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John Schembra

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John Schembra  More Info
John Schembra  More Info

About the Pleasant Hill Police Department

The Pleasant Hill Police Department was established in 1970, under the direction of Chief of Police Edward S. Kreins.  Currently, the Pleasant Hill Police Department is organized into five divisions:  Administration, Patrol, Investigations, Support Services and Traffic.


The Administration Division is under the jurisdiction of the Chief of Police. In addition to overseeing the total operation of the Department, the Chief is also responsible for carrying out the policy and direction of the City Manager and City Council, and for guiding the direction of the Department in its daily operation. Other responsibilities include liaison with citizens and other agencies in the criminal justice system, budgeting, discipline, hiring, and other management duties.


The Patrol Division consists of one Lieutenant, four Sergeants, four Corporals, twenty officers and two traffic officers. The officers work a modified shift schedule that involves a twelve- hour workday. Each police car is outfitted with a computer system allowing officer’s access to the Wanted Persons Systems, DMV, and in-house records. This allows officers


The Detective Bureau consists of a Lieutenant, Sergeant, 3 Detectives, School Resource Officer, Youth Services Counselor, Narcotic (CNET) Officer, Community Resource Officer, Secretary and a Community Service Officer. The Detective Bureau is responsible for conducting follow up investigations in regards to Felony offenses. The types of crimes followed up by Detectives include the following: aggravated assaults, arson, auto theft, burglaries, child abuse, elder abuse, forgery, grand theft, identity theft, robbery and sexual assault. Detectives are also responsible for following up missing person cases, registering narcotic and sex offenders, writing of search warrants and filing cases at the District Attorney’s Office.


The Support Services Division is the second largest division in the Department. This Division is staffed by one Lieutenant, a civilian Support Services Manager and 18 civilian employees. The civilian employees include dispatcher teams, community service officers and a computer technician. Operating 24 hours a day, the division provides dispatching, records, technical services, evidence and property, and supplies for the entire department.


The Traffic Division consists of officers riding Harley Davidison motorcycles. The use of motorcycles allow officers better accessibility to traffic related problems. A motorcycle officer can better address red light violations at an intersection than an officer working in a patrol car. It is the mission of the Traffic Division to create safe roadways for all. This is accomplished through education, addressing matters related to engineering, and enforcement.


Traffic officers not only enforce traffic laws but also investigate serious injury and fatal traffic collisions. All traffic officers have received specialized training in traffic investigation and have completed a POST (Commission on Police Officer’s Standards and Training) approved motorcycle training course.




According to John Schembra, "I was raised in the San Francisco Bay Area, and retired from the Pleasant Hill Police Department as a Sergeant after 30 years of service.  I have been married for 33 years and have two grown children.  I earned a B.A. in Administration of Justice, and an M.A. in Public Administration (Management).


I spend my retirement time writing (one of my favorite pastimes, along with fishing) as well as teaching other police officers emergency vehicle operations/pursuit driving through the Contra Costa County Sheriff's Department and Academy.  I also am a Driving Simulator Instructor, and  have been recognized  as a Subject Matter Expert in Emergency Vehicle Operations by the State of California.


I am fortunate to have had several trade articles published in law enforcement magazines such as Law and Order, Police Officer's Quarterly, and The Back-up. I was honored to have a short story, "Sweet Sixteen", published in  True Blue: Police Stories by Those Who Have Lived Them a collection of stories written by police officers.


Prior to joining the police force, I was a Military Policeman with the 557th MP Company, assigned to Long Binh Post, South Vietnam, where I had several "adventures" that provided the basis for my first book "M.P., A Novel of Vietnam"  Though it is based on some personal experiences, it is a work of fiction about a young man who finds himself caught up in the quagmire of the Vietnam War." 


John Schembra is the author of MP and Retribution.

According to the book description of MP, “June 1967 As Vincent Torelli stepped off the plane at Bien Hoa Air Base, South Vietnam, he was almost overwhelmed by the stench in the hot, humid air. He still had a hard time realizing he was in Vietnam. Drafted into the armed forces five months earlier, he ended up becoming a Military Policeman, assigned to the 557th MP Co. at Long Binh Post just outside Bien Hoa City. His year tour of duty in Vietnam changes him from a somewhat naïve young man to a battle hardened veteran. Through unlucky chance, Vince becomes involved in the ferocious '68 Tet offensive, barely surviving the night. He sees and experiences things he could never have imagined before Vietnam. This is Vince's story, of how he survived that year in Vietnam, how he coped with the hell he faced, of the friendships he formed, and of the sorrow of lives lost.”


According to the book description of Retribution, “follow San Francisco homicide detective Vince Torelli as he tries to outwit and capture an elusive, murdering vigilante in this award winning mystery novel.”

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