District 4 Commanders Meeting, 4/12/17

Photo of the entrance to the District 4 Police station

Thank you to Karen Cuthbertson from Athmar Park for sharing her notes.

Commander’s Meeting Notes – April 12, 2017

Councilman Flynn introduced Laura Walker – Deputy Director of Safety. Deputy Chief of Staff, Penny May talked about the General Obligation (GO) bond that will be on the November ballot. May reported that input from 6 community meetings last fall provided ideas for projects and that several committees are charged with considering and recommending a final list. May talked about safety projects that the Safety Committee was considering that same night in the D4 meeting room. May reported that the committees will provide their final recommendations the end of April, but did not address why the District 4 station was only recommended to be remodeled, while the much newer D5 and D6 stations were recommended to be replaced.

Lt. Jeff Martinez introduced Lt. Kevin Bray, the new night shift lieutenant. Lt. Bray served as an Officer in D4 from 1995-2000, and expressed his pleasure at returning to D4. Martinez noted that Bray was responsible for the southern half of D4, while Lt. Qualley was in charge of the northern section.

Lt. Martinez then introduced another D4 alum, Sgt. Kimberly, who joined the Financial Fraud Crime Unit in 2012. Kimberly reported that he investigates “white collar” crime and described several scams that continue to claim victims, especially seniors and those whose first language is not English. Kimberly noted that 80% of the US wealth is held by those over 65 years old and outlined the most common scams, including:

  • Canadian lotto. The victim receives a call that they’ve won and all the victim needs to do is to pay “taxes and fees”. The victim is told that they can pay these taxes by gift card or by iPhone cards. Kimberly advised that people ask themselves the simple question, “Have I ever entered the Canadian lotto?” If the answer is “No”, then hang up!
  • Callers purporting to be from the IRS telling the victim they will be arrested on felony past-due tax warrants. Again, payment of these alleged past-due taxes can be paid by gift card or iPhone cards. Kimberly advised that the IRS will correspond with tax-payers ONLY by snail mail. If people receive such a call, hang up!
  • Callers purporting to be from Xcel threatening to shut off service immediately. These scams target small businesses and count on fear of not being able to conduct business. Kimberly re-iterated that Xcel, like the IRS, NEVER calls customers with this type of issue.
  • Nigerian princes. New twist, these “princes “ are now using dating sites (particularly those sites that are for older singles looking for mates) to find victims willing to take care of “outstanding bills” before prince charming will come to America and marry the victim. Kimberly’s advise; don’t EVER send money offshore!
  • Convincing victims to conduct a sexually suggestive act via webcam, then blackmailing the victim that the video will be distributed unless the victim pays. The scammers cull personal info off Facebook or other social media sites and have been known to send the videos to the relatives/friends taken from those sites. Kimberly reported on a case he worked where the victim refused to pay and the victim’s father and cousins received the videos within minutes of the refusal. Kimberly’s advise; don’t put anything out on the internet that you wouldn’t want your mother to see.
  • The Grandparent scam. A caller claims to be a grandchild who is under arrest/in a foreign country and lost belongings/been in an accident/etc and needs cash immediately. Kimberly’s advice; call family members and verify the grandchild’s location.

Kimberly’s tips to residents:

  1. Don’t EVER give personal info over the phone to someone who calls you and makes demands.
  2. Don’t click on links that pop up on your computer or appear in email. Instead, “roll over” or “mouse over” the link. If the web address that appears in lower lefthand corner of your computer screen is not the same as the link address, don’t click.
  3. Yank on the card reader on ATMs/gas pumps to see if it’s tight.
  4. Don’t write checks, use bill pay.
  5. Get your credit report on a regular basis; e.g., 1st quarter, get your free annual credit report from Experian; 2nd quarter, get Transunion’s report, etc.
  6. If you are a victim, contact your bank/credit card company/etc.to freeze or close your account and complete a police report. Also notify the credit agencies.

An attendee asked what countries are primarily involved in these scams? A: For the Canadian lotto, it’s Canada, believe it or not. Russia, the Ukraine, and various African countries are also.

An attendee asked how the scammers get their phone lists? A: Off the “dark” web. There is “lots of money” to be made off a “good” list. People have been killed in Jakarta to get their lists.

An attendee asked if there’s any value in reporting the telephone number that the scammer is calling from, giving Kimberly’s information that numbers can be so easily spoofed? A: Report them anyway (to the FTC). Analysts can identify trends.

An attendee asked if it is true that some countries eg., Nigeria/other poor countries, don’t want to cooperate because this money helps fund their economy? A: Yes.

Lt. Martinez introduced CRO Alexis Arnada, who is standing in for CRO Lucille Arguello; who is in detective training.

An attendee asked for an update on the traffic fatality on Mississippi & Federal on April 2nd. A: Apparently, a party ran a red light and “T-boned” another vehicle. There was serious bodily injury to one person and a fatality, but—as it’s still under investigation—the person who was killed hasn’t been identified.

An attendee asked for help with daily speeding on Florida between Federal and Santa Fe and on southbound Santa Fe from Alameda to Dartmouth. In a related comment from an attendee, there was a request to get the radar van to these locations. That attendee noted that one of the radar vans locates in the 3600 block of W. 17th several times per month and requested help re-locating that van to the mentioned trouble spots. A: We will look into getting a van here more often.

An attendee asked for help with homeless camping by businesses/residents on the west side of Platte River Drive on the dirt shoulder across from the new park north of Evans. A: CRO Arnada reported asking for help from Parks & Rec to post “no overnight camping” signs in the new park. Lt. Martinez responded that he will contact the Homeless Coalition to address those not in the park.

An attendee asked for help with drunk drivers who crashed into his house (twice) at Evans & Knox Ct and destroyed the garage, as well. The attendee noted that midnight to 3am are worst and noted that a neighbor who installed concrete barriers along the perimeter of the property has had those barriers smashed. A: We will get City Council and Traffic Engineering and will see if other remedies; i.e., flashing signs, can be used.

An attendee expressed appreciation for the increased patrol presence at the Mar Lee Shopping Center and also expressed appreciation for the help with a marijuana grow house. The suspect has moved.

An attendee asked for an update on cruising on Federal. A: Additional Officers have been deployed on Sundays. Also, the Mercado parking lot has been a gathering place. The owners have been cooperative regarding installing concrete parking blocks and other barriers to prevent cars from “doing doughnuts”, etc. The remedies are at the permitting stage with the City and should be implemented before May 5th.

An attendee expressed concern that ambulances going to the clinic on Federal & Louisiana seem to be speeding and don’t seem to be slowing down at stop signs when driving through the neighborhood. A: When any emergency vehicle going “lights & sirens”, they have the right of way. Obviously they have to be prudent to ensure traffic is stopped before proceeding through stop signs or red lights, but they are allowed to go over the speed limit. CRO Nate Beiriger asked the attendee to get the ambulance number of any ambulance that seems to be driving recklessly and DPD will investigate.

An attendee asked for any information about twop cruisers behind the building at Canosa & Cedar recently. A: There was a traffic stop.

The next meeting will be May 10th at 9am.

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