Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (11/11/12)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base:  A Message from the Chief
November 11, 2012

Dear Community Members and Department Personnel:  

For Your Information: 

On November 10, the United States Marine Corps celebrated their 237th Birthday. In honor of this special day, the Pasadena Marines (2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines) participated in an honor run around the Rose Bowl.  The Marines were joined by Fire Cadets attending the Verdugo Fire Academy, Pasadena Police Officer Jordon Ling, and me. As we ran around the Rose Bowl, community members stopped to salute the American flag (carried by Marines during the run) and cheered as the Marines passed by. Marine Captain and Pasadena Police Officer, Rodney Solorzano, organized the run.  Marine Lieutenant Colonel Hutchinson (he commands the 2nd Battalion, 23rd Marines) also participated.   On behalf of the Pasadena Police Department, I would like to wish the United States Marine Corps, Happy Birthday!   

Save the Date:  

Youth for Human Rights International, Pasadena High School Chapter, will host Education and Responsibility Human Rights Day Forum 2012, on December 8, 2012 at the 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 30, Pasadena Police Lieutenant Randell Taylor and Sergeant Jason Clawson represented the Pasadena Police Department at the China News Service 60th Anniversary Celebration. The dinner was held at the Pacific Palms Resort in La Puente. About 300 guests attended the event along with several law enforcement officials including Police Chiefs from Alhambra and San Marino Police Departments.  The China News Service is the second largest state-owned news agency in the People's Republic of China, and has news offices in the United States. Randell and Jason were guest of local Attorney, Michael Zhang.   

On Saturday November 3, Pasadena Police Officer Mat Widger and Sergeant Ed Calatayud attended a block party hosted by neighbors in the 2700 block of Madera Drive. The event was well attended. Children were given the opportunity to get into police cars and received badge stickers. Also present were members of the fire department with fire trucks and equipment. Special thanks to the Rose Family for coordinating the event.   


On November 4, Deborah K. Sanchez and I attended the Pasadena Community Gardens Conservancy (PCGC) Awards Ceremony to honor organizations for their efforts to start and maintain a community garden.  Recipients included:   

  • 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  

Councilmember Steve Madison was among the many VIPs attending the ceremony, which was emceed by PCGC President Eileen Read.  The event was held at AKA American BISTRO and was very well attended.  For more information on the Pasadena Community Gardens Conservancy, please contact PCGC President and CEO, Eileen Read, at eileenwhiteread@hotmail.com, or phone (202) 641-0779.   

On November 7, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle and I attended a meeting with several local pastors regarding the Clergy Community Coalition.  We focused on outreach efforts and recruiting.  I used some of our time together to talk about the recent shootings in Pasadena and how the pastors could assist mitigating the violence.    

On November 7, I stopped by the Jackie Roberson Center to visit with community members attending the community dinner program. The program is always well attended and evening no exception.  There were a number of volunteers on hand to help serve food and engage in conversation.  While JRC I had the opportunity to talk with community leader Walt Jackson and I saw Human Services & Recreation Administrator Horace Wormely and Supervisor Jarvis Emerson.   

On November 7, I stopped by the 2012 Top Attorneys reception, which was hosted by Pasadena Magazine and City National Bank. Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard was among the many VIPs. Maria and Donald Schwetzer coordinate my participation.   

On November 7, I had the opportunity to lecture to a group of University of Phoenix (UOP) Undergraduates enrolled in a management course.  The students asked several great follow-up questions.  UOP Instructor, Tracy Webb, coordinated my participation.   

On November 8, several Pasadena Police officers and employees attended the Pasadena Citizens Police Academy, Class 38 Graduation.  Approximately 34 community members graduated from the 11-week program.  The graduation ceremony was facilitated by Officers Brad May and Patrick Polimeni, and Police Specialist Arlene Ramos.  Explorers from Pasadena Post 19 posted the colors and Pasadena Chaplain Jaye Curry gave the invocation.   

On November 10, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Commander John Perez, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle, Sergeant John Luna, Corporal Robert Tucker, and I attended the 9th Annual Lincoln Village Festival, which was hosted by Neighbors Acting Together Helping All (NATHA).  The event was well attended and featured the John Muir High School Alumni Drum Corp, games, food, and information booths.    

NATHA Executive Director, CelestineWalker, was on hand to greet the countless VIPs, which included:  Mayor Bill Bogaard, Assistant City Manager Steve Mermell, PCC Board of Trustees Member Belinda Brown, PUSD President Renatta Cooper, Julia Hines (Assembly Member Anthony Portantino’s Field Representative), Adam Carter (State Senator Carol Liu’s Field Representative), Congresswoman Judy Chu, Northwest Manager Lola Osborn, Tina Williams (Pasadena Jacque Robinson’s Field Representative), and Northwest Commissioner Michele Bailey. NATHA received a community grant from Southern California Gas Company.   Pasadena Police Sergeant John Luna and Officer Robert Tucker serve on the NATHA Board of Directors also participated in the event.   

On November 10, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Commander John Perez, Lieutenant John Dewar, Sergeant Jason Clawson, and I attended the Appreciation BBQ hosted by the Summit Avenue Neighborhood (SAN) group.  Several other Pasadena Police officers stopped by the celebration to say hello and visit with neighbors. The Summit Avenue Neighborhood group was very complementary about Jason, Special Enforcement Officers, and personnel assigned to the Uniform Patrol Division.    

On November 10, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Commander John Perez, Sergeant Johnny Mercado, Forensics Specialists Alex Padilla, and I participated in the 2nd Annual Adelante Young Men Conference, which was held at Pasadena City College.  More than 1200 young men attended the conference, which featured workshops and guest speakers.  John, Johnny, and I talked with a group of young people who were interested in law enforcement careers. Some conference participants traveled south from as far away as San Francisco, while others were from the San Gabriel Valley.   

The conference was coordinated by Stella R. Murga, Founder and Executive Director for the Pasadena Youth Center, Pasadena Police Commander John Perez (President of the Board of Directors, Youth Center), and their hard working staff Karina Ortiz Villa and Veronica De La Rosa.    

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On October 25, Pasadena Police Specialists Anita Butler and Laura Morris were commended by City Manager Michael Beck for their help assisting with the Employee Appreciation Day Picnic.  The modest event was held on September 20 and was a great success.   

On October 30, I received a letter from Alhambra Police Chief Mark Yokoyama commending Pasadena Police Lieutenant John Dewar for his participation in their promotional interviews.  Chief Yokoyama wrote, “…John’s insight, professionalism, and knowledge created a successful promotional process.”   

On November 2, I received a letter from Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse commending the Pasadena Police officers assigned to the Mutual Aid response in support of President Obama’s visit to Burbank.  You may recall, several Pasadena Police officers were part of the San Gabriel Valley response to assist the BPD.  

On November 2, I received an email from a community member commending a Pasadena Police officer for his quick action to remove a canine from the roadway near Marengo Boulevard. The community member wrote, “…I saw one of your officers make a VERY great effort at removing this dog from harm’s way.”   

On November 4, Pasadena Police Officer Mary Hooker was commended by a Pasadena community member for her handling of a disturbance call.  The community member wrote, “…Officer Hooker was professional, compassionate, and offered good advice…”   

On November 5, I received a card from a community member commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Vasken Gourdikian for his community participation. Vasken attended a community event entitled, “2012 Honoree Reception” on October 29th.   

On November 6, Pasadena Police Officer Jose Calderon commended Police Cadet Brandon Anderson for his work efficiency and effectiveness.  Specifically, Jose commended Brandon for his assistance with a commercial burglary case.    

On November 9, a few Pasadena Police officers assisted with the Mutual Aid Area “C” training exercise.  Approximately 130 officers from 8 Area C cities participated in the training, along with role players and communications operators.  The training was held at the Glendale Galleria and was concluded a few hours later.    

On November 9, Pasadena Police Sergeant Jesse Carrillo graduated from the POST Supervisory Leadership Institute (SLI).  The graduation was held at the Hyatt-Regency-Newport Beach.  SLI is an intensive leadership development program involving research, academics, and other demands.  Jesse’s work load was not reduced while attending SLI, which makes his accomplishment even more impressive.  Commander John Perez attended the graduation.   

Critical Incidents: 

On October 25, a male suspect committed a window smash burglary at a business in the 90 block of North Fair Oaks Avenue.  Officer Jose Calderon completed a preliminary investigation and he later identified the suspect. The case was assigned to Detective Alonzo Wilkins, who secured an arrest warrant. On November 8, detectives assigned to the West San Gabriel Valley – Anti Crime Team (WSGV-ACT) conducted a covert operation and observed the suspect.  The suspect was contacted and arrested without incident.   

On November 1 at about 2:25 a.m., Pasadena Police and Pasadena Fire Departments responded to a structure fire in the 1300 block of El Sereno Avenue.  When officers and fire personnel arrived at the location, they found the lower level of the structure fully engulfed by fire.  Two Male Adults were found dead inside the dwelling and a third victim, suffering from burns, was transported to a local hospital in serious condition. As the investigation progressed, the evidence indicated the fire was intentionally set and the focus of the investigation shifted from a suspicious fire to a murder.   

Pasadena Police Detective Cuong Pham was assigned the case. Following the suspect’s arrest, Cuong presented his case to the Office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney for consideration of filing.  The District Attorney’s Office filed a total of 19 felony counts against the suspect.  This investigation is a great example of the interdepartmental cooperation between the Pasadena Police and Fire Departments.   

On November 4 at about 5:00 p.m., Pasadena Police Detectives Bill Broghamer and Ara Bzdigian, and Special Enforcement Section (SES) officers were patrolling the area of 22 West Washington Boulevard as part of a coordinated enforcement effort to address recent shootings.  Bill and Ara observed a suspicious person and attempted to contact him.  The suspect immediately ran in the opposite direction. The area was quickly contained by SES officers and the suspect was detained.  Officers discovered that the suspect was in possession of a .357 revolver and was arrested without further incident.  The suspect was booked at the Pasadena jail.    

On November 8 at about 1:47 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the area of Newport Avenue and Idaho Street regarding shots fired.  On arrival, officers interviewed witnesses who said they observed a car-to-car shooting. The involved vehicle sped off in different directions prior to our arrival. Sergeant John Luna was the Incident Commander and supervised the preliminary investigation. Pasadena Police detectives responded and our investigation is ongoing.    

On November 8 at about 9:50 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to a business in the 200 block of North Altadena Drive regarding an armed robbery investigation.  On arrival, officers talked with the victim who said the suspect (Black Male Adult) entered the business and displayed a handgun.  The suspect demanded money from the store clerk and left the area.  The suspect was described as a Male Black, 50s, muscular build, dark clothing, and wearing a mask.  If you have any information about this incident, please call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241, and ask for the robbery detectives.   

On November 9 at about 9:30 a.m., Pasadena Police Officers Cesar Aguilar and Robert Dubois were patrolling in the area of Pasadena City College when they observed PCC Police chasing a male suspect.  Cesar and Robert immediately assisted with the foot chase and subsequently arrested the suspect without further incident.  As it turns out, the suspect was wanted for a strong arm robbery where he stole a cellphone.   


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

Posted: 11/11/2012 01:20:00 PM
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