Higher Education = Higher Standard for Policing

University of San Diego Master’s in Law Enforcement and Public Safety Leadership Announces First Graduating Class

A guest blog entry by our Corporate Circle Partner, University of San Diego

On May 27, more than 100 law enforcement officers from local, state and federal agencies became the first class to earn a Master of Science in Law Enforcement Leadership from University of San Diego (USD). 
Launched in 2015, the unique degree program was designed with input from law enforcement associations and experienced practitioners, with the purpose of preparing the next generation of criminal justice leaders. USD’s program emphasizes leadership development, ethics, tangible skill building and the immediate application of these skills to solving some of today’s most urgent law enforcement challenges.

“I really like that all the content is current,” said Ryan Flick, Lt. Watch Commander and student of the MS-LEPSL program. “For example, we are diving into the hot issues, like body cameras and drones. There is a huge focus on relevant and timely issues that are affecting law enforcement today, and that really differentiates this program from many other criminal justice programs. I also like that the class is mostly composed of high-ranking law enforcement officials. “

The purpose of the program is to not only support rapid career advancement, but also to prepare the next generation of leaders who have the expertise to not only successfully police, but also to work with their communities in being successful law enforcement professionals.

“Rather than just focusing on traditional criminal justice curriculum, this degree responds to the expressed need for leadership development and provides immediately applicable that will produce the next generation of leaders in law enforcement,” says Erik Fritsvold, Ph.D., the program’s academic coordinator, and an associate professor in USD’s Department of Sociology. 

The faculty for the MS-LEPSL program is comprised of highly experienced instructor practitioners, who hold advanced degrees and possess extensive experience in law enforcement. The diversity of experience the instructors possess is striking as they hold positions such as Retired Chief of Police, Deputy District Attorney, and Public Defender.
More than 200 law enforcement professionals from agencies such as NASA, US Army, US Navy, Department of Justice, California Highway Patrol, Superior Court of California and students from all over the country including Boulder, Fort Worth, Las Vegas, Phoenix, Seattle, Cape Coral and of course San Diego, to name a few, have studied and/or are studying in the 20 month-long Master’s program.

The online degree is a 31-unit program designed to be completed in 5 semesters (20 months). Coursework is taken year-round, with three 14-week semesters each year allowing students to focus on one course at a time. With courses in study management, administration, leadership, budgeting, conflict resolution, change management, community relations, and data-driven analysis and decision-making, the program not only contributes to career development, but also provides applicable and useful skills necessary to be more effective in day-to-day policing. 

“Education has a critically important role to play in bridging the gap between law enforcement and the communities they serve,” says Fritsvold.

Recruitment for the Fall 2017 academic year is underway. To apply or learn more about the program, please visit criminaljustice.sandiego.edu. 


Backing the Blue..Not So "Corny" After All

Historic Hawes Farms in Anderson, CA is doing something fun with one of their corn mazes this year. The "Back the Blue-Shasta" corn maze stands 10-12' tall and has over 2 miles of maze for its visitors to get lost in. We're just going to leave this right here for you all to enjoy! 

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Remembering the fallen

Yesterday we remembered the four officers who lost their lives in 2015, at the 40th Annual California Peace Officers' Memorial Ceremony in Sacramento, California. The Master of Ceremonies was Attorney General Kamala D. Harris and included guest speakers such as Chief Justice Tani Cantil-Sakauye, Governor Jerry Brown and Chief Diane Urban from the Hayward Police Department. The ceremony paid tribute to the four officers listed below and was attended by their surviving family and loved ones. For those who were unable to attend, a video of the tribute can be found here. From the staff at Cal Chiefs; our continued thoughts and prayers are with the families and agencies, we wish them all our best. 

Officer Michael J. Johnson, San Jose Police Department
E.O.W. March 24, 2015 

Michael Jeremiah Johnson (“Mike”) was born on December 4, 1976. At the time he was born, Mike’s dad, Daniel Johnson, was a military police officer in the army stationed at Herlong, California. 

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Call for Service is Extended to Furry Family Member

This amazing story is brought to you by the La Verne Police Department: When Officer Chris Dransfeldt started his shift on April 4, 2016 little did he know he'd be an ambulance driver for someone's family pet. At about 4:20pm, La Verne dispatch received a call from a frantic 17 year old girl who was home with the family pet, an 11 year old Chocolate Lab named Bailey. The young girl told dispatch that Bailey had just been bit in the face by a rattlesnake while playing in the back yard. Officers Chris Dransfeldt and Greg Rodriguez responded to the residence in North La Verne near the Foothills where rattlesnake sightings are common.

On arrival, Officer Dransfeldt noticed that Bailey had been bit near one eye and was starting to have a reaction as his face was beginning to swell up. The young girl told Officer Dransfeldt that the dog was like another child to her parents and the family would be devastated if Bailey was to die. Officer Dransfeldt, after seeing that the young girl did not have a mode of transportation, told her to call her mother who was at work. Once on the phone, Officer Dransfeldt explained the circumstances and asked what she wanted to do with the dog. The mother explained that she was at work and could not leave and if she were to leave, by the time she got there it might be too late.

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Bridging the Communication Gap

This is Officer Mat Aragon, Officer Aragon created the Legacy Adult Learning Program in partnership with Legacy Creekside, an Irvine school that works with adults with developmental disabilities and provides them with a working understanding of life skills.

During a meeting with the school, it became apparent that there were communication gaps that needed to be addressed between the students, teachers, parents, and law enforcement. Traditionally, this could have been handled a variety of ways: a community meeting; a bulletin issued to parents with information for their children; or a meeting with the school staff. Officer Aragon understood that there was a greater need to assist these students, whose communication abilities range from high-functioning to completely non-verbal. 

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A Helping Hand

Patrick Kelley got a new job working as a switch board operator at Simi Valley Hospital, but getting to work wasn’t easy. Mr. Kelly called the Simi Valley Police Department looking for some direction and a resolution to a problem he was experiencing with a pedestrian crossing signal at Sycamore Drive and the east-bound State Highway 118 off-ramp in Simi Valley. Mr. Kelley spoke to Commander Arabian, who took command of the police department’s traffic unit in May and described the issue.

Mr. Kelley explained that he has cerebral palsy and is confined to a wheelchair and regularly travels on Sycamore Drive to and from his place of employment. When he reaches the heavily congested off-ramp at the east-bound State Highway 118 onto Sycamore Dr., he is unable to reach the button on the traffic signal pole for pedestrian crossing. Each day he passed the intersection, he would take the risk of crossing without the benefit of the "WALK" sign providing him with the safe right-of-way. For a few months Mr. Kelley did his best to dodge the ceaseless stream of vehicles coming off of the freeway, from the nearby retail stores and a gas station. He ultimately realized that the issue was bigger than he had originally thought and began working on finding a safe solution.

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Food Brings Communities Together

Summer presents a crucial time to support youth in low-income neighborhoods. School’s summer closure can bring additional stress to low-income families and economically disadvantaged youth are less likely to have access to summer learning opportunities, forcing many families to create a patchwork and absorb additional costs of childcare. Many of these kids also lose access to a valuable resource; school lunch. According to a national survey, more than half of parents whose children receive a free or reduced price lunch during the school year find it harder to make ends meet during the summer. Without these resources, youth in low-income neighborhoods are at greater risk of food insecurity, obesity, and may lose months in grade-level reading skills. Cumulatively, this can have a negative impact on the health and vitality of our neighborhoods.

USDA summer meal programs aim to address this summer nutrition gap while also providing opportunities to ensure low-income youth have a summer safety net. Law enforcement agencies can play an important role in helping youth access these programs. USDA’s Summer Food Service Program enables schools, local and tribal government agencies, and community-based organizations (including PAL programs) to serve free, healthy meals to children ages 18 and under in low-income neighborhoods. Meals are free to all children and there is no application, sign-up, or identification needed. The fully reimbursed meals nourish children in need, provide communities with an infusion of federal resources and bring opportunities to build and strengthen community partnerships. Yet in California, summer meal programs are only reaching a fraction of eligible students.  In 2014, only 485,000 of California’s 2.4 million eligible students accessed summer meal programs, according to a recent report from the Food Research and Action Center. What’s more, California’s counties vary in their success in meeting the need, according to California Food Policy Advocates. Underutilization of these programs is often a result of lack of awareness among families, lack of activities at sites, and parent perceptions about site safety.

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We all know the summer heat can take a lot out of those working the streets. Lucky for them the Palo Alto Police Department has come up with a solution for that, #CopsLoveLemonadeStands.

Their latest community outreach campaign has taken on a life of its own and has now spread throughout many CA agencies as well as several other states. Some of those agencies include: Campbell Police Department, the Walnut Creek Police Department, the Truckee Police Department, CHP Truckee Division, Rocklin Police Department, Mountain View Police Department, Jefferson County Sheriff's Office (in Colorado), Apex Police Department (in North Carolina), Tigard Police Department (in Oregon), Chippewa Falls Police Department (in Wisconsin), Grand Junction Police Department (in Colorado),  Elkhart County Sheriff’s Department (in Indiana), Eau Claire Police Department (in Wisconsin ) and Duluth Police Department (in Minnesota). 

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Grandma Cop

The Grandma Cop Child Safety program is a highly effective program of teaching safety lessons to elementary school age children. Trained citizen volunteers present lessons to school classes and youth groups. Topics include Personal Safety, Home Alone, Safety Check People, Strangers Asking for Help, Bullying, Dares and Peer Pressure, Avoiding Gangs, Gun Safety, Bicycle Safety, Traffic Awareness, What to do if Someone is Lost, and Computer Internet Safety. It was developed to provide an effective method of teaching young children about safety issues and their responsibility for themselves and others.

The Challenge:

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Getting into the Holiday Spirit

Law enforcement is in the news now more than ever and unfortunately, what the media is not reporting on is all the good that law enforcement has been doing.  So we here at Cal Chiefs thought we would take a moment and highlight all good that our members are doing. Sit back and enjoy!

Members of the Santa Monica PD helped wrap gifts that will be given out next week to children at PAL's youth center. This year PAL collected enough toys to put smiles on the faces of about 300 children!

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“Thumbs Up..We Got This”: Fighting more than crime with the support of community

by: Lori Butterworth, Founder and Executive Director, Jacobs Heart  http://jacobsheart.org

Last August I had a meeting with Watsonville Chief of Police, Manny Solano, regarding a youth violence prevention project we were working on. Chief Solano came to the Jacob’s Heart family center for the meeting. I was honored to give the Chief a tour of center and show him photos and of the children in our city who have endured cancer, and those we have lost to cancer.  

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Agencies from all over California celebrate National Night Out

Hundreds of communities all over California gathered to celebrate this years National Night Out.  

“America’s Night Out Against Crime” began in 1984 in an effort to  promote involvement in crime prevention activities, police-community partnerships, neighborhood camaraderie and send a message to criminals letting them know that neighborhoods are organized and fighting back.National Night Out is held annually nationwide on the first Tuesday in August. The first National Night Out took place on Tuesday August 7, 1984 with over 2.5 million Americans participating in over 400 communities and 23 states. National Night Out now involves over 37 million people and 15,000 communities from all fifty states, U.S. Territories, Canadian cities, and military bases worldwide.

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Initiatives to improve safety and community health earn City national distinction.

By Chief Lisa Rosalas, San Pablo Police Department

The San Pablo Police Department is pleased to share that the National Civic League (NCL) named the City of San Pablo an All-American City for 2014. The All-America City Awards, a 65-year old award program recognizing communities across the United States for outstanding civic accomplishments, were announced in Denver, Colorado and featured delegations from 25 cities across the United States.

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Doing More With Less

Doing more with less

Posted 06/04/2014 1:32 pm


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Police Chiefs Flex Their Legislative Muscles at the State Capitol

Cal Chiefs held its first very successful Annual Legislative Day May 14th in Sacramento and more than 70 police chiefs attended.

The event kicked off Tuesday evening May 13th with a reception at the State Capitol and more than 20 legislators attended, including Senate Pro Tem Darrell Steinberg. The reception was a great way for chiefs to have a casual conversation with their legislators.

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Service with a NEW Smile

As the Community Impact Officer, Officer Trahan often deals with issues of the homeless population throughout the City. In the fall of this year, she began working with one particular woman, Ms. Harvey, who became homeless due to losing her job at a warehouse where she had worked for ten years. The company, intent on lowering their fiscal overhead, moved to Mexico. For the past two years, Ms. Harvey has been homeless and unable to secure another job. Officer Trahan felt part of the reason for her unemployment was because of her dental problems.

Ms. Harvey explained to Officer Trahan that she began losing her teeth five years ago due to not having dental insurance and not being able to afford dental care. When Officer Trahan met her, she only had three teeth left.

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One of the Toughest Beats in America

By Chief Michael Grant

Stallion Springs Police Department

Throughout my law enforcement career, I have had countless people from all walks of life thank my partners and I for the job we do, for being cops, and for protecting their families. I have always tried to keep things in perspective and to remember that I am a public servant and that my badge represents the public’s trust in me to do the right thing. Fire fighters are thanked on a regular basis for their heroism, and the risks they take to protect lives and property throughout their careers as well. There are many facets to public service and for the most part, public servants serve with honor and integrity.

But imagine going to work every day or night, in uniform, to a place surrounded by walls and fences, where the great majority of the people you serve and protect are hostile, violent and often deadly. Where, on the beat you walk, to keep people from killing each other and from killing your partners, you’re armed only with pepper spray, a radio, baton, handcuffs, keys, and a whistle, and a vigilant eye in the tower above. This is the beat that a California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation Officer walks; possibly the thinnest of blue line’s anywhere. Our local Tehachapi prison (CCI), houses approximately 4,359 felonious inmates, a population more dense than some townships in the Tehachapi area.

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California Police Chiefs Kick Off 37th Annual Training Symposium in Monterey

Over 300 police chiefs and law enforcement officials from throughout the state are scheduled to attend CPCA’s 37th Annual Training Symposium February 23-27 at the Portola Plaza Hotel in Monterey which will feature more than 12 training and professional development workshops.

The Symposium kicks off with the Opening Ceremony and Fallen Officer Tribute on Monday February 24th at 8:30 am in the Steinbeck Auditorium in the Monterey Conference Center. The Fallen Officer Tribute remembers and honors the lives of California law enforcement officers who tragically lost their lives in the line of duty in the previous year.  

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Dynamic speakers you WON'T want to miss!

The 37th Annual Cal Chiefs Training Symposium is just around the corner. If you haven't already, be sure you register! You're not going to want to miss this speaker line up!

Monday, February 24, 2014

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Ukiah Police Department Builds Muscles and Camaraderie

After almost 30 years in law enforcement, Police Chief Chris Dewey knows that continuing to do things the way they’ve always been done is a great way to fall behind. New threats require new approaches, and any activity that improves morale, builds camaraderie, enhances physical fitness and sharpens mental focus is good for his whole team.

With this in mind, Chief Dewey approached Louis Maldonado, 37-year martial arts veteran and the owner of a local gym. Chief Dewey asked if Maldonado would be willing to tailor a class for Ukiah Police Department employees. That was five years ago, and the benefits have been outstanding.

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