As the new public information officer for the Garden Grove PD, Lt. Bob Bogue spends a fair amount of time dealing with the media — providing sound bites on camera during breaking news, writing press releases about arrests, etc.
Now in his 27th year with the agency, Bogue has a few cool tales of himself to tell.
In 1999, Bogue was assigned to an off-site, multi-agency task force that targeted big auto theft rings in Orange County — a job that often took him out of state.
Going without a haircut for three years, Bogue worked undercover with a Russian organized crime group.
Tapping his skills as an auto body painter in his youth, Bogue bought 18 stolen cars and skillfully painted over and changed the VIN numbers. He and his cop partners put tracking devices on the cars and stole them back from the Russians when they were done with the case.
“This was the best assignment I ever had,” says Bogue.
And it was Bogue who served as case investigator on one of the worst murders the city has even seen.
On Memorial Day 2006, a Vietnamese family was found slaughtered in their home. A father, mother and 6-year-old boy had been bound, tortured and killed. A 10-month-old girl was spared but had to fend for herself for four days without food or water.
A hitman for Asian organized crime out of Houston eventually was arrested for the gruesome killings.
“This was the most memorable and satisfying case of my career,” Bogue says.
In 1993, Bogue also got involved in the infancy of community policing in Garden Grove with his stint on the Neighborhood Improvement Team (NIT)-Stuart Drive.
Bogue worked with a partner for two years out of an apartment and had the owner invest money back in the property. Bogue and his partner also addressed gang problems and started a Boy Scout troop — among many efforts they made to build trust in the community and generate pride in the neighborhood.
“This (community policing) program set the standard for other successful programs for many years after that,” Bogue says.
Now 48, Bogue in January took over from recently promoted Capt. Ben Stauffer as the public face of the Garden Grove PD.
But that’s just part of Bogue’s new job as lieutenant in charge of Professional Standards.
In that role, he also oversees the hiring of staff — from officers, dispatchers, records staff, cadets to volunteers.
Bogue also is in charge of training, which includes making sure police officers comply with POST annual training, such as First Aid, CPR, active shooter, arrest control techniques and driver’s training. He also handles firearms training and quarterly qualifications.
In addition, Bogue is in charge of all training for recruits, field training officers, reserve officers and cadets. And he heads up Internal Affairs, Trauma Response and the Chaplain program.
But he doesn’t call it work.
“As the saying goes, ‘Do what you love and you’ll never work a day in your life,’” Bogue says. “I feel like that.”
Bogue grew up in Garden Grove and still lives in the city.
“I’m proud of my community and genuinely care about the police service that we offer to the community,” Bogue says. “I get both perspectives.”
Bogue went to Bolsa Grande High School and caught the law enforcement bug at 16 after taking a class called Teens and Law.
“It was taught by teachers, but they would have police officers as guest speakers,” Bogue says. “The exciting stories and challenges I heard — I was hooked.”
Bogue started at the Garden Grove PD as a cadet in 1985 and became a full-time cop in 1988.
He’s worn many hats at the agency, including serving as a detective sergeant in property crimes and as an examiner who conducts lie-detector tests for criminal cases and all potential hires.
For 12 years, Bogue served as a hostage negotiator and was running that unit until he was promoted to lieutenant.
“I hated to give that up,” he says.
Bogue has been married for 25 years and has four daughters who went through the Garden Grove Unified School District and now are in college. The family loves to travel together and has been to almost every state in the country.
This year, to mark their 25th anniversary, the Bogues will take a two-week trip to Israel — sans kids.
“This is the first year we are all not going on vacation as a family,” he says.
“Family” seems to best describe Bogue’s feelings about the Garden Grove PD.
“Our organization is one of the best police departments in the U.S.,” he says. “I have seen a lot of other law enforcement agencies around the country, and I know how well-trained our officers are and how connected we are to the community. We don’t live in a bubble, and we’re concerned about public trust while providing a safe community to live in.”