NBPD quarterly update

Courtesy of Newport Beach Police Department

The Newport Beach Police Department (NBPD) proudly serves every resident, visitor and business community member in our city. Operationally, we divide the city into four separate areas. Each area has an assigned lieutenant, who acts as the area commander.

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Map and photo courtesy of NBPD

Operationally, NBPD divides the city into four separate areas, as shown in the map. Area 1 is the Peninsula, Area 2 is Newport West, Area 3 is Newport Center and Area 4 is Newport East.

Area commanders work closely with their communities to address the unique needs of each section of the city. They diligently monitor statistics and activity in their assigned area, track any emerging crime trends and direct resources to address topics of concern. They also attend community meetings, develop relationships, and form a deep understanding of the specific concerns of residents, businesses and visitors in each part of town.

Each quarter, you will get to hear from the area commander to share an update from their area. They may highlight a specific arrest, share about a crime trend in their area, or address a specific community concern they are focusing on.

This week, Lieutenant Jason Blakely (Area 3 Commander) has an update for us.

Area 3 Update, Q1 2024

By Lt. Jason Blakely

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NBPD Lt. Jason Blakely

Area 3

As the Area 3 Commander, I am honored to serve the community and provide the necessary information to keep everyone safe and informed. The officers who patrol Area 3 remain committed to delivering world-class police services. As a team, they diligently patrol the neighborhoods as dedicated professionals looking to enhance the quality of life for all residents and visitors to this great city, the Crown Jewel of Orange County.

Newport Beach police officers are only part of the equation that makes Newport Beach the envy of every city in America. Our residents are the most kind, generous and supportive people to work for. Over the years, we have built a beautiful relationship built on trust and service. Disneyland may be the happiest place on earth, but the Newport Beach Police Department is the happiest police department on earth.

To highlight this fantastic partnership, I will cover a recent incident on Balboa Island. This incident highlights the awareness of our residents and the tenacity of our police officers to never give up.

On February 11, 2024, at approximately 12:58 a.m., an aware citizen noticed two suspicious-looking males in the 200 block of Crystal Avenue. The citizen saw one of the males climb into the truck’s rear bed, which did not belong to him. This is learning point #1: If it does not look right, it’s probably not right. Based on this limited information, this fantastic citizen (who just happened to be awake at 12:58 a.m. looking out of their window) called the police to report the activity.

Several officers from the Newport Beach Police Department responded to the Island to investigate. When the officers arrived, they observed that the vehicle that had possibly been broken into was a Dodge Ram TRX. Their training and experience show that these types of vehicles are often stolen and prized by car thieves. As the responding officer noticed a male subject flee from the area of the vehicle, this momentarily distracted him. The Ram’s car alarm sounded, and another male ran out. In our business, we call these clues.

The subjects who ran from the officers snuck into the night and initially escaped capture. These thieves should have realized we had about 15 additional officers responding to assist. Another fact the thieves should have learned is that Newport Beach police officers look forward to a challenge and opportunity to showcase their skills. A perimeter was quickly set up with the assistance of our police helicopter and K9 unit.

Once the perimeter was in place, a systematic search was started. Balboa Island is a terrible place for criminals to hide. It’s surrounded by water and inhabited by an aware resident population who will provide information to the police. In other words, criminals do not find refuge on the Island.

To wrap up this story, our officers located the two thieves and arrested them. The investigation revealed that they attempted to steal the Ram TRX, but were unsuccessful. An alert citizen foiled their plans, and diligent officers who will never give up arrested them.

The police department can only do its job effectively with the support and assistance of residents. I tell this brief story to highlight a perfect model of community partnership. I am proud of our residents and honored to lead the men and women of the Newport Beach Police Department.

Stay tuned next week to hear an update from Lt. Clemente in Area 4.

Editor’s Note: This is an ongoing series of community information provided by the Newport Beach Police Department.


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