Most all of us have been touched by cancer in one way or another, by our own personal battle, or that of friends and loved ones. Firefighters are not exempt. Not only do we respond to the homes of cancer patients on a regular basis, but we’ve watched fellow firefighters lose their battles with cancer and we’ve rejoiced with those who have beaten it.
In support of every person affected by cancer, Metro Fire will be operating a Cancer Awareness engine for the third year. The engine will run out of five fire stations, one in each of our Battalions, during the month of October. The engine will start its month of service today at Station 24 (4942 College Oak Drive). The cost to wrap the fire engine was 100% donated by Vehicle Wraps, Inc. and Sacramento Area Firefighters Local 522.
Get your cameras out because this year we have added a photo contest!
Become a Firefighter for a Day!*
The winner becomes an honorary member of the crew on a fire engine, doing what firefighters do on a daily basis: responding to 9-1-1 calls, assisting at community events, washing the fire engine, training, making dinner and eating with the crew, etc…Alternative accommodations will be made, if needed.
Full contest details can be found at www.metrofire.ca.gov.
On September 26, 2016, at 2:54 a.m., Brandon Ray Fernandez, a 28-year-old male from Orangevale, was driving a 2015 silver Hyundai Elantra, eastbound on Madison Ave east of Lincoln Oaks Drive going the wrong way in the westbound #1 lane at an unknown speed. Mr. Fernandez was driving under the influence of alcohol. An unknown male was driving a Yamaha motorcycle westbound on Madison Ave east of Lincoln Oaks Drive in the #1 lane, at an unknown speed, approaching Fernandez’s location. The motorcyclist was carrying an unknown female passenger. The driver and passenger of the Yamaha were wearing motorcycle helmets. Both vehicles struck head-on causing both the driver and the passenger of the Yamaha to be ejected from the motorcycle. Both the driver and passenger of the Yamaha died at the scene.
After the collision the CHP responded to the scene and conducted an investigation. During the course of the investigation it was determined that Fernandez had been drinking alcohol. After a brief DUI investigation Fernandez was determined to be under the influence of alcohol and was arrested for 2 counts of felony DUI and 1 count of felony manslaughter. He was transported and booked into the Sacramento County Main Jail where he also submitted to a chemical test.
With fire season upon us and winter months approaching, there is no better time to prepare for a disaster - events that often occur with little to no warning – by registering with the mass notification system at any one of the following three URL’s: Sacramento-Alert.org, Yolo-Alert.org or Placer-Alert.org.
Register now before a disaster hits, so public safety officials can call, text or email you in the event of a disaster.
Consider the state’s historic drought causing elevated wildfire danger, or winter storms and the many levees surrounding our urban core. Both events can occur rapidly, sometimes forcing evacuations, shelter in place orders and road closures. The regional mass notification system is a critical link for you to immediately learn of required actions.
Sign up for alerts at either Sacramento-Alert.org, Yolo-Alert.org or Placer-Alert.org - it’s easy and your information is protected. Officials will only text during an emergency or public safety event, or if public help is needed to find a missing child or adult.
The unique feature of the system is the ability to handle more than one contact method for residents including cell phones, alternate numbers, text, email and even landlines. You choose the best notification method or chose them all. You can also register multiple locations, such as your work address, your parent’s address or your children’s school, in order to get alerts about the places that mean the most to you.
On September 11, 2016, at 9:55 p.m., a 50-year-old male from Sacramento, was driving a, black Chevrolet pick-up s/b on Watt Ave., north of Marconi Ave., at a high rate of speed in the #1 lane. A white Ford Explore driven by a 47-year-old male from Sacramento, was in the #1 lane northbound on Watt Ave. The Explorer had two other passengers in the vehicle all from the Sacramento area. The pick-up, per a witness, had a right rear tire go flat and the driver of the pick-up was unable to maintain control of his vehicle. The driver of the pick-up allowed the vehicle to cross over the raised median into the northbound lane of Watt Ave. The pick-up collided head on into the Explorer. The impact killed both drivers. The passengers of the Explorer suffered moderate to minor injuries and were transported for medical treatment.
Fifteen-month old German Shepherd Blitz is the newest K9 officer to join the Citrus Heights Police Department (CHDP). Blitz, the son of Bodie, a retired Sacramento City police K9, celebrated his graduation into the Citrus Heights K9 team on August 17, at the police K9 training center. His first day on the job was August 18. Blitz, originally named Ibo vom Valkyre after his father, was born on April 28, 2015, at Valkyre Kennels, owned by dog breeder, Rebecca Rodgers.
Blitz’s father Bodie, who is now eight years old, received local attention on May 12, 2012 when he was shot by a suspected car thief. During a foot pursuit, the suspect fired at Bodie’s handler, Sgt. Randy Van Dusen, missing him but striking Bodie in the jaw. Bodie survived his injuries but retired from police service in May 2013. He now lives with Van Dusen and his family and one of Blitz’s litter sisters, Bailey.
Tim Kiesling of Gold Hill Canine, working with D Tac K-9 took Blitz home and began his early foundation training at eight weeks, teaching him the basics of K9 law enforcement work. Kiesling realized Blitz was an unusually fast learner and had an innate understanding of what was expected of him during his training, making him a good candidate for police work.
This training, combined with the advantage of five generations of police work breeding, led to Blitz’s being sold to the CHPD at about 14 months. Word of his proficiency had preceded him and he was chosen over a ‘pool’ of 25 contenders for the position. He soon began the extensive 150 hours of training with his new handler, Officer Joe Davis, culminating with him becoming a certified police dog in just three weeks.
According to handler Davis, upon being accepted into the K9 program a dog’s training focuses on testing for his or her innate instincts and reactions, whether they have a natural ability and to function in all environments and situations, and to observe how he or she may respond around all kinds of people encountered during their career. A successful candidate is a K9 that does not hesitate or fail under pressure or when threatened. Testing and training is continuous.
Over 30 CHPD officers and administrative staff were present for the event. After posing for photos and interviews with the media, Blitz and Officer Davis showed off their teamwork and skills in catching the bad guys.
Blitz and dad Bodie also shared a graduation cake baked by Sgt. Nicole Garing, CH K9 Unit Supervisor, made of oatmeal, applesauce, honey with a peanut butter icing.
The Citrus Heights Chamber of Commerce Education Committee honored Detective David Jones for his outstanding work with the youth in our community. The award was presented to Detective Jones at the Chamber’s August 9, 2016, luncheon held at the Citrus Heights Community Center.
As an agency, the Citrus Heights Police Department continues to focus on making a positive impact on the youth within our community, both for their safety and futures. In support of that mission, Detective David Jones coordinates our Juvenile Diversion and Education Program (JDEP) program to identify those youths who can be helped and kept out of the criminal system. The JDEP program is designed to reduce crime by providing rehabilitative programs to juvenile misdemeanor offenders. JDEP has moved to an eight-week cohort model, including an orientation and graduation which Detective Jones organizes. He interviews potential candidates and their families to determine whether they will accept accountability and the commitment to the program’s requirements. Through this program, Detective Jones works closely with allied resources, Terra Nova and A Community For Peace.
Most recently, Detectives Jones has been instrumental in the development and implementation of the newly formed Youth Leadership Academy (YLA). The Youth Leadership Academy is an 8-week program designed to prevent youth from getting into trouble by providing leadership skills. Some youths are on the cusp of getting into trouble, yet want to improve themselves. Others, with the right motivation and mentoring, could potentially be our next Police Explorers. Detective Jones played a significant role by coordinating with outside resources such as A Community For Peace and Family Tae Kwon Do Plus. He also conducted a significant amount of outreach to our local schools and youth programs while recruiting for the program.
Before becoming a Detective, he served as a Motorcycle Officer. During his time as a traffic officer, Detective Jones was dedicated to increasing the safety of children who were bicycling to school each day. Detective Jones worked closely with City representatives to enhance the Sharrow Traffic program. This program was designed to help motorist and bicyclist safely share the road, especially near the local schools. He led school assemblies, helped design a program mascot, ensured the streets were clearly marked with the Sharrow Arrow, and utilized social media to educate the public and school personnel. Detective Jones’ efforts greatly contributed to the reduction of collisions in the areas. During his career, Detective Jones also served as a local School Resource Officer and Citrus Heights Police Activities League mentor and coach.
Lunches for the honoree and guests are sponsored by local businesses. Many thanks to our Community Resource Officer lunch sponsor Ken Umbach of Umbach Consulting.
Submitted by: Rosa Umbach, Education Committee Chair
On Saturday, July 26, 1980, a married couple was brutally murdered in their home located in the 8100 block of Donnawood Way in Orangevale. The victims, John and Christoria Bilkei (66 and 69-years-old respectively), each died as a result of numerous stab wounds. The crime scene indicated there had been a violent physical struggle between the victims and the suspect(s) prior to their murder. Detectives also believe items of personal property were taken from the couple’s residence.
On behalf of the children and grandchildren of John and Christoria Bilkei the Sacramento County Sheriff’s Department’s Cold Case Team is asking for the public’s help in solving this decades old case by identifying the suspect(s) who committed this senseless double murder thirty-six years ago.
Anyone with information regarding this cold case is urged to call Sheriff’s Homicide detectives at (916) 874-5057, or the Sheriff’s 24-hour non-emergency number at (916) 874-5115. Those who have information and wish to remain anonymous may call (916) 874-TIPS (8477). You may also leave an anonymous tip on the Sheriff’s website; just go to www.sacsheriff.com and click on “Cold Case” under “Tips and Alerts”. Please reference Sacramento County Sheriff’s case number #80-54812.