Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Say "Cheeeeez"

The recent snafu of the Pomona PD made it all the way to the LA Times. In case you boycott the Times, the Daily Bulletin and the SGV Tribune, the body of a 23 year old Covina woman was discovered in an abandoned van illegally parked at the Pomona Civic Center. Even more bizarre, it was reported that the driver parked the van in a space reserved for the Pomona police. Rather than laying out all of the details, lets just say the Pomona PD handed over the van to the family without fully checking out the interior. You can probably guess what the family found under a blanket and some clothes in the back of the van.

I'm not here to harp on the police (hopefully, our mayor will take a similar high road). Instead I sit wondering why the Civic Center and its immediate surroundings aren't blanketed with security cameras. Or are they? In a city where the residents have littered the streets with speed humps to provide 24/7 relief from speeders, why not strategically-place security cameras to offer 24/7 police presence. If there was ever a city that needed to do more with less, it's M-M-M-My Pomona.

This photo (c. 1969) was taken from the Pomona Public Library Digital Collections and in no part is related to the ongoing criminal investigation. However, it does illustrate the evidentiary value in an opportune photo.


me said...

Ed- When I read the story, I was most struck by how the City of Pomona allows motor homes and vans to park all over this city, for days on end, s'long as the person gets a permit and moves it for street cleaning. I think that most of us, apparently including the police, having already complained to the City about the motor home parking problem here, just try to ignore it. Maybe if there weren't so many scarey motor homes around, we'd notice the vans. Pomona needs to ask why every other city around has such strict motor home parking rules. Just my 2 cents.

G of P

John Clifford said...

Good Post Ed.

The Mayor has weighed in and is mounting an investigation. But aren't the police supposed to NOT search vehicles without owners' permission? If they had reasonable cause they would have I'm sure, but that should have been the responsibility of the Covina Police who were handling the missing person's case. THEY told Pomona PD to hand it back over to the family or have it impounded.

Since it was an ongoing missing person's case in Covina, why didn't Covina PD take more of an interest in seeing if there was any evidence of their case in the vehicle?

Ed said...

G of P, have you heard of any RV parking (short- or long-term) subsidized by the city? I would think a city this size must have a suitable location and it could solve all the problems.

John, I'm inclined to defend the PD on this one for the same reasons that you identified. When I placed the marker on my homicide map, I included a little disclaimer regarding the location (a little editorial bias). I'm still shocked by the location. Either it's a taunt to the PD or the driver wanted it found quickly.

John Clifford said...


I've had the same feeling. It just gets my shorts in a knot that the Mayor feels that the PD has not followed proper procedures. Her concern for the parents is understandable, but she's the mayor of Pomona and should be supporting our public safety (her favorite term) employees.

It does appear that both the police and the mayor have the media on speed dial as yesterday's bust of dangerous gang member drug dealers was all over the news yesterday and this today.

me said...

Regarding Torres: she saw an opening and she took it.

But it is shameful that she is using this poor family for her own political gain.

G of P

K said...

I agree with John -- it didn't seem reasonable for the police to be digging through a private car just because someone filed a missing persons report.

OTOH, after watching Chief Romero on the news last night apologizing and promising an investigation, I'm assuming that there was a slip-up somewhere. Bummer. I wish I had a better understanding of police work.

Garrett Sawyer said...

Neat, I've always suspected some of the planters in the civic center used to be water features. I was born in 87 so I never really got to see them that way. I've just recently seen a couple black and white photos of how they used to look but never a color photo, nice! I personally prefer the nice shade the trees provide now, I understand they filled them in because of a water shortage...thats too bad. Perhaps one day they could renovate the large fountain in front of the Superior Court, that would be cool. I thought once while I was coming out of the library that if they retro fitted the court, library, and city hall with water reclaimation systems they would have enough water to bring back at least some of the water features downtown as a restoration project.