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Deputy O'Malley Asnault
A Message from Sheriff
Please join me in welcoming our new Undersheriff, Federico Rocha who brings extensive law enforcement experience, and a fresh perspective to our department. We also welcome our fourteen new cadets ready to begin their careers in public safety and assist in providing security at the courts and several City facilities.
In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15th as National Peace Officers Memorial Day to honor those who not only asked what they could do for their country, but also gave their lives in the doing. This month the nation recognizes law enforcement officers who rush into confrontation and danger in the service of others. Each year brings tragedy to families and communities whose loved ones and valued public servants are killed in the line of duty. Fortunately, Concerns of Police Survivors provides assistance to the families and colleagues left behind.
Our deputies continue to distinguish themselves volunteering and providing service far beyond the regular workday. Four deputies were recently honored at the San Francisco Coordinating Council of Lions Clubs' 51st Annual Police Officers, Firefighters and Sheriffs Awards Banquet for their dedication and bravery. Our deputies are also impressively fit, climbing 1197 stairs (52 floors) in support of the American Lung Association's "Fight for Air" stair climb fund raiser.
And for a fun time, please join us in cheering on our ice hockey team -- the San Francisco Shooting Stars -- on June 14th and 15th at the Yerba Buena Ice Center for a two-day ice hockey tournament to raise funds for "Operation Homefront", an agency that assists veterans and their families.
There is no better way to remember and honor our colleagues who fell in the line of duty, or in the service of our country, than by supporting so many valuable community programs.
Fallen Officers: Respect, Honor and Remember
National Police Week was May 11-17, 2014. In 1962, President Kennedy proclaimed May 15 as National Peace Officers Memorial
Day. This was established by a joint resolution of Congress in 1962. The Candlelight Vigil was held Tuesday, May 13, 2014. Three organizations are the principal organizations dedicated to honoring America's law enforcement community. They are the National Law Enforcement Officers Memorial Fund, Fraternal Order of Police/Fraternal Order of Police Auxiliary and Concerns of Police Survivors.
The Memorial in Washington D. C. was dedicated in October 1991. The Memorial features two curving, 304 foot long blue-gray marble walls. Carved on these walls are the names of more than 20,000 officers who have been killed in the line of duty throughout U.S. history, dating back to 1791. Davis Buckley is the architect.
Each year, approximately 60, 000 assaults are perpetrated on law enforcement officers resulting in 16,000 injuries. Sadly, over the last decade, an average of 160 officers a year have been killed in the line of duty.
The motto of the National Peace Officers Memorial Fund is Respect, Honor and Remember.
Concerns of Police Survivors
Concerns of Police Survivors, Inc. provides resources to assist in the rebuilding of the lives of surviving families and affected co-workers of law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty as determined by Federal criteria. Furthermore, C.O.P.S. provides training to law enforcement agencies on survivor victimization issues and educates the public of the need to support the law enforcement profession and its survivors. C.O.P.S. is a non-profit tax exempt organization.
National C.O.P.S. offers a series of "Hands-On" programs for all categories of survivors. These programs offer support and encouragement from peers and counselors. Most importantly, they help survivors develop relationships that can help rebuild their shattered lives. There is no fee for survivors to attend these retreats; the only expense is transportation to and from the
designated airport. Financial assistance for expenses incurred in traveling to Hands-On programs is available to NorCal
survivors through the Chapter. Please contact a Board member for more information about obtaining financial assistance. They have a kids camp and separate retreats for adult children, fiance/fiancee & significant others, siblings, spouses, affected co-workers, extended family and parents.
For information or registration details, visit www.nationalcops.org
or call the National C.O.P.S. Office at (573)346-4911.
Lions Club Honors Heroes
Those who enter the field of public safety do so knowing that the public will rarely hear about the dedication or commitment they demonstrate on a daily basis. Public safety professionals do not enter the field for accolades or awards; they do so because it is a calling. However, there are organizations that honor those who serve; one such organization is the Lions Club
On April 12, 2014, Sheriff Mirkarimi, Assistant Sheriff Miyamoto and Lt. Shannon had the honor of attending The San Francisco Coordinating Council of Lions Clubs' 51st Annual Police Officers, Firefighters and Sheriffs Awards Banquet. Thirty-two individuals were honored, including four of our own. Those honored from the San Francisco Sheriff's Department (SFSD) were Senior Deputy Anna Payne, Senior Deputy Michael Reid, Deputy John Lawsha and Deputy Brian Rice.
Senior Deputy Payne was honored for over thirty years of community service. In 1980, while serving as Secretary for the Deputy Sheriffs Association, Senior Deputy Payne was appointed to chair the Benevolent Committee. She quickly realized that there was a void in community service events. Senior Deputy Payne started a children's toy drive that has collected and donated over 25,000 toys. Senior Deputy Payne also has organized outings for the Boys and Girls Club
and fundraising efforts for March of Dimes
. In addition to her community service, Senior Deputy Payne heads the San Francisco Sheriff's Department's Combined Charities fundraising.
Senior Deputy Reid, Deputy Lawsha and Deputy Rice, who are all members of the Warrant Services Unit
, were honored for their January 31, 2014, arrest of a suspect who had brandished a pistol at a victim. They spotted the suspect walking near the corner of Mission and Duboce Streets at about 3:40 p.m. The suspect had his left hand concealed in the front pocket of his sweatshirt. The suspect initially refused to comply with orders given by Senior Deputy Reid, Deputy Lawsha and Deputy Rice. They could tell he was holding onto something concealed in his sweatshirt pocket. After a tense standoff, the suspect eventually complied with their orders and was taken into custody. After searching the subject, Senior Deputy Reid found a pistol concealed in the suspect's front sweatshirt pocket. Upon further examination, the pistol was a replica.
Senior Deputy Reid, Deputy Lawsha and Deputy Rice showed courage and above all restraint in this stressful encounter.
On an almost daily basis, deputy sheriffs in all divisions of the SFSD perform acts that deserve recognition and are worthy of awards. Thank you all for your dedication to excellence.
Support Your Shooting Stars and Local Heroes
On June 14th and 15th come to Yerba Buena Ice Center at 750 Folsom Street and support the San Francisco Sheriff's Department's San Francisco Shooting Stars as they take on other local heroes from the Bay Area in a two day ice hockey tournament.
Yes, the San Francisco Sheriff's Department (SFSD) has an ice hockey team! The Shooting Stars were formed last summer to participate in a charity event for the minor league San Francisco Bulls ice hockey team. Unfortunately, the Bulls went out of business a few weeks before our tournament. Rather than give up, the team joined forces with the San Francisco Fire Department and the Yerba Buena Ice Center to put on a tournament ourselves.
Some of our team members are experienced ice hockey players while others only learned to skate so they could join the team. We are co-ed and our ages range from the 20s to the 60s. In addition to deputies and other first responders, we have a lawyer, a health services analyst, a member of our SFSD Mounted Unit and an investment banker who wants to invest in his community.
Profits from the "Local Heroes Tournament" will benefit worthwhile causes. The event tickets and event t-shirts sold by the Sheriff's Department will benefit "Operation Homefront"
, an agency dedicated to caring for veterans and their families. Many SFSD employees have served in the military, are currently serving overseas or are in the reserves. Those who have come back and are able to resume their careers in the sheriff's department are fortunate, but some veterans are not so lucky. Operation Homefront helps returning veterans with basic life expenses so that they can return to civilian life with the same honor and dignity with which they served.
The fire department will be playing for the San Francisco Fire Department Cancer Prevention Fund and the other teams will be playing for the charity of their choice.
This is our first tournament, but it won't be our last. The Shooting Stars will play to support worthwhile causes and promote the department and the great sport of hockey for years to come.
The SFSD StarClimbers
In March, the SFSD StarClimbers, comprised of Deputy Middleton, Deputy S. Quock, Senior Deputy Thomas and Sergeant Gunn joined almost 1,000 others at the base of the 555 California Street building. Their goal was to climb 1197 stairs (52 floors) in support of the American Lung Association's "Fight for Air"
stair climb fund raiser.
While the day was wet and cold, they knew that the stairs would be dry and warm. For some this was their first time on the stairs, for others this was an encore performance.
As hard as 1197 steps may sound, it is doable by virtually all. You just need the will. Participants in the climb come with various levels of fitness with climb times ranging from a little over 7 minutes to just under 54 minutes. StarClimbers times ranged from 12 to 27 minutes.
Additionally, since you are in a contained area, it is easy to get back together afterwards and enjoy the food, drink and music provided!
Of the $350,000 raised by all climbers, the SFSD StarClimbers raised almost $1800.
Is the stair climb hard? Yes! Can you do it? Yes!
All of us pledged to do "The Climb" next year and hope that we can get more to participate!
On April 4, 2014, the Sheriff hired 14 Sheriff's Cadets. The newly hired cadets are assigned throughout the Sheriff's Department: Community Programs, Department of Emergency Management, City Hall Security, Public Utilities Commission Building, Hall of Justice, Civic Center Courthouse, Laguna Honda Hospital and San Francisco General Hospital.
Please welcome: Veronica Bustos, Angela Cleveland,
Shawn Dun, Anthony Garay, Sonny Lapena, John Li,
Jasmine Lowe, Erin McConnell, Jason Quanico,
Danilo Quintanilla, Jonathan Singh, Nicole Siu, Kim Tek
and Carlos Zarate.
If you or someone you know is interested in becoming a Sheriff's Cadet, have them apply online
. We are accepting online applications on May 22 and May 23, 2014.
Digital Storytelling in the Jails
and Recovery Survival Network , with funding from
the James Irvine Foundation brought the Digital Storytelling Project into the San Francisco County Jails. The goal of the project is to take the men and women currently in our custody through the process of articulating and crafting one's own story in order to develop vital critical thinking, communication, and leadership skills that will serve as a foundation for personal transformation and healing. Through the process of developing and telling one's own story, the participants spend hours on self-reflection and gain insight into why they chose the path they did and what they will need to do to grow and change and not return to jail. Their individual stories can also be powerful advocacy tools for changes in the community by showing how interpersonal, social, economic and political factors shape their lives and the lives of those we in the San Francisco Sheriff's Department try to help on a daily basis.
The Digital Storytelling project will provided 36 hours of facilitated training and 12-15 hours of independent lab time provided with technical assistance. Over the entire project, 48 men and women either currently incarcerated or recently released from our jails and from various ethnic communities and gang affiliations will be trained to create a short personal digital story about surviving trauma and growing from the adversity. To date, 14 men have completed the project, three of whom have been released and are well on their way to a successful reentry.
The project gives voice to those who have not been heard, the stories are riveting and the process is transformative.
Federico Rocha Sworn In
San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi administered the oath of office to incoming Undersheriff Federico Rocha during a private ceremony held at San Francisco City Hall. In attendance were members of the sheriff's department command staff along with Undersheriff Rocha's wife, Vicki Lane-Rocha, brother Elipidio Rocha and guests, which included: retired U.S. District Chief Judge Vaughan Walker, U.S. Department of Justice, Community Oriented Policing Services (COPS) Director -Ronald Davis, Bay Area Rapid Transit Deputy Chief of Police Janeth Glenn-Davis, Director Acting Administrative Services Manager East Palo Alto Police Department (EPAPD) Jaime Zarate, EPAPD Sergeant Jeff Liu, EPAPD Officer Veronica Bresenio-Barries and EPAPD Executive Assistant Agripina Villegas.
Undersheriff Rocha served in the U.S. Army with two tours of duty in Vietnam. He was awarded a medal for Valor and the Purple Heart. Upon completion of his military service, he moved to San Francisco where he graduated from the University of San Francisco with a BA, later earning a Master's degree from Golden Gate University.
In 1981, Rocha joined the Oakland Police Department where his assignments included patrol and special operations, SWAT, narcotics and criminal investigations. In 1995, Rocha was appointed by U.S. Attorney Michael Yamaguchi as the Law Enforcement Coordination Manager for the United States Attorney's Office.
In 2003, Rocha was appointed by the President of the United States, and confirmed by the U.S. Senate, as the U.S. Marshal for the Northern California District, a position he held until his retirement in 2010. As the U.S. Marshal, Rocha had responsibility for court security, prisoner custody and transportation, assisting in the Witness Protection Program, and conducting fugitive task force operations. In 2010, Rocha was recruited by Chief Ronald Davis of the East Palo Alto Police Department, where he led Operation Ceasefire as part of the department's anti-violence strategy. Rocha's service culminated with his appointment as Interim Chief of Police until February of 2014.
"Undersheriff Rocha brings an accomplished blend of law enforcement, custody and rehabilitation programming experience from all levels of government. With a declining jail population and reduction in recidivism, his expertise comes at a good time as we innovate further measures to improve public safety," Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi said.
The San Francisco Sheriff's Department welcomes Undersheriff Rocha as he begins a new chapter in his distinguished career.