An LAPD officer sits guard on my porch.

An LAPD officer sits guard on my porch, guarding the house of an officer named in Christopher Dorner’s manifesto.

The hunt for ex-LAPD officer Christopher Dorner came close to home this weekend. I returned to my Glendale house Saturday evening after a night out to find a pair of plain-clothed LAPD officers hunkering down on my front patio. 

The two bulky men in baseball caps and sweatshirts had pistols strapped to their thighs and shotguns in hand. They were standing in the dark on our patio when my wife and son made their way up the front steps. Trailing behind, I saw my family suddenly stop – fear and disbelief on their faces. By the time I caught up, one of the men was talking in a calm voice. He said they were police officers, and not to be alarmed.

He produced an LAPD detective’s badge and explained what they were doing in our yard in the middle of the night. As it happens, one of the police officers Dorner called out by name in his online manifesto lives just a few doors down. The detective and officer on my patio were part of a larger contingent of police dispersed around the neighborhood to guard his house. They decided to use my patio as a lookout point because it offers a clear vantage of three streets leading to the officer’s home.  They agreed to talk to me, but they didn’t want their names to be used.

My dog Ziggy checks out an LAPD officer and detective.

My dog Ziggy checks out an LAPD officer and detective.

“Basically that’s why we are here, to provide cover in case Dorner happens to come out here and attempt to do something on a person in the family,” one of them told me, adding that there was no indication that Dorner was actually headed our way. 

Although they entered our property without our permission, the officers were apologetic and polite. We told them they could stay, offering coffee and use of our bathroom. By Sunday morning the original pair was gone, replaced by another officer-detective team. By the time the second team was relieved last night, they had been on my patio for more than 10 hours: watching the cars, staring through binoculars, eating sandwiches and sipping from Super Big Gulps. It seemed to be a mind-numbing assignment, but they did their best to stay alert. They stressed this wasn’t just another stakeout.

“Well we know that threats against us come with the territory because of the nature of the job we have,” said one of the officers. Dorner allegedly murdered the daughter of an officer who represented him in his dismissal hearing.  “It definitely hits home because you know you try to keep your family a safe distance away – and in this situation it didn’t matter.”

Wanting to make sure my family was safe I asked what would happen if Dorner showed up on our street. The officers said they had a plan, but couldn’t detail it. “We have backup in place and we would go for a safe, tactical resolution,” the officer said, assuring me that there wouldn’t be a gunfight in front of my house.

And apparently, until Dorner is found, the cops will likely be patrolling my neighborhood. “As long as he’s out there, regardless of where you think he is or isn’t, you still have to be on your toes,” one of the officers concluded.

It appears that we will have to live for the time being at least with the unease of knowing that Dorner could make an appearance in our neighborhood.  I suppose we are safer with armed officers outside our door, but it doesn’t really feel that way. And I’m not happy with the prospect of armed cops on our patio for an undetermined amount of time. But they are here. And I’m thinking about cleaning up a bit so at least they have a nicer place to sit.

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25 Comments »

  • JayBee said:

    you're a moron. kissing the police's asses even though they were on your property without your permission? okay, in the future when you're mad that the US is too much of a police state, just remember that you were part of the problem..

  • skyburner said:

    KCRW used to be my favorite station when I lived in LA (for 26 years) – now, that image is tarnished by letting the LAPD hit squad into your yard. Sorry for you amigo…..

  • Citizen T said:

    It would probably be wise to put a couch or mattress in front of your street-facing windows. If it goes down, there will be a lot of stray bullets…

  • Charles Dorner Manhunt Comes to KCRW Producer’s Front Yard - FishbowlLA said:

    [...] there is the Adams Hill neighborhood home of KCRW associate news producer Darrell Satzman. As he blogged this morning, he now has LAPD officers camped out in his front [...]

  • Christopher Dorner Manhunt Comes to KCRW Producer’s Front Yard - FishbowlLA said:

    [...] there is the Adams Hill neighborhood home of KCRW associate news producer Darrell Satzman. As he blogged this morning, he now has LAPD officers camped out in his front [...]

  • Christopher Dorner Manhunt Comes to KCRW Producer’s Front Yard - FishbowlLA said:

    [...] there is the Adams Hill neighborhood of KCRW associate news producer Darrell Satzman. As he blogged this morning, he now has LAPD officers camped out in his front [...]

  • Gabe Hernandez said:

    Darrell, as much as I know the majority of police are fine folks, you really should have refused them on general principle of them trespassing without your permission. From your article, it states that your family encountered the cops ahead of you. What if they hadn't been cops? What if their intentions had been not to "protect and serve," but to harm your loved ones? Also, whatever happened to the third amendment? I know that applies to soldiers, but the way our cops are armed nowadays… At the very least, they should have waited for you to get home, (since they obviously were scoping out your place beforehand) and THEN knocked and asked for your permission. But when you've got two bulky, armed men on your patio, granting permission's probably irrelevant.

  • Guest said:

    "…we would go for a safe, tactical resolution…" = bullet to the head of Dorner, situation resolved the way LAPD would prefer.

    Be on the lookout for hidden snipers plus Dorner is too smart to go after his targets at their place of residence.

  • azzi said:

    These LAPD cops are sketch and we’ll never hear Dorners side cause they’ll gun him down and never let him go to trail.

  • Guest said:

    Darrell…Dorner's recent reprehensible actions notwithstanding, the credibility and skills of the LAPD are dismal. Remember what happened in Torrance. When they lit up the little old lady's truck, bullets sprayed up and down the street. Not only all over the truck, into the LA Times delivery ladies, but also into the homes of neighbors…all from LAPD weapons. You do know that should Dorner arrive on that street you have two magnets for mayhem sitting on your porch. They will draw fire. And if you read the full un-redacted version of the manifesto you know he's after police, not average citizens. It would make sense for you and your family's safety to ask the LAPD to find another stake out spot.

  • Guest said:

    For all of the above comments, imagine the same scenario with the family coming home, wife and kids in front of Darrel……except the guys on the porch were Dorner and an accomplice. Your cocky statements don't sound so good now.

    Now imagine it was your front porch. Your wife and your kid. You're shocked and surprised to find the cops there. And concerned when you learn one of Dorner's 50 targets lives a couple doors away. You really think you're going to tell them they're violating your Third Amendment rights and they need to leave immediately? And assuming you did, how comfortable will you feel from then on, and especially when your kids want to go out front to play or you need to head out for work while your family is home? Do you think the Glock you have at home will make your wife feel safe? Do you think you won't lie there at night wondering what if Dorner shows up and mistakes your home for his target? Because you know you've been reading about the arsenal he's assembled. And you know that the most dangerous threat is from someone who has nothing to fear.

    The guy has killed three people and vows to take as many cop lives as possible. Not to mention family members or anyone he construes to be of importance to his targets. He expects and hopes to go down fighting, after inflicting as much personal damage as he can. If for some reason he gives up or is somehow caught in such a way that the police can do it without a gunfight I do believe they would prefer to take him alive. But he has made pretty clear with his actions if not his manifesto that is not what he sees or wishes.

    Darrel, I appreciate the stressful situation you and your family were in, and also that you were willing to share this. This is an awful situation that I fear will lead to copycats among the embittered who have the training and firepower to do the same. I wouldn't have liked any of it. But I would have slept better knowing they were on my porch.

  • Karen Yeager said:

    Yes, you had better be alert! The LAPD will shoot you if you happen to run through your backyard to a neighbors or take your dog for a walk.

  • Guest said:

    If they are making you feel unsafe why don't you ask them to leave? Dorner does not want to kill you, he want to kill cops and their families. Placing cops in front of your house is asking for bullets to hit your house. Ask them politely to leave. This is a pretty logical thing. Someone wants to shoot cops, don't place your family behind the cops.

  • JamesF said:

    Mkay, first of all the police here are no different than any random citizen…they walked onto someone else’s property without permission. That’s hardly a punishable offense unless you ask the person to leave and they refuse.

    In this case, it wasn’t a random person sitting on your property…it was a couple of police officers looking for a highly dangerous criminal. What kid of a lunatic would you have to be to kick them off your property when they are trying to protect the community?

    Funny, of all the people I’ve ever known, 99% of those who appreciate police have never been arrested, charged, or questioned by them. All those who disliked police disliked them because their own actions got them in trouble with the law. JayBee, you are just another law breaking scumbag.

  • Guest said:

    You might want to edit the street sign out of the second photo. I was able to determine where you live using Google Street View.

    Also, in the future you might want to strip the exif data (i.e. GPS data) from photos taken at your home before sharing them publicly.

  • ChrisB said:

    Well put.

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    At least they try to protect you, that's much better than do nothing, like in some other counrties.

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