Tucked away in a small note on page 19 of the El Cerrito police department's 2011 Annual Report is the news that the city has a new police dog named "Koda."
The report notes the unexpected death of the city's first police dog, King, on Feb. 10 this year, and then states, "We have since purchased a new K-9 and as of the print of this report, K-9 Koda is in training." (Patch thanks the Arlington Neighbors email list for alerting us to this news.)
King, who joined the department in the fall of 2010, died from "an unforeseeable intestinal torsion," the annual report says.
The department's report also says that violent crime continues to fall, with 177 cases in 2011, compared to 213 in 2010 and 301 in 2007. Violent crimes include homicide, rape, robbery and aggravated assault.
Burglaries, however, rose 11.7 percent in 2011, to 230 cases in 2011 from 206 in 2010.
The report provides an overview of the department's organization and programs, and includes examples of tackling suspects, guns discarded in flight and other crime-solving successes.
The section on the weekend dayshift patrol says, for example:
"One day, while monitoring surveillance cameras, Sgt. Wentworth noticed a group of suspicious subjects that appeared to be plotting a robbery. He sent a plainclothes team of officers in to investigate. When the group split up, the officers detained the suspects and found that they were armed with a realistic looking BB gun. One of the suspects admitted that they were planning to rob someone before the El Cerrito Police interrupted them."
In another case:
"In November, two enterprising young men were busy collecting donations for the El Cerrito Gauchos Football Team. The men described themselves as members of the team. They convinced a number of shoppers in the El Cerrito Plaza to support their football team. Their pitch did not work very well on one particular shopper. The Head Coach of the Gauchos was not as generous as others had been. He called the police and placed the pair under citizen arrest. Police Officers discovered that neither suspect was a resident of Contra Costa County. In fact, one of them was a 25-year-old parolee!"
The department, headed by Police Chief Sylvia Moir, has an operations budget of $10.5 million and authorized strength of 46 sworn officers, the report says.