By EMMALEE C. TORISK
Just a week after taking over as interim police chief, Sgt. Drew Rauzan already has issued letters of commendation to two officers who swiftly dealt with three suspected gang members caught tagging a car.
The efforts of officers Eric Manning and Robert Vukovich, he said, went above and beyond their required duties.
Instead of merely completing a standard police report and filing it with the detective, they invested time into a search of the surrounding area, then were able to arrest three juveniles for criminal damaging, obstruction of official business and curfew violation.
“They handled [a routine call] like a major investigation,” Rauzan said. “Doing that extra bit of work is better for everyone — the department and the city.”
Officers reported to Whipple Avenue shortly after midnight on Sunday, after a report that juveniles had spray painted the driver’s door of a 1993 Ford Thunderbird with the gang-affiliated “Los Lobos” tag.
Soon afterward, Manning noticed and detained a 15-year-old boy running on Penhale Avenue. He claimed that he was, in fact, with the other two juveniles but hadn’t spray painted anything.
Vukovich found the others, age 15 and 16, who responded similarly, in close proximity to the area of the incident.
After being positively identified by the witness, whose car had been spray painted, all three were transported to the Martin P. Joyce Juvenile Justice Center, where they are awaiting their court date.
“What they’re tagging is not their property and is costing the victim a lot of money,” Manning said. “They work hard for it. The citizens pay us, so we make sure we’re giving them the best we can for the money they’re paying.”
Rauzan, a licensed attorney and 15-year department veteran, replaced Sgt. David Taybus as interim chief of the Campbell Police Department on June 20.
“I’m excited to be in an official position to actually recognize every time patrol officers do more than they have to,” he said. “I’m thankful to work with and lead these great officers who take the time to provide Campbell with the best service possible.”
A civil-service exam in August will determine the permanent replacement for former Chief Gus Sarigianopoulos, who retired last year after 27 years with the department.