Artist’s Haven or Trash Heap? Police Officer or Social Worker?

If your idea of police work is all shootings, chases, and similarly exciting scenes, it’s time for a reality check. Officers absolutely do fight crime — even violent crime — but in many if not most departments, a cop’s primary…

Artist's Haven or Trash Heap? Police Officer or Social Worker?

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If your idea of police work is all shootings, chases, and similarly exciting scenes, it’s time for a reality check. Officers absolutely do fight crime — even violent crime — but in many if not most departments, a cop’s primary role is a mix of social worker, traffic guy, accident scene recorder, mediator, mental health counselor, stenographer, community watch, and enforcer of minor violations. With the occasional DV assault or robbery thrown in.

Add to that mix the fact that heated situations often include allegations of — or actual — crime, along with the fact that the cops are in fact law enforcers, and things get even muddier. Deciding to take enforcement action can be a no-brainer, but that is far from always true, and may cause more problems.

This multifaceted, multi-day call shows much of what was just described.

Lightly edited for kind-of-brevity and sort-of-clarity, the following report is from a couple of days *after* the events seen here:

“On July 1, 2019, I responded to 604 Solano avenue in reference to a disturbance. Dispatch stated that there was an argument involving a landlord about some wood being removed from the property.

Upon arriving on scene, I made contact with Officer Landrum who had contact with 5 or 6 subjects on the north side.

I then had my attention directed to a male identified as Stephen Jaramillo who was wearing a gray shirt and holding a cane. This individual walked up to me and the individuals who were speaking with Officer Landrum and began to argue with him.

I then told these subjects that they are not going to argue while we were there at which time, I separated Jaramillo and escorted him westbound down the roadway towards the front of his nearby residence. I then learned that Jaramillo is the landlord of 604 South Solano and that the individuals moving trash from the north side of his building were former tenants. He claimed that they had been evicted, but was unable to provide any proof.

During the course of his statement, I determined that we were dealing with a civil matter and it appeared as though Jaramillo wanted the individuals to move their trash.

I left Jaramillo and began to proceed back to other officers. While speaking with other officers, I heard a commotion behind me and observed a male identified as a Saba Randolph in the roadway with an orange extension cord, and Jaramillo approaching him stating that the extension cord belongs to him.

I closed distance with these individuals who were engaged in somewhat of a tug-of-war and placed myself in between them. Both subjects appeared to not even acknowledge that I was present and were yelling at one another over ownership of the cord.

During this time, I had to step in and secure Saba’s left arm with my wrist in an effort to pull him away from Jaramillo who was equally aggressive and argumentative with Randolph. At this time, another officer addressed Jaramillo and separated him from the situation.

I then placed myself in between Randolph and very sternly yelled at him that this is going to be a civil matter and that property that is disputed will remain where it is until the courts decide who actually owns it. I then yelled at him that I was going to remove the extension cord from the bed of his truck and place it exactly where it was found.

I then made contact with Jaramillo and directed him to the pile of trash on the north side of the building. I asked him if any of the other property in this area he disputed the ownership of and he stated no. At this time, I believed the only disputed property was going to be the extension cord.

I learned from Officer Landrum that one of the individuals on scene had alleged to be the victim of an assault or battery from Jaramillo prior to the arrival of officers.

After speaking with all parties involved and Officer Landrum, I learned that the stories provided by the opposite parties were total opposites. The subjects associated with Randolph stated that at no point in time did they receive any eviction notice.

I spoke with these individuals at length in the roadway and explained to them the nature of this civil matter; however, none of the individuals appeared to want to have a conversation, and were very argumentative….” It goes on.

That was only a couple of days later.

Headache-inducing…

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