Thu. Mar 23rd, 2023

Apparently current SAPD Police Chief Carlos Rojas, who was hired by the Santa Ana City Council despite the fact that he had zero experience running a police department, wants us to believe that he has come up with a solution to the tsunami of gang violence in our city. So tomorrow he is going to face the media, at last, and talk about his new reward program.

But hold the presses – it turns out the SAPD already has a reward program in place for those who give tips about gang-related homicides. That program was put in place by former SAPD Police Chief Paul Walters, who now serves as the Chief of Staff to Orange County Supervisor Lisa Bartlett.

Pres. Obama and former SAPD Police Chief Paul Walters

But don’t take my word for this. Go look at the SAPD’s own website, which touts the Walters reward program here.

Here is what Walters came up with when he launched the SAPD’s current gang homicide reward program:

Do you have information on a suspect involved in a gang homicide or felony gang assault? The Santa Ana Police Department is offering rewards from $100 to $50,000 for information leading to the arrest of gang homicide or felony gang assault suspects. If you have information about gang homicide or felony gang assault suspects, please call (714) 245-8648. Further information is available – Click here for information in English or here for information in Spanish/Español.

I don’t expect that offering more rewards is going to convince residents to speak up about the gang violence in our city. Too many of these residents are compromised because there are gang members in their family. Others simply fear for their lives – they figure if they snitch they will be attacked. They are probably right about that.

Santa Ana Police Chief Carlos Rojas (pictured in the middle)

So what else can we do to curb gang violence in Santa Ana?

How about:

  1. Hire more cops! The SAPD is woefully short on manpower. We need more cops! But the truth is that veteran cops don’t want to come here because they are wary of our lame City Council and they don’t respect Rojas. They know he was hired mostly because of his ethnicity, not because of his ability.
  2. Fire Chief Rojas. He is the main problem right now – and he needs to go. We need to hire a capable, veteran police chief with EXPERIENCE fighting gangs. That simply is not Rojas. He admitted that last Fourth of July he turned tail and ran when he confronted a group of residents using illegal fireworks. He ran!  That is all you need to know about this guy.
  3. Establish a Curfew for those under 18. If young people are out late with their parents that is one thing but when it comes to unaccompanied youth we need to enforce a Curfew and keep them home at night.
  4. Don’t allow kids at school to dress like cholos! I remember when my kids grew up at Santa Ana’s fundamental schools. They had dress codes back then. The more liberal school boards have since done away with dress codes. But if kids are showing up at school looking like cholos, with their pants hanging down their asses, we need to stop that ASAP! And we need to go after truants. Keep kids in school and make them focus on their studies, not on gang banging.
  5. Get warrants and search the gangbanger’s home – often. We know who the gangbangers are. We know who the parolees are. Get search warrants and search their homes as often as it takes. We need to get illegal guns off the streets!
  6. Crack down on meth use in our city! We all know that meth is fueling the current gang violence in our city. We need to shut down the meth trade in this city and get the drug addicts into rehab. This is by the way a regional problem. Gangs all over Orange County are making a lot of money on meth. We need to shut them down!
  7. Finally – treat gangbangers like the terrorists they are. Gangbangers are not just criminals. They are terrorists! That is how we need to treat them. Use the RICO Act to go after them. And declare them to be the enemy combatants that they are. The disgusting part of all this is that most of these cholos are U.S. citizens! Treat them like the damn traitors they are.

When was the last time you heard Chief Rojas or our City Council Members get tough on the gangbangers? There is the problem! The gangs know we have weak leaders in our city. It is time to disabuse them of that notion. Fire Rojas and bring a ball-buster to Santa Ana who will have the huevos to take on the damn cholos once and for all! As for our City Council, I don’t think the likes of David Benavides, Vince Sarmiento or Sal Tinajero can man up. But new Councilman Juan Villegas can! He has worked in law enforcement for over twenty years. He needs to take point on the effort to stop the gangs.

One thing Villegas will tell you is that stopping the gangs is all about parenting our kids. Gangbanging is nothing new in our city. Sadly there are families in town who have been mired in gang violence for generations. They are proving time and again that relying on welfare to raise kids is not a good substitute for actual parents who give a damn. We need to make sure kids in school know what causes pregnancy and they have the resources to stop unwanted pregnancies. Unfortunately the Catholic Church is against birth control – so they are part of the problem. The City should make sure that poor families in town can get the birth control they need. Or else this problem will keep repeating itself for many years to come.

Don’t expect to hear anything useful from Rojas tomorrow. Instead be part of the solution! Email the City Council today and ask them to fire Rojas so we can bring in an actual leader and crack down on this city’s out of control gang violence!

By Editor

The New Santa Ana blog has been covering news, events and politics in Santa Ana since 2009.

5 thoughts on “Former SAPD Police Chief Walters first introduced a gang homicide reward program back in 2007”
  1. Hey Art,

    No where have I read that Rojas created this program or is taking any credit for this program. Secondly, Rojas was acting chief while Walter’s was acting city manager/city manager so he had some experience, all be it minimal, there’s some. I get that you’re not a Rojas fan, and I understand that this is your opinion on your blog, but you’re starting to sound like a broken record. Let’s remember that it was under Rojas that allowed unlicensed drivers 30 minutes to call someone with a license to pick up their car after being stopped for traffic violations as opposed to impounding it (which I disagree but that’s another topic). Let’s remember that Rojas came in after the previous Chief had more then 20 years on the job, so the fact that he’s changing things up a little is going to ruffle feathers, no one likes change. Let’s remember that Rojas came up through the ranks of the department as did Walters. Let’s also remember that Rojas came in when we were in the biggest recession and had a freeze in hiring and a budget short coming. I’m a fan of this page because some of your rant’s are funny, plus you allow for others to publically debate on here but really, how do you blame the rise in crime on Rojas? Was it Rojas who made drugs a misdemeanor? Was it Rojas who’s allowing these babosos to get out of jail early? I got friends at the Dept and yes, some are very unhappy on some of the decisions he’s made, but other’s don’t mind. I agree with you that we need to hire more cops, and we need to put responsibility back on parents. It saddens me that the only news that comes out of this city is bad news. Their are a million great things about Santa Ana, but it seems like only the bad news makes it. By me ranting like this, I’m not saying Rojas is perfect because he’s not, but I, as a life long citizen of Santa Ana, understand that the blame does not solely fall on the police chief. It’s not his job to teach these chamacos right from wrong. Other then that Art, keep it up, like I said, most of your stuff is great!

    1. I know a lot of officers in the department too and what I hear is that Rojas plays favorites and shows zero leadership.

      If I am starting to sound like a broken record it is because crime remains out of control in my city and Rojas has been mostly asleep at the wheel.

      I realize he filled in for Walters but that is not the same as actually running a department. Ours is a fairly big city with real problems. We needed a capable veteran Chief. What we got was Rojas – largely because he is a Latino.

      I don’t care what color our Chief is. I only ask that he or she be damn capable! And that simply is not Rojas.

      BTW we report plenty of good news – much of which I directly post to our FB page. But the articles that get all the views are the ones about crime. This is the single biggest issue in our city because our people just don’t feel safe any more.

      Thanks for reading and for commenting and for the kind words!

      1. I see your point Art, and you’re right, Rojas may not have had as much experience, and as far as the Latino thing, I think it helps that he can relate to the community like that. I personally feel the issue is more with our low income housing and the over population in those areas. I know for a fact that three or four families are living in a 1 or 2 bedroom apartment, and that’s simply not acceptable. The city should crack down on these slum lords and maybe that way, people will start to leave the area. I wonder why cities like Irvine and Tustin don’t have these issues, could it be because they have significantly less low income housing?

        1. You’re right. Kids growing up in such conditions are going to have a tough time succeeding at school.

          Not sure what the solution is but right now there are over 70,000 jobs open in Houston and homes cost about $150K. Folks should look at moving there.

  2. Love this article, I am a homeowner in Santa Ana and agree with everything you wrote. We are so short on police officers. I have called numerous times on the street racers that congregate at the shopping center parking lot on MacArthur and Fairview, 90% no police show up. These street racers with unbelievably loud exhausts love to rev their engines do burn outs in the parking lot. When officers do show up the police just watch as they exit the parking lot spinning their tires and racing down Fairview, all the while the one police unit that showed up ( the reason I mention one police unit is because there can be up to 60 cars all racers)does nothing, no tickets for loud exhausts or for racing. And they are doing this on week nights between 10:00pm and 1:00am making it impossible to sleep.

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