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November 19, 2010 > Meet the Cop

Meet the Cop

Hayward Police Chief Ron Ace

By Meenu Gupta
Photo courtesy of Susan Diaz

According to FBI statistics Hayward's violent crime for 2009 dropped by 14.8 percent with a 13.7 percent drop in robberies, 9.8 percent fewer aggravated assaults and 49.1 percent fewer forcible rapes. City saw a drop in robberies from 517 to 446. There were seven homicides in 2008 and six in 2009, although there has been a spate of homicides this year. The violent crime category includes murder, forcible rape, robbery, and aggravated assault. Violent Crime dropped from 868 to 740 with fewer rapes (57 in 2008 to 29 in 2009), aggravated assaults (287 in 2008 and 259 in 2009). Property crimes include burglary, larceny-theft, and motor vehicle theft. Property Crimes are down from 4,537 in 2008 to 4,405 in 2009. Burglaries reported in 2008 were 1,080 dropping to 979 last year. The only exception is motor vehicle theft with 1,343 cases in 2008 rising to 1,452 in 2009.

Talking about police efforts that help explain the decline in violent crime rate, Hayward Chief of Police, Chief Ron Ace said, "We are fortunate that we were able to increase our staffing over the last year, we have increased our staffing pretty significantly and over the last 10 months we have probably increased our staff and authorized strength from 191 officers to 200."

"About a year ago we had about 10 or 12 vacant positions that were being held open pending budget issues," said Chief Ace. "Fortunately for the City of Hayward, the community awarded us the Utility Users Tax and with the combination of federal stimulus grant, we were able to hire all of our vacant positions plus add nine positions. So we have hired 20 Police Officers over the last eight months to nine months that has allowed us to place special units back in place, neighborhood watch programs to achieve our goals of excellence in law enforcement. We are implementing several new strategies like the SMASH (Synchronized Multi Agency Safe Housing) program."

SMASH targets problem properties, whether a bar, apartment complex or single-family residence, that account for a high number of police calls. Officers team up with the building inspectors, fire officials, city legal staff and others to do a full sweep of the property, checking for parole and probation problems, and code violations to make sure that everybody is abiding by the rules. Addressing the spike in homicides this year he said, "We have had an unusual number of homicides this year, with unusual cases like double homicides."

Chief Ace's career as a law enforcement professional spans over 35 years with prior service in the U.S. Marine Corps from 1967 through 1971. He served with the Concord Police Department from 1975 until retirement in 2005. Previously, Ace served as a Deputy Sheriff with Alameda County from 1973 to 1975. During his tenure with the Concord PD, Chief Ace held a variety of positions including Uniform Patrol, Field Training Officer, Property Crimes Detective, Robbery/Homicide Detective, and Sexual Assault Detective. He served as Interim Chief of Police for Hayward since March 2008 and was appointed Chief of Police in January 2009.

Chief Ace has received several awards throughout his career including, Outstanding Friend of Education - California School Administrators; Officer of the Year - Concord Police Department; Outstanding Service Award - Northern California Juvenile Officer's Association; and the Warrington Stokes Award for Child Abuse Prevention.

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