A La Mirada resident who saved a toddler from potential catastrophe after the child wandered into traffic on Orangethorpe Avenue was honored Wednesday by Fullerton Police at the monthly Community Policing and Crime Strategy meeting.
“Many people will see something like this and just keep driving,” said Lt. Scott Rudisil, who announced the award for Gus James, who had left his job in Fullerton in May and was heading home to La Mirada when he spotted the 2-year-old walking into traffic. “But he got out of the car and got the child off the road.”
James said he felt humbled to be recognized by the Fullerton officers in the room, which included Chief Dan Hughes and his command staff.
“It’s an honor to get an award from the people who do this kind of thing everyday,” he said.
At the meeting, officers discussed recent crime trends, DUI enforcement, traffic accidents and things to keep a watch for in the future.
In June, there were 3,920 calls for service and of those 2,032 were initiated by an officer. Fullerton Police made 442 arrests that month. To date this year, there have been five traffic fatalities and more than 200 auto-related injuries. Incidents of violent crime are flat year over year. There was also a spike in auto battery thefts.
Officers cleaned up several homeless encampments and in one case successfully relocated a family of seven back to Florida after they found themselves homeless.
This July 4 marked the second year in a row that safe and sane fireworks were legal to use in Fullerton. This year, police took 203 fireworks calls and confiscated 100 illegal fireworks that day.
“Overall, the Fourth of July was pretty quiet in Fullerton,” said Sgt. Jeff Stuart. “We hope that is a trend that continues for years to come.”