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Commentary: City is working hard to recruit police

October 21, 2013|By Tom Hatch and Tom Gazsi

Costa Mesa is a safe community but the City Council, staff and residents all want it to be even safer.

Many elements make up a safe community. One of the most critical is a professional and high-quality police department. Costa Mesa is fortunate to have an outstanding department with dedicated professionals who work hard to solve problems, serve and protect the community.

Just within the past several weeks, several events have demonstrated the level of professionalism Costa Mesa residents have come to expect from their police officers:

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•On Sept. 9, the body of handyman John Gerard Kubat was discovered in the Westside. Police officers secured the scene and initiated the preliminary investigation. Detectives soon arrived and began a comprehensive investigation that included an in-depth crime scene analysis. The operation yielded sufficient forensic evidence that helped identify a suspect. Within 50 hours, the murder suspect was in custody.

•The same week, patrol officers arrived on Harbor Boulevard to investigate a reported traffic accident. The officers discovered a suicidal driver with an electrical cord tied around her neck and a 5-gallon propane tank next to her. She refused to unlock her car, so officers broke a window, pulled the fighting driver out and removed the cord from her neck. In the course of caring for the driver, she allegedly told the officers that she had killed her children at a nearby hotel. Officers soon confirmed the horrifying death of two drowned children at a nearby Santa Ana hotel.

•Several other exceptional arrests were made, including the capture of a suspected serial auto burglar who was caught in the act of stealing from a service vehicle.

As those extraordinary events unfolded, day-to-day police operations went on. These included an average of 225 daily calls for service along with records functions, court appearances, daily arrests, proactive dealing with homeless issues, follow-up investigations, the processing of hundreds of pieces of evidence, communications, training, firearms qualifications and a host of other obligations to the community.

This really speaks of a professional organization that has prepared for decades to deal with such tragic events while continuing to address more routine matters.

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