Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Three armed suspects in Stockton carjacking arrested in Antioch Friday night

Saturday, November 19th, 2022

With an officer’s gun pointed at him, one of three carjacking suspects surrenders after hiding in a backyard shed on Nov. 18, 2022. Source: APD body cam video screenshot

Oakley & Brentwood PD, Antioch K9, drone assist

By Antioch Police Department

Are you ready for another East County Strong mixed in with some Canine Nox? (it’s been awhile)

Friday evening, Nov. 18, 2022, at approximately 10:41 pm, a Brentwood Police officer spotted a carjacked Dodge Challenger taken from Stockton and pursued it into Antioch. The suspects who carjacked the vehicle were reportedly armed with handguns.

An Oakley Police officer picked up the pursuit and the vehicle was lost in the area of Mission Drive. Our very own Corporal Duggar located the vehicle parked on Los Altos Way near Monterey Drive and detained one suspect standing nearby. A second suspect foot bailed into the adjacent yards and a perimeter was quickly established.

Drone footage of carjacking suspect in backyard of Antioch home on Friday, Nov. 18, 2022. Source: APD video screenshot

Officer Hughes responded with his drone along with Officer Bushby and Canine Nox. Officer Hughes spotted an individual hiding in a backyard shed, and he eventually gave up after hearing Officer Bushby’s canine warning announcements. (See body cam footage)

A third suspect called 9-1-1 to report he had been in the carjacked vehicle and surrendered himself to officers, eventually admitting to being involved in the incident. All three suspects were turned over to the Stockton Police Department.

Officers spent several hours working this high-risk incident utilizing their training, tactics, a police canine and drone equipment to deliver an outcome resulting in no injuries to anyone. How bout an ‘atta boy for Canine Nox?

We’d like to thank the residents of Los Altos Way and Monterey Drive for assisting our officers while they worked this incident. This cooperation is what makes Antioch a community officers love to police because of your support.

Want to join Officers Bushby, Hughes, and Corporal Duggar in protecting our community? Check out http://JoinAntiochPd.com to learn how you can receive a $30,000 signing bonus, get paid to go to the Police Academy, and have a chance to make a real difference.

 

 

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Man arrested for robbing Antioch drug store Friday morning

Saturday, November 19th, 2022

Following his arrest, the suspect was escorted to a police car in the shopping center parking lot on Friday morning, Nov. 18 ,2022. Photos: APD

By Antioch Police Department

While you were sleeping…

Early Friday morning, Nov. 18, 2022, at approximately 2:14 am, APD Dispatch was alerted by a security company for Walgreens of a burglary in-progress where an individual was observed on surveillance camera shattering the front door and going inside. The store is located in the shopping center at the corner of Deer Valley Road and Davison Drive. Officers immediately responded and received updates that the suspect was stealing tobacco products and medications.

When officers arrived, the suspect slipped away, but didn’t get too far, because Officer Tanguma found him hiding in a nearby dumpster. He was sent to the county jail on charges of felony burglary, being a prohibited person in possession of ammunition, and probation violation.

Damage to the glass in the store’s front door and the tobacco and medical products, plus ammunition confiscated by police.

Did you know Officer Tanguma is an Army Veteran and one of our stellar police recruiters? Join him in protecting our community by visiting http://JoinAntiochPD.com Current salary ranging from $107,928.00 – $131,196.00 annually, comprehensive benefits package, 12-hour work schedule (3 days on/4 days off, 4-on/3-off every other week), on-duty paid fitness program, diverse assignment opportunities (canine, drone team, CSI, SWAT, investigations, traffic unit + many more!), and a $30,000 hiring bonus!

 

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Cronyism continues in Antioch City Hall as Johnson appoints friend Ford permanent police chief

Saturday, November 19th, 2022

Portion of page 4 of the City Manager’s Bi-Monthly Update issued on Nov. 8, 2022, mentions Ford had been appointed permanent police chief on Oct. 23, 2022. Source: City of Antioch

11/22/22 UPDATE: Contract shows Ford’s annual compensation is $256,272 in base salary plus other pay and benefits

Without search as mayor claimed in April had begun or transparent process with public participation, council pre-approval; APOA praises hiring, Ford; city manager doesn’t inform council members until two-and-a-half weeks later; Barbanica says, “I think Ford is good for the department…city”; Ogorchock says “If our officers are pleased…then I’m happy, too”; no contract or info on his compensation released

New Antioch Police Chief Steve Ford as of Oct. 23, 2022. Photo: APD

By Allen D. Payton

Without a search for a new, permanent Antioch police chief, an expected public, transparent process or a formal announcement, on October 23, 2022, then-Interim City Manager Con Johnson appointed Interim Chief Steve Ford to the position it was announced, this week. The Antioch Police Officers’ Association (APOA) praised the decision. As previously reported, Johnson and Ford both served on the San Francisco Police force and Thorpe announced his appointment as interim chief in February. Ford filled the position in April. (See related articles here and here)

11/22/22 UPDATE: Ford’s contract, dated Oct. 24, 2022, shows his annual base salary is $256,272 slightly more than the $252,602.04 salary he was paid as a Commander for the San Francisco Police Department in 2021, according to Transparent California. His total pay including “Other Pay” as listed on that website was $267,331.82 and his benefits cost $82,541.18 and pension cost 10,022.38, that year for total compensation of $359,895.38.

According to his contract with the City of Antioch Ford will also “receive education pay and Senior Officer/Longevity Pay, in accordance with the Antioch Police Sworn Management Association (APSMA) Memorandum of Understanding”. Plus, he can receive an annual cost of living adjustment that other APSMA employees receive as determined by the city manager. Ford’s pay package includes 5 percent of his base salary in Deferred Compensation. S Ford contract 10-24-22

The hiring was announced on page four of Johnson’s City Manager Bi-Monthly Update issued Nov. 8 in a single sentence under Human Resources which reads, “Steven Ford was appointed to Police Chief effective October 23, 2022”. That occurred three days before Johnson was hired by the council as permanent city manager. ACM BM Update 110822

But he didn’t inform the council members until sending them an email on Wednesday, Nov. 9 which read, “Greetings, Honorable Mayor Thorpe and distinguish [sic] council members, this email is to officially inform you that Chief-Dr. Steven A. Ford has been appointed to serve as the permanent Chief of Police of the Antioch Police Department. I have attached a copy of the official press release. In accordance with our Human Resources Department protocols, the official public announcement will be administered via staff report at the next city council regular meeting on Tuesday, November 15, 2020.” Johnson copied Assistant City Manager Rosanna Bayon Moore and Human Resources Director Ana Cortez on the email.

Screenshot of City Manager Con Johnson’s email to council members on Nov. 9, 2022, informing them of Steve Ford’s appointment as the new police chief. Source: City of Antioch

Then a statement was issued by the APOA Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 16 followed later by a post on the Antioch Police Department’s Facebook page which read, “The Antioch Police Department is pleased to announce Dr. Steven Ford has been selected as our permanent Chief!

Chief Ford has 32 years of experience in the industry including vast experience leading major law enforcement reform efforts at the San Francisco Police Department. He came to APD six months ago to serve as interim chief, and during that short time, has had a tremendous impact on our members. Chief Ford has instituted several initiatives to bring us to the forefront of policing in our region and has prioritized continuing education and wellness for all of our staff.

Chief Ford is building on existing ties with our community and mending those which have become frayed over the years. Among his top goals are developing thoughtful community policing strategies that emphasize partnership with those we serve, improving community trust, supporting the development and well-being of our members, while delivering the highest quality service that exemplifies industry best practices.

Please join us in congratulating Chief Ford!

Link to Chief Ford’s Bio: www.antiochca.gov/police/antioch-police-chief-biography/

A press release with the same information was issued by Acting Lt. Michael Mellone on Thursday morning, Nov. 17.

Antioch Police Praise Decision, Ford

However, despite the process, APOA President Rick Hoffman issued the following statement on Wednesday supporting Ford’s appointment:

“The Antioch Police Officers’ Association is excited to learn that Dr. Steven Ford has been officially announced as the Antioch Police Department’s permanent Chief.

From the moment Chief Ford arrived at our department, he has made every effort to support our membership and bring positive change to the department. Chief Ford has earned the trust and respect of the APOA’s membership, and we are committed to working with him to keep the city of Antioch safe.

Since his time began with Antioch PD, Chief Ford has prioritized officer training, wellness and ethics based/intelligence led policing. He also placed leadership development as a priority and created a leadership development program for all ranks throughout the department. His leadership has inspired confidence in his vision amongst our ranks and we look forward to working together for the next five years.”

Ford Offers Thanks, Praises Officers

When reached for comment about his appointment Ford responded, “I’m very grateful for the opportunity to continue my law enforcement career which now spans 32 years. APD has a great compliment of officers who are completely committed to the safety of the city, and I’m honored and privileged to work side by side with each one of them. Moreover, the city of Antioch has a lot of great people, and I’m humbled by their continued support.”

“Moving forward the city has my pledge and commitment to serve with honesty, compassion, and a focused dedication to high quality policing services,” he continued. “As mentioned prior, my focus is public safety, meaningful community engagement, and youth services.”

Council Ignores Own Calls for Recruitment & Hiring Process, Pre-Approval

According to the minutes of the council’s Police Oversight Standing Committee meeting on Oct. 26, 2021, under the agenda item entitled Police Chief Recruitment and Hiring Process, “Mayor Thorpe, Mayor Pro Tem Wilson and Council Member Torres-Walker requested a working draft that includes the following: an external recruitment pool, one representative from each district involved in the hiring process, the City Council’s ability to ratify the contract prior to hiring.”

During the council’s meeting acting as the Police Oversight Standing Committee on Nov. 23, 2021, the agenda item entitled Police Chief Recruitment and Hiring Process was included a recommendation for a “Motion to recommend that the City Council approve a policy by formal action at a regular meeting of the Antioch City Council. OR Provide direction to staff in accordance with the standing committee’s instructions.”

However, the topic for discussion was never again included on the agendas for the three committee meetings held this year in January, March and April. All other meetings of the committee planned this year were cancelled.

Thorpe Claimed Recruitment Process Had Started, No Plans to Make Ford Permanent

Yet, in April Mayor Lamar Thorpe said there weren’t plans to hire Ford as permanent police chief and that the hiring process had already begun. As previously reported, following Ford’s grand oath of office ceremony on April 27, 2022, Thorpe was asked if there were plans to move him into the permanent position as police chief. He responded, “No. You know that one of our police reform measures is the hiring process.” Asked if the council will start that process, this year or wait until the end of the year, the mayor stated, “no, we’ve started that process.”

But because Johnson, as interim city manager, was given the full authority to hire and fire department heads by the city council majority, he chose to make Ford the permanent police chief and the decision did not require council approval nor public input.

Questions for Some Councilmembers, City Staff Go Unanswered

The councilmembers were asked via email Thursday morning about Johnson hiring Ford for the permanent position and about the hiring process sought by the majority of members of the Police Oversight Standing Committee. “Did that process occur?” they were asked, and “If not, why not and how do you know Steve is the best possible choice for the position?” Johnson was also asked the latter question.

The council members were also asked, “Wasn’t the council going to decide who would be the permanent police chief and use a transparent process in which residents would be involved?” and “Why didn’t that happen?”

They were also asked, when they were informed Johnson was going to make the decision to hire Ford on a permanent basis and if they had seen Ford’s contract prior to this hiring.

Johnson was asked for Ford’s compensation, including his annual salary and benefits, and Ford, H.R. Director Ana Cortez and City Attorney Thomas Lloyd Smith were asked for a copy of Ford’s contract.

Ford was also asked if he had any comment he wanted to add about his promotion to the permanent position. He responded, “Unfortunately, I’m not at liberty to discuss the nuances of my contractual agreement.”

Ogorchock, Barbanica Didn’t Learn of Hiring Until Nov. 9, Support Ford

Ogorchock responded saying she learned of the appointment in the email to councilmembers on Nov 9th. “I want to support the police department. If our officers are pleased with Steve being permanent police chief and he brings stability to the department then I’m happy, too. I believe in Steve and his core values and what he’s brought to our city. But I was quite surprised it hadn’t gone through the process as discussed during previous council meetings and on the day he was given his oath of office.”

Barbanica also responded saying, “I got a text message with the rest of the council from Con on the 9th at 9:20 a.m. I learned of it on the 8th, when I was contacted by a member of the community asking if I was aware of the appointment mentioned in Con’s Bi-Monthly Update. I said, ‘no, I’m not’.”

“I will say I think Steve Ford is good for the department and good for the city based on everything I’ve seen. I do support a public process. However, being that wasn’t adhered to, I do feel the man we are talking about here is good for the department,” he explained. “I’ve been very clear all along. For city manager, for chief I do support a public process. We have two separate issues. Is he good for the department? Yes, he is. Did we adhere to the process? No. But the candidate has nothing to do with the process. I do feel that the candidate Con selected is a strong candidate.”

“While I support a public process, and I mean transparency, and I did not vote for this city manager, I still believe the final decision should be with the city manager, no matter who it is,” Barbanica added.

In addition, APOA President Hoffman was asked how and when his organization had learned of Ford’s appointment. He responded, “The POA learned of Chief Ford’s appointment about a week ago when the City Manager released it in his bi-weekly newsletter.”

No other council or staff members responded prior to publication time. A Public Records Act request for Ford’s compensation and contract was submitted via email late Friday afternoon, Nov. 18. The city staff members have 10 days to respond.

Please check back later for any updates to this report.

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Pedestrian dies after being struck by vehicle on Hwy 4 near Bay Point

Friday, November 18th, 2022

By CHP – Contra Costa

Wednesday morning, Nov. 16, 2022, at about 3:55 am, Contra Costa CHP was advised of a vehicle vs. pedestrian crash on Highway 4 westbound west of Bailey Road. At the time of the crash, a pedestrian was within the roadway of Hwy 4 westbound.

A Toyota Tacoma traveling westbound was unable to avoid the pedestrian and struck the person. The pedestrian was pronounced deceased at the scene and the driver of the Tacoma was not injured.

Efforts to obtain the identity of the deceased pedestrian were unsuccessful prior to publication time.

This crash is still under investigation. If anyone witnessed it or the events leading up to it, please contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez, (925) 646-4980.

Please check back later for any updates.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center receives top marks for patient safety

Friday, November 18th, 2022

The Leapfrog Group’s biannual safety report gives an “A” grade for limiting patient injuries, reducing medical errors and preventing infections

By Antonia Ehlers, PR and Media Relations, Kaiser Permanente Northern California

The Leapfrog Group recognized Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center with a top score of “A” in its biannual Hospital Safety Grades report, which examined and assigned letter grades to nearly 3,000 hospitals throughout the United States. The medical center received the same A grade in spring of this year. (See related article)

Hospitals received grades based on approximately two dozen measures that analyze patient injuries, medical and medication errors, and infections. The Leapfrog Hospital Safety Grades are updated twice annually, in the fall and spring.

Kaiser Permanente Northern California hospitals continue to be consistently recognized as among the country’s best for outstanding patient safety, positive outcomes, and patient experience.

This fall, 17 Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Northern California received “A” scores including: Antioch, Fremont, Fresno, Manteca, Modesto, Oakland, Redwood City, Richmond, Roseville, San Francisco, San Jose, San Rafael, Santa Clara, Santa Rosa, South San Francisco, Vacaville, and Vallejo. Additionally, Kaiser Permanente hospitals in Sacramento, San Leandro and Walnut Creek received “B” scores.

“We are honored to be recognized as a leader in patient safety,” said Chris Boyd, senior vice president and area manager of Kaiser Permanente’s Diablo Service Area. “Patient safety is at the heart of everything we do. We are incredibly proud of our physicians, nurses and staff members who make a difference every single day.”

The Leapfrog Group, an independent national nonprofit run by employers and other large purchasers of health benefits, released its Hospital Safety Grades after examining publicly available data on patient injuries, medical and medication errors and infections at U.S. hospitals. The report includes data collected by national health care organizations, including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Scores are calculated based on more than two dozen publicly available measures, and hospitals are then assigned A, B, C, D or F grades for their safety records. The grades are released as a free resource to help patients and their families make informed health care decisions.

“We are honored to be recognized as a leader in patient safety by the Leapfrog Group,” said Sharon Mowat, MD, Physician in Chief for the Kaiser Permanente Antioch Medical Center. “We remain committed to keeping our patients safe from harm, as well as providing outstanding quality and excellent personalized care.”

Kaiser Permanente is one of America’s leading integrated health care providers and serves more than 12.6 million members. Nationally, 24 of 39 Kaiser Permanente hospitals, more than 60 percent, received a Leapfrog Safety “A” grade. Nationwide, approximately 30% of hospitals received an A rating and 28% of California hospitals received an A rating.

For more information and a complete list of the hospital safety grades, visit Leapfrog.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

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Pittsburg: 5 die including 3 children in wrong way driver crash on Hwy 4 Wednesday morning

Friday, November 18th, 2022

One victim from Vacaville, four from Vallejo

By CHP – Contra Costa

Early Thursday morning, Nov 17, 2022, at about 12:10 am, CHP Contra Costa was advised of a wrong way driver traveling eastbound in the westbound lanes of Highway 4 near Railroad Avenue in Pittsburg. The wrong way vehicle, a Hyundai Elantra, continued eastbound in the westbound lanes and collided head on into a Ford Flex traveling in the westbound lanes of Hwy 4, west of Loveridge Road. Both vehicles sustained major damage and came to rest within the westbound lanes.

The driver and sole occupant of the Ford sustained fatal injuries and was pronounced deceased on scene. The Hyundai was occupied by one adult driver and three juvenile passengers, all occupants sustained fatal injuries and were pronounced deceased at the scene.

According to Contra Costa County Sheriff-Coroner’s Office PIO Jimmy Lee, the victims were Lasaundra Goode age 44 of Vacaville and the driver of the Elantra was Tiara Tucker age 27 of Vallejo. The three children in one of the cars was Mariah Mihailovic age 5, Keilani Johnson-Ochoa age 4 and Kaliyah Johnson-Ochoa age 9, all also from Vallejo.

At this time, it is undetermined if drugs and/or alcohol were a factor. For more details see the CBS News Bay Area report about the crash.

This incident is still under investigation. If anyone witnessed this crash, the wrong way vehicle prior to the crash, or the events leading up to the crash, please contact Contra Costa CHP in Martinez at (925) 646-4980. Thank you.

Allen D. Payton contributed to this report.

 

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Rocha finally claims victory in Antioch School Board Area 5 race

Thursday, November 17th, 2022

Unofficial Results from Interim Update 2 in the Antioch School Board Area 5 race. Source: CoCoVote.us. Re-elected Trustee Mary Rocha.

“I will see what the next four years will bring for me. I enjoy what I do and always have.”

By Allen D. Payton

With almost all the votes in the county counted and only 6,800 unprocessed ballots remaining, as of Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 16, 2022, in the Antioch School Board Area 5, incumbent Trustee Mary Rocha has, again increased her lead over newcomer Dominique King, now to 474 votes.

However, as of Thursday afternoon the Contra Costa Elections Division website now shows there are only 2,300 unprocessed ballots remaining in the county.

The long-time Antioch politician now has 2,101 votes or 56.36% to 1,627 or 43.64% of the vote for the first-time candidate.

A message posted on Rocha’s campaign Facebook page read, “Thank you. Although we continue to wait for the official final tally, I want you all to know how much I appreciate your support, your confidence and your votes. I hope to continue helping our students and staff. With gratitude, Mary.”

However, following the latest results update, Rocha finally accepted her victory Thursday afternoon saying, “This has been an interesting campaign. First of all, I didn’t know how I stood with my own neighbors. It was the first time I had to run a campaign in my own area. My very first campaign was for the bonds to build Mission School. I went around and got everyone registered to vote and we got the 500 votes to approve the bonds.”

“I’ve been participating a lot at Turner Elementary reading to the kids” she added about another school in her Trustee Area.

“At my age level, I’m not able to campaign like I used to. I have to give it to my committee who did a lot of work. They did a great job,” Rocha stated. “It was interesting too, to have Louie, my son in charge. He asked, ‘you want to run again? Do you want me to take you out in a coffin?’ I told him I still have interest so, he said, ‘OK. I’ll help you.’”

“My grandson was my treasurer, my daughter-in-law was my secretary, and my son was the chair of the campaign,” she continued. “There were more people that I want to thank, as well.”

“Now that I’ve been elected, I’m looking forward to people stepping forward to take my place in this position four years from now. I’m encouraging whoever is interested to follow me. It’s time,” said the 83-year-old. “In the past I never really wanted to let go. But the time has come. I really have to do it. I will see what the next four years will bring for me. I enjoy what I do and always have.”

At the next school board meeting on Dec. 16, Rocha will join Dr. Jaguanana “Jag” Lathan, elected without opposition in the district’s new Area 2, for their oaths of office.

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Torres-Walker pulls ahead of Motts by two votes in Antioch Council District 1 race

Thursday, November 17th, 2022

Unofficial Results from Interim Update 2 in the Antioch City Council District 1 race. Source: CoCoVote.us

Wilson increases lead over Ogorchock in District 4 race; now only 2,300 unprocessed votes remain in county

By Allen D. Payton

With almost all the votes in the county counted and only 6,800 unprocessed ballots remaining, as of Wednesday afternoon, Nov. 16, 2022, in the race for Antioch District 1 incumbent Councilwoman Tamisha-Torres Walker now leads former Councilwoman Joy Motts by just two votes. Former Antioch School Board Trustee Diane Gibson-Gray is trailing in third place by 123 votes.

However, as of Thursday afternoon the Contra Costa Elections Division website now shows there are only 2,300 unprocessed ballots remaining in the county. How many of those are in District 1 remain to be seen.

Council District 1

The “Unofficial Results – Interim Update 2” shows Torres-Walker with 1,445 votes or 34.3% and Motts with 1,443 votes or 34.25% of the vote. Gibson-Gray has 1,325 votes or 31.45%. The total votes cast in the race this year are just 4,213 compared to almost 8,000 cast in 2020.

If the contest results in a tie, according to elections personnel, the winner can be decided by the flip of a coin, or some other method agreed upon by the two candidates.

Unofficial Results from Interim Update 2 in the Antioch City Council District 4 race. Source: CoCoVote.us

Council District 4

In the District 4 race for city council, incumbent Monica Wilson extended her lead over colleague and challenger, Lori Ogorchock to 608 votes. Wilson now has 2,579 or 36.58% to the District 3 councilwoman’s 1,971 votes or 27.96% of the vote. Newcomer Shawn Pickett now has 1,304 votes or 18.5% and second-time candidate Sandra White remains in fourth place with 1,196 votes or 16.96% of the vote. A total of 7,050 votes were cast in the district compared to 11,768 in 2020.

Assuming not much change in the final results, Wilson will be the city’s next mayor pro tem as the candidate with the greatest percentage of the vote in the two council district elections.

Another update is expected this Friday afternoon. The county has until Dec. 8 to certify the election.

 

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