Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (07/22/12)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base: A Message from the Chief
July 22, 2012

Dear Community Members and Department Personnel: 

For your information: 

On July 1, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health replaced the old testing policy with a universal screening policy for first-time students entering Kindergarten through the 12th Grade.  The new policy recommends only testing students who are at an elevated risk for tuberculosis (TB), and is in keeping with the recommendations from the Centers for Disease Control and the American Academy of Pediatrics.  Health providers, as part of their routine health assessment, will screen students and test them for TB only if a risk factor is present. For more information, contact the Public Health Nursing Unit in the Pasadena Public Health Department at lesaenz@cityofpasadena.net or (626) 744-6012 (Source:  William Boyer, Public Information Officer).  

Cellular Phone Security:  Recently, the Pasadena Police Department has seen an increase in cell phone thefts in and around the Pasadena area.  Because cell phones are now an everyday part of life, and most everyone carries one, criminals are finding it easy to steal.  If your cell phone or other electronic device is stolen, it is relatively easy to clear the memory and resell the device. It is not uncommon for criminals to take your phone right out of your hands if the opportunity presents itself. The police department has noticed several common denominators associated with the thefts.  The following safety tips may reduce the likelihood you will be a victim of this particular crime:  

  • Be aware of your surroundings.  Do not walk down the street talking on your phone oblivious of your environment. Thieves are looking for victims who are distracted. 
  • While in public, do not leave your phone unattended; put it away after use. 
  • If you become a victim of a crime, call the police as soon as possible. Do not wait until you arrive at your destination. 
  • Activate the GPS tracking system on your phone or other electronic device.  If the device does not have a GPS tracking system, there is after-market software available. By having these applications installed on the devices, police personnel may locate the suspects and perhaps, recover your phone. 
  • If you are a victim of a cell phone theft and see the suspect, do not attempt to recover your property.   Attempt to secure a good description of the suspect and/or any involved vehicles (license number, color, and model) and the last known direction of travel. Let the police attempt to locate and arrests the person(s) responsible. 

The best preventative measure is to be aware of your surroundings. Remember to call 9-1-1 as soon as possible if you are a victim of any crime (Source:  Pasadena Police Sergeant David Reavis).  

Save the Date: 

Parks after Dark Program runs July 7 through August 24, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 6:00 – 10:00 p.m.  The program is a collaborative effort between Pasadena Human Services & Recreation, the Pasadena Police Department, and the Pasadena Transportation Department. Please see the attached flyer for more information (Source:  Human Services & Recreation). 

Harambee Ministries is hosting its Summer Program and Community BBQ on July 27 on its campus.  The Summer Camp program starts at 4:30 p.m. in the Amphitheater.  Following the program, the public is encouraged to enjoy a community BBQ to celebrate Harambee’s 30th year.  If you plan to attend the summer program or BBQ, Harambee would appreciate your RSVP by July 23.   For more information, please feel free to contact Charlotte Van Fleet at (626) 798-7431 (Source:  Charlotte Van Fleet).  

Pasadena Councilman Chris Holden is hosting his Annual Community Block Party on August 4, 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., between El Molino Avenue and Los Robles Avenue (North of Mountain Street).  The block party is well-known for great food, Robin’s BBQ Lemonade, entertainment, and other great activities.  Participants and sponsors include:  YWCA, OBA Inc., Levitt Pavilion, Social Security, Pasadena Police and Fire Departments, Chamber of Commerce, the City of Pasadena, Northwest Programs, and RBOC. For information please call, (626) 744-4738 (Source:  Pasadena Councilman Chris Holden).  

The YWCA Pasadena-Foothill Valley is presenting its Women for Racial Justice Breakfast on October 15, 7:30 – 9:30 a.m. at the Pasadena Hilton Hotel.  For tables, individual tickets, or sponsorships opportunities, please call (626) 296-8433, or contact Crystal Hernandez.  For more information about the YWCA or programs offered by this valued community partner, please visit www.ywca-pasadena.org. Tamika Farr is the Executive Director and the facility is located at 1200 North Fair Oaks Avenue.  

Our Community: 

From July 13 – 15, 37 Pasadena Police Explorers, advisors, and their families traveled to Lake Casitas for the Explorer Camping Weekend.  Approximately 50% of the group had never been camping prior to the trip!  Swimming, hiking, and other activities were the focus of this particular outing.  Pasadena Advisors included:  Corporal Dustin Gomez, Officers Veronica Burris, Darryl Harris, Anthony Riley, Tony Russo, Sheri Schwab, and Police Specialist, Michelle White.  

On July 17, Corporals Carolyn Gordon, Glenn Thompson, and I participated in Youth Forum II, which was held at the Jackie Robinson Center.  There were more than 90 community youth who attended the forum where they asked questions and interacted with the police. To make the forum more interactive, young people in the audience were able to “text” their questions to facilitators, who presented the material.  The focus of the Youth Forum II was focused on police/youth interaction.   Elected officials included Councilwoman Jacque Robinson and her field representative, Tina Williams. There were several local youth leaders, representatives from nonprofits, and Pasadena Police employees present to support the forum and our youth. I would like to thank the Pasadena Youth Council and Lola Osborn, from Northwest Pasadena, for coordinating this event.  

On July 17, the United Nations Association hosted a community forum on Sustainability.  The event was well attended and Vice-Mayor Margaret McAustin provided brief remarks.  I had an opportunity to visit with Dr. Harry Gray and Dr. Sossina Haile prior to their lecture on alternate fuels and energy. Pasadena Police Lieutenant, Phlunte Riddle, helped coordinate the event.  

On July 17 and 21, the Pasadena Youth Center hosted free workshops to assist people seeking to understand the Dream Act Legislation.  The events were well attended and Commander John Perez also participated.  The audience received information on several programs and services offered by the Pasadena Police Department.  Special thanks to Pasadena Youth Center Executive Director, Stella Murga, and Administrative Assistance, Karina Ortiz, for organizing the event.  

On July 18, Commanders Chris Russ and Lisa Rosales, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle, Office Supervisor Beverly Bogar, and I attended Flintridge Center’s Mentee Acknowledgment ceremony.  The ceremony was part of the Center’s Insights – A Speaker Series.   The mentoring program is titled, Youth of Promise, and is coordinated by Rickey Pickens, who is the Director of Intervention and Prevention at the Flintridge Center. Chris, Phlunte, and Beverly all serve as mentors in the program. City Manager Michael Beck also attended. Jaylene Moseley is the Executive Director at the Flintridge Center.  

On July 19, Save Our Sons (SOS), Pasadena Public Health, Pasadena Library Department, and the Flintridge Center hosted a community workshop on African American youth, childhood trauma, and gangs.  Flintridge Center’s Director of Prevention and Intervention, Rickey Pickens, MPYD Co-Founder  

Tecumseh Shackelford and I participated on a panel answering questions from the audience. Lisa Wilson (Flintridge) and Brenda Ingram (Pasadena Public Health) also contributed to the workshop.  The program was hosted by La Pintoresca Library Branch Manager, Diane Walker.  Dr. Eric Walsh provided brief remarks on youth violence.     

On July 19, Commander John Perez, Sergeant Vasken Gourdikian, and Volunteer Harry Kouladjian represented the Pasadena Police Department at the Los Angeles Armenian-Mexican Taskforce Dinner promoting economic and educational development between the two cultures.  The event was sponsored by the Los Angeles Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, and guest speakers included Mexico’s Consul General, David Figueroa Ortega, and Armenia Consul General, Grigor Hovhannissian.   

On July 19, I received notice from Anthony Portantino’s Field Representative, Tanganica Turner, that she is resigning her position to attend Tulane University Law School in New Orleans. Tanganica has been a valued community partner since I arrived in Pasadena and has had her sights on law school from the start.  She is extremely bright, mature, and responsive to community needs.  Please join me in wishing Tanganica all the best on her journey.  

On July 21, Deborah K. Sanchez and I attended opening day for the Pasadena Police Department’s Kids’ Safety Academy.  The academy is facilitated by Pasadena Police Specialists, Laura Morris, and is sponsored by the Pasadena Police Foundation. The Kid’s Safety Academy is designed to teach children and parents/guardians about personal safety in different environments.  For more information about the Kid’s Safety Academy, please contact Laura Morris at (626) 744-7657. Commander Lisa Rosales, Lieutenant Diego Torres, Sergeant Mike Bugh were among the many PPD employees and volunteers supporting the Kids Safety Academy.   

On July 21, several Pasadena Police employees participated in Robinson Park’s 3rd Annual Summer Festival.  The event featured the Bryan Russell Foundation Celebrity Softball Game where the Pasadena Police Department faced off against the Cali Starts. There were countless activities throughout the day and the park was overrun with people.  The Pasadena Police Athletics Association barbequed hotdogs for the community and Human Services & Recreation Director, Mercy Santoro, opened the pre-game program.  The National Anthem was followed by the Black National Anthem performed by Delano Robinson. The event was a collaborative effort between the City of Pasadena and Community Leaders Greg Mosley and Ishmael Trone, and several sponsors (Wels Fargo, Armory ARTS, Cali-Stars, Ambassadors, Ideal Youth Inc., and F & M). When the dust cleared, the Cali-Stars celebrated their victory over the Pasadena Police Department, 10 – 3.  The teams gathered near home plate for a post-game photo, where the police department handed over the perpetual plaque. Congratulations to the Cali-Stars and congratulations to Pasadena for creating a special event that brought community and local government (police and parks) together. Council Members Chris Holden and Jacque Robinson were also at the event.   

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On June 6, I received a letter from the Southern California Association of Occupational Health commending Pasadena Police Officer, Veronica Burris, for her keynote speech at their March Management Banquet.  The author wrote, “I think we all felt that Officer Burris did an outstanding job educating us also sharing the perspective of the police who respond to those specific workplace violence calls.”  

On July 11, I received a letter from Fremont Chief of Police, Craig T. Steckler, commending Pasadena Police Commander Lisa Rosales for her assistance with their lieutenant’s promotional process.  Chief Steckler wrote, “As you know, the interview panel members play a vital role in the assessment process of any promotional exam, and it was our pleasure to have Commander Rosales participate in that process.” As an aside, the Fremont Police Department paid for Lisa’s travel and lodging.  

On July 16, I received notice that Pasadena Police Corporal Kim Smith commended Pasadena Police Volunteer Randy Branson, for his dedication and professionalism while assisting with Advanced Officer Training (AOT).  Kim said, “He [Randy] is a true asset to this organization and the volunteer program.”  

On July 17, I received an email from a community member commending the Pasadena Police Department for assisting his daughter when she became lost.  The community member said, “They [the unnamed officers] made an extra effort to make sure she knew where she needed to go and that their directions were clear…” 

On July 17, I received an email from a community member commending Pasadena Police Officer Peter McHugh, for his professional and humane handling of an arrest of a possible homeless person who was unruly. The community member stated, “… When the officer arrived, he was very patient with the person….” Dealing with homeless subjects can be challenging, particularly when there are mental health issues involved.    

Critical Incidents: 

On July 11 at about 9:04 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 90 block of North Lake Avenue (in the restroom), to investigate a call of a “man down.”  On arrival, the officers located an unresponsive male adult victim lying on the restroom floor.  Pasadena Paramedics were notified, and later pronounced the victim dead.  The victim was identified by his employer.  There was no evidence of foul play or drugs. 

On July 13, the Pasadena Police Traffic Section conducted a Red Light Enforcement Program.  The program was focused on enforcement and educating drivers about the hazards associated with failing to obey traffic lights displaying a red phase.  The effort resulted in 50 citations for red light violations, which likely save a life or two.   

On July 17 at about 7:35 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 1000 block of Old House Road on a report of a bear sighting.  According to a witness, the bear frequents the area searching for food in trash cans.  Fish and Game officials were contacted and advised; however, they elected not to respond to the incident.  After a short while, the bear walked back into the hilly brush with little fanfare or drama.  

On July 20, just after midnight, a lone gunman began shooting innocent victims who were packed into a movie theater to see the new Batman movie in Aurora, Colorado. Based on preliminary information, the shooting appeared to be an isolated incident.  Nevertheless, the Pasadena Police Department initiated proactive steps, visiting movie theaters in our community to assess security. Our heightened diligence included extra patrols, foot-beats checks, and other means as appropriate. You are a key element in our public safety strategy.  As always, I encourage you to report suspicious activity - remember “See something, Say something.”  The greatest deterrent to illegal activity is, more often than not, your willingness to notify the police.  As a reminder, please call 9-1-1 if you see a crime in progress or other emergency.  For non-emergency incidents, please call 626-744-4241.  If your wish to remain anonymous, please call “LA Crime Stoppers” at 800-222-8477 (TIPS), text the letters TIPLA, plus your tip, to 274637 (CRIMES), or visit their website at: http://lacrimestoppers.ort. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims, families, friends, and first responders impacted by this horrific crime.  

On July 20 at about 7:00 p.m., the Pasadena Police Department Traffic Section conducted a DUI checkpoint operation near Pasadena Avenue and Bellefontaine Street.  Approximately 990 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, resulting in 8 DUI arrests.  You may recall that the DUI checkpoints are primarily a driver’s educational effort to increase awareness about operating a motor vehicle while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. The DUP checkpoint is funded by a grant by the Office of Traffic Safety. The checkpoint was supervised by Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle and Sergeant Chris Gutierrez.  

On July 20 at 10:08 p.m., Officer Milton White observed a suspicious vehicle parked near Villa Street and Chester Avenue.  As Milton approached the vehicle, he could see an adult male semi-conscious in the driver’s seat.  The subject appeared to have a hypodermic needle protruding from his arm.  When Milton attempted to contact the subject, the subject drove off at a high rate of speed.  Milton initiated a pursuit; however, due to the suspect’s reckless driving, the pursuit was cancelled.  A short time later, Glendale Police Department notified PPD that the registered owner of the vehicle Officer White was chasing was attempting to report his vehicle stolen.  Milton and Corporal Richard Padilla responded to Glendale Police Headquarters, where the suspect was identified and arrested without incident.  


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




Posted: 7/22/2012 08:55:00 AM
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