaheim. At approximately 1:50 AM, Officer Geary made a radio broadcast informing Dispatchers he was making a car stop in the area of Ball Road and the 57 Freeway.

Approximately 5 minutes later, a male citizen was entering the southbound on-ramp to the 57 Freeway at Ball Road. The citizen observed a solo police car parked on the shoulder of the freeway on-ramp, and later saw Officer Geary lying on the ground with apparent injuries. The citizen stopped his vehicle and rushed to aid the officer. He administered first aid and used the Officer's police radio to report the Police Officer had been shot. Within moments, other Anaheim Police Officers arrived and found Officer Geary suffering from an apparent gunshot wound. Officer Geary was transported to the University of California Irvine Medical Center. The bullet entered the Officers face, fracturing his jaw. His injuries were not considered life threatening but he remained in serious condition after surgery to repair his jaw.

A suspect was captured a few days later and confessed to shooting Officer Geary in the face as he approached the vehicle. Officer Geary recovered and returned to duty.

Animal Rights Demonstration
Police Respond to Civil Disobedience

On November 20, 1997, the American Association for Animal Research began their annual conference at the Anaheim Convention Center. Just days prior to the start of their conference, word was received that organizations opposed to animal research were planning to demonstrate at this event. The Anaheim Police Department quickly implemented a plan to protect the welfare of the participants, protesters and the venue site. Uniformed personnel, Detectives and Investigators were reassigned from their normal duties to man the four-day convention. The first day brought a large crowd of vocal and physical protestors willing to face incarceration for their cause. Working their way around the venue, protesters even attempted to create major traffic obstructions around Disneyland as they marched in the streets to bring attention to their cause.

Shouting insults and profanities at police, the many demonstrators attempted to intimidate and assault conference participants as they also sought ways to covertly enter the Convention Center to sabotage the meeting. For four days the Anaheim Police Department stood watch over the Convention Center, guests and demonstrators, maintaining peace. Good planning and rapid deployment prevented injuries, damage and major incident.

Tragedy Strikes Once Again

On February 25, 1999, unexpected tragedy again struck the Anaheim Police Department. On Thursday afternoon, Chief Randy Gaston had gone running with the SWAT Team. Chief Gaston, an avid runner, ran daily for exercise and had been known to accompany the SWAT Team on their monthly runs. At approximately 12:30 PM, Chief Gaston suddenly felt ill, collapsed and was transported to Anaheim Memorial Hospital where he passed away from a heart attack.

The department, City and the entire community were stunned by the news. Captain Roger Baker was immediately placed into the position of Acting Chief. At 5:00 PM the department rallied around Acting Chief Baker as he held a press conference to publicly announce the tragic news. Immediately following the press conference the flags of the department were lowered to half-mast in a quickly assembled ceremony attended by members of the department. Chief Gaston's body was taken to Pierce Bros. Anaheim Mortuary, where hundreds of family members, friends, department employees, business associates and the public came to pay their respects.

On March 3rd, funeral services were held in the Crystal Cathedral, officiated by Dr. Bryan Crow, Chief Gaston's church Pastor, personal friend, and a department Chaplain.

Over 2,000 people attended the 9:00 AM service, including Congressmen, State, County and City officials, and law enforcement personnel from throughout the State. The moving ceremony was touched by laughter and tears at the many stories shared on the life of Randy Gaston.

Immediately following the two-hour service, a lengthy procession of cars and motorcycles wound it's way to Pacific View Memorial park in Newport Beach for internment. Mourners were brought to tears by the many touching tributes to a popular leader and friend, including his riderless horse, his officers in formation at the gravesite, a lone bugler, the 21 gun salute and a fly-by conducted by the Anaheim Police Helicopter Detail.

It was well known Chief Gaston ran the department like a family and he worked hard to improve the quality of life for everyone who lived in, worked in and visited the city. During his tenure as Chief, crime drastically decreased and many programs were implemented to make Anaheim the premiere department it is. Chief Randy Gaston will be sorely missed.

11999- CHIEF ROGER A.

Tuesday evening, August 23rd, marked a new beginning for the Anaheim Police Department. During the evening city council meeting, the Anaheim City Council announced they had selected Roger A. Baker to assume the position of Anaheim Police Chief. On September 14, 1999, Roger Baker was sworn in as the 30th Police Chief of the Anaheim Police Department. City Clerk Lee Sohl administered the oath of office before a large crowd in the city council chambers, followed by a reception at a nearby restaurant.

As an experienced member of this department and new Chief of our organization, Chief Baker set his mission to promote education and empowerment at all levels of the department. He decentralized command and control functions, and developed a fully functional command staff. Chief Baker promoted leadership, accountability and consistency, and focused on systematic issues within the police department and community through the development of a strategic plan. He reorganized the Department and established "Districts" to help organize this growing City and the demands on law enforcement to maintain its safety and insure the highest quality of life for its community members.

The Anaheim Police Department has always displayed great ability to respond to changes in our community. By 1999, it became obvious that the City and the Police Department would have to take a much more proactive role by planning our future. It was time for the Anaheim Police Department to take the lead by developing its first Strategic Plan. The Strategic Plan was developed by a representative group of police department staff, led by Deputy Chief Fleming, and included input from citizens, private and public organizations, community leaders, and elected officials. A 5-year plan was developed to identify present and future key issues, and developed strategies to address those issues. It became a living document that would be constantly reviewed, assessed and updated and became a road map to our future, providing the resources necessary to accomplish our goals. The strategic plan also became a model for future planning, providing all the areas of the PD with common goals, objectives and purpose.

In September of 1999, the APD responded to a high profile tragedy in west Anaheim. As the result of the actions of an unstable and disgruntled man, 3 hospital employees were killed during the late morning hours. At about 11:00 AM, Dung Trinh walked into the West Anaheim Medical Center armed with a handgun. Unhappy with the medical treatment be believed was given to his mother, Trinh entered the building, began fighting his handgun at hospital workers in order to take revenge on those who he believed were responsible for the death of his mother. At the conclusion of the shooting spree, Trinh was arrested by officers and ultimately convicted.

In late 1999, a dedication ceremony was held to open the long-awaited East Anaheim Police Station. The area known as “Anaheim Hills” had long been patrolled by officers assigned to the main police station. After attending briefing at the Harbor Boulevard police station, officers would drive to their assigned areas in east Anaheim. The drive time to their areas would many times cause delays in response time and for years, citizens in east Anaheim asked to have officers assigned to a station closer to their area. In the mid 1980s, a temporary sub-station was opened in the area of Tustin Avenue north of the Riverside Freeway. By the mid 1990s, the substation moved to the “Festival Shopping Center” in the 8000 block of east Santa Ana Canyon Road. Plans were made to build a permanent police station next to a fire station in east Anaheim, but as we neared construction of a new building, city officials learned that a 3-story hospital building would soon be vacant and was move conveniently located. On September 11, 1999, the new Randall W. Gaston Police Station and Community Center was dedicated in front of a large crowd of anxious citizens. Now, East Anaheim patrol officers report directly to this station, attend briefing and base their operations directly from their own station.