POLICE DEPARTMENTYour Police, Our Community
POLICE DEPARTMENTYour Police, Our Community
On Friday May 1, 2015 at 7 pm, City Officials will join Reno Police and other local law enforcement agencies, and surviving family members of Nevada Officers killed in the line of duty, as they gather under the Reno Arch to turn the arch blue in recognition of National Law Enforcement Memorial Month. The event is free and open to all surviving family members of fallen officers and members of the community.
This marks the fifth year that the City of Reno and the Reno Police Department have turned the Reno Arch blue with the continued support from local Reno businessman Eddie Lorton. The Reno Arch will remain blue through the month of May until Monday, 1 June, 2015. Turning the Reno Arch blue will also coincide with National Police Week, which will take place May 10-16.
Turning the arch blue is part of Project Blue Light which began in 1988 when the mother-in-law of a Philadelphia Police Officer put blue lights in her window during the holiday season to honor her deceased son-in-law who was killed in the line of duty. The color blue is symbolic of “peace”. By displaying blue lights you send a message that you support America’s Law Enforcement Officers, your light is guiding them to safety, and you hope that the year will be peaceful.
The purpose of National Police Week is to provide special recognition to those law enforcement officers who have lost their lives in the line of duty for the safety and protection of others. Every day, law enforcement officers go out into the world to protect and serve us. Never knowing what they will face, they are provided with training to prepare them for almost any situation. But every year, officers pay the ultimate sacrifice or suffer debilitating injuries to protect their community.
Other local events include the Nevada Law Enforcement Officer Memorial ceremony, James D. Hoff Peace Officer Memorial ceremony, and the Silver State Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Parade. The annual Nevada Law Enforcement Memorial ceremony will be held at noon on May 7, 2015 at the Nevada State Capitol. The ceremony will honor the over 126 peace officers who have been killed in the line of duty in the State of Nevada since 1861. On Friday May 8, 2015 at Idlewild Park in Reno, the James D. Hoff Peace Officer Memorial ceremony will be held at 10:00 a.m. The Hoff Memorial was the first state memorial recognizing officers who have died in the line of duty in Nevada. Then on Saturday, May 9th starting at 11 am in Virginia City the 6th annual Silver State Law Enforcement Officer Memorial Parade will take place. Attending any or all of these events is a great way to remember our fallen officers while showing appreciation to those law enforcement Officers who continue to serve our communities.
For more information about like the Reno Police Department on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.
“Your Police, Our Community”
Just before 2 am Tuesday morning April 28, 2015, a lone suspect entered a convenience store in the 7000 block of North Virginia Street, pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded cash from the register. The clerk gave the unknown male an undisclosed amount of money and left the area.
Approximately an hour later, an unknown male subject having the same height and build as the earlier suspect entered a convenience store in the 1600 block of Silverada Boulevard in North Reno, pointed a gun at the clerk and demanded cash from the register. That clerk also gave the unknown male an undisclosed amount of money and the suspect left the area.
Reno Police Officers responded to both stores and collected security surveillance of the suspect. The suspect is described as being an unknown race male that was last seen wearing a black jacket with the hood up, a black bandana on his face, gloves and red pants or dark colored pants.
The Reno Police Department is asking for the public’s assistance in locating the suspects. Anyone with any information about this case is asked to contact the Reno Police at (775) 334-2115, Secret Witness at 322-4900, www.secretwitness.com, or text the tip to 847411 (TIP 411) keyword – SW.
RPD Case # 15-10880 RPD Case# 15-10885
On Thursday April, 23, 2015 from 9am until 11am specialized Detectives and Victim Advocates with the Reno Police Department will be at Bibo’s Coffee House located at 945 Record Street in Reno. The purpose of this Cup with a Cop event is to bring awareness to the public of sexual assault awareness month. It is also an opportunity for members of the community to have a cup of great coffee while they talk with Detectives and Victim Advocates to learn more about the services available to them through the Victim Advocates and Reno PD.
This is one of many community engagement events that the Reno Police Department plans to have in the near future to continue to build a positive relationship within the community as well as showing our support for local businesses.
For more information about the Reno Police Department and our community engagement efforts you can like the on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. You can also contact the Reno Police Department Public Information Officer at (775) 334-3850.
“Your Police, Our Community”
On Wednesday April 22, 2015 Recruiting Officers with the Reno Police Department will be at the Regional Public Safety Training Center (RPSTC) located at 5190 Spectrum Boulevard, Reno, NV to educate those wanting to apply to become Reno Police Officers. Recruiting Officers will be in Room 104 at the training facility answering questions and for general information starting at 5:30 pm until 7:30 pm.
The Reno Police Department is currently recruiting for new Officers until May 8th, 2015 and this event is a great opportunity for anyone interested in becoming a Police Officer with the City of Reno to learn how the application process works. Recruiters will be providing valuable information on the physical fitness standards, benefits, and many more details on how to better prepare for a challenging career in Law Enforcement.
There will be another recruiting event held at the RPSTC on May 6th for anyone not able to attend Wednesday’s event.
For more information please contact the Reno Police Department Recruiting Office at (775) 334-2455.
Like the Reno Police Department on Facebook or follow us on Twitter for more recruiting and community events.
“Your Police, Our Community.”
Shortly before 0930 am on April 12, 2015 a white male adult in his 30’s entered a store in the 4000 block of South Virginia Street and attempted to rob the store, but the clerk refused to cooperate with the man. The suspect then went to the Ball Park Market at 125 W Moana Lane were he robbed that store for an undisclosed amount of money and left the area. Reno Police Officers responded and reviewed the stores security service which provided Officers with a detailed image of the unknown male suspect.
At about 4 pm on April 12, 2015, Reno Police Officers in the downtown area spotted the suspect and arrested him without incident. Arrested for Robbery and Attempted Robbery was 27 year old Kepler Harrison (DOB 04/16/87).
Anyone with any information about this case is asked to contact the Reno Police at (775) 334-2188, or Secret Witness at 322-4900, www.secretwitness.com, or text the tip to 847411 (TIP 411) keyword – SW.
RPD Case # 15-6714 and # 15-6717
When current Reno Police Chief Steve Pitts officially retires from his post tomorrow at 5 p.m., Reno Police Department Detective Jason Soto will begin serving as Interim Reno Police Chief, Reno City Manager Andrew Clinger announced today.
Clinger appointed Soto, who will serve as the Interim Reno Police Chief until the new Chief is selected. The recruitment process for a permanent Reno Police Chief will begin immediately. The City of Reno will determine the logistics of the process, which must be approved by Reno City Council. Community interaction will also play a pivotal role in the process.
Given Soto’s former position as president of the Reno Police Protective Association (RPPA), City leaders felt he was the right fit to lead the Reno Police Department and bridge the gap during this transition period.
“I was looking for someone who is closely connected with the rank and file as we begin the recruitment process for a permanent chief,” Clinger says.
“I support City Manager Clinger's recommendation and look forward to working with Jason Soto as our city enters a new chapter,” Reno Mayor Hillary Schieve says.
As veterans of the Reno Police Department, Deputy Chief Tom Robinson and Deputy Chief Mac Venzon will support Soto in his interim role. Soto served as RPPA president for five years and has 18 years of experience in the Reno Police Department, including eight years as Chief Polygraph Examiner. Soto worked closely with Pitts, who has served as Police Chief since 2010.
Soto is also a proponent of “intelligence-led policing” (ILP), which is a model built around crime analysis and new-age strategies to improve police operations.
“I’m honored for this opportunity to lead the Reno Police Department and continue to provide the high level of public safety our community has come to expect,” Soto says. “I look forward to working with the police department, City Council, and City Manager and will continue to foster a culture of community-oriented policing.”
Background on Reno Police Chief Steve Pitts
On March 13, 2015, Reno Police Chief Steve Pitts officially announced his retirement from the City of Reno, effective Friday, April 10, 2015.
Pitts was promoted to Deputy Chief of the Reno Police Department in January 2008. He served as Interim Police Chief from March 2010 to March 2011, at which time he accepted the permanent position as Police Chief.
Pitts has more than 35 years of police service, spending numerous years in Major Case and Homicide Investigations, Emergency Management, and Crisis Intervention. He has more than 25 years of experience in Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) and other special operations units, and more than 15 years of command level experience.
Visit Reno.gov for more information about Pitts’ career experience.
At the beginning of the year a Reno resident was burglarized and the suspects made off with some of the victims checks. Since the burglary a male and female have been seen on local bank surveillance attempting to deposit the victim’s checks and then trying to withdraw money from the ATM with the stolen checks.
The male is described as being either a white or light skinned Hispanic male in his 20’s, and medium build. The female is described as a white female in her mid 20’s with blonde hair, and thin build. The suspect’s vehicle is only described as a dark colored 4 door passenger car with unknown Nevada plates.
Anyone with any information as to the identity of these two suspects is asked to contact Burglary Detectives with the Reno Police Department at (775) 334-2144, or Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900, www.secretwitness.com, or text the tip to 847411 (TIP 411) keyword – SW.
RPD Case # 15-2128
At about 940 am on April 8, 2015 Reno Police Dispatch received a call of a man who had been struck by a northbound train in the area of East 6th and Record Street in Reno. When Reno Police, Fire and REMSA personnel arrived on scene they located a 53 year old man underneath the train who had suffered severe injuries to his body. The man was taken to RENOWN where he is listed in serious condition.
Officers spoke with witnesses who stated the man appeared to be playing chicken with the train, and that several people had attempted to pull him off the tracks. Even though the train was traveling slowly the conductor could not get the train to stop before striking the man. It appears that the pedestrian was most likely intoxicated at the time of the accident.
The Reno Police Department wants to remind the community that even though trains are traveling very slowly through this area of the city that due to their size and weight they cannot stop quickly. Citizens are also reminded that it is against the law for pedestrians, bicyclists and motorists who fail to obey a railroad signal, gate or approaching train.
RPD Case 15-6446
The Reno Police Department is now accepting applications for the position of Police Recruit from April 6th, 2015 through 5:00 pm May 8th, 2015.
The minimum requirements for interested persons to apply are:
We are currently looking for a diverse pool of qualified applicants who have traits and characteristics to include treating everyone fairly, having a high level of integrity, respect for others, as well as a commitment to service.
Upon selection, Recruits will attend the Northern Nevada Law Enforcement Academy. Recruits attending the academy will be paid as City of Reno employees and receive a beginning wage of $51,000 per year, full time medical, dental and vision benefits after thirty days of employment. The department will issue the majority of the equipment needed while in the academy.
All those interested in a career with the Reno Police Department are encouraged to apply at the City of Reno’s website at http://reno.gov/government/departments/police/recruiting. Paper applications are also available at Reno City Hall, Human Resources, 9th floor. This link will also take you to the Reno Police Department’s recruitment website where informational and examination preparation booklets are located.
The Reno Police Department is nationally recognized as a model for Community Oriented Policing and Problem Solving, and we are committed to our community by being a model of policing excellence.
For further information, please call the Reno Police Department’s Recruiting Officer, Carlos Valles at (775) 334-2455 or email Valles@reno.gov.
Shortly before 4 am on April 6, 2015, a Chevy Tahoe traveling westbound in the 300 block of Parr Circle in North Reno struck the left side of a semi-tractor trailer as the vehicle was backing into a loading dock. When Officers arrived on scene the driver of the Tahoe was trapped inside and Reno Fire and REMSA personnel responded to extricate the driver from the vehicle. The 28 year old Reno resident was transported to the hospital with serious but non-life threatening injuries. The driver of the semi-tractor was not injured and is cooperating with Traffic Detectives. Both speed and alcohol appear to be possible contributing factors to this accident.
Due to the extent of the injuries to the driver of the SUV, members of the Reno Police Departments Major Accident Investigators Team (MAIT) were called to investigate this accident.
Anyone who may have witnessed or has any information about this accident is asked to contact the Reno Police Department Traffic Division at (775) 334-2141, or Secret Witness at (775) 322-4900, www.secretwitness.com, or text the tip to 847411 (TIP 411) keyword – SW.
RPD Case # 15-6308
Reno Police Department Case #04-36689
Victim: Kyla Ree Annan (4/21/76)
Francisco Merino-Ojeda has been arrested on charges of Open Murder, Burglary, and Sexual Assault. The arrest of this subject is the culmination of investigative work conducted over the last few months on a cold case Reno homicide dating to 2004.
On September 13, 2004, an unknown male broke into Kyla’s residence, taking off articles of clothing while inside the residence, before waking up Kyla and her boyfriend, who chased the subject out of the house. The subject’s clothing was collected by responding Reno Police Officers for DNA evidence testing.
On September 24, 2004, Kyla was found deceased in her home by her boyfriend. During an autopsy, Washoe County Medical Examiners collected DNA samples that matched the DNA evidence collected from the unknown suspect’s clothing several days before.
Investigators learned that Kyla was last seen alive on September 21, 2004 while working in her garden.
During the course of the investigation, more than 150 DNA samples were voluntarily collected from men in the area and from known associates of Kyla’s. There were no DNA match or matches in the FBI’s Combined DNA Index System, also known as CODIS.
In 2009, Reno Police Department Robbery/Homicide Detective (now Sergeant) Ron Chalmers contacted the media to request community assistance and outreach for someone to come forward with any information on Kyla’s murder.
This investigation remained a cold case until January 2015 when a concerned citizen, through the Secret Witness program, came forward and reached out to our Robbery/Homicide unit, claiming to have knowledge of a possible suspect who sexually assaulted and murdered Kyla.
Through the course of the last few months, the Reno Police Department has worked closely with the FBI and law enforcement agencies in Southern California to locate the suspect and collect his DNA. These samples were rushed to the Washoe County Sheriff’s Office Crime Lab, who expedited the testing of these samples to confirm the suspect’s connection with this case.
Due to the efforts of numerous officers, detectives, the Washoe County District Attorney’s Office, the Washoe County Sheriff’s Crime Lab, and agents from other federal law enforcement agencies, an arrest warrant was issued for the arrest of the suspect.
On March 11, 2015, Sgt. Chalmers and Reno Police Department Robbery/Homicide Detectives went to Southern California where they met with local law enforcement and arrested 32-year-old Francisco Merino-Ojeda for Open Murder, Burglary and Sexual Assault.
On April 1, 2015, Defendant Merino-Ojeda was extradited from California by Reno Police Department Robbery/Homicide Detectives and was booked at the Washoe County Jail.
That is a brief overview of the case thus far.
I would like to conclude this press conference by giving my thanks to Steve and Cheryl Annan for their presence here today and to send to them and their family our greatest heartfelt appreciation for their strength during this time. I would also like to commend all the law enforcement agencies and our esteemed colleagues who participated in the investigation and in the eventual arrest of this suspect.
I would also be remiss in not thanking the concerned citizen who came forward with the information that helped us locate and arrest this suspect; it is a vital part of our job to maintain crucial community engagement in these types of cases and I truly appreciate the efforts made in Kyla’s case.
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