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MPD looks into officer complaints

The Modesto Police Department investigated 74 complaints against its officers in 2006, six more than the department looked into in 2005. Those complaints are balanced against a surge in arrests and citations. The department arrested 19,912 people in 2006, up from 17,839 the previous year, according to a report police gave to a City Council committee Monday. Officers issued 29,561 citations, an increase from 19,251 in 2005. Ten of the complaints were sustained by the department's internal affairs unit. One stemmed from a use-of-force complaint that came from within the department.

Transportation funds awarded

A $227,000 grant was awarded jointly to the San Joaquin and Stanislaus Council of Governments, as well as the Association of Bay Area Governments and the (San Francisco Bay Area) Metropolitan Transportation Commission. The money will be used to coordinate efforts between the Northern San Joaquin Valley and Bay Area to solve traffic congestion problems over the Altamont Pass.

District elections under discussion

Modesto voters next month could take a step to change the way they elect City Council members with a ballot measure that could lead to the adoption of district campaigns instead of citywide races. The city this week has four meetings scheduled to give people a chance to review the changes. The sessions will take place tonight at 5:30 p.m. in the basement chambers of Tenth Street Place, 1010 10th St.; at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Downey High School; at 7 p.m. Thursday at Beyer High School and 7 p.m. Friday at Modesto High School.

Son: Park shooting was an accident

The son of a Waterford man arrested on attempted murder charges for a shooting at Donnelly Park in Turlock Sunday said the incident was an accident. James Haberkam Sr., 47, allegedly shot his estranged girlfriend after a Saturday morning fight in the park. He surrendered after a five-hour standoff with police, laying his handgun on the ground and crawling toward heavily armed officers. The victim's injuries were not life-threatening. Police on Monday would not release many more details of what they believe led to the shooting.

Yesteryears

50 YEARS AGO: City Manager Ross Miller announced the selection of George Bowers to take the post of Modesto police chief. The post had been vacant for two months following the resignation of James C. Neel.

25 YEARS AGO: Woody Van Vuren scored his first hole-in-one in 20 years of golf by knocking a 3-wood into the cup at Dryden Park's 189-yard 17th hole. He shot a 4-over-par 76.

-- Karen Aiello

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