July 2012 - Vol.05, No.07 
In This Issue
Santa Clara County Law Enforcement Explorer Academy
DPS Prepares for Wildland Season
Public Safety and Environmental Services Host 13 Community Clean-up Events
Special Olympics - " I Get It"
Dogs at Risk in Hot Cars
Thank You Letter

Events Calendar

July 28                   

Special Olympics Power Pull 


August 7                               

National Night Out  

(408) 730-7140






Message from the Chief 

July is National Vehicle Theft Protection Month. Most every day in Sunnyvale, a vehicle is broken into and/or stolen. Although our auto theft and auto burglary rates vary slightly each year, we average approximately 260 auto thefts and 450 auto burglaries annually. When you consider the actual and hidden costs associated with these types of thefts, it highlights the importance of taking preventative measures to avoid becoming a victim. In our fast-paced world, it easy to forget some of the simple things we can do to make ourselves and our property less attractive to thieves. Here are just a few suggestions for safeguarding your vehicles:

  • Never leave your vehicle running and unattended
  • Never leave a key in your vehicle (this includes hidden keys as thieves are familiar with common hiding places)
  • Close and lock all doors and windows
  • Park in well-lit areas and, if possible, inside your garage when at home
  • Do not leave valuables in your vehicle and always conceal items that are being stored in the vehicle temporarily
  • Use theft deterrent devices such as audible alarms and steering wheel locks
  • Consider installing a vehicle immobilizer system and/or using a vehicle recovery system

This is also a good time to remind our business community to practice prevention efforts related to the theft of commercial vehicles and construction equipment. With all of the construction happening in and around our community, this type of activity can become problematic. Here are a few suggestions for safeguarding this type of equipment:

  • Ensure that all commercial vehicles are marked with an identification number/code and that the markings are documented
  • Secure equipment when not being used and during non-work hours (i.e. fencing, locking mechanisms, etc.)
  • Use proper security measures such as lighting and security cameras

If you are the unfortunate victim of a theft, please notify the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety immediately by calling our non-emergency telephone number (408) 730-7100, or 911 if the theft is occurring in your presence. Be prepared to provide detailed information about your vehicle. As many people have mobile/hand held devices with cameras, it would be a good idea to photograph your vehicle in order to have the information immediately available if you do become a victim of theft.  


Finally, we ask that you keep yourself informed about criminal activity occurring in your area by visiting our website at  http://sunnyvale.ca.gov/Departments/PublicSafety/PublicSafetyStatistics.aspx 

and consider subscribing to Crimereports.com


Enjoy your summer,


Chief Grgurina    

TEL (408) 730-7140
TDD (408) 730-7501            

or email to: pubsfty@ci.sunnyvale.ca.us   


Santa Clara County Law Enforcement Explorer Academy


The Santa Clara County Boy Scouts of America Law Enforcement Exploring program partnered with South Bay Regional Public Training Consortium to hold the annual Law Enforcement Explorer Academy. The Explorer Academy operates as a micro-version of the actual basic police academy for young men and women who have completed the eighth grade and are 14 to 20 years old. The program is designed for young men and women who are interested in careers in the field of law enforcement. Exploring offers experiential learning with lots of fun-filled, hands-on activities that promote the growth and development of our youth.


Three members of the Sunnyvale Department of Public Safety's Explorer Post #417 participated in the three week career-academic academy that focused on bringing public safety professions to youth in our community. The curriculum was age appropriate and included courses in physical training, report writing, forensics, criminal law, narcotics, crime scene investigation, team building activities, code of ethics, crisis negations, and much more! Organizations from ten different police agencies from the Santa Clara County and Santa Cruz County sent their Explorers to this academy. Additionally, the Explorers attending received college credit and received a certificate of completion when they graduated from the Explorer Academy on June 29.

DPS Prepares for Wildland Season

Over a three-day period (June 18-20), DPS participated in a countywide wildland training exercise in preparation for possible statewide deployment to wildland fires this year. DPS sent one four-person engine each day. The engines were part of four task forces that were deployed to various locations each day around the Vasona Park/Lexington Reservoir area.

The all-day exercises focused on four different aspects of wildland firefighting: a simulated wildland fire "Sandtable" exercise which challenged participants to employ proper tactics and deploy appropriate resources; a progressive hose lay and shelter deployment drill; a structure protection exercise carried out in an actual neighborhood in the Los Gatos mountains; and a two-mile hike in the hills above Lexington Reservoir incorporating movements via compass direction and recognition of topography effects on fire.

The training exercise was preceded by months of planning meetings with significant involvement from DPS personnel. Substantial operational and logistical planning was required to put on an event of this scope and duration.

The training was attended by over 100 firefighters and other public safety personnel from throughout the county each day. Due to the number of recent grass and wildland fires, both in the Bay Area and across the country, the training exercise was covered by all of the major Bay Area media outlets and some national media organizations.


Public Safety and Environmental Services Host 13 Community Clean-up Events

The Departments of Public Safety (Neighborhood Preservation Unit) and Environmental
Services organized and participated in 12 successful neighborhood association and
Neighborhood Enhancement Action Team (NEAT) clean-up events in May and June. Area
residents were provided with free debris bins to safely and properly dispose of unused and
unwanted furniture, debris, trash, and other bulky and unsightly items.

There are many advantages to these events including improving the appearance of individual
properties, deterring illegal dumping of unwanted items, and promoting clean and safe
neighborhoods. These events are also a great way for residents to get to know each other
better and for City staff and residents to work collaboratively and productively.

Participants included 12 neighborhood associations and NEAT areas including Charles Street 100, Cherry Hill, Gavello Glenn, Heritage District, Lowlanders, NEAT 2 (Helen Avenue and Tamarack Lane), NEAT 4 (Fair Oaks Park area), Raynor Park, S.N.A.I.L., San Miguel,
Stevens Creek, and Victory Village. The Lakewood Village clean-up will take place on July.

Special Olympics - " I Get It" By Lt. Tracy Hern 

To honor someone is defined as showing respect for them and holding them in high regard. A wall of honor is a place to show respect for and hold all those on the wall in high regard. I had the distinct pleasure of being part of the Wall of Honor for the opening ceremonies of The Special Olympics Summer Games, at UC Davis, on Friday, June 22nd. The Wall of Honor is a tradition held by law enforcement personnel which forms a human wall on both sides of the athletes as they enter the stadium to start the games. This is an opportunity for the Special Olympic athletes, coaches and families to thank law enforcement personnel for the work, support and fundraising efforts they have made toward the Special Olympics organization. As I was participating in the Wall of Honor, it hit me, now I get it...I realized that this was not really about honoring us--law enforcement; this was really a chance for ME to honor the hundreds of athletes who each had the courage to compete in the Special Olympics. Some of the athletes couldn't walk, couldn't talk, couldn't even see or hear, but every single one of them had a smile on their faces and more enthusiasm than any other athlete I have ever seen. I got more high fives and hugs in this one night than I have in my entire life. Even more impressive, I heard more "thank you" comments for doing the job I do in that two hours of opening ceremonies, than I have in the past 18 years as a police officer. As each Special Olympics participant felt overjoyed and appreciative honoring me, I felt even more overjoyed and humbled as I honored each of them. The honor is definitely reciprocal.


On Saturday, June 23rd, I also had the honor of presenting awards to the athletes after they competed. The unique part of the Special Olympics is that everyone is a winner. Whether it was an 8th place ribbon or a 1st place gold medal that an athlete may have received, every athlete was happy. They were happy to be there, happy to compete, and honored that I, their hero, a police officer, was the one presenting them with their award. What they didn't know was that I, a police officer, was so honored that they would allow me to present them with their awards. The athletes have more courage than most people I know, and to think that they, the athletes, look at me as a hero? They are the true heroes. They are the ones that others should take a close look at, to see how to live life to the fullest. Each Special Olympics athlete looked as if they truly enjoyed life with enthusiasm and exuded happiness about who they are. They are my heroes.


As fellow law enforcement officers read this, they may be thinking to themselves, "How did he get so stuck on Special Olympics?" As a former SWAT member, Traffic Enforcement Officer and combat veteran with two tours in a combat zone, many people look at me as tough and rigid with little feelings. I don't know how to explain it, but when you are involved in events like this, the definition of honor broadens, and you just "get it." I highly encourage, and even dare you to get involved, and join me at one of these events with Special Olympics. I guarantee you will "get it" too!


Dogs at Risk in Hot Cars

Every year, dogs suffer and die when their guardians make the mistake of leaving them in a parked car-even for "just a minute." Parked cars are deathtraps for dogs. Even with the windows cracked on a 70 F to 80 F day, while it may feel comfortable outside, the inside of your car can heat up to over 100 F in minutes! As you can imagine, with that fur coat on, a dog's body temperature rises very quickly.


While humans have sweat glands all over our bodies that help regulate our body heat, dogs cool down mostly by panting, which is much less efficient than sweating. In only a short amount of time, a dog with a high body temperature can suffer critical damage to his nervous system, heart, liver and brain.


The major cause of heatstroke in dogs is leaving a dog in a parked car. Watch for symptoms such as restlessness, excessive thirst, heavy panting, lethargy, dark tongue, bright red mucous membranes on the gums and conjunctiva of the eyes, hyperventilation (gasping for air), rapid heartbeat, fever, lack of coordination, vomiting, and/or seizures. If a dog shows any of these symptoms, get him/her into the shade immediately and lower the animal's body temperature gradually by providing water to drink, applying a cool wet towel to the head, neck, and chest, or immersing the dog in cool (not ice cold) water.


Penal Code 597.7 PC Animal in Unattended Motor Vehicle

This law prohibits leaving an animal (or animals) in an unattended car if, by doing so, the guardian endangers the health or well-being of the animal. Under this law, conditions such as: the weather (is the temperature too hot or too cold?), a lack of adequate ventilation (are the windows open or at least cracked?), a lack of food or water (will the animal become malnourished or dehydrated?), and any other circumstance that could reasonably be expected to cause suffering, disability or death to the animal could subject the guardian to criminal prosecution.


Law enforcement officers who see an animal in a car that appears to be suffering are legally permitted to do whatever is necessary to remove the animal from the car. Because leaving an animal in an unattended car may also be considered an act of animal neglect, prosecutors could choose to file additional charges under the more serious offenses of Penal Code 597 Crimes Against Animals or Penal Code 597.1 Permitting Animals to Go Without Care.


Prevention is the key to keeping pets safe during warmer weather. It's best to leave them at home with access to cool fresh water and adequate shelter.


Thank You Letter 

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