8:26 1A25 (Lieutenant Rodriquez) finally on scene – now self-assigned as IC, no prior administrative level IC person in place, the event had been run for the prior 5+ hours by the sergeant on scene with the resources he had been able to gather through his efforts without approval.
8:34 CHP helicopter called
No information on call outs for SERT, Bomb resources.
No lieutenant on scene until almost 8:30A, despite calls, despite refusal of resources during those calls.
No captain was on scene for at least 9 hours into the event, possibly longer according to several sources. This despite at least one captain, if not more being notified of events.. The only official mention of a captain was about 8:25A when Sung was provided information.
This is when the event started for these people, a comfortable, after coffee, mid-morning (for law enforcement) time frame. An event that had been going on for over 5 hours at that point, where, despite repeated calls from deputies in the field, no one in the administration could be bothered outside of business hours to either allow resources to be released or show up on scene to make the determination for themself. The IC lieutenant, showing up at 8:26A according to logs, after promising to be there hours before. After failing to show up for hours, the LT relied heavily on sergeants and deputies to know what to do, and took credit for the planning and actions done by others.
There are actions the administration tries to cover themselves with in U/S Hirokawa’s letter, like the SERT Sniper that Hirokawa talks about being in place. This person was on regular patrol duty, not on call out as part of SERT. The SERT Sniper acted at the direction of patrol sergeants on site trying to conduct the event with resources they were allowed through normal channels. In other words, it was just luck a sniper was on his regular patrol duty, at that location, at that time.
It’s my understanding from personnel on scene that bomb dogs, etc were not allowed out until the IC lieutenant showed up and realized this was a “serious” event despite this information being relayed to her via the phone hours prior. Deputies and PG&E personnel were forced to go through the scene to determine damage and if there were risks that needed to be immediately dealt with in regards to damaged equipment without bomb dogs or enough protective coverage to both protect the scene and the personnel involved in exploring and securing the the scene.
Callouts for a SERT team, bomb dogs or the bomb team did not happen into well into the incident after 8:30AM at the earliest when the IC lieutenant finally approved what the deputies had been asking for. I’ve been told by several people involved with the special teams that the discussions claimed by Hirokawa that supposedly resulted in “waiting until daylight” never occurred. The teams were never put on standby during the time this event was ongoing in the early hours of the morning. This is important not only in the fact that the administration did not allow the resources to be used, but if the incident got worse, the special operations teams would not have been staged or even aware of the situation to provide the most expedient response possible.
A primary concern when the incident was discovered was that there was an immediate explosive threat from the PG&E equipment, and there may have been IEDs placed to target responders, or even a gunman still present targeting anyone trying to reach equipment to determine damage and mitigate risk of an explosion. The deputies on site made due with bare minimum that did not allow them to fully deal with the immediate threats to themselves, never mind the search of the area that Hirokawa appears to think was the only needed action at this event.
Deputies were left to clear the inner area without further support and without either a bomb dog or bomb tech to ensure no explosive devices had been planted as a further detriment to ending this.
Deputies and PG&E had to repeatedly enter the inner area to deal with an explosive threat from the damaged equipment so it was not optional for the deputies and PG&E personnel to put themselves at risk without the expertise of special teams for cover and protection. It had to be done. Even as the IC lieutenant slept comfortably after refusing to release resources.
Prior to the lieutenant showing up on scene, repeated orders came from administrative personnel to cut a report and depart the scene and leave PG&E to deal with it as it was only “vandalism”. If you note the timeline, a captain isn’t even mentioned until Sung, not on scene, requests information.
The administrations biggest problem in their response is this: They state they waited until first light for safety purposes to conduct a search for EIDs, etc. Hirokawa seems to be completely unaware of the critical potential of the PG&E equipment exploding, the fire hazard nor that his personnel were left without the expertise and resources of the bomb team to deal with the risk of IEDs long before daylight ever came. Yet he claims there were discussions to wait until daylight to pull these resources according to his letter. Perhaps hoping that in their “official statement” we never would get enough details to figure out that a decision like that would have been reckless under the circumstances.
That if the gunman was still in the surrounding area, that a single sniper and a handful of deputies spread thin to hold a perimeter and conduct a search of the inside for IEDs, to escort PG&E personnel simply was not enough.
Maybe the Undersheriff and the administration is afraid of the dark, maybe they think that bad things only happen 8 to 5?
Maybe they just don’t understand what they were being told… or maybe they just don’t care.
Any way you cut it, this is an incident that was clearly not given the attention necessary by the lieutenants, captains and above who were involved. They have call out cars… when a deputy or a sergeant feels an incident is serious enough to call them at 3:30 AM, perhaps they should get in that tax payer paid for car and go to the incident and determine exactly how serious the risk is. Or trust the judgement of personnel on site and allow them to call out the necessary resources if they’re not willing to get out of bed.
Why is there not a lieutenant on duty? Not on call, on duty, that can respond to these incidents to determine if further resources are needed if a deputy isn’t allowed to make that call or can’t be given permission via phone to make that decision? Why are line staff left in the middle of the night, calling administrators who are half asleep who have no apparent interest in making the decision to allow a sergeant to call out resources or appear on scene themselves in a timely manner and make that call themselves?
Another example of how the incumbent has “saved” us money. Had that substation exploded because deputies followed orders to leave the site and report it as vandalism what would the admin have said then? Had there been an IED left and people were hurt or even killed because they were refused bomb team resources as requested, how would the admin have pretended it wasn’t their responsibility? Same with if there was a gunman still in the area… there are reason taxpayers pay for these resources.
Note there is no record in the official timeline of call outs for SERT or Bomb. Because this is all done over the phone and the time is not recorded. It’s a means that the administration uses for plausible deniability should someone like me come along and start asking questions.
To add insult to injury, the lieutenant (1A25) who was made Incident Commander 5 hours into the incident, who had refused resources until she showed up on scene, who had told deputies on site, repeatedly, that she would be there shortly yet failed to show up, took credit for the handling of the incident from that point. Implementing the requests of the sergeants and deputies who had been trying to get resources from her for hours. She was shortly thereafter promoted to Captain for this glowing success, despite she spent the most dangerous hours in bed, refusing to respond to the incident. The sergeants and deputies who worked to make sure the right thing happened? They recieved nary a nod in thanks as the people who ensured she appeared competent…emphasis on appeared, according to several sources.
I have tried to bring this story to 3 reporters. There are the below documents I’m providing for you to make your own comparison, I have a number of other documents as well as witnesses. But the media is afraid. They’re afraid it’s “political” or documents and witnesses to the events “is not enough proof”. Much of this because of the insistence that so much business be conducted off-line via cell phone because the administration can create their own record of events.
This is just one example of how the sheriff’s administrators have interfered with an active incident and rewritten the events for the public. This was another one where everyone got lucky — the PG&E equipment didn’t explode, there were no IEDs and the gunman either was present and chose to only watch or had left the scene. The first was because deputies were willing to put themselves in undue risk to protect the public, the latter two points were just luck of the draw.
How many more times does the sheriff and her administration “get lucky”? Do we really want to find out?
Time for change in the Sheriff’s Office. Vote Kevin Jensen. Vote for a responsible leader who will hold personnel accountable for their decisions rather than promote them for successfully “fixing” the mistakes that should have never happened.