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Police News from The Arvada Report

Do You Know How to Drive....

You're cruising down the road, when traffic begins to back-up.  You notice the traffic is slowing due to a malfunctioning traffic light.  So, how do you proceed through the intersection?

Whenever you come to an intersection where the traffic control signal is inoperative, drivers approaching from all directions must stop.

Command Link Strate gives this reminder:  Treat this as a four-way stop.  Then proceed through the intersection with caution.  This means a driver who first approaches the intersection has the right-of-way.  However, if four cars reach the intersection at the same time, then yield to the car to your right.  Drivers are to continue this pattern to safely maintain the flow of traffic.  "The most important message is to take your time in these four-way stop situations," said Commander Strate.  "Be alert, as other drivers may not know how to progress through an intersection where the signal is out."

Strate adds police officers directing traffic at any intersection take priority over other traffic control devices, including traffic lights.  A summons can be issued to a driver for failure to stop if the rules are violated at these types of intersections.


Did You Know....Fingerprinting Services Provided at APD

Because many companies and government agencies now require the fingerprinting of new employees, the Arvada Police Department provides the following options to meet this need:

Arvada Police Headquarters, 8101 Ralston Road, Tuesday-Thursday from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm, no appointment needed

Ralston C.O.P.S. Station, 9555 Ralston Road, by appointment only, call 720-898-6620

Additional Important Information:  You must either reside or work in Arvada city limits.  You are responsible for bringing your own fingerprint cards.  A picture ID is required for identification.  The fee is $7 per fingerprint card--payable by check or cash.


Crime Prevention Tip:  Grab a Cuppa Joe and Stay Warm as Your Car Heats Up

What's the easiest way to keep your car from being stolen?  Stay inside your vehicle as it warms.  As the mercury dips this winter and frost and snow gather on your car, the Arvada Police Department reminds residents not to leave running vehicles unattended.

"This crime of opportunity involves a car thief simply sliding behind the wheel of a car and driving away," said Commander Aaron jacks of the Arvada Police Department.  "Even if the door is locked, it takes just a second to break the window and gain entry inside a car."  Commander Jacks adds that cars stolen in this manner--often referred to as a "puffer" crime--are not being taken simply for joyriding purposes.  These vehicles are being used to commit other crimes like burglaries and robberies, and even exchanged for drugs.  The best advice is for residents to stay with the vehicle as it warms up.  To enhance a State law making it illegal to leave a car running unattended on a public roadway, the City of Arvada adopted an ordinance making it illegal to leave cars running unattended in private locations such as driveways, parking lots of apartment complexes, and/or gas stations.


A Message From Chief Don Wick

It is difficult to believe more than a year has passed since the community around the area of W. 64th Avenue and Ward Road experienced the traumatic and far-reaching events of the Youth With A Mission (YWAM) murders, the Burger King homicide, and the traffic accident that killed three teens in 2007.

Just as the community as a whole was saddened and bothered by these senseless events, the entire City of Arvada family was deeply impacted by these crimes and accident as well.  What was not frequently reported in the media were things like the thousands of hours spent on these investigations, community meetings held to address the concerns of residents, and efforts of the Department to ensure that the families of the victims had the resources they needed to assist them in the days and weeks following these events.

As Chief of Police, I want to tell you about the round-the-clock efforts by Police Department staff in the YWAM and Burger King homicide investigations.  Hundreds of reports were generated in these cases.  In the YWAM case, this comprehensive effort has brought some semblance of closure to families, and may help law enforcement agencies and other health professionals understand the elements of such tragedies to prevent future incidents like this from taking place.  In the case of the Burger King investigation, the exhaustive efforts of the Department and the Jefferson County District Attorney's Office led to a jury finding four suspects guilty--three of whom were sentenced to life in prison for their involvement in this crime.  A team of Arvada police traffic officers reconstructed the traffic accident at W. 62nd Avenue and Ward Road to gain a complete understanding of the events that caused the accident.  This information can then be used to prevent a similar tragedy.

This is just a snapshot of the efforts related to a handful of cases.  I am very proud to say our police officers, investigators, and entire Police Department staff approach other cases that do not reach the newspapers, television, or the web in this manner.  In fact, this is one of the reasons the nation's Commission on Accreditation for Law Enforcement Agencies named the Arvada Police Department to be a Meritorious and Flagship Agency, an honor bestowed upon only a handful of police departments in the entire country.

It is said time heals all wounds, but the reality is, dozens of families are forevermore changed by events such as those I mentioned above.  So as we begin 2009, please know the Arvada Police Department continues to thoroughly investigate on-going cases as well as remain vigilant in patrol efforts to ensure the City of Arvada maintains one of the lowest crimes rates in the Denver metro area, and remains a wonderful place to live, work, and play.

In Memorium: Tiffany Johnson and Phil Crouse, Youth With A Mission.  Celia Meza, Burger King.  Kayla DeMars, Angelina Ford, and Daniel Losasso, 62nd and Ward accident.


 Cop Talk Receives Awards in 2008

Cop Talk, the Arvada Police Department’s monthly television program airing on KATV Channel 8, received two national awards celebrating the outstanding production of this long-running show.

Hermes Creative Award

Cop Talk received a first place honor from the 2008 Hermes Creative Awards for coverage of the Jefferson County Regional Academy.  KATV videographers followed a group of Arvada police recruits from the first day of orientation in January to graduation in April.  The series featured recruits in the classroom, at the shooting range, and training with Tasers and other police equipment.  The international competition was judged by marketing and communication professionals.  In Greek Mythology, Hermes is the Olympian god of orators and wit, or literature and poets.

National Association of Telecommunications Officers and Advisors (NATOA)

Cop Talk was once again honored by NATOA for outstanding production.  Two segments received third place awards.  The first was for Emily’s Run, which profiled the Jefferson County Regional S.W.A.T. Team as it honored Emily Keyes, the teenager killed in the shooting at Platte Canyon High School in September of 2006.  The second featured a ride-along with Arvada police officers during a summer DUI enforcement event.  You can catch Cop Talk on KATV Channel 8 throughout the week (click the KATV button on for a schedule) or you can watch dozens of segments posted on the Arvada Police Department web site at

Cop Talk has aired on KATV, Arvada’s local government access channel, since 1995.

Holiday Shopping Safety Tips

Just as silver bells may be ringing this holiday season, there are also criminals looking to target shoppers.  The Arvada Police Department offers several crime prevention tips to keep you and your purchases safe!

  • Carry only a minimal amount of credit cards and cash while shopping
  •  Do not carry your Social Security Card or PIN numbers in your wallet or purse.  Leave these items in a secure place at home
  •  Do not leave your purse or wallet unattended—even for a second.
  • Do not leave your purse or other valuables in plain sight unattended in your vehicle
  • Shop with friends or family
  • If ordering online, be sure to promptly take delivered packages inside your house
  • If traveling this holiday season, use timers for lights while you are away.  Ask a trusted friend or neighbor to watch your home.  Remember to make arrangements for mail and newspapers so they do not stack up in your absence
  • Immediately report suspicious persons and activities to police

If you are a victim of purse/wallet theft or credit card theft, you should make a police report as soon as possible.  You should also contact credit card companies to cancel the card and contact the three major credit reporting bureaus to alert them of the theft.

Equifax, PO Box 2002, Allen, TX  75013, 1-888-397-3742

Experian, PO Box 740241, Atlanta, GA  30374, 1-800-685-1111

TransUnion, PO Box 1000, Chester, PA  19022, 1-800-888-4213


Ralston House Volunteers:  We Count on You

Ralston House volunteers recently received a much deserved honor:  the “We Count on You” Exceptional Volunteer Award from the Directors of Volunteers in Agencies (DOVIA).  DOVIA consists of enthusiastic and committed professionals who care deeply about promoting excellence in volunteer management and recognizing outstanding volunteers.

Ralston House, formerly known as the Arvada Child Advocacy Center, provides a safe, homelike environment for children who are the victims of sexual assault or other forms of abuse to share their stories and begin to heal.  Volunteers play an integral part in helping young people and their families through this difficult process.

The volunteers’ dedication was acknowledged at a luncheon held at the Arvada Center in September.  Volunteer services include, but are not limited to,: support and referrals for children and families, crisis intervention, follow up contacts, data entry, creating parent/caregiver packets, caring for the Ralston House facility, and participating in fundraising activities.

Ralston House volunteers include:  Angela Negri, Carolyn Tyrrell, Deb Hamilton, Janine Wood, John Hodin, Kathryn Crisler, Mary Beattie, Rebel Rodriguez, Regina Wolf, Susan Hodin, Cathy Paxton, Diana Pratt Wilson, Corie Burgoyne, and Rachel Fast


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