Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (11/24/12)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base:  A Message from the Chief
November 25, 2012


Dear Community Members and Department Personnel: 

I hope you and your family enjoyed a Blessed Thanksgiving.  Pasadena is a fortunate community rich in resources, educational opportunities, history, and diversity.  While our community was enjoying the holiday, Pasadena Police officers, employees and volunteers remained on duty to ensure the police serves were available as needed.   

Save the Date: 

On Sunday, December 2 from 4:00 – 5:30 p.m., Villa Esperanza Service is hosting its 4th Annual Deck the Villa Volunteer Event. Join Villa’s very special adult residents and help decorate their homes for the holidays.  Villa is trimming the tree, stringing lights, and enjoying cookies and hot chocolate.  Space is limited, so please RSVP to Vanessa Voors at (626) 499-2919 ext. 168, or vvors@villaesperanzaservices.org.  

On Tuesday, December 27 from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m., The Pasadena Police Activities League (PAL) is hosting a Sneak Peek Preview of the 2013 Rose Parade floats before they head down Colorado Boulevard.  The preview will be held at Phoenix Decorating Company, 835 South Raymond Avenue. Admission is $25 for adults, $10 for kids (under 15) and food/drinks will be available.  For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Jill Hawkins at jill@mhpevents.com, or 626-791-1225. 

Our Community: 

On November 14, forty-three 3rd Grade Students, teachers, and chaperones from High Point Academy arrived at the Pasadena Police Department to tour our facility.  Police Specialist Arlene Ramos and Officer Veronica Burris helped with the tour and explained how policing occurs in Pasadena.   

On November 14, Commander Chris Russ and HOPE Team Officers Elgin Lee and Bill Shipman attend the San Gabriel Valley Consortium on Homelessness (SGVCH) at the First Church of the Nazarene. The City of Pasadena was showcased during one of the breakout sessions: “Pasadena Success Story: Project Housed, A successful Supportive Housing Project.”  The speakers for the breakout session included Anne Lansing, Project Planner with the City of Pasadena Housing Department; Elizabeth Gross, Ph.D., Mental Health Clinical Program Head; Medik Anjargolian, DDD, Department of Public Social Services, Pasadena District; and Pasadena Police Officer Bill Shipman, HOPE Team.  

The mission of the consortium is to implement community-designed solutions to homelessness through regional partnerships. Speakers included Executive Director of the SGVCH, Todd Palmquist; Associate Pastor of First Church of the Nazarene, Scott Anderson; President of the Board of Directors of SGVCH, Jason Hobson; and Advisory Council of SGVCH, Jan Cicco. The keynote speaker was Matthew Doherty, Regional Coordinator of the United States Interagency Council on Homelessness. The closing speaker for the consortium was Mark Hovarth, Founder of Invisible People.tv, internationally recognized as an ambassador for the millions of individuals and families who reside in shelters, motels, tents along streets, and under highway bridges across the country. 

On November 18, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle and I stopped by the Tribute for Assemblyman Anthony Portantino, which was hosted by Pasadena Delta Foundation, Inc., in partnership with Pasadena City College, Pasadena Alumnae Chapter of Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc.  Mayor Bill Bogaard was one of many speakers who praised Anthony for his long and distinguished public service. I had the opportunity to offer a few brief remarks about Anthony’s long-standing relationship with the Pasadena Police Department and our collaborative effort to improve the quality of life in Pasadena. 

On November 18, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle and I attended the Salvation Army Red Kettle Kick Off, which was held at Eden Gardens (Holly Street). Salvation Army Major Darren Norton, Fire Chief Calvin Wells and I welcomed Santa Clause to the event and escorted him to his sleigh. The Police Command Post Vehicle, Fire Trucks, and a vintage Pasadena police car, owned by retired Police Corporal Ted Sarif, were on display. Pasadena Police Officer Nicole Bazzo and Volunteers Veronica Turner, Robert Matonti, and Renee Lopez helped at the event, which was hosted by Publisher and Editor Steve Tobia.    

On November 20, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle and I attended the 74th Annual Queen’s Breakfast, which was hosted by the Pasadena Junior Chamber of Commerce at the Langham Huntington Hotel.  The event was well attended and speakers included: Mayor Bill Bogaard, Assistant City Manager Steve Mermell, and Fire Chief Calvin Wells. Press Information Officer William Boyer also attended the event.  Pasadena Firefighters served as color guard and escorted the queen and her court to the head table.   

On November 22, several Pasadena Police employees, explorers, and youth advisors helped serve Thanksgiving meals and deliver holiday baskets.  The officers, employees, explorers, and youth advisors give the gift of time and compassion during these special events.  Special thanks to Julie Finney, Andrea Perez, Lara McDonald, Marcia Taglioretti, Donovan Jones, Jason Van Hecke, Paul McKinney, Mark Lang, Chris Russ, John Perez, Derek Locklin, Ryan Smith, and Raeyna Coach.  

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On November 1, I received a letter from Glendale Community College Instructor Michael E. Korpal, commending Pasadena Forensic Specialist Ralph Chapman for his lecture on evidence collection and preservation.  Ralph talked with a group of Glendale College students enrolled in a Criminal Investigations course.  As an aside – Mike retired in 2011 as the Deputy Chief.    

On November 9, eight cities from Los Angeles County Mutual Aid Area “C” participated in Critical Incident training at the Glendale Galleria. Pasadena and Glendale Police Departments co-hosted the event, which involved over 150 police officers, FBI agents, firefighters, paramedics, volunteers, and chaplains. Pasadena Police Department’s Special Enforcement Section (SES) Sergeant Bobby Crees, Officers Mike Gligorijevic and Sean Dawkins wrote the training scenarios and managed the event along with Glendale Police SWAT members. Pasadena Police Department Volunteer, Lou Oronoz, represented the CAPS Volunteer Program, and Police Chaplain Chip Rittenhouse represented the department’s Chaplain Corps. Glendale Galleria management graciously opened the Galleria after closing time to allow for real-time tactical training. 

On November 12, I received a letter from Caltech Security Director of Operations William Heim, commending Pasadena Police Specialist Arlene Ramos, for her presentation during a Crime Stopper Meeting, which was hosted by the university.  William wrote, “… Arlene’s ability to convey serious information with a sense of humor made for an evening of a few laughs and a great deal of relevant and sober guides.  

On November 13, Pasadena Police Dispatcher Christina Bergstrom dispatched Community Service Officer Cynthia Murphy to a burglary report call in the 400 block of North Fair Oaks Avenue.  Several propane tanks were taken during the theft. Christina believed the tanks represented a significant threat and alerted Sergeant Rudy Lemos and Officer Brad May, who are assigned to the department’s Counter-Terrorist/Intelligence Unit.  There have been periodic propane thefts throughout Los Angeles County, and given the number of tanks taken in the Pasadena incident, it was prudent for the notification.    

On November 14, I received a letter from a Pasadena business owner commending Pasadena Police Corporal Joseph Allard for his assistance during a fraud investigation.  The citizen wrote, “…I was most impressed with your professionalism, which reflects very favorably on the Pasadena Police Department…”  

On November 20, I received an email from Rose Bowl Stadium Chief Operating Officer George W. Cunningham, commending Pasadena Police Lieutenant Bruce George, Sergeant Art Chute, Corporal Julie Finney, and Officer David Thomas for their assistance during the UCLA vs. USC Football Game.  George wrote, “…The operational plans that your special events department came up with and implemented were first class, and should be taught at any event operations training seminar…” George went on to commend all the Pasadena Police employees involved in game day duties.  

Critical Incident: 

On November 16 at about 10:30 p.m., Pasadena Police officers and Pasadena Fire Paramedics responded to the 1100 block of North Mar Vista Avenue regarding a deceased person.  On arrival, PPD officers discovered a male, approximately 64 (Pasadena resident) lying on his bedroom floor.  Pasadena Police detectives and the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Investigator evaluated the scene.  It appears the victim sustained fatal injuries, possibly from a fall.  The incident is under investigation.  Sergeant Paul Carpenter was the Incident Commander. 

On Friday, November 16, at approximately 11:14 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to a call of a burglary in progress at a residence in the 400 block of North Allen Avenue.  On arrival, officers received additional information that the suspect (male, minor) was armed with a large knife and a pick-axe.  PPD officers contained the area because the suspect attempted to flee the area.   As officers started their area search, they received another call of a suspect breaking into a residence in the 1600 block of Wagner Street.  Officers quickly responded and arrested the suspect without incident.  During the investigation, officers discovered that the suspect held a victim at knife point. Officers conducted field show-ups with victims and witnesses and the suspect was positively identified. He was processed at the Pasadena jail and the weapons (knife and axe) were recovered.  Sergeant Max Dahlstein was on scene as Incident Commander and Officers Sean Porter, Marko Tudic, Donovan Jones (K9), Jack Rappuchi, Matthew Jones, and Aaron Villicana were involved in the incident.  

On November 17 at about 5:25 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the area of Lincoln Avenue and Montana Street regarding a structure fire.  On arrival, officers found that the structure where NATHA (Neighbors Acting Together Serving All) is housed was completely engulfed in flames.  PPD officers also discovered a burglary at 2025 Lincoln Avenue.  Both structures are owned by NATHA. NATHA Executive Director, Celestine Walker, responded to the location and she was assisted by Ronald Mathews.  PFD Arson Investigator, Wendell Eaton, is investigating the incident and Pasadena Police Volunteers assisted with traffic control. If you would like to help Celestine and her board recover from this tragic loss, please visit www.natha.com/, click on “Contact” and then “Support.” 

On November 17 at about 2:30 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to a local hospital regarding suspicious circumstances.  On arrival, PPD officers learned a male adult victim had been transported to the hospital by friends.  Shortly after the officer’s arrival, the victim died.  Witnesses told PPD officers that they had come across the victim lying on the sidewalk near Orange Grove Boulevard and Summit Street.  The victim was reportedly ill and in need of medical care.  Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office was notified and responded to take custody of the victim’s body.  PPD detectives later determine there was no foul play associated with the victim’s death.  

On November 19 at approximately 5:00 p.m., Pasadena Police Detectives arrested a homicide suspect for the senseless murder of a young man in the early morning hours of September 26. The male adult victim, a Pasadena resident, was visiting with friends near Howard Street and Mentone Avenue, when they were approached by the suspect who attempted to rob them.  Following the attempted robbery, the victim and others tried to detain the suspect, who ultimately hid in the rear yard of a residence near Stanton Street and Newport Avenue, where he laid-in-wait for the victims to approach.  As the victim neared the suspect’s location, he was shot once in the upper torso, resulting in his death.  The suspect then fired additional rounds toward the remaining victims.  He then ran to a nearby car and left the area.  For the past two months, lead Detectives William Broghamer and Cuong Pham diligently investigated this case, ultimately identifying the suspect who is a known gang member. The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office is reviewing the case for filing consideration.  This case was well supervised by Pasadena Police Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra and Sergeant Ernie Devis.  William and Cuong were assisted by Detectives Jason Van Hecke, Ara Bzdigian, Grant Curry, and Keith Gomez.  The local media covered the story: www.pasadenasun.com/the626now/tn-626-1121-pasadena-arrest,0,4840638.story.  

On November 20 at 10:57 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 1900 block of East Colorado Boulevard regarding an assault with a deadly weapon (firearm).  On arrival, the officers secured the crime scene and developed several leads.  Pasadena Police detectives responded to the scene and started their investigation.  Lieutenant Richard Aversano was the Incident Commander and our investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information regarding this incident is asked to contact the Pasadena Police Department Detective Section at (626) 744-4511.  You can also report information anonymously through CRIME STOPPERS, at (800) 222-8477.   

On November 21 at about 7:49 p.m., Pasadena Police Officer Panfilo De La Cruz was on routine patrol in a marked police vehicle. He stopped the driver of a 2000 Buick for a traffic violation.  As Panfilo approached the driver, he immediately noticed the driver was a wanted parolee at large (PAL).  Panfilo called for assistance and several additional police officers (Sergeant Vasken Gourdikian, Ralph Ordonez, Sean Dawkins, and James Lopez) responded.  The suspect was arrested without incident and booked at the Pasadena jail.  The passenger in the vehicle, a female adult, was also arrested for outstanding warrants totaling 850 thousand dollars!  


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





Posted: 11/24/2012 08:30:00 AM
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