Touching Base: A Message From the Chief (08/12/12)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base: A Message from the Chief
August 12, 2012

Dear Community Members and Department Personnel: 

Save the Date: 

The United Nations Association-Pasadena (UNA-P) and the Makueni Christian Home for Assisting Orphans (MACHAO) Orphanage are holding a Benefit Concert on Saturday, August, 18th, at 6:00 p.m..  Hosted by Maranatha High School and supported by the Pasadena Police Department, this event will be held at the beautiful Ambassador Auditorium, 169 South Saint John Avenue, in Pasadena.  MACHAO is a faith-based organization formed by seven Christians of the Africa Inland Church (AIC) within Wote Division in the Makueni District. The foundation is dedicated to assisting the destitute children of Makueni, Kenya, who have lost their parents due to the HIV Aids pandemic, or whose guardians who face extreme poverty and are unable to afford their up keep. Tickets are available on the website at: www.machaobenefitconcert.com.  A promotional video is available for viewing at: https://vimeo.com/47212726. For more information on the event, please click here 

The Pasadena Branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is hosting the 27th McKnight Williams Awards Dinner on September 13, at the Pasadena Hilton Hotel.  Reception starts at 6:00 p.m., followed by dinner and the program at 7:00 p.m.  Tickets will be held at the door. Please RSVP by August 30, 2012 (Source:  Pasadena Branch NAACP). 

The Pasadena Police Foundation (PPF) is hosting its Annual Chief’s Breakfast on October 11, 7:30 a.m., at the Brookside Clubhouse.  For reservations, sponsorships, or tickets, please contact Ragnhild Naning De Vries at (626) 744-3987.  Funds raised at the breakfast are used to support youth programs sponsored by the PPF (Source:  Pasadena Police Foundation).  

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: 

On August 5, Deborah K. Sanchez and I attended the Curiosity Landing Event, hosted by JPL.  The spectacular event was attended by more than 1100 guests who witnessed this historical experience. VIP that I saw included:  Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, Vice Mayor Margaret McAustin, and Councilman Terry Tornek. As you likely know by now, the Curiosity rover landed on the planet Mars without a hitch.  The delivery system to ensure Curiosity landed on Mars without being damaged was one of the most complicated methods in modern space exploration. The JPL engineers, support staff, and other stakeholders are commended for this extraordinary milestone in space exploration.  

On August 6, Commander Chris Russ and I facilitated a visit to UCLA for a few Pasadena community youth.  The trip was coordinated through MPYD (Mentoring & Partnership for Youth Development).  Tecumseh Shackelford is the co-founder and executive director of MPYD.  

On August 6, I made a presentation to the Pasadena Public Safety Committee (PPSC) regarding “Civilian Oversight Models.” There were several community members on hand to add their insight, opinions, and recommendations.  Based the research and analysis Pasadena Public Safety Committee currently exceeds established standards with respect to civilian oversight.  The Pasadena Public Safety Committee consists of four council members:  Steve Madison (Chair), Margaret McAustin, Jacque Robinson, and Gene Masuta.  The PPSC provides public safety oversight for police, fire, and other city departments as appropriate. Also included on the agenda were issues concerning homelessness and 4th of July Fireworks (Pasadena Police Lieutenant Bruce George and Pasadena Deputy Chief Kevin  Costa presented on the fireworks issue).  The PPSC is open to the community and allows for public comment on agenda items.  

On August 7, the Pasadena Police Department and community celebrated National Night Out.”  Several Pasadena Police employees and volunteers attended the opening ceremony, which was hosted by Kings Villages and Community Arms.  National Night Out attendees talked with several police officers, employees, and volunteers. Pasadena Fire Department personnel were also on hand to engage the community.  Kings Villages Leasing Consultant, Dr. Yolanda R. Cunegin, coordinated the event and attendees listened to the John Muir High School Drum Corp. VIPs at the opening ceremony included:  Mayor Bill Bogaard, Councilmember Chris Holden, Councilwoman Jacque Robinson, and City Manager Michael Beck.  Sergeant Chris Kirby and Pasadena Police Volunteer Harry Kouladjian grilled hotdogs for the community. Following the kick-off ceremony, PPD officers, employees, and volunteers traveled throughout the city visiting neighborhood block gatherings to celebrate this special event. 

On August 9, I met with about 70 young people from the Summer Rose program.  Our meeting was held at the Jackie Robinson Park Auditorium and focused on law enforcement interaction.  The group asked complex questions about police/community relations.  The Summer Rose program takes place during the summer months for youth (16-21) and is offered through the Pasadena Human Services & Recreation Department.  Advisors for the 2012 summer program included:  Wynne D. Thompson, Laura White, Sean Davis, Ashton Rice, Leo Hurtado, Erica Munoz, Steve Trejo, Yvette McDowell, and Beverly Bogar.  

Pasadena’s Finest:  

On August 1, Pasadena Police Administrator Karen Patterson was selected to attend the Pasadena Leadership Academy, which is facilitated by Woodbury University.  The program is designed for mid-level managers and course instruction includes leadership, supervision, ethics, and other contemporary topics. Karen currently manages the department’s Communication Center.  

On August 2, I received an email from Pasadena Chief Assistant City Attorney Nicholas Rodriguez, commending Pasadena Police Lieutenants John Dewar and Richard Aversano and Sergeant Greg Afsharian, for their prompt attention and investigation of public safety issue.  

On August 3, I received a letter from Target Corporation Executive Team Leader, Charlie Godinez, commending Pasadena Police Officer Eric Butler.  In his letter, Charlie said, “Officer Butler has responded to countless shoplift cases at our location and is very friendly, professional, and makes our experience with the Pasadena Police Department very pleasant.”  

On August 3, Forensic Specialists Alex Padilla was processing evidence at the scene of a burglary.  He was working with the Pasadena Burglary Task Force (BTF) and helped identify some stolen camera and computer equipment.  During the identification process, Alex recalled a recent burglary on Palm Terrace Avenue, and that camera equipment was part of the loss in that incident.  The Palm Terrace burglary victim was shown the photos of the stolen camera equipment and positively identified them has his property.  This case is a great example of the interdepartmental collaboration between the BTF and the Forensic Unit.    

On August 4, I received an email from Councilmember Gene Masuda commending Pasadena Police Officer Scott Vandergrift, for his professionalism and compassion during a field investigation.  Councilmember Masuda observed an elderly lady on the corner of San Gabriel Boulevard and San Pasqual Street who was obviously disoriented.  He contacted the distressed lady and called the Pasadena Police Department requesting assistance.  Scott arrived moments later and assisted the distressed lady.  Councilmember Masuda said in his email, “…. I wanted to commend and express my gratitude to Officer Vandergrift for handling this situation with great sensitivity.  He was able to communicate enough to get the lost lady’s ID and to call worried family members….”  

On August 4, I received a letter from Target Corporation Executive Team, Leader Charlie Godinez, commending Pasadena Police Officer Luis Banuelos. “Officer Banuelos has responded to countless shoplift cases at our location and is very friendly, professional, and makes our experience with the Pasadena Police Department very pleasant.”  

On August 5, I received a letter from a citizen commending Officer Shannon Reece for her professionalism during a traffic collision investigation.  The author wrote, “… Your officer responded to our 911 call.  She was so helpful, completely professional, and also caring and compassionate…”   

On August 6, I received an email from Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Sergeant Bradd Molner, commending Pasadena Police Administrator, Alicia Patterson, for her patience dealing with an irate community member at the police station.  Apparently, Sergeant Molner was off-duty and at the Pasadena Police Department on personal business when he observed the interaction between Alicia and the irate community member.  In his email, Sergeant Molner wrote, “… I was extremely impressed with Ms. Patterson’s patience, poise, and professionalism during the exchange.  The most valuable commodity in public safety is the people who serve the public and their agency…”  

On August 8, Pasadena Police Department SWAT team members provided law enforcement “Active Shooter” training  for the Pasadena City College Police Department.  Sergeant Bobby Crees and Officer Anthony Russo discussed and demonstrated tactics, which emulates best practices for public safety agencies in the United States.  Regional relationship with San Gabriel Valley law enforcement agencies, which includes Pasadena City College Police Department, are  is crucial in successfully preventing  violence in our community. The Pasadena Police Department is very focused on maintaining strong relationships with our regional public safety partners as well as other stakeholders in our community.   For further information on how to build a safer work environment please visit the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) website at http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/workplaceviolence/index.html.   

Critical Incidents:   

On July 7, two male adults walked into a commercial business located in the 3400 block of East Foothill Boulevard.  The subjects were acting suspiciously, which drew the attention of the loss-prevention agent.  One of the subjects grabbed a 32” flat screen TV and walked out of the store.  The suspect was challenged by the loss-prevention agent; however, the suspect reached into his waistband, simulated a gun, and threatened the agent.  Pasadena Police officers responded to the robbery, however, the suspects had fled the location.   

The case was assigned to Alonzo Wilkins, who started his investigation. Alonzo identified the suspects involved in the Pasadena robbery.  He also received a phone call from Glendale Police detectives regarding a series of crimes that had occurred in their jurisdiction.  Based on the information provided, it appeared the suspects in the Pasadena robbery were also responsible for similar crimes in Glendale.  The suspects were ultimately arrested in the Glendale incidents.  Alonzo passed on the information on the Pasadena robbery.  The cases will likely be bundled together and presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for filing consideration.  

On August 3 at about 8:00 p.m., the United States Marshalls Service was searching for a wanted fugitive from Louisiana in the 300 block of North Hill Avenue.  The fugitive was wanted for burglary and narcotics violations and was believed to be staying with a local resident.  The Marshalls made contact with the suspect and arrested him. Pasadena Sergeant Max Dahlstein was on scene. 

On August 3, the Pasadena Police Traffic Section conducted a city-wide Speed Enforcement (STEP) program.  The program focused on speeding violations; however, officers did not ignore other traffic violations.  The traffic safety program generated 106 speeding tickets.  

On August 5 at about 8:50 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 3000 block of East Foothill Boulevard regarding a carjacking investigation.  The victim was approached by two male adult suspects, one armed with a handgun.  The suspects robbed the victim of his vehicle and fled the location.  PPD detectives are actively investigating the incident.  The suspects were described as two Hispanic Males in their twenties.  If you have any information regarding this incident, please call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241, or you can report the information by using CRIME STOPPERS (Phone number: 800-222-8477), or on-line at http://lacrimestoppers.org.  

On August 6 at about 4:30 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 1400 block of North Garfield Avenue regarding a robbery that just occurred.  On arrival, the officers learned that the victim was approached by two Black Males.  One of the suspects was armed with a handgun and demanded the victim turn over his cash.  Fearing for his personal safety, the victim complied with the suspect’s demand.  One suspect was described as a Black Male in his teens, 5’-9” tall, 160 pounds, wearing a green hoody and black jeans.  If you have any information regarding this incident, please call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241, or you can report the information by using CRIME STOPPERS (Phone number: 800-222-8477), or on-line at http://lacrimestoppers.org.  

On August 7 at about 11:10 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the Colorado Street Bridge regarding a male threatening to jump. A female community member was driving her car across the bridge when she saw the victim hanging on the outside of the wrought iron safety fence.  She stopped her car and started talking with the distraught victim. A male community member driving by observed the situation and stopped to assist.  At one point, the male community member reached through the fence and grabbed the victim’s arm, pulling the victim back and against the safety rail.   PPD Officers Steve Rappuchi and Jose Calderon arrived and assisted in the effort to keep the victim pinned to the safety rail. Pasadena Fire Department personnel arrived and moved the victim on to the bridge.  The victim was transported to a local hospital for evaluation. 

The quick actions of our two hero community members, coupled with the actions of Steve, Jose, and the Pasadena Fire Department, clearly saved the victim from jumping to his death. The incident was covered in the local media: http://articles.pasadenasun.com/2012-08-08/the626now/33104625_1_pasadena-police-department-adolfo-flores-bridge.  

On August 8 at about 4:30 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 1500 block of Wesley Avenue regarding a residential burglary that had just occurred. The victim told police dispatchers that a group of four suspects rang her door bell.  When the victim did not answer the door, the suspects walked into her backyard and entered her home through an unlocked door. Pasadena Police Air Support arrived over the incident and saw the suspects near Washington Boulevard and Holliston Avenue.  Ground units were then directed to the suspects’ location.   

Pasadena Police Officer Richard Vindiola arrived and detained two suspects.  The remaining suspects were subsequently detained by Pasadena Police Sergeant Roger Roldan. Richard conducted a field show-up and the suspects were positively identified by the victim.  As Richard was completing his field investigation, he was approached by a resident who lives in the 1400 block of East Howard Street.  The Howard Street victim had also been burglarized. Richard’s subsequent investigation determined the suspects were responsible for both burglaries. The suspects, all juveniles, were arrested without incident. The local media covered this story: http://www.pasadenasun.com/the626now/tn-pas-0809-pasadena-burgalry-teens,0,7570343.story.  

On August 10 at about 4:00 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 100 block of West Claremont Street regarding an Assault with a Deadly Weapon. On arrival, officers learned that a witness discovered the victim (Black Male adult) sitting in his vehicle near Hammond Street and Kirkwood Avenue.  The witness notified the Pasadena Police Department and the victim was transported to a local hospital. Shortly after PPD officers began their investigation, the suspect (Male Black adult) telephoned the police department, stated that he stabbed the victim and wanted to surrender. The suspect was contacted and arrested without incident.  PPD officers also located and recovered the weapon used in the attempted murder.  The suspect was booked at the Pasadena jail.  The incident was covered by the local media: http://www.pasadenasun.com/the626now/tn-pas-0810-pasadena-stabbing-chest,0,768356.story.  

On August 10 at about 10:45 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 500 block of North Mentor Avenue regarding a stabbing that just occurred.  On arrival, PPD officers learned that the suspect stabbed the victim twice in the upper torso following a physical altercation.  Following the stabbing, the victim ran from the scene, jumped a fence, and suffered a large laceration to his stomach area.  The victim was subsequently transported to a local hospital by Pasadena Fire Paramedics and was listed in stable condition following surgery. A short time later, the suspect called PPD and said he was responsible for the stabbing and wanted to surrender.  The suspect was contacted and arrested without further incident.  

Try to stay cool,  

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



Posted: 8/12/2012 03:10:00 PM
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