Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (10/28/12)


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

October 28, 2012 

Dear Community Members and Department Personnel: 

Save the Date: 

The City of Pasadena summons all good ghosts and ghouls, witches, zombies, and others to join in the fantastic family fun at its Fall Festival 2012 at Victory Park, 2575 Paloma Street, from 5:00 p.m. to 8:30 p.m., Wednesday, October 31.  The event features an enchanting night of safe, family fun with activities for the entire family.  All are welcome to come out and enjoy live entertainment, games, face painting, pumpkin decorating, arts & crafts, a big slide, sticky wall, a train ride around the park and, of course, delicious food  (Source: William Boyer, Public Information Officer).  

The Pasadena Community Gardens Conservancy announced that three new garden projects in the city will receive Community Gardening Awards at the Conservancy’s first annual Sustainable Sunday Supper, Can U Dig It?, which will be held on November 4.  The awardees are:  

  • John Muir High School’s Muir Ranch Community Supported Agriculture project 
  • Harambee Ministries’ Harambee Community Garden in Northwest Pasadena 
  • Pasadena Community Gardens’ Community Garden in Southwest Pasadena 

For more information, please contact Pasadena Community Gardens Conservancy President and CEO, Eileen Read, at eileenwhiteread@hotmail.com, or phone (202) 641-0779.  

The Pasadena Youth Center will host their 2nd Annual Adelante Young Men Conference on November 10, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. The conference will take place on the campus of Pasadena City College (PCC) and will feature Mexican American Legal Defense and Educational Fund (MALDEF) President/General Counsel, Thomas A. Saenz, as the keynote speaker.  The conference features lectures, interactive workshops, career and academic planning, and much more.  For more information about the conference, please call (626) 798-1538, or visit http://pasadenayouthcenter.org/aym_conference/adelante_young_menStella R. Murga is the founder and Executive Director for the Pasadena Youth Center.  

Neighbors Acting Together Helping All (NATHA) is hosting its 9th Annual Lincoln Village Festival on November 10, from 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. between Montana Street and Idaho Street. The event is always a community favorite and this year should be no exception.  The festival will feature food, music, health screening, and much more.  For more information, please call (626)794-5889. 

Youth for Human Rights International, Pasadena High School Chapter, will host Education and Responsibility Human Rights Day Forum 2012, on December 8, 2012 at Louis Creveling Lounge, Pasadena City College. Youth for Human Rights International is dedicated to teaching youth about human rights, specifically, the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and inspire them to become valuable advocates for tolerance and peace.  For more information on Youth for Human Rights International, please visit: http://www.youthforhumanrights.org. Tim Bowles is the Executive Director for Human Rights International and is accepting forum RSVPs at tbowles@tbowleslaw.com.  

Our Community:  

On October 20, I attended the 2012 Breast Cancer Seminar, which was hosted by Rev. Betty Keller, of the New Macedonia Missionary Baptist Church. Dr. Dennis Holmes, from the Los Angeles Center for Women’s Health, presented a comprehensive overview about breast cancer.  There were about 100 community ladies in the audience.  Pasadena Police Office Supervisor, Beverly Bogar, coordinated my participation.  

On October 21, I attended the Century Celebration of Abdu’l-Baha’s visit to Pasadena. The event was held at the Scottish Rite Cathedral.  There were a number of guest speakers and Mayor Bill Bogaard provided opening remarks and prayer.  VIPs included Federal Court Judge Dorothy Nelson, and Pasadena Human Relations Commissioner, Nat Nadar.  

On October 23, I met with Dawn, James and Kelsey O’Keeffe to discuss “Go Public.”  If you don’t know, GO PUBLIC: A Day in the Life of PUSD, is a documentary from the student’s perspective.  Dawn and James sent 50 directors to all 28 PUSD campuses for one day.  The first phase of the project is complete and all 50 short films (each approximately 4 minutes long) can be seen on the GO PUBLIC website at www.gopublicproject.org. The second phase of the GO PUBLIC project, a feature length documentary, is currently in post-production and intended for theatrical release.  I can guarantee that watching the short films will be informative and may give you a new perspective about our public schools.  

On October 24, I stopped by Mustangs on the Move – After School Programs, which was hosted by Flintridge Center’ Executive Director, Jaylene Mosley.  The program was well attended by community leaders and local officers, which included City Manager Michael Beck. Flintridge Center Board Chairman, Armando Gonzales, and several board members also attended the event.  For more information about Flintridge Center, please visit www.Flintridge.org.  

On October 24, I attend services at Saint Andrew’s Catholic Church to celebrate a Healing Mass for Victims of Crime.  The services were well attended and as part of the celebration, several victims of crime gave personal testimonies.  Special thanks to Reverend Paul A. Sustayta, for including me in this worthwhile celebration.  

On October 25, I stopped at Learning Works Charter School’s Open House, which was very well attended.  Participants were provided tours of the school and had the opportunity to speak with students and staff.  Dr. Mikal Rahn coordinated my participation.  

On October 26, Commander John Perez and I attended the Immigration Workshop at Villa Parke, which was sponsored by CHIRLA. Several local attorneys volunteered their time to meet with local community members concerning the issues associated with immigration.  

On October 26, Commander John Perez, Sergeants Vasken Gourdikian and Greg Afsharian, Deborah K. Sanchez, and I attended the 90th Anniversary Celebration of the Armenia Cilicia Church.  The celebration was very well attended.  COPs Director, Barney Melekian was the keynote speaker and his wife, Nancy also attended the celebration.  The audience watch a short presentation about the history of the Armenia Cilicia Church, which was established in 1922.  Barney’s grandfather help establish the church, which was originally located at Mountain and Washington.  

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On October 11, I received a letter from Los Angeles County Sheriff Leroy Baca commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Ed Calatayud, and Officers Thomas Corralez, Victor Ontiveros, Salvador Figueroa, and Kevin Arbuckle for their assistance in the apprehension of a probationary suspect wanted for grand theft.  Sheriff Baca wrote, “… Due to the professionalism and teamwork displayed by your personnel, this operation was a huge success.”  

From October 22 – 23, several Pasadena Police employees attended the Women Leaders in Law Enforcement Symposium, which was held in Irvine.  The symposium featured lectures, workshops, and keynote speakers.  This year, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Commander Lisa Rosales, Administrator Alicia Patterson, Sergeant Troy Riley, and Corporal Robin Stinson represented Pasadena Police Department at the symposium  

On October 23, I received a phone message from a Pasadena citizen commending the officers who responded to the Colorado Street Bridge regarding a possible suicide. The caller said she wanted to commend the officers involved for their handling of the situation.  As it turns out, the caller observed the distressed person on the bridge and notified the police department.   I want to thank our community caller for her willingness to engage the police department toward saving a life.  

On October 24, the Pasadena Police Department hosted its 7th Annual Women’s Luncheon.  The luncheon celebrated the rich history of Pasadena’s women in public safety. The event was hosted at Noor Restaurant and featured a professional panel of women law enforcement officials.  The panel was facilitated by Pasadena Public Health Director, Dr. Eric Walsh, and included:  Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra, Sergeant Kate Favara, Officer Roxanne Haines, and Police Specialists Norma Perez and Elaina Quinzon.  City Manager Michael Beck stopped by to say hello, and Assistant City Manager, Julie Gutierrez, provide reflections and insight about women in the workplace.  Currently, women make up about 15.8% of the police department‘s work force, serving at all ranks and positions.   

Some of Pasadena’s Finest included:  Danielle Biglin, Lorena Caldera, Lydia Calles, Randy Cornelius, Susana Castro, Elizabeth Diott, Yvonne Dultz, Jari Faulkner, Kate Favara, Christina Fish, Lola Fyles, Leticia Garcia, Evelyn Quinteros, Elaina Quinzon, Tory Riley, Phlunte Riddle, Michelle Robinson, Terysa Rojas, Lisa Rosales, Van Kim, Pat Magallanes, Diane Martinez, Deanne Nestlerode, Alicia Patterson, Norma Perez, Wendy Petry, Susan Gomez, Carolyn Gordon, Roxanne Haines, Magaly Hernandez, Mary Hooker, Tracy Ibarra, Rachel Johnson, Erika Salinas, Sheri Schwab, Marie Sell, Olivia Siciliano, Marcia Taglioretti, Sarah Valadez, Karen Vennable, and Tai Wotherspoon.  Acknowledgements included promotions, educational achievements, advanced leadership training, and pending retirements. Commander Lisa Rosales and her committee organized the event.  

On October 24, several Pasadena Police officers deployed to the City of Burbank to assist with President Obama’s visit to Southern California.  Our officers were part of a Los Angeles County Mutual Aid Request, which requires we (PPD) provide personnel to assist with the mission.  Pasadena Police officers assigned to the visit included:  SES Officers and personnel assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division (Officers Porter, Yoou Spatz, J. Rappuchi, and Alba).  

On October 25, Pasadena Police Sergeant Vasken Gourdikian served on a panel of subject matter experts discussing safety issues.  The event was hosted by AGBU and was held at Manoukian High School.  The panel discussion focused on educating parents about the issues facing many of our young people in Pasadena.  Panel members included:  Shakeh Yegavian, Mary Der Parseghian, and Michael Bloom.    

On October 25, Safe Schools Team Officers Roxanne Haines and Mike Herrera gave an anti-drug / anti-gang presentation to a group of about 150 students (4th and 5th grade) at Hamilton Elementary School.  The students were enthusiastic and as they participated in “Red Ribbon Week,” with is an ideal way for people and communities to unite.   

On October 24, Pasadena Police Specialist Briones was working the front counter assisting two individuals who were attempting to register.  The subjects were uncooperative and rude with Briones. Nevertheless, Briones remained professional and completed the registration process in a timely manner.  

On October 27, several Pasadena Police officers attended a memorial service for former Pasadena Police Helicopter Pilot, Dennis “Mike” Henslee.  Dennis was hired by the department in 1963.  Following his retirement in 1991, Dennis, his wife Mary, and their children moved to Texas.  Dennis recently passed away and survived by his wife and children.  The Air Operations Unit organized a memorial service to honor Dennis for his years of service to the community and the department.  There were several retired Pasadena Police pilots and tactical flight officers attending the service.  Some of the retired pilots were part of the original helicopter program, which was established in 1969 (operational in 1970).  It was truly an honor to participate in the memorial service and meet Dennis’ family.  Special thanks to Pasadena Police Lieutenant Michael Ingram, and the entire Air Operations Unit for coordinating this special day.    

Critical Incidents: 

On October 13 at about 11:56 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to a night club in Old Pasadena regarding a sexual assault.  The adult victim was approached by the suspect from behind and forced into Legge Alley.  The suspect then sexually assaulted the victim and fled the alley on foot.  The suspect is described as a Male Hispanic, between 30-40 years old, about 5’6” tall, with a medium build.  He has a thin mustache and goatee.  Anyone with information on the assault is asked to contact Pasadena Police Detective Sandeen at (626) 744-7099.  The incident was covered by the local media: 


On October 22 at about 3:56 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the Colorado Street Bridge regarding a possible suicide.  The victim, Male White Adult, was standing beyond the safety fence threating to jump.  PFD responded and deployed their air bag as PPD officers talked with the victim.  Ultimately, the officers were able to convince the subject to climb back over the safety fence and avoid a possible suicide.  The victim was despondent, in part because he has been unemployed for about 10 years.  The victim was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.  This incident was well managed and is an excellent example of the team work between Pasadena Police and Fire Departments.  

On October 24 at about 2:45 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to Washington Middle School regarding a bomb threat.  The suspect called the police department and said there was a bomb on the middle school campus.  The responding officers established a joint command post with PUSD executives and PFD. The middle school campus was contained and students were evacuated to a large field, north of the campus.  PUSD executive staff contacted parents who responded to pick up their students.  Lieutenant Richard Aversano was the Incident Commander and he was assisted by Sergeant Bobby Lomeli, Sergeant Kathryn Jorge, and PS Noel Herrera at the command post. Bomb detection dogs from South Pasadena and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to assist with the search.  Ultimately, the campus was secured.  We did not locate any bombs or suspicious packages.  

On October 25 at about 9:00 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 1800 block of North Fair Oaks Avenue regarding a bomb threat.  The caller said there was a bomb at the Pasadena Public Health Department.  The health department was evacuated as a precautionary measure. The suspect called back again and said he was armed with a rifle and would shoot anyone attempting to approach the public health building.  Bomb detection dogs from South Pasadena and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department responded to assist with the investigation. Pasadena and Glendale SWAT officers, along with the K9 Units, checked the public health building and did not locate any suspicious packages or bombs.   

Pasadena Police detectives (Lieutenant Tracy Ibarra, Sergeant Ernie Devis, Keith Gomes, Grant Curry, Ara Bzdigian, William Broghamer, Cuong Pham and Jason Van Hecke) responded to the incident and began a comprehensive investigation.  They developed several leads based on physical evidence.  Subsequently, PPD detectives identified a person of interest.  The detectives located the subject, interviewed him and later, when confronted with overwhelming evidence, the subject admitted to making the bomb threat calls to Washington Middle School and Pasadena Public Health.  The suspect was arrested without incident and booked at the Pasadena Jail.  Lieutenant Diego Torres, Sergeants John Luna and Kathryn Jorge, and Bryan Marin staffed the command post.  Also noteworthy was the involvement of the Pasadena Police Department’s Communication Center.  The operators and call takers remained professional and helpful throughout the bomb calls.  Communication’s Supervisor Kathy Russ played a significant role during these incidents. The two incidents required significant public resources, including:  PPD’s uniform patrol, SWAT, Glendale PD, South Pasadena PD, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  However, given the nature of the treats, the deployment was prudent and necessary.  The story was covered by the local media: http://altadena.patch.com/articles/police-evacuate-pasadena-health-department-after-bomb-threat.  

On October 25 at about 10:45 p.m., Pasadena Police officers were on routine patrol in the area of the 1400 block of North Raymond Avenue.  The officers heard the sound of gunshots and investigated.  Moments later, the officers located two Male Black Adults, 20s, who had been shot.  The victims were very uncooperative; however, they did say they were shot by two Male Black suspects.  The victims were treated at the scene and transported to a local hospital for treatment.  PPD detectives are investigating. 


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




Posted: 10/28/2012 11:40:00 AM
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