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Keeping Them On Their Toes

April 8th, 2009 by Temple City Tribune

SWEEPAt about 5:45 am on Wednesday, March 25 in the K-Mart parking lot there were over 3 dozen LA County Sheriffs vehicles both marked and unmarked to carry out a county wide probation compliance check . Three teams covered Temple City in hitting 11 residences of those on probation for various offenses. One of the teams, including seven patrol cars followed by the probation officer and canine unit, arrived at the first residence at 6:05 am was that was slated to be searched. The Head of Operations deputy for the team was Sergeant “Gus” Stilenbaurer along with Deputy Steve Cabrera briefing the team before approaching the residence. The probation officer led the deputies in knocking on each door, what they call a “soft knock”, and firmly stating “Sheriff Department, Probation, Open the Door.” It’s routine for all suspects on probation to be detained and handcuffed during the sweep. The sweep consisted of a search of the common areas and living quarters of the suspect. The Sergeants in command conduct a pre and post video of the location. While the residence is searched, officers ask the suspects and all those at the residences their names, dates of births and if there are any personal valuables in the residence. At the conclusion of the sweep if anything is found, it is up to the probation officer if an arrest will be made at the time or not. The K-9 narcotics unit was used at least 2 locations. This particular team conducted a soft search of 4 locations throughout the city. At one of the locations one of the suspects was found with a marijuana plant and drug paraphernalia but the suspect produced a legal medical marijuana license and was not arrested. The charges of those on probation for the team varied from Felony vandalism charges to sales of marijuana, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and grand theft. Only one arrest was made in Temple City. “We’ve always got to keep them on their toes and let them know someone is always watching,” commented Sgt. Stilenbaurer.

By Andrea Olivas

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