Ceres Police Officers to Carry Automatic Weapons
Officers in the Ceres Police Department are now carrying automatic weapons. The move follows the death earlier this month of a Ceres police officer, who was killed in a shootout with a suspect armed with an assault rifle.
Thursday, January 27, 2005
The January 9th shootout lead to the deaths of police Sergeant Howard Stevenson and the suspect, Andres Raya. Ceres Police Chief Art De Werk says his officers were at a great disadvantage in the exchange. They had only side-arms, while Raya was firing a semi-automatic rife. De Werk says he decided to provide all 40 members of his department with automatic rifles because he’s concerned they may be outgunned in a confrontation with heavily armed gangs. DE WERK :09—In light of the murder of our sergeant who was gunned down by a very dangerous assault rife, it has become necessary for us to be more alert and more prepared. Some are worried the police are targeting Latinos because of Raya’s ethnicity and alleged gang affiliation, but Maggie Majia, the President of the Latino Roundtable of Stanislaus County isn’t among them. MAJIA :04—Gang members come in all colors. They’re not just targeting Latinos. De Werk says the weapons policy is designed to protect the public as well as officers. Bob Hensley KXJZ News.