And then there was the time when the cop posed as a pizza delivery guy — and all hell broke loose.
Scott Rudisil, recently promoted to captain at the Fullerton Police Department, still is known around the agency for that day back in 1995 when he delivered piping-hot pies — one large pepperoni, one large combination — to a shady-sounding caller.
Around the time of that call in the early hours of Thursday, Jan. 19, there had been a rash of robberies in the area targeting pizza delivery drivers.
The caller to Domino’s that night had been evasive about his telephone number. The number he eventually gave matched the number given to Domino’s a week earlier, when a pizza driver had been robbed in the same neighborhood.
So Rudisil dressed up as a Domino’s driver as his partner observed from an unmarked car.
The sting ended up getting hotter than a jalapeno-and-sausage special.
Rudisil got no further than the curb when two men flashed their guns.
When Rudisil told the men he was a cop, one of them fired. That triggered a shootout that left the man’s accomplice wounded in the abdomen and leg.
Seven hours later, following a standoff with the Fullerton PD SWAT team after the two suspects had holed themselves up in a nearby house, both of the suspects and several other members of the street gang were in custody.
Not every day in Rudisil’s 25 years at the Fullerton Police Department has been as eventful.
But it’s been a great career, Rudisil says, adding that in November 2014 it got even better with his appointment to captain, along with John Siko, to lead the agency with Chief Dan Hughes.
“It’s a big role and a big responsibility, and for the chief to have that trust is a big deal,” Rudisil said. “As a captain, you want to be available and be a resource to your community.
“Years ago, the command staff just stayed inside the building. Now we want to enhance what Chief Hughes has done in building a strong relationship with the community.”
Said Chief Hughes of appointing Rudisil: “I am excited about the addition of Scott to out management team. He has been a talented, consistent contributor to our department and I strongly value his counsel.”
Rudisil was hired at the Fullerton Police Department in 1990 and attended the Sheriff’s Academy and then Cal State Fullerton, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice. He also has a master’s degree in emergency management from CSULB. He has a wife, Joan.
As captain, Rudisil is commander of the services division, which handles the records bureau, the jail, the communications bureau and the crimes against property, persons and family.
Rudisil said one big focus of his is to start developing people in leadership roles throughout the Fullerton Police Department.
Some of his past assignments have included running the field training officer program, working as a detective, serving on the Operation Clean-Up community policing team and as a gang detective.
Another memorable case was serving as lead investigator on a homicide where a sex predator picked up a hitchhiker and then murdered her.
“He was an old biker dude,” Rudisil said. “He lived in a trailer in an industrial yard in Fullerton. His parents thought he had hurt somebody and alerted authorities. “
Rudisil said he and his fellow officers worked to convict the killer, who now is on Death Row.
Most recently, Rudisil has led the Fullerton Police Department’s monthly Community Police and Crime Strategy meetings, which he described as intelligence-led policing spearheaded by Chief Hughes.
Officers collect data and meet to discuss crime trends and areas that may need a stronger police presence. The tactics have paid off, Rudisil said.
“We try and be ahead of the data instead of reacting to the data,” he said.
“We take advantage of those tools we have. There is a lot of focus and direction in what we do.”
Former Behind the Badge reporter Tony Dodero contributed to this story.