Rialto Police Track Down Hit & Run Suspect

Photo from Rialto Police Facebook Page

On January 27th at approximately 9:05 a.m., the Rialto Police Department received several 9-1-1 calls from citizens reporting that a young female was struck by a car in the 1500 block of Rialto Ave, in the City of Rialto.  After the 14 year old pedestrian was struck, the driver in the suspect vehicle fled the scene without stopping.  Rialto police officers arrived on scene within minutes and found the young girl lying in the roadway.  The Rialto Fire Department arrived on scene and she was transported to Loma Linda University Hospital with severe head injuries. She is currently receiving emergency medical treatment.

Through an initial investigation which included witness statements, the suspect vehicle was described as a dark colored Jeep last seen eastbound on Rialto Ave, and then northbound Cedar Ave. Rialto Police Officers responded to the area and began their investigation.  During an area check for the vehicle, officers were able to locate it in the Walgreens shopping center on the corner of Cedar and Foothill Blvd. Further investigation led officers to conclude the registered owner of the vehicle (Jesus Quinonez-Garcia), was the driver. Officers were quickly able to locate Quinonez-Garcia and place him under arrest.

After obtaining his statement and conducting a DUI investigation, Quinonez-Garcia was found to have a blood alcohol level of almost four times the legal limit.  He was later booked into West Valley Detention Center under the charges of Felony DUI and Felony Hit and Run causing injuries.

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Election Rules Changed To Favor Incumbents & Silence Latina Challenger

Rialto may seem like a Left leaning city but when it comes to politics, but all sides come out to make sure that honest hardworking voices are silenced.

After the 2016 election where nine different people all were seeking to occupy one of the two vacant city council seats Ed Scott wanted to make sure that the playing field was leveled when he ran for re-election. A city ordnance was put into place banning regular people from being able to promote their intentions of seeking public office. Everyone forgot about the 2017 ordnance and apparently the City Clerks office and Police department were unaware.

On Tuesday August 7th Mayor ProTem Ed Scott witnessed Ana Gonzalez who was seeking to occupy one of the two seats up for re-election with a campaign booth at the cities annual National Night Out witnesses said he came unglued. Mayor ProTem Ed Scott apparently directed Intern Chief of Police Mark Kling to kick Ana Gonzalez out of the event. What happened next was mind blowing the Chief of Police went over to remove Mrs Gonzalez’s booth from the event!

Now the Police Chief doesn’t respond to calls for service, he doesn’t go out on patrol and most chiefs delegate enforcement duties on other officers in their department. Well in this case when Ed Scott says jump the Chief jumps! Witnesses said that the Chief went over to Mrs. Gonzalez and forced her to remove anything about her campaign or leave. When we reached out to Chief Kling this was his response”

I understand that the City accepted the application from Ms. Ana Gonzales to have a booth at this year’s National Night Out in August, without recognizing that campaigning activities would be conducted or in violation of the City’s enacted policy from 2017. When the application was accepted PD staff did not notice the description of informational postcards about her political campaign. PD staff did recognize that she would also give candy and school supplies to children visiting her booth. No other council candidate was allowed to distribute campaign literature from a booth at the event, pursuant to Resolution 7084. 
 
Nevertheless, at the event, when Rialto Police Department staff members learned of the activities being conducted at Ms. Gonzales’ booth in violation of the city’s policy, Ms. Gonzales was asked to cease passing out campaign literature, but she was encouraged to continue passing out candy and school supplies to children attending the city sponsored event. At no time was Ms. Gonzales asked to leave the event.

Nobody stopped Ed Scott or councilman Joe Baca Jr. from addressing the public or having city resources taking photos of them at the event but the Latina Woman running to oppose them she was shutdown?

The question is why such an ordinance even exists and why both city staff and police staff are not aware of a city ordinance?

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Rialto Las Colinas Residents Breath a Collective Sigh of Relief

On Tuesday night at around 9:30 pm a brush fire broke out in North Rialto where Sierra Ave and the 15 freeway meet. With winds gusting to 45 M.P.H the fire quickly took off and became an instant hazard to Las Colinas residents.

By 11:00 pm the fire had grown to 20 acres and when it was all said and done the fire consumed 140 acres. On the news residents could be seen pouring out of the Las Colinas community. Many people worried about people that they knew living in the Las Colinas area. On ABC 7 news shots of palm trees and backyard fences on fire had people on the edge of their seats as they watched this wind driven fire began to try and jump across Riverside Ave.

The quick work of the San Bernardino County Fire Department, a total of 26 engines, seven hand crews, three bulldozers, Rialto Fire and one sheriff’s department patrol helicopter made quick work of this fire and brought it under full containment in a matter of hours.

Rialto Police Department took to the streets of the area making voluntary evacuation notices and securing the area so fire personnel could easily move about and get the work of fire protection done. Alexis and Jessica Alverez residents of the Las Colinas area said that Police were only evacuating residents that lived North of Alder. Alexis Alvarez said “I remember the last fire we had up here my daughter (Jessica) was little and that one was scary so we had no idea what to think with this fire, were glad the Fire Department worked so fast!”

Another resident was in the evacuation area but had nowhere to go with their pets and stuff so they waited it out to see if things would turn for the worse. Steve a person that works in the utility industry pointed out the charred power poles and still smoldering hot spots being addresed by fire personnel at 11:00 am Wednesday. He said “we were lucky they jumped on this so fast”.

Another worry was for two Elementary Schools and one Middle School in the Las Colinas area. School District Spokeswoman Syeda Jafri said that the schools never had to look at shutting down the following day because “Fire Chief Sean Grayson let her know that all the schools were safe and that the fire would not be affecting the schools or community”. Sydea Jafri did say that the schools were on inclement weather schedule due to the strong smell of smoke in the area.

Eisenhower High School Football On Their Way Back To Their Old Winning Ways

After struggling for two years in a row Eisenhower High School has come on with a fury this season with a 12-0 record after shutting out the Chaffey Tigers 28-0 at Chaffey High Stadium Friday. Chaffey used a mostly ground game that never got them into the end zone. Eisenhower traded shots in the air and on the ground to move the ball into the end zone multiple times Friday.

Coach Alvin Brown said the players are playing so well because they are listening to what they were told. We taught them what needs to be done and they are doing it. They are reacting to on the field coaching and playing their hearts out.

Two wins are all that stands behind a section title something that has eluded Eisenhower since 93. One way they were able to get back into contention was getting out of the Citrus Belt League and into the San Andreas League.

Ronnie Lott a Eisenhower alumni pumped everyone up by posting a youthful chant to the young team and players on Twitter.

Another standout helping the Eagles make sure every point is accounted for is the new Field Goal kicker Taylor Jackson. Two years ago we watched Eisenhower struggle with field goals. Now they have a female kicker who has only missed two kicks all season!!!! Go girl power!!

Eisenhower’s next game is at El Rancho High School in Pico Rivera.

Community Meeting Scheduled For New Rialto High Density Development

If there is one area of the city that has been more neglected in the city of Rialto it is the center section of Rialto on the West side of the city known to those who live there as the Flores Park Community. The name of the community comes from the central location of Flores Park to the communities self created boundaries.

There will be a meeting on October 18th at 6:00 pm at Dollahan Elementary School to discuss a proposal to develop a private residential neighborhood on Foothill Blvd. between Larch and Spruce Avenues.

Christopher Development Group, Inc. proposes to develop a private residential neighborhood with 70 single-family residences and 116 attached townhomes on 15.95 acres. The project site is located on the north side of Foothill Boulevard between Larch Avenue and Spruce Avenue.

On June 27, 2018, the Development Review Committee reviewed the project plans and the applicant will prepare revisions based upon the comments received. The Planning Department asked the developer to return with a select set of changes. Non of these changes were ever made available to the public. Yet that hasn’t stopped the Mayor from already getting in cozy with this Orange County developer positioning herself to receive campaign contributions in exchange for a favorable nood to this project.

Even Councilman Rafael Trujillo who’s mother lives right next to this proposed project refuses to engage with the community about the impacts of this project.

There are rumors that this project will be more dense than other projects in the city. Also some of communities in Rialto that have density issues are rife with crime and have become something Rialto try’s not to talk about. Also a large majority of Rialto’s multi family complexes are full of unchecked crime.

If you live in the area or just care to watch how a MASSIVE rich Orange County Developer will tell Rialto what it is going to do come on out and be a part of the circus!

 

Big Checks Written to Pay off One Union for Pushing Permanent Tax on Residents

The city is super proud of themselves for taking the last bit of control away from the voters on getting spending in this city under control. As they were preparing for the June 5th vote the city was working out a lucrative payoff program for the Police Department.

“On May 31, 2018, the parties reached an oral tentative agreement on the terms for a successor MOU, the deal points of which are set forth below and affirmed by the execution of this formal written Tentative Agreement by the parties’ labor representatives.” (Police Union Agreement)

Let us tell you why we believe that this agreement is a slap in the face to the people who live in Rialto. Let us go over a few key points before we move on:

  • We are not against the Police getting paid for the job they do.
  • We realize that the Police were working on a contract that was two years old.

What happened is that the city of Rialto approved an 8% back pay lump sum check for Rialto Police Officers and Management for two years, then a 8% pay increase for the 2018-2019 fiscal year. There are two big problems with this move:

  • The city has no extra money – for the last 5 years we have been basically cash balanced meaning we can pay our current bills but if the car breaks down we are screwed. Our budget has zero room for any sizable hit to it.
  • The Vote to make the Utility Tax Permanent was only an increase in the respect that it is here forever. The only way the city can make more money on it is by increasing the rate above 8%.
  • The city is $150 Million in debt to PERS and Retiree Health Benefits and there is ZERO plan on how to pay those costs.

Another problem with this raise is the fact that as our population is increasing our police force is shrinking. Nobody inside city hall seems concerned with the fact that Rialto Police Department is less likely to be able to handle this city with less and less staff. Not to mention popular shopping and dinning centers that are coming on board. How is Rialto going to handle the influx when staffing levels continue to drop?

Members of the Rialto Budget Advisory Committee wanted to add staff positions to the department while giving a 1.5 percent pay increase to the Police. The community members saw that just throwing money at the problem wouldn’t solve the issue of the public’s ability to feel safe. Chairman Stacey Augustine said as a manager of a major plant in Rialto he learned that simply giving employees more money would not change everything that was wrong in a workplace. Members Joe Rayden and Michelle Sanchez were concerned that the additional funds were not spent on hiring new officers.

Rialto Police have had a lot of recent turnover. The turnovers have applied pressure to the city to make a move to make employees happy and pay them back for pressuring community members into backing the permanent Utility Users Tax. Was this turnover simply about making less money or are there deeper roots? We do know that for the last two years the following has happened:

  • Police Chief Randy Deanda ripped apart a happy and functioning police department.
  • Officers were targeted for removal just because the current political power players didn’t like them.
  • Money was spent on personal witch hunts.
  • Police management staff have abused travel spending and lied to justify travel.
  • A long standing non profit that supported the police department with providing vital funds for specialized departments is still barred from doing their work.
  • Officers, Cpls, Sgt’s and Lt’s all have left the city for other departments.
  • Outside of pay the latest class and comp study showed Rialto Police Officers making at or above the median for other agencies of similar size..

If money was the sole issue why is the Dispatch Supervisor and a veteran officer still leaving after this deal was approved? Also one prominent Sgt recently made his intentions of an early retirement known, if he kept working he would make more in retirement than he will now? So if it is just money why is he leaving?

The problem is that Rialto is not learning from any past mistakes:

  • You can’t promise what you don’t have.
  • You can’t spend what isn’t coming in.
  • You can’t depend on the leadership of intern staff in high level positions in difficult years.

Rialto has spent money or promised to spend money they do not have over and over again. They added $2 million to redeveloping Frisbee park, They have locked Rialto into an agreement to build a 22 acre park in the new Renaissance area with no funds for that park, handed over hundreds of thousands of dollars to the police with this new raise (regular officer alone will make an extra $6 thousand a year with the new raise) and still funnel money to special interests and development buddies that dump money into their campaigns.

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More Employees Exit the City as Police Department Remains in Turmoil

Former Police Chief Mark Kling has quite a task before him as he was brought in to clean up the mess his former Lt. made when he was promoted to Police Chief in 2016. Former Chief Randy Deanda ripped through the department and left a wake of corruption and destruction that are still being felt today. Many saw Police Chief Kling’s return as a sign that better days are ahead but that hasn’t happened.

Both the rank and file in the department have not seen the action everyone was expecting and promised with Kling’s return. Everyone has been left with a weird feeling that normally comes after someone you trust comes by and slugs you in the stomach then walks away with the thing you care about most. Even this blogger has been left with a sour taste in my mouth as there seems more corruption to expose in Rialto than there are people worthy to defend.

Rialto has already seen an exodus of staff fleeing the city leaving many jobs to fill and other staff members to pick up the slack. Development services is not only down 4 or 5 key positions but we have interim staff making recommendations for the next 10 years of critical budget shortfalls due to extremely generous retirement packages.

Rialto Police is probably one of the hardest hit by this exodus of staff. According to sources close to the Police Department there are 10 sworn officers working for Rialto that are testing with other agencies. Two female staff members are already on their way out. Dispatch Supervisor Angela Haddad and Police Officer Cheri Shaffer are both leaving Rialto.

Dispatch has been one of the areas hardest hit with employee retention. Many of the dispatchers who worked in Rialto were subjected to poor working environments, quite a few were married to someone on the job and when their spouse fell into one of the departments witch hunts they were collateral damage and other agencies pay better and have more room for moving up in your career.

In 1997 Rialto had 124 sworn personnel now they only have 89. In 1997 Rialto had a population of 83,000 people. As of 2016 Rialto has a population of 103,314 people. These figures show that Rialto’s population grew by 20,314 residents and the amount of officers dropped by 25 sworn personnel. Add to that the addition of the In & Out area, Super Walmart shopping center and now the Renaissance shopping center opening this year there will be many more people here in the city of Rialto.

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