Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (08/19/12)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base: A Message from the Chief
August 19, 2012

Dear Community Members and Department Personnel: 

Save the Date: 

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). 

Latino Heritage is hosting its 14th Annual Parade and Jamaica Celebration on October 6.  This year’s theme is Planting Dreams – Sembrando Suenos, and the event will focus on the exciting era for California: 1840 – 1860.  For more information please visit latinoheritage.org.  Roberta H. Martinez serves as Executive Director and Sandra M. Gutierrez is the event Chairperson.    

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 7, Pasadena PAL attended the Dallas Cowboys Football Training Camp in Oxnard.  Approximately 85 PAL youth participated in the field trip.  PAL kids were treated to lunch and went to the training facility where they watch professional football players practice.  The Pasadena PAL staff included:  Sergeant Bobby Lomeli, Officers Steve Oberon, Sahak Nersesyan, and Salvador Ramos, PAL Coordinator Stephanie Carter and Youth Advisors Martine Aniwanou, Frances Diaz, Korey Green, Krystal Gutierrez, Ciomara Hernandez, Alix Marcellus, Megan Mayorga, Justin Mota, and Osiris Negrete. Oxnard Police Department’s PAL program hosted all the attendees.  

On August 13, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle and I attended the Day One Youth Summit-Conference for Teens, which was held at All Saints Church.  Day One Executive Director, Christy Zamani, provided opening remarks to an audience of about 60 Pasadena young people.  I also provided some brief comments underscoring the value of education, mentors, and self-discipline.  Pasadena Public Health Director, Dr. Eric Walsh, talked with the youth on the value of their input, perspective, and community engagement.  Darryl Qualls serves as a Day One Board Member.  

On August 16, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls and I assisted John Muir High School Staff and Alumni with student registration.  JMHS Alumni Association Vice President, Jill Hawkins, helped steer Darryl and me in the right direction. Although there were many students on campus, the registration process seemed very efficient and well organized. It was a pleasure seeing all the new and returning students make their way through the registration process.   

On August 17, Commander Lisa Rosales, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle, Deborah K. Sanchez,  and I attended the 13 Annual Women in Business Legislative Update & Awards Luncheon.  The event was packed with community leaders, family, and friends to witness 30 specular women receive awards.  ABC7’s Alysha Del Valle served as emcee, and Nagin Cox, from NASA/JPL, provided the keynote speech.  The awards were presented by State Senator Carol Liu, Assembly Member Anthony Portantino, and Assembly Member Mike Gatto.  Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, Councilwoman Jacque Robinson, and several members of the Pasadena Executive Leadership Team were among the many attendees.  Among the awardees were Pasadena Water and Power General Manager, Phyllis Currie, and Pasadena Fire Department’s Emergency Management Coordinator, Lisa Derderian.  

On August 17, Deborah K. Sanchez and I stopped by the PAL Summer BBQ, which was held at the Salvation Army.  More than 60 Pasadena youth attended the BBQ, which also included a movie.  At one point or another, Commanders John Perez and Lisa Rosales, Corporal Carolyn Gordon, and Detective Sheri Schwab also stopped by to visit with the kids. The PAL program is under the command of Lieutenant Rodney Wallace, and the PAL Director is Corporal Glenn Thompson.  

On August 17, Commander Lisa Rosales, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle and I stopped by the Lake Avenue Church Chili Cook-Off and Classic Car Show.  The event was well attended and featured some really neat cars.  Although I did not sample the many different vats of chili, I was told there was not a bad mix in the bunch.  Judges included community leader Robin Salzer and Judge Lance Ito 

On August 17, I attended Ramadan Iftar Dinner (Breaking Fast) at the Masjid Gibrael Mosque to acknowledge the end of Ramadan.  The mosque is located in San Gabriel and the event included traditional food and a program.    

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On May 14 and May 25, two Porsche Road Bicycles were stolen from Rusnak Auto Sales, in Pasadena.  The case was assigned to Pasadena Police Detective Sheri Schwab, who conducted a comprehensive follow-up investigation.  The serial numbers of the stolen bicycles were entered into a computer data base as part of Sheri’s investigation.  On August 17, two suspects were arrested in Glendale for warrants while riding bicycles.  When Glendale police ran the bicycle’s serial numbers, they discovered the bicycles were stolen and that Pasadena police were investigating the case.  Glendale police contacted Sheri, who responded to GPD to interview the suspects.  The suspects subsequently confessed to stealing the Porsche Road Bicycles.  Sheri’s investigation resulted in the recovery of four additional bicycles. The Burglary Task Force (BTF) also assisted with this investigation.  

On July 27, I received a letter commending Pasadena Police Officers Jose Calderon and Michael Orozco for their professionalism and sensitivity during a field investigation.  The author wrote, “I would like to thank you for your expertise in handling the situation with my daughter…”  

On August 6, I received a letter from Pasadena City Councilman Steve Madison commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Paul Carpenter, for his participation in a District 6 Town Hall meeting.  Councilman Madison wrote, “As always, your presence and expertise were much appreciated.”  

On August 14, several Pasadena Police officers and employees attended the department’s swearing-in ceremony for three new Pasadena Police officers.  The ceremony was held in the council chambers and was well attended. Our newest Reserve Police Officers are:  Colt Romberger, Rocky Tavera, and Michael McGaharn.  The ceremony was facilitated by Sergeant Chris Gutierrez and Corporal Pham read the Law Enforcement Code of Ethics. The recruits were sworn in by City Clerk Mark Jomsky in front of co-workers, family, and friends.   

  • Officer Colt Romberger served in the United States Air Force in Missile and Space Intelligence prior to his appointment as a Reserve Police Officer. He served at several duty stations and was honorably discharged in 2011.  Colt graduated from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy where he was voted (by his peers and staff) as the Honor Cadet. 
  • Officer Rocky Tavera graduated from Monrovia High School and is currently enrolled at Pasadena City College, majoring in Administration of Justice.  He is employed as a Pasadena Police Cadet, currently assigned to the Records Section.  Rocky graduated from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy earlier this month.  
  • Officer Michael McGaharn was raised in Arcadia and operates his own business.  He graduated from Rio Hondo Preparatory High School and attended the University of California, Los Angeles, where he majored in Physical Education.  Later, he earned his Master’s Degree in Physical Therapy from the University of Southern California.  Michael graduated from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy earlier this month.  

My remarks at the ceremony focused on the “Critical Components for a Successful Law Enforcement Career.”  Although there are many attributes necessary to create a solid professional foundation, I focused on the following characteristics: Respect, Courage, Honesty, and Integrity.  

On August 16, several Pasadena Police officers, employees, and volunteers turned out to support the opening day of Citizens Police Academy, Class 38.  Police Specialists Arlene Ramos opened the program with a few brief remarks and I had the opportunity to introduce my senior staff.  The program was then turned over to the primary facilitators, Pasadena Air Support Officers Brad May and Patrick Polimeni. The program will continue for the next several weeks and participants will graduate on November 8.  For more information about the Pasadena Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy program, please visit: http://cityofpasadena.net/police/citizen_police_academy.  

On August 17, the Pasadena Police Department’s Traffic Section conducted a DUI Check Point on Colorado Boulevard near Los Robles Avenue.  Sergeant Mario Ortiz and 15 PPD officers conducted the program.  Approximately 1,375 vehicles passed through the checkpoint, which resulted in 3 arrests for DUI.  Also, another 2 drivers were arrested for narcotics violations.  The DUI checkpoint is funded by a grant provided by U.C. Berkley. The following PPD personnel were involved in the checkpoint:  Corporals Peinado, Carter, Pham, Wilkins, Sandeen; Officers Hsu, De Sylva, Kim, McKenize, Watkins, Blumenthal, Blanchard, Gaudet, Karg, Klotz, Duran; SCO Jurado, and PS Liu.  

Critical Incidents: 

In February 2012, Pasadena Police Detectives identified a female adult who was responsible for a series of commercial burglaries in our community and the greater Los Angeles area.  The Pasadena Police Department’s Fugitive Apprehension Unit (FAU) initiated an investigation in an attempting to locate the suspect.  The follow-up investigation revealed that the suspect had fled to North Carolina, where she was staying with relatives.  On August 15, FAU learned the suspect had returned to California.  With the assistance of the United States Marshall’s Service, the suspect was located in Los Angeles.  The suspect was with her father, who was also wanted on narcotics charges.  The suspects were contacted, arrested without incident, and booked at the Pasadena jail.  These arrests were the culmination of a tremendous amount of investigative work by detectives assigned to FAU and the United States Marshall’s Service.  

On July 18 at about 3:30 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to a commercial burglary in the 3400 block of East Colorado Boulevard.  PPD officers were not able to locate the suspect following the burglary; however, security cameras captured the crime.  The case was assigned to Detective Alonzo Wilkins, who developed a wanted flier from the security video. On or about August 14, the wanted information was shared with all Field Operations Division personnel. Pasadena Police Officer Robert Christian observed a male adult matching the description of the burglary suspect and detained him (the suspect was wearing the same distinct clothing at the time of the detention).  Robert initiated a probable cause arrest and later obtained a confession from the suspect. The suspect was later booked at the Pasadena jail for commercial burglary.  

On August 3 at about 11:46 a.m., Pasadena Police Officers Bartman Horn and Cristian Allen were assigned to a burglary suppression detail in a proactive effort to mitigate property crimes.  Detective Dennis Beene (Burglary Task Force) briefed the officers about recent (suspicious) activity in the area of Hollistion Avenue and Palm Terrace.  While patrolling near Holliston Avenue, Bartman and Cristian saw a suspicious vehicle and initiated a traffic stop.  After developing sufficient probable cause, the vehicle was searched and the officers found several stolen IPADs and other electronic equipment.  Two suspects were arrested for possession of stolen property. Dennis responded to the location of the traffic stop and was briefed on the circumstances of the arrest and recovered the stolen items.  

Dennis, Bartman, and Cristian developed information connecting the suspects to a residence on El Sereno Avenue.  Bartman, Cristian, and Investigators from the Burglary Task Force, Special Investigations, and the Detective Bureau, drove to the El Sereno address.  Officers talked with the property owner, ultimately obtaining permission to search the premise.  They recovered electronics and computers that were later connected with burglaries committed in Pasadena.  It took outstanding police work to solve this case.  The following personnel were involved in the investigation: Sergeant David Reavis, Officers Bartman Horn and Cristian Allen, Detectives Carolyn Gordon, Sheri Schwab, Alonzo Wilkins, Burglary Task Force, and the Special Investigation Unit.  

On August 5 at about 8:00 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to Howard Street and Raymond Avenue regarding a sexual assault.  On arrival, officers learned that the victim (female adult) had accepted a ride from a motorist, who then drove to the area of Howard Street and Raymond Avenue where he (the suspect) assaulted the victim.  The suspect is described as a Hispanic Male, mid 30s.  His vehicle was described as a 1990s gray 4-door sedan.  If you have any information about this incident, please call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241. The incident was reported on by the local media: http://www.pasadenasun.com/the626now/tn-pas-0806-pasadena-rape-car,0,7171277.story.  

On August 10, the Pasadena Police Department’s Traffic Section conducted a Red Light Enforcement Program throughout the city.  The officers focused their efforts on motorists who clearly endangered other drivers or pedestrians by failing to stop for full phase red lights.  The enforcement effort resulted in approximately 34 citations. Sergeants Vasken Gourdikian and Mario Ortiz supervise the Traffic Section.   

On August 16 at about 1:18 p.m., Pasadena Detectives assigned to the Burglary Task Force were conducting property crime suppression, when they conducted a traffic stop in the 200 block of West Montana Street.  The detectives approached the car and noticed the passenger matched the description of a suspect wanted for Assault with a Deadly Weapon. The detectives identified the passenger, who was in fact the wanted suspect.  The suspect was arrested without incident and later booked at the Pasadena jail.  

On August 18 at about 3:00 a.m., Pasadena Police received a call of a fight in progress at Community Arms.  A single gunshot was heard as PPD officers entered the complex.  The officers immediately responded to the sound of the gunshot and located a female victim (adult) suffering from a grazing wound.  Two other victims (adults) were injured as they ran away from the incident (bruises and contusions).  The victims were treated at the scene and/or transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.  It is unknown if the incident is gang related.  Our investigation is ongoing.

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


Posted: 8/19/2012 02:00:00 PM
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