Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (05/27/12)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base: A Message from the Chief
May 27, 2012 

Dear Community Members and Department Personnel: 

Happy Memorial Day!  Memorial Day, originally called Decoration Day, is a day of remembrance for those who have died in our nation’s service.  There are many stories as to its actual beginnings, with over two dozen cities and towns laying claim to being the birthplace of Memorial Day.  There is also evidence that organized women’s groups in the South were decorating graves before the end of the Civil War; a hymn published in 1867, “Kneel Where Our Loves Are Sleeping,” by Neela L. Sweep, carried the dedication “To the Ladies of the South who are Decorating the Graves of the confederate Dead” (Source: Duke University’s Historic American Sheet Music, 1850-1920).   

While Waterloo, New York, was officially declared the birthplace of Memorial Day by President Lyndon Johnson in May 1966, it is difficult to provide conclusively the origins of the day.  It is more likely that it had many separate beginnings; each of those towns and every planned or spontaneous gathering of people to honor the war dead in the 1860’s, tapped into the general human need to honor our dead. Each contributed honorably to the growing movement that culminated in General Logan giving the official proclamation in 1868.  It is not important who was the very first, what is important is that Memorial Day was established.  Memorial Day is not about division. It is about reconciliation and coming together to honor those who gave their all (Source: Memorial Day History, www.usmemorialday.org/backgrnd.html).  

Save the Date: 

Men Educating Men about Health is proud to present “Get Healthy-Pasadena 2012,” June 2, from 9 a.m. – 5:00 p.m., at the Pasadena Senior Center and Memorial Park, 85 East Holly Street.  The event features free health screenings for men and women, food demonstrations, lectures by top health professionals, live music, and much more. For more information and pre-registration, please visit www.memah.org (click on Get Healthy Pasadena) or call MEMAH at 626-389-2759 (Source:  Jimmy Morris). 

The Pasadena Police Department, Air Operations Section will host its annual Open House on June 2, from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The event will take place at Benedict Heliport and will feature the Pasadena Police helicopters and a motorcycle skills demonstration. Food and beverages will be served and the event is free to the public. For more information, please contact Lieutenant Michael Ingram at MIngram@cityofpasadena.net  (Source:  Lieutenant Michael Ingram).  

Pasadena Community Gardens is hosting a ground-breaking event on June 9, from 9 a.m. until noon.  The garden, with dozens of individual gardening plots, is located on the historic site of the ranch house belonging to former California Governor Henry Harrison, 721 Pasadena Avenue, between Bellefontaine Street and California Boulevard. For more information on the event or to see photographs of the garden, please visit www.PasadenaCommunityGardens.org and Facebook/Pasadena Community Gardens (Source:  Community Gardens Steering Committee Member Eileen Read).    

The Pasadena Police Classic Car Show is scheduled for June 17, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., at the Paseo Colorado, 300 East Green Street.  The event is supported by the Pasadena Lions Club and will include awards in several categories, including: Police Chief’s Favorite, Paseo’s Favorite, People’s choice, Best in show, and many others.  For more information about the Pasadena Police Classic Car Show, please contact Pasadena Police Sergeant Michael Bugh at MBugh@cityofpasadena.net or 626 744-3871 (Source:  Sergeant Michael Bugh). 

Our Community:  

The City of Pasadena Human Services & Recreation Department and the Pasadena Police Department have partnered to host a Parks after Dark Program from July 7 to August 24, 2012 at Villa-Parke Community Center (363 E. Villa Street) and Robinson Park Recreation Center (1081 North Fair Oaks Avenue).  The program will extend hours of service at both centers from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday evenings. The Pasadena Police Department will host a variety of workshops for teens and community members to learn more about community policing efforts and to promote positive police-citizen interaction. Police and Park Safety officers will be at the parks during the program hours.  Residents will have access to a variety of FREE recreational and educational opportunities ranging from swimming, movies in the park, sports leagues and tournaments, fitness classes, general concerns, and much more.  Snacks will be provided.  

For more information on the Pasadena Parks after Dark Program, please contact the Villa-Parke (626-744-6530) or Robinson Community Centers (626 744-7330), Monday thru Thursday from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. or Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.  You can view a calendar of events on the City’s webpage at www.cityofpasadena.net. (Source:  Human Services & Recreation).  

On May 20, I attended the 5th Annual Invited Guest Speakers Series at eh Masjid Al – Taqwa Mosque.  Dr. Sherman A. Jackson was our guest speaker.  The title of his lecture was, “My Islam, My American Identity.”  The workshop was very interactive and provided a great deal of insight into Muslim religious practices.  I would like to thank Masjid Al-taqwa for coordinating my participation.  

On May 21, various city department officials presented their 2013 proposed budgets to the City Council and the Financial Committee. Some of the key police department projects include:  hiring a Technology System Analysts, a Crime Analysts, and a program developer who will work at the PAL center to develop comprehensive youth programs.  The budget process was covered in the local media: http://www.pasadenastarnews.com/pasadena/ci_20675679/pasadena-proposes-first-balanced-budget-10-years.  

On May 20, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle met with a group of delegates from Chile.  Phlunte spent some time getting to know the representatives a little better. The delegates also visited with Mayor Bill Bogaard and toured City Hall. The visit was facilitated by Pasadena Rotarian, John McDonnel.  

On May 21, Commander John Perez, Sergeant Jason Clawson, Corporal Chris Sharma, Officers David Duran and Carlo Montiglio, and I met with several Latino pastors to discuss community concerns and access to local resources.  The meeting was informative and established the framework for future discussions.  Pasadena Human Services and Recreation Administrator Horace Wormely gave a presentation on Parks after Dark, which runs July 7, 2012 – August 24, 2012.   

On May 21, Commander Chris Russ and I meet with the Pasadena Police Chaplains to discuss issues associated with their duties and responsibilities.  The police chaplains serve as a vital resource in emergency and non-emergency situations.  Currently, the Pasadena Police Department is blessed to have the following chaplains: Bob Hoyt, Bob Gaestel, Jay Curry, Chip Rittenhouse, Paul Kim, Domingo Lazada, and Vidal Juarez. 

On May 22, I participated on a panel to discuss Human Rights.  The forum was hosted by the Pasadena Human Relations Commission and was held at Marshal Fundamental School.  Several hundred students attended the forum and panel members included: PUSD Superintendent Jon Gundry, Marshal Fundamental School Principal, Dr. Mark Anderson, NAACP Pasadena Brach President Joe Brown, and Youth for Human Rights International Director, Tim Bowles.   The panel was facilitated by Pasadena Human Relations Commissioner, Nat Nehdar.   

On May 22, I attended the Civic Center Ribbon Cutting Ceremony, which was hosted by Pasadena Department of Public Works.  There were several department executives and community members attending the event.  Elected officials included Mayor Bill Bogaard and Councilman Chris Holden.  Public Works Director, Siobhan Foster, provided brief remarks about the Civic Center project and Pasadena City Engineer, Dan Rix, served as the emcee.  

On May 22, several Pasadena Police officers and employees attended the Pasadena Assisting Pasadena Police (CAPP) Volunteers Team Retreat, which was held at Victory Park. The event was well attended by volunteers and police personnel.  The CAPP volunteers are vital resources providing professional services to the Pasadena community.  Officer Nicole Bazzo is the Volunteer Coordinator. For more information about becoming a police volunteer, please visit the department’s webpage at: cityofpasadena.net/Police.  

On May 22, Commander Lisa Rosales attended the Los Angeles County Operational Area Seminar: Mass Shelter Operations. I understand the training was exceptional and is extremely critical toward expanding the Pasadena Police Department’s response capacity.  

On May 23, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Commander John Perez, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle, and I attended the 43rd Los Angeles County Peace Officer’s Memorial ceremony, which was held at the STAR Center, in Whittier.  This year, to recognize their great sacrifices, the names of four law enforcement officers were added to the memorial wall.  The fallen officers included: 

  • Ed Brown, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department (EOW September 1924) 
  • Andrew S. Garton, Hawthorne Police Department (EOW May 2011) 
  • Ryan E. Stringer, Alhambra Police Department (EOW July 2011) 
  • Anthony A. Giniewicz, Signal Hill Police Department (EOW December 2011) 

On May 23, Pasadena Police Foundation (PPF) Board member Sandy Greenstein organized a fundraising event at El Portal Restaurant. Several Pasadena Police employees participated to support the PPF. While having lunch at El Portal, I had a moment to visit with Sandy and fellow PPF Board Member, Vahe Simonian. A percentage of the purchases were donated to the Pasadena Police Foundation to support youth programs offered through a collaborative effort between the police department and the foundation.  

On May 23, Pasadena Police Foundation member Sandy Greenstein, Mr. Bob Baderian, and I attended the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Foundation Grants Awards ceremony.  The Pasadena Police Foundation received a $4,500 award from the Tournament of Roses Foundation.  The funds will be used to support the Police Department’s Youth Accountability Board, which is a juvenile diversion program built on a restorative justice platform. Special thanks to the Pasadena Tournament of Roses Foundation for their generosity.  

On May 23, Pasadena Police Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle and I stopped by the community food program at Jackie Robinson Center.  The program provides hot meals to our community members and is always well attended.  Phlunte and I talked briefly with Northwest Pasadena Manager, Lola Osborn, and community leader, Walt Jackson.  

On May 23, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle and I attended a youth meeting hosted by “Youth Moving On,” which is a transitional housing organization dedicated to developing our community youth.  The meeting focused on safety issues and police–youth interactions. The Youth Moving On program features a unique “family style” living and their facility is completely integrated into the neighborhood. The program is supervised by Thomas Lee.  For more information about Youth Moving On, please visit their website at:  www.youthmovingon.org.    

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On April 25, I received information from Pasadena Police Detective Joseph Allard that Sergeant Terysa Rojas completed her Basic Peer Support Training.  Following the training, Terysa was welcomed to the department’s Peer Support Team, which is a valued resource within the organization.  Congratulations are in order!    

On April 30, I received an email from AIM HIGH Learning Services Executive Director, Jeanne Shamim, thanking Officer Veronica Burris and Police Specialist Anita Butler for participating in their “Children’s Safety First” event.  Veronica and Anita talked with a group of young people about personal safety.    

On May 2, Pasadena Police Reserve Officer Matt Chavarin completed the Pasadena Police Department’s Field Training Officer Program.  During the training phase, Matt worked 146 hours (without compensation from the city) and is now fully certified to work alongside other PPD officers.    

On May 3, Pasadena Police Officer Joaquin Gurrola (who also serves in the United States Marine Corp Reserves) was promoted to USMC 1stSergent.  Joaquin’s new duty station is at Camp Pendleton, Oceanside.   

On May 7, I received an email from Roosevelt Elementary School Principal, Juan A. Ruelas, commending Pasadena Police Officer Van Kim.  Juan met Van during the school’s “Read Across America” event and was very impressed with her professional deportment, passion, and dedication.  Later, Van assisted with an investigation at the school and was commended for her competency.  

On May 16, I received a letter from Lo-Jack Senior Law Enforcement Liaison, Ted Saraf, commending Pasadena Police Pilot, Carol Eldridge, and TFO Ervin Myles, for quick actions in the effort to arrest a Grand Theft Auto suspect.  Carol and Ervin were providing routine air support coverage when they were alerted to a stolen vehicle by the Alhambra Police Department.  Carol and Ervin responded to the vicinity and located the vehicle.  Ground police units responding to the area arrested the suspect without incident.   

On May 16, I received a letter from San Marino Chief John T. Schaefer commending Pasadena Police officers assigned to the Special Enforcement Section (SES).  San Marino Police resources were consumed when they responded to a large protest in their city.  The San Marino Police Department requested Mutual Aid Assistance from the Pasadena Police Department, who ultimately assisted with defusing the protest.   

On May 16, I received an email from a citizen commending Pasadena Police Lieutenant Pete Hettema for assisting with a neighbor dispute.   In her email, the author said, “I wanted to extend a thank you to Lieutenant Hettema for your care, concern, and clear explanation of my options regarding my unstable neighbor.  I truly appreciate it and am thankful for you.”   

On May 17, I attended roll call briefing with Patrol Team 1. During the briefing Police Specialist III, Jennifer Godzsak, provided property/evidence collection and storage training for the officers.  Her presentation was concise and informative.   

On May 18, I received a letter from Target Corporation Asset Protection Executive Team Leader, Charlie Godinez, Jr., commending Pasadena Police Officer Christian Allen.  Charlie stated in his letter, “We would like to give special recognition to Officer Allen, for all the support and assistance in keeping our store and community safe and secure.”  

On May 21, Pasadena Police Sergeant William Grisafe was installed as the newest City Council Sergeant-At-Arms.  William graduated from Cal Poly Pomona with a B.A. in Political Science. He has worked a variety of assignments in his career including Detectives, Special Investigation Section, Training Coordinator, and was a member of the department’s Critical Incident Response Team.  He was promoted to sergeant in 2011 and currently serves in the Internal Affairs Section.  

On May 22, I learned that several Pasadena Police Communications Center employees put together a running team and participated in the Pasadena Marathon (Sunday, May 20).  The team ran 6.2 miles (10K) and consisted of the following employees:  Myriam Correa, Rachel Johnson, Lara McDonald, Lien Chi, Robin Evans, and Kelly Jo McGlothin. 

Critical Incidents: 

In July 2011, the Pasadena Police Department received a 9-1-1 call regarding an attempted sexual assault.  The victim was sitting on a bench at the North Lake Avenue train station when the suspect attacked her.  The victim had the presence of mind to call 9-1-1 and kept the line open as she attempted to fight off the suspect.  The suspect was subsequently arrested and booked for the assault.   

In May 2012, the case went to trial.  Pasadena Police Communication Supervisor Melissa Trujillo was summoned to court to testify to the authenticity of the 9-1-1 call. While on the stand, Melissa listened to the recording of the original emergency call. As the recording was being played, the entire courtroom was filled with the screams of the victim.  Despite a very emotional moment, Melissa remained poised.  She responded to the questions in a professional and mature manner, without hesitation.  The suspect was ultimately convicted of attempted rape.  Melissa is commended for her actions in July 2011.    

On December 27, 2011, at about 5:30 a.m. Pasadena Police officers responded to a call of shots fired in the area of Marengo Avenue and Tremont Street.  As officers attempted to locate the origin of the shots, they located a lifeless male adult victim in the rear yard of a residence in the 1900 block of North Marengo Avenue.  Pasadena Police detectives were notified and responded to the crime scene.  Homicide detectives worked diligently on this very complex case and subsequently identified the suspect responsible for the shooting.  On May 18, 2012, the suspect was seen in Pasadena and immediately arrested without incident.  He was later transported and booked in the Pasadena Jail. 

On May 19, at about 10:45 a.m., the Pasadena Police Department received several calls regarding a power outage.  There were various intersections in East Pasadena that were without power.  Police personnel provided traffic control while Public Works employees worked quickly to identify the problem and make repairs.  

On May 21 at about 10:40 a.m. Pasadena Police officers responded to the area of Orange Grove Boulevard and Sierra Madre Boulevard regarding a traffic collision involving a MTA bus.  Several passengers aboard the MTA bus received minor injuries.  The Pasadena Police Department’s Traffic Section is investigating the incident.  

On May 22 at about 10:49 p.m. Pasadena Police Officer Luis Banuelos was on routine patrol when he monitored a call of a possible burglary in the 1700 block of El Sereno Avenue.  Luis quickly arrived in the area and observed the suspect (female juvenile) carrying a laptop computer and other items.  As Luis exited his patrol car to contact the suspect, she fled on foot.  Luis chased the suspect; however, he lost sight of her in the 1200 block of North Fair Oaks Avenue.  A witness observed Luis chasing the suspect and recognized her.  The suspect’s mother was contacted and advised of the incident.  Pasadena Police Detectives will follow up with the suspect.  

Later in the day, at about 12:50 p.m., Officer Luis Banuelos monitored a call of a burglary in the 300 block of North Lake Avenue.  On arrival, Luis talked with private security agents who told him they observed the suspect attempting to enter the residential apartment complex in the 200 block of North Hudson Avenue.  The suspect was detained by the private security agents until Luis arrived.  As Luis started his field investigation, the suspect attempted to flee.  Luis chased the suspect and quickly apprehended him.  The suspect was in possession of bolt cutters.  The suspect was book at the Pasadena Jail. The local media reported on the incident: http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/police-announce-arrest-of-suspect-in-2011-pasadena-murder. 



Phillip L. Sanchez
Chief of Police
Pasadena Police Department
207 N. Garfield Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101
(626) 744-4545
Mission First, People Always



Posted: 5/27/2012 02:25:00 PM
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