LocationAlhambra , CA United States
The Alhambra community is mourning the death of Alhambra police officer Emmanuel Araneta, who passed away suddenly on April 1 in Riverside County.
Araneta, who was a thirteen year veteran of the Alhambra Police Department, died of apparent natural causes. He was 50. He served primarily as a school resource officer for the Alhambra Unified School District, building important relationships and programs with staff and students at all 18 elementary and high schools in the district.
“Manny developed these relationships with school district personnel to be more responsive to district needs and goals, while also mentoring young students and providing an example of good conduct and citizenship,” Alhambra Police Department Public Information Officer Steve Carr wrote in a press release. Among his achievements was bringing the Gang Resistance Education And Training program to the Alhambra Unified School District. The program teaches students to avoid delinquency and other risk factors associated with joining a gang. He was recognized in 2017 by the National Association of School Resource Officers for establishing G.R.E.A.T. in Alhambra.
“Alhambra Police Officer Manny Araneta became a true law enforcement advocate for mental health at the Alhambra Unified School District, Gateway to Success and at the [Alhambra Police Department],” said Dr. Laurel Bear, the former assistant superintendent for student and employee welfare at the Alhambra Unified School District. Bear and Araneta worked closely on various Gateway to Success programs, which offers mental health and safety resources to Alhambra students.
Bear in particular recognized Araneta’s contributions to the juvenile diversion program, which allows first-time juvenile offenders to avoid prosecution for a non-violent/non-narcotic related misdemeanor offense by participating in a structured plan involving mandatory counseling, and maintaining acceptable school attendance and grades. He also helped run the related Gateway to Success Parent Project, which teaches the parents of at-risk youth skills involving communication, discipline and boundary setting. He also helped run Parent University classes, which teaches parents across the board about various issues their children might be facing.
“Officer Araneta won awards, won hearts and wherever he went, made an impact on young and old alike,” said Alhambra Unified Superintendent Denise Jaramillo. “Losing him leaves a hole in our hearts but he also leaves a big legacy of making a real difference in the lives of kids and families.”
Araneta also served a certified use-of-force instructor for the department, mastering the most current physical control and de-escalation techniques. He frequently volunteered at the Alhambra Police Department’s Community Academies, teaching residents about police operations.
Araneta was born in and grew up in the Philippines before moving to California in the 1980s. He enlisted in the U.S. Army and before joining the Alhambra Police Department worked as a school security officer for the Norwalk/La Mirada Unified School District and a police officer for the Compton Unified School District, as well as a park ranger for the city of Los Angeles.
Araneta is survived by his wife of 23 years Michelle and three children.
The vigil for Officer Araneta will take place on Thursday, April 11, 2019 from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Forest Lawn Covina Hills Cemetery in the Acacia and Jasmine Rooms. The funeral will be on Friday, April 12 at 10 a.m. at St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, 877 N Campus Ave, Upland, California.