HEMET: New K9 team will soon be patrolling City of Hemet

HEMET – Hemet residents will soon be seeing a new K9 handler and his K9 partner patrolling the streets and back alleys of the city when Hemet Police Officer Reynoso and his new K9 companion Mac complete their training. The new team is currently in their first week of basic K9 academy at Adlerhorst International, Inc.

Once their training is complete, Officer Reynoso and K9 Mac will be joining Hemet Police Officer Gomez and his K9 companion Jack in keeping Hemet residents safe. Officer Gomez and Jack graduated the basic K9 academy at Adlerhorst International, Inc. in July, 2013.

City of Hemet Police K9 Handler Officer Gomez and his K9 partner Jack have been patrolling Hemet since July, 2013. Hemet PD photo.

Adlerhorst International, Inc. is located in Jurupa Valley. While in training, Officer Reynoso and K9 Mac will be trained in patrol necessities such as locating, controlling, and apprehending criminal suspects; locating criminals as well as missing or lost persons; locating evidence; and handler protection.

K9 Mac is a 92-pound Belgian Malinois and his commands are given in the Dutch language. Both Jack and Mac were originally purchased from a Netherlands vendor and both received certification titles from the K.N.V.P., the Royal Dutch Police Dog Association.

All new K9 teams must successfully complete five weeks – 240 hours – of intensive daily training. To maintain their abilities and skills after graduation, the K9 teams train once a week with other K9 teams throughout Southern California. 

The mission of the Hemet Police Department’s K9 Unit is to maintain a team of highly trained officers and canine partners who are prepared and equipped to assist with critical incidents which go beyond the scope of normal police operations, according to Hemet police officials.

They also handle routine calls for service, assist with searches for people as well as narcotics, and are often called upon to do demonstrations throughout the community. K9 officers and their K9 companions often appear at community events and at area schools, to the delight of the children who get to meet and interact with a real police K9 team.

Hemet PD’s K9 Jack moves in for a bite during last year’s annual K9 Trials Competition. Courtesy photo copyright Karen Hight, DogPhotog.net.

The City of Hemet’s K9 Unit is overseen by Corporal Derek Maddox, who was a K9 handler from 2009 until 2014, when his K9 partner Rosco retired from police work.

Since Rosco’s retirement, the city’s K9 needs have been provided Officer Gomez and K9 Jack, also known as King-1. Officer Reynoso and K9 Mac have already been given the radio designator King-2.

Although the city’s K9’s primary responsibilities are within the City of Hemet, they are often called to assist in the surrounding communities in and around Hemet during major incidents.

The Hemet Police Department is always looking for new areas and buildings to train in, according to officials.

Anyone interested in partnering with the department’s K9 Unit and who is willing to allow their property to become a Police Canine training site is encouraged to contact Hemet PD’s K9 unit.

Individuals or companies interested in providing new training locations for Hemet PD’s K9 Unit can contact Corporal Maddox or K-9 Officer Matt Gomez.

All of the Hemet Police Department’s K9’s – past and present – including all their necessary equipment and training, have been purchased with funds generously donated by organizations and members from the Hemet and San Jacinto Valley area.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

MORENO VALLEY: Cub Scouts earn Merit Badges learning about law enforcement

K9 Handler Deputy Schmidt addresses the young Cub Scouts with his K9 partner “Dre.” Moreno Valley Police Department photo

MORENO VALLEY – Cub Scouts and families from Moreno Valley’s Troop 100 were treated to an evening meeting with Moreno Valley Police Department officials Wednesday, Jan. 11.

The specially planned troop meeting provided the scouts with a fun and interactive evening learning about law enforcement.

During the meeting, officials from the Riverside County Sheriff’s Moreno Valley Police station spent nearly two hours with the scouts, who ranged in age from 4 to 12 years old.

The deputies conducted demonstrations, answered scout’s and parent’s questions, and made a lasting impression on all the children and adults they met and interacted with.

“We discussed the various roles of police officers, the dangers of drugs, and how the police are there to help those in need,” a Moreno Valley PD official explained in a social media press release after the evening.

The meeting also helped the Cub Scouts in attendance earn towards their Scouting Merit Badges.

According to Bianca Paola – one of many parents who were in attendance at Wednesday night’s meeting – said the evening “helped the boys learn about, better understand, and develop a sense of community awareness and responsibility.”

The Cub Scouts in attendance listen intently during the pack meeting. Moreno Valley Police Department photo

The desired outcome was for the boys to develop character and leadership skills they could then use to better contribute to their own personal pride, while taking into consideration the needs of others.

During the event, deputies explained the duties and responsibilities of law enforcement officers from different agencies and various departments within the Sheriff’s Department and Moreno Valley PD.

Officials answered “many different questions” from the young scouts, discussed the proper way to use 911, and provided an opportunity for the children to meet and interact with Sheriff’s K9 Handler Deputy Schmidt and his K9 partner “Dre” and other sheriff’s officials.

During the K9 demonstration, Deputy Schmidt took the time to explain the values and benefits of having a K9 available to assist with different calls for service.

Scouts also had the opportunity to climb onto a police motorcycle for photographs and crawl around inside a sheriff’s patrol vehicle.

After the meeting, parents who had been in attendance raved about the experiences they and their children had enjoyed.

Paola thanked Moreno Valley police officials saying, “I can’t thank the officers enough. Our boys really enjoyed themselves and were very thrilled to have met all the different officers.”

Five-year-old Angel Aguilar took the opportunity to chase imaginary bad-guys on a MVPD motorcycle. Moreno Valley Police Department photo

Since the meeting, Paola’s son, Angel Aguilar – who is a five-year-old “Lion Cub” – has been enthusiastically talking about “all of the gadgets” law enforcement officers use and have access to.

The day after the meeting, Angel even told his mom, “I want to be a cop so I can be cool and help people just like them.”

Robin Pena, another parent who was at the meeting wrote on a social media post about the evening.

“Thank you so much,” Pena said. “My son can’t stop talking about becoming a K9 officer.”

Christina Castro wrote, “My son had a great time and couldn’t stop talking about it. Thanks for making their night!”

“Thank you so much for coming out to our den meeting and for your service to our community,” Nicole Rhodes said after the meeting.

Adriana Joslin, another parent wrote, “Above and beyond all, thank you!” Our boys LOVED it!”

Moreno Valley PD officials were quick to respond back to the parents and the Cub Scouts.

“We would like to thank Cub Scout Pack 100 for inviting us out to their weekly meeting,” an official said after the event. “We were honored to meet these amazing scouts and their families.”

Click any image to open full-size gallery.

Troop 100 was formed in 1947. The Troop was originally at March Field, formerly March Air Force Base, in Riverside, California. The troop participates in many regular activities such as monthly camping trips, backpacking, canoeing, summer camp, service projects, and earning merit badges.

Anyone desiring more information about joining Troop 100 or about Cub Scouts in general, can contact Troop 100 or the Boy Scouts of America.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

HEMET: Join ‘Praying Hands Across Hemet’ for their next event Jan. 8

COMMUNITY/RELIGION:

HEMET – A local group, ‘Praying Hands Across Hemet’, has invited members from throughout the community, people of any and all faiths to come out and join them this Sunday Jan. 8 for a short ceremony of lifting up their community, community leaders, law enforcement, fire and medical personnel, and citizens. The event is set to gather at the corner of E. Florida Avenue and San Jacinto Street at 3:30 p.m.

Law enforcement and fire representatives have been present at previous Praying Hands Across Hemet and are expected to be present at their upcoming event.

Rosie Bubley, one of the event coordinators for Praying Hands Across Hemet says all are welcome and encouraged to bring their friends, family, and others they fellowship with.

“What we do is pray for our community, our police and fire departments, our children, our schools, our elderly citizens, and our community as a whole,” Bubley explained. “We pray with anyone and everyone needing prayer – all of whom have been affected directly or indirectly by the violence, poverty, and other issues that have brought so much change to our community.”

“All churches, all faiths, everyone from the community are encouraged to participate and help us pray against the violence that has settled in our town,” Bubley stated. “We are stepping up in public and helping others to do the same; so our community has an open, safe, and public place to seek and receive prayer.”

Bubley explained that we all know the dangers we face in the community. Danger from criminals, from natural disasters, from traffic accidents, from depression, from financial distress, from hunger, and from homelessness.

“We need to pray for our law enforcement officers and our leaders, and for our community groups that work so hard to keep our community informed about crime and how it effects where we live, moment by moment,” Bubley said. “What they do is to not only help keep us safe, but they give us peace of mind through difficult and challenging times; so we need to lift them up and put them in God’s protection.”

Law enforcement officials mingled with the crowds at one of Praying Hands Across Hemet’s previous events.

Bubley said participating in events such as this are important because, “It seems since God has been taken out of government entities and organizations such as our schools, our courts, and other public groups, that people have forgotten the most important things in life. Things such as simple human kindness, respect, and compassion for others.”

“Life just seems so different now, without remembering our faith,” Bubley stated.

“People seem to have lost their way and can’t handle tragedy as well as if they had known about faith,” Bubley explained. “To me God isn’t about a single religion, it’s about a personal relationship that never leaves me lonely, always gives me strength and hope, and keeps love in my heart.”

“Prayer has proven over and over to be a strong solution to any problem and when we lift up our prayers in numbers, it’s a guarantee our prayers are going to be heard and answered,” Bubley said. “The interaction we all get from this type of fellowship is priceless.”

Police and fire personnel stand by to support the efforts of Praying Hands Across Hemet during a previous event.

“People we all know and love and care about are hurting,” Bubley explained. “For some who are hurting, all I had to offer them was my faith in God and a prayer for them, but it gave them – and me – such comfort. I just want to promote that we all have prayer available to us.”

“So, please join us for this community event that allows every single individual to join hands with another person, to lift our prayers in unison, and to make a difference as we give praise to an awesome God,” Bubley enthused. “Please step up and come support our community in prayer. 30 minutes is all the time we ask for.”

Bubley has invited anyone and everyone, regardless of individual faith or religious denomination to come out and join Praying Hands Across Hemet. They will pray with and for anyone who shows up. “It’s about sharing the strength and comfort God has for everyone of us,” Bubley said.

You don’t have to be comfortable going to church, according to Bubley. This is less about church or organized religion and much more about simple faith.

“Praying Hands Across Hemet is just about bringing a community together and letting people know we can be all here for each other,” Bubley continued. “Without pressure. Without expectation. Without an agenda.”

For more information about this event, feel free to contact Bubley at (951) 973-1112 or visit Praying Hands Across Hemet’s Facebook page.

All people, of all faiths and denominations, regardless of religious affiliation are welcome at Hands Across Hemet’s next event scheduled for Sunday, Jan. 8, at 3:30 p.m.

 

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.

 

UPDATED: Community rallying to help autistic mother and daughter

UPDATE:1/5/2016 7 p.m.

Less than twelve hours after Kimberly and Gracelynn’s story was published on Riverside County News Source, Kimberly was contacted by several people and a business that offered to help the mother and daughter celebrate Gracelynn’s third birthday party.

The first part of Gracelynn’s party will now be held at Mary Henley Park in Hemet, beginning at 1:30 p.m. The whole community has been invited to wear their silliest or favorite costumes and come out to help make Gracelynn’s day extra special.

Goody bags, games, pizzas, and a Peppa Pig piñata donated by CJ’s Party Piñatas will be available and those who are able have been asked to bring a food item to add to the food options.

After the first part of the party, at 3:45 p.m., the children in attendance have been graciously invited by the owner of Cutting Edge Salon at 2811 W. Florida Avenue in Hemet to enjoy a Pampered Princess Party, where they will enjoy being pampered while getting their nails done by professionals.

Kimberly and Gracelynn could not be more happy or excited at the prospect of all the new friends from around the community they will be meeting!

 

 

ORIGINAL STORY

Kimberly Sawyer is a young mom who has spent her life learning to adapt and overcome Asperger’s Syndrome and a whole host of other medical conditions. Asperger’s Syndrome is a condition that doctors call a “high-functioning” type of Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD).

Kimberly is now raising her own daughter, Gracelynn, who has also been diagnosed with autism.

Kimberly is using her own experiences growing up with ASD to help her raise her daughter to be as healthy and happy as possible.

Growing up autistic

Although she dropped out of high school, Kimberly Sawyer later returned and graduated Valedictorian. She now carries a 4.0 G.P.A. in college.

At a very early age Kimberly knew she was different from other children around her. But because she was not diagnosed until she became an adult, she never understood why she felt so awkward and different. Growing up un-diagnosed, Kimberly spent her early years not understanding why she had difficulty with things other kids around her seemed to have no problems with.

Kimberly said she experienced problems with everyday situations such as maintaining eye contact, knowing how to interact socially with other children and adults around her, making and maintaining friendships, and knowing what to say or how to respond when someone talked to her.

Because her autism was was not diagnosed as a child, there were few options or resources available for her. Kimberly said her grades soon dropped from A’s to B’s, to C’s, and then straight F’s. Even the PA system and hourly school bells were a constant source of aggravation, as her hearing was so sensitive.

“I remember going to the counselor’s office for help a lot but no one would help me,” Kimberly explained. “I remember telling the counselors I could not concentrate in class, yet nothing was ever done.”

Kimberly said when she was in high school she was picked on so often she would get her lunch and eat it locked inside a bathroom stall.

She ended up dropping out of school her senior year because she could not handle the constant bullying, being singled out and the ongoing frustration.

“It was not until I was adult when I became diagnosed with Asperger’s,” Kimberly explained. “Then it all made sense. So for me, there were no therapies available to me. I lived, I learned, I adapted.”

At 31, Kimberly went back to high school and she graduated valedictorian from Alessandro High. She is now in college with a 4.0 G.P.A. and she has won several award and honors, including a congressional award for Human Rights and Equality.

Raising her own child with autism

“Gracelynn is my very best friend,” Kimberly says about her daughter.

Almost three years ago, Kimberly had a baby girl who, like herself, was diagnosed with autism.

By the time Kimberly’s daughter Gracelynn was three months old, Kimberly began to notice and observe many of the same traits in her daughter that she saw in herself while growing up.

“When Gracelynn was just a few months old I began to notice the same lack of eye contact, lack of emotions, and a disconnection from the outside world around her.”

Kimberly explained that Gracelynn has concentration difficulties, as well as body awareness and safety awareness issues.

“Gracelynn does not feel pain,” Kimberly explained. “She will cry from shock but not from pain. She can get hurt very bad and unless she is shocked from a fall, she doesn’t cry or show emotions, so every day I have to make sure every inch of her is okay.”

“People used to say I was so lucky, that she’s so quiet, she rarely ever cried…but babies are supposed to cry.”

“She is a fighter, she has already overcome so much.”

“Gracelynn is a fighter. She’s already overcome so much.”

Because Kimberly grew up un-diagnosed with little or no resources available for her and because of everything that she experienced while growing up, she vowed that Gracelynn’s childhood would be different.

In an effort to provide Gracelynn with the best childhood possible, Kimberly has spent the last year and a half taking her daughter to as many types of therapy as she possibly could.

Kimberly said in spite of her daughter’s diagnosis, she has high hopes that all the different forms of therapy will help Gracelynn grow into a more confident woman while experiencing a well-rounded childhood.

“Over the last year and a half Gracelynn has been undergoing extensive therapy and countless doctor’s appointments,” Kimberly explained. “I am proud to say that she has worked so hard over the last eighteen months that her therapies have now been cut in half.”

“She is a fighter,” Kimberly proudly stated. “She has already overcome so much.”

Gracelynn no longer has problems with many of the fine motor skill issues she used to suffer from, according to Kimberly.

“She graduated from that therapy as well as physical therapy and she has been making great progress,” Kimberly explained. “She now makes solid eye contact with others, which is often hard for a child with autism. I still struggle with making eye contact with others and I am now 33-years-old.”

Gracelynn still has occupational therapy and has issues feeding herself and holding utensils, but she is making solid progress in those areas as well.

Gracelynn has also been in day care for therapy for the last year and she is learning how to interact with other children. “The last year has helped her immensely,” Kimberly said.

“Gracelynn will play along side with a child but still tends to wander off by herself, and if she does play it’s usually not for that long,” Kimberly explained. “I really want her to be able to learn how to make and keep friends, which is why I have her in all of her therapies.”

Kimberly is hoping that with more meaningful interactions with other children she will learn how to build lasting relationships.

After so much progress, Gracelynn has earned her reward

Kimberly says, “Gracelynn is my motivation, my inspiration, and the reason I wake up everyday.”

With Gracelynn’s third birthday quickly approaching, there is nothing Kimberly wants more than for her daughter to have a fun, memorable, and special day. But more than gifts or an extravagant party, Kimberly’s greatest desire is for Gracelynn to make some friends.

“This little girl is my motivation. She is my inspiration and the reason I wake up every day,” Kimberly explained. “She has progressed so much over the last year and I am immensely proud of her. I feel that this child deserves one of the best birthday parties ever because of her hard work, dedication, and perseverance.”

Gracelynn’s third birthday is Jan. 22. To celebrate her birthday Kimberly wants to reward her by introducing some new friends into her life. But without many of her own friends she didn’t know where to start.

“Unfortunately, I do not have many friends due to my own autism and health issues and I didn’t have anybody other than family to invite to her birthday,” Kimberly said. “Even to this day, it is still very hard for me to form and maintain real and lasting friendships.”

So, in a last-ditch effort Kimberly took to the internet, inviting the entire community to help Gracelynn share in her success with a birthday party – and the community answered in a big way. Within days she had dozens of RSVP’s. Within weeks, she had over ninety; and the list keeps growing.

“Gracelynn was so excited when I told her she was going to have actual friends to play with at her birthday party that she asked if she could use her piggy bank money to buy them presents,” Kimberly said. “It’s an amazing feeling when your two year old does something that kind out of the kindness of their heart.”

Gracelynn also gave about 20 toys to the fire victims and kids that lost everything in the fire right before Christmas. “This is one amazing child, that she would want to give her own things to those who had nothing left,” Kimberly explained.

Now, with so many people wanting to show Gracelynn their love and support, Kimberly is looking for a place to hold her birthday in a venue that can handle so many from around the community.

So, Kimberly is now looking into local community parks or a business that would be willing to help Gracelynn have the birthday she truly deserves.

If you know a local business that would be interested in helping Gracelynn celebrate her birthday, Kimberly can be contacted at Ksawyer657@student.msjc.edu.

“It’s getting scary now,” Kimberly admitted. “I have a lot of people who want to come which is awesome, but here I am thinking, it takes 45 days to get a park permit and I cannot have that many people at my small, one-bedroom house. So I am getting a bit concerned.”

“But I have faith that when a whole community comes together, there isn’t anything that can’t be accomplished,” Kimberly said.

 

Contact the writer: trevor.rcns@gmail.com

trevor main

Trevor Montgomery spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg in an off-duty accident.

During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations, including the Robert Presley Detention Center, the Southwest Station in Temecula, the Hemet Station, and the Lake Elsinore Station, along with many other locations.

Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, Personnel and Background Investigations and he finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator.

Trevor has been married for more than 26 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and has 13 children and 12 – soon to be 13 – grandchildren.