Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (03/10/13)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base:  A Message from the Chief
March 10, 2013


Dear Community Members and Department Personnel:  

For your Information: 

Free Gun Disposal Offered by the Pasadena Police Department:  I would like to remind community members that they may dispose of unwanted firearms through the Pasadena Police Department.  All types of firearms are accepted; pistols, rifles, shotguns, antiques or replicas, regardless of their condition.  There are no costs associated with surrendering your firearm.    

Community members can request a police officer to respond to their home or business in Pasadena, where they can surrender the weapon.  Individuals may also transport the unloaded weapon to the Pasadena Police Department at 207 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena.  If you intend to transport the firearm into the police station, please contact the Pasadena Police Department beforehand at (626) 744-4241.  The police operator will provide instruction on the safe and legal means for transportation.  Gun registration or related paperwork is helpful, although not necessary to voluntarily surrender the firearm.  

The police department also accepts unwanted ammunition; however, military ordinance requires special handling and will be evaluated for safe disposal by law enforcement personnel on a case by case basis.  Removing unwanted firearms by turning them into law enforcement is an important step community members can take to ensure guns never end up in unintended hands and possibly used in a violent crime.   

Save the Date: 

On March 14, between 5:00 and 9:00 p.m., Pasadena Police employees will trade in their duty belts for aprons in support of the 9th Annual “Tip-A-Cop” to benefit Special Olympics.  The event will take place at Hamburger Hamlet Restaurant, 214 South Lake Avenue. We encourage you to dine with us on March 14 and tip your favorite police officer.  All tips will be donated to the Special Olympics; a global non-profit organization serving 20 million people with intellectual disabilities.  For more information regarding this event, or to make a donation on behalf of Special Olympics Tip-A-Cop, please contact the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-7874 or (626) 744-3871.  

The 7th Annual Norooz Celebration in Pasadena will occur on March 14, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 150 North Madison Avenue.  The reception (6:15 to 7:00 p.m.) is followed by the program from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Special guests will include Mayor Bogaard and the keynote speaker, Professor Ali Nayeri. Traditional Persian Tea House will serve sweets and authentic appetizers.  Although the event is free and open to the public, reservations are recommended.  Please RSVP at noroozpasadena@yahoo.com or (626) 583-9116 (Source:  Dr. Nazee Rofagha).   

On March 16, Harambee Ministries is celebrating 31 years of serving Northwest Pasadena.  Their Annual Benefit will be held at the Church of Our Savior, 533 West Rose Road, San Gabriel.  The theme for this year’s event is “Shaping Hearts and Developing Minds.” For more information, please contact Harambee Ministries at (626) 798-7431 or www.harambeeministries.org.    

On March 30, El Centro de Accion Social is hosting its Annual Cesar Chavez Commemoration and Peace Walk. The peace walk will start at Villa-Parke Community Center (363 East Villa Street) inside the Auditorium at 10:00 a.m.  Following a rally for peace, participants will march from Villa-Parke to Robinson Park, where a few community leaders will speak on reducing violence and creating peace.  For more information, please contact El Centro de Accion Social Executive Director Randy Ertll, at (626) 792-3148, or randy.ertll@elcentropasadena.org.  For more information on El Centro de Accion Social, please visit www.elcentropasadena.org.   

On April 13, 2013, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Pasadena Alumnae Chapter is hosting the 2013 Young African American Women’s Conference at Pasadena City College, 1570 East Colorado Boulevard.  The conference is from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and features diverse workshops, engaging presentations on educational choices, career options, embracing youth’s uniqueness, as well as personal development.  Dr. Rema Reynolds, Assistant Professor from Azusa Pacific University, will be the keynote speaker addressing students, parents, and others attending the conference.  If you have questions, email Pasadena.yaawc@gmail.com.  To register, please visit online at http://yaawc2013.evenbrite.com.   

On May 11, 2013, the Pasadena Youth Center (PYC) is sponsoring the 19th Annual Adelante Mujer Latina (AML) Conference at Pasadena City College from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The AML conference is an exciting and inspirational day-long career and educational conference attended by more than 1,500 young Latinas, ages 12 to 21, their mentors, and moms.  The purpose of the AML Conference is to provide middle and high school Latinas with tools for personal and professional growth, challenge them to raise their expectations, promote leadership, encourage them to pursue post-high school education, achieve their goals, and have a positive impact on their lives and the lives of others.  If you are interested in being a workshop presenter and sharing your personal success, please visit www.adelantemujerlatina.org. To learn more or sign up as a workshop presenter by March 9, 2013, visit http://pasadenayouthcenter.org/aml_conference/aml_presenters .  Special thanks to PYC’s Executive Director, Stella Murga, for her continued and dedicated service to Pasadena’s youth.    

Our Community: 

On February 27, Commander John Perez and I met with the Pasadena Latino Coalition.  We discussed several public safety issues including crime, education, and related topics. The meeting was well attended and the group asked some great follow-up questions.    

On February 27, Pasadena Police Specialist Kathleen Johnson attended the first ever LVAA (Linda Vista/Allendale Association) Neighborhood Watch meeting.   Approximately 20 neighbors attended the meeting, which was facilitated by Kathleen.  Several topics were discussed including community safety and property crime.  Diane Vallete coordinated the meeting and was pleased with the outcome. Kathleen is currently assigned to the department’s Community Services Section.   

On March 1, several Pasadena Police officers and employees participated in “Read Across America” in our local schools.  The program is an annual reading motivation and awareness program sponsored by the National Education Association.  It recognizes the books of Dr. Seuss and he ability of his books to inspire young readers.  Many school invited adults in their communities to join and help read stories aloud to young students.  In some school districts, including PUSD, the special program lasted all week.  The Pasadena Police Department is a proud participant in “Read Across America” each year.  This year readers included:  PS Jennifer Godzsak, PS Hilda Jurado, Sergeant Bobby Lomeli, Officer Shannon Reese, Corporal Glenn Thompson, PS Sarah Presley, Officer Christian Allen, PS Karla Kauhola, Sergeant Marcia Taglioretti, Corporal Monica Cuellar, Commander John Perez, Lieutenant Diego Torres, Officer Van Kim, Officer Lynda Mercado, Officer Domino Scott, LSW Guillermo Vasquez, Officer Louie Luevano, Officer Richard Vindiola, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, and me. PS Hilda Jurado organized the department’s participation.   

On March 1, Police Lieutenant Jason Clawson, Officers Ralph Ordonez and Cristian Allen attended the Northwest Commission meeting.  One of the commissioners presented the “Know Your Rights” video.  Jason, Ralph, and Cristian participated in the discussion following the presentation.   

On March 3, several community leaders, friends and family attended a community celebration honoring Walter Jackson for his 40 years of community service.  The event was held at Robin’s Wood Fire BBQ and was very well attended.  Mayor Bill Bogaard, Fire Chief Calvin Wells, Robin Salzer, Betty McWilliams, and I had the opportunity to offer a few brief remarks about Walt and his community service.  The event was organized by Former Police Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle and Former Commander Rick Law, Lieutenant Rodney Wallace (ret), and Lieutenant Jason Clawson attended as well.   

On March 4, I had the opportunity to meet with community member Schoene Mathmood about Restorative Justice Strategies.  Currently, Schoene collaborates with the Western Justice Center (WJC) in the effort to increase awareness about restorative justice with the long-term goal of expanding the program throughout Pasadena.  The Pasadena Police Department’s Youth Accountability Board (YAB) is a progressive program built on restorative justice philosophies diverting young offenders away from the criminal judicial system.  The program is supported by the Pasadena Police Foundation and continues to be a valuable tool in the effort to engage community youth and prepare them for the future.  For more information on the Youth Accountability Board, please visit www.pasadenapolicefoundation.org/youthaccountability and cityofpasadena.net/Police.   

On March 5, Retired Santa Monica Fire Chief Jim Hone and I had the opportunity to lecture to a group of Long Beach Police and Fire personnel about the 2003 Santa Monica Farmer’s Market Incident.  The lecture was focused on “Mass Casualty Response,” based on our personal experience at the farmer’s market incident. The lecture was well received and all topics related to the event were discussed.    

On March 9, several Pasadena Police officers, employees, and community members attended the “Thank you Joe Brown” celebration, which was held at the Rose Bowl.  Mayor Bill Bogaard and other elected officials joined city staff and community leaders to honor Joe for his years of service as the Pasadena Branch NAACP President and community advocate. The event was well attended and every one celebrated Joe’s great work in Pasadena.  Pasadena Weekly Deputy Editor Andre Coleman was the emcee and Ms. Allisonne Crawford sang America (by Ray Charles).   

VIPs included Mayor Bill Bogaard, City Manager Michael Beck, Councilwoman Jacque Robinson, NAACP Pasadena Branch President Gary Moody, Pastor John McCall, Fantasy Tours CEO Tom McMullins, Pastor Ed Bacon, Assembly member Chris Holden, Monrovia Mayor Mary Ann Lutz, Congressman Adam Schiff’s Field Representative, Teresa Lamb-Simpson, Duarte Deputy City Mayor Karen Herrera, Del Yarbrough, Pastor Skinner, and ACLU Representatives.  Robin Salzer, Larry Wilson, Mayor Bogaard and I “sang” a tribute to Joe.   

On March 9, students from Pasadena Child Development Association, Inc. visited the Pasadena Police Department.  About sixty young people toured the police building as they asked questions and interacted with staff.  The tour was facilitated by Pasadena Police Officer Kim Baecker and PS Karla Kauhola.  Sergeant Bobby Lomeli organized the tour.  Kim serves as the department’s Police Volunteer Coordinator and Karla is currently assigned to Community Services.   

On March 8, Pasadena Police Lieutenants Cheryl Moody and Jason Clawson, Officer Domino Scott and Police Dispatcher Robin Evans attended the Pasadena Alliance of African American School Educators (PAAASE) Scholarship Fundraiser.  The event was well attended and many of the participants were distinguished educators and community leaders.  VIPs included PUSD Board President Renatta Cooper, NAACP Pasadena Branch President Gary Moody, and Human Services & Recreation Supervisor Jarvis Emerson. The funds raised will go toward the $1,000 scholarships awarded to six African American graduating seniors from PUSD.   

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On March 7, several Pasadena Police officers, employees, volunteers, community members, and Pasadena Police retirees attended the Retirement Dinner and Celebration for Pasadena Police Lieutenant Rodney D. Wallace.  Rodney served this great department and community for more than 34 years.  The event was held at the Pasadena Convention Center and John Muir High School Alumni and Hall of Fame Recipient Cameron Turner served as the Master of Ceremonies.  Ms. Allisonne Crawford thrilled the audience with her rendition of America the Beautiful.    

For those readers who did not attend Rodney’s retirement celebration or you did not have the opportunity to meet him, I thought you might like to read his biography:    

Rodney D. Wallace was born in Montgomery, Alabama, the second oldest of six children born to Carl and Ernestine Wallace.  The family moved and settled in the Los Angeles area in the late 1950s.  Shortly after the riots of the mid 1960s, the family moved to the Altadena/Pasadena area where Rodney attended Eliot Junior High, John Muir High, Pasadena City College, and the American Academy of Dramatic Arts.  While at PCC, Rodney and several others identified a pattern of institutional bias in the casting of several theatrical productions.  This led them to create “The Black Dramatist,” which performed throughout the City of Pasadena from 1973 to 1974.  

Rodney was hired by the Pasadena Unified School District as a Counselor Aide at Madison Elementary School in 1974.  He was instrumental in providing youth with alternatives to “anti-social behavior.”  It was during this time, he realized his calling to mentor and teach youth but he also began to feel the tug of Law Enforcement.    

Rodney eventually yielded to that call and was hired by the Pasadena Police Department on October 5, 1978.  He worked a variety of assignments but also played an integral role in creating and implementing programs that even today, strengthen police and community relationships; Drug Abuse Resistance Education (DARE), Summer Youth Leadership Conference, Junior Public Safety Academy, Police Activities League (PAL), and the Police Explorer Post, to name a few.  He served as Vice President on the Board of Pasadena Police Officers Association (PPOA); is a founding member of the Pasadena Black Municipal Employees Association (PBMEA); sings in the Men’s Choir at First AME Church in Pasadena; is a founding member of the Men of First AME (MOFAME); Past President of the San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE); and Past Vice President of NOBLE – Region VI.    

Rodney received several honors but is most proud of the Alpha Phi Alpha “African American Father of the Year” (1993).  He was also recognized by the Pasadena Journal (1999) “Community Legends”; San Gabriel Valley Council (2000) “Explorer Post Advisor of the Year”; NAACP Pasadena (2007) “Community Involvement”; Learning for Life (2009) “Badge of Courage.”  

 Critical Incidents: 

On March 1, Special Enforcement Officers Jordan Ling and Edgar Sanchez were on routine patrol in the 2900 block of North Fair Oaks Avenue when they observed a group of known Hispanic gang members acting suspiciously.  The officers developed sufficient probable cause and detained two subjects.  As a result, one of the subjects was arrested for narcotics violations and booked at the Pasadena Jail.   

On March 1 at about 4:30 p.m., officers assigned to the Special Enforcement Section, Special Investigation Unit, and the West San Gabriel Valley-Anti Crime Taskforce, executed a narcotics search warrant in the 2900 block of North Fair Oaks Avenue. The suspect, a known gang member, was not located at the location; however, the officers recovered narcotics evidence and a large sum of US currency.  Our investigation is ongoing.   

On March 2 at about 2:30 a.m., the Pasadena Police Department received several calls of “shots fired” in the 1800 block of North Marengo Avenue.  While checking the area of the incident, officers observed a vehicle traveling on Tremont Street seemly unrelated to the shots fired call.  All of a sudden, a Male Black adult emerged from a garage (the residence is located on North Marengo Avenue) and for unknown reasons, began firing several rounds at the passing car.  The Pasadena officers saw the shooting and witnessed the suspect run back into the garage.  Additional officers responded and contained the location.  Officers and supervisors formulated a tactical plan and the suspect was later taken into custody without further incident.  The suspect’s rounds struck a vacant dwelling across the street.  Fortunately, no one was hit by gunfire. The Pasadena Police officers involved in this incident used extraordinary restraint given the nature of the call and the totality of circumstances.  Even though the suspect was engaged in firing his handgun, the officers were able to avoid a lethal confrontation.  All are commended for their maturity, courage, and creativeness in the effort to resolve this incident.   

On March 2, at about 6:30 p.m., Sergeant Javier Aguilar and Officer Jordan Ling were on routine patrol in the area of Mar Vista Avenue and Villa Street.  While on patrol, they observed a known gang member who was wanted for a recent Christmas day homicide in Pasadena.  Javier and Jordan contacted the suspect and arrested him without incident. The suspect was booked at Pasadena jail for murder. Both Javier and Jordan are assigned to the Special Enforcement Section (SES).   

On March 5 at about 7:35 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to Central Park regarding an altercation.  On arrival, the officers learned the female adult suspect traveled to Pasadena from Glendale in a taxicab.  She was dropped off at Central Park and walked directly over to the victim, who was sitting at a park table. Without any warning, the female suspect began stabbing the male victim several times.  Minutes later, patrol officers arrested the suspect without incident. The victim was transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation and the suspect was booked at the Pasadena jail for attempted murder.   

On March 9 at about 9:30 a.m., Pasadena Police officers were dispatched to a non-responsive person in Central Park. On arrival, the officers located the victim, a male adult, 58.  Pasadena Fire Paramedics responded and pronounced the victim deceased.  The victim was a local transient and there were no signs of foul play.   The coroner’s investigator responded to the park and believes the victim died from natural causes.  Lieutenant Ed Calatayud was the incident commander.    


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


Posted: 3/10/2013 04:00:00 PM
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