Touching Base: A Message from the Chief
May 12, 2013
Dear Community Members and Department Personnel:
Happy Mother’s Day! This annual holiday is celebrated on the second Sunday in
May, domestically and internationally. Mother’s Day recognizes mothers
and motherhood, as well the positive contributions they make to family,
friends, and society. Mother’s Day is celebrated world-wide.
Save the Date:
On May 15 at 6:00
p.m., the Pasadena Police and Fire Departments will honor our
fallen officers and firefighters and their families in a solemn ceremony at
City Hall. Traditionally, the month of May is the time of the year when
public safety departments across the United States hold services to remember
first responders who died in the line of duty. The ceremony is free of
charge and the public is encouraged to attend. For more information, please
contact Pasadena Police Corporal Steve Oberon at SOberon@cityofpasadena.net.
On May 17, the University Club of Pasadena is hosting its Leader's Luncheon at 11:30
a.m. The program will feature Former Pasadena Police Lieutenant and current
owner of Effective Consultants, LLC Phlunte Riddle.
Her remarks will focus on "Steps and techniques for Millennials
and Baby Boomers to co-exist in the workplace." For information
please email: FrontDesk@UniversityClubPasadena.com.
On May 19, from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m., the Education Committee
of Masjid Al-Taqwa of Altadena and
Pasadena will host its 6th Annual Invited Guest Series, which
will feature Joshua Salaam of Native Deen. The event will be held at 568
East Mt. Curve Avenue, Altadena, and tickets are $25.00 in advance, $30.00 the
day of the concert. For more information, you can email email@example.com, or call
Sister Darrina Abdus-Samad at (626) 529-6204, or Sister Saleemah
Mohammad at (626) 840-4740.
On May 25, Bright Futures is hosting their 2013 Bright Futures Scholars Graduation
and Awards Celebration, which will be held at the Pasadena
Convention Center. The program is scheduled from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.,
and will highlight the achievements of our local youth leaders. For more
information about Bright Futures, please www.qualityoflifecenterinc.com. To
participate at the graduation, please call Bright Future Office Manager Greg
Middleton. The CEO and Director of Students is Dr. Sandra E.
On May 30, from
1:00 to 3:00 p.m., the Pasadena Police Department is hosting
its 42nd Annual Police-Citizens Awards Ceremony at the Ambassador
Auditorium, home of HRock Church (131 South St. John Avenue).
The event will honor police employees and citizens who demonstrated
exceptional service, conspicuous courage, and other noteworthy acts. The
event is free and community members are welcomed! I hope to see you at the
awards ceremony to celebrate our local heroes.
On June 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the Pasadena
Police Department is hosting the “Kids
Safety Academy,” which teaches Emergency Preparedness and Stranger
Danger. The 7-week program is for youth ages 6 to 12 and their parents or
guardians. The syllabus is taught by the Pasadena Police Department, the
Pasadena Fire Department, and other City Departments. The program is
sponsored by the Pasadena Police Foundation. The Pasadena Police
Department is now accepting applications for the summer academy program.
Space is limited and classes will fill-up quickly, so early registration is
recommended. Enrollment is free and includes snacks and beverages.
For more information or to register, please contact Pasadena Police
Specialists Karla Kauhola at firstname.lastname@example.org, or call (626) 744-7657. Media link: www.pasadenanow.com/main/pasadena-police-department-is-hosting-the-pasadena-kid-s-safety-academy-june-15-2013.
twenty-three children participated in the “Take Our Daughters and Sons To
Work” program at the police department. The day started promptly at 7:30 a.m. with
Patrol Briefing and introductions. Children were able to see first-hand how
police officers and employees begin their day. Deputy Chief Darryl
Qualls gave an introduction and welcomed the participants. Presentations
were conducted by (K-9) Officer Steve Arcand and (Forensics) Police
Specialist VI Danielle Biglin. Air Operations personnel landed the
police helicopter on the roof and the children were able to see the helicopter
up close and ask the helicopter pilot questions. Corporal Carolyn
Gordon and Officer Anthony Riley spoke about internet safety.
The children were able to see the Mobile Command Post, a police motorcycle, and
a police vehicle. Corporal Jason Van Hecke was able to show
the kids some additional police equipment. Deputy Chief Qualls presented the
participants with a certificate at the conclusion of the program. Designed to be more than a career day, “Take Our Daughters
And Sons To Work” exposes girls and boys to what a parent or mentor in their
lives does during the work day. Additionally, it shows them the value of
their education, and provides them an opportunity to share how they envision
the future and take important steps toward their end goal.
On May 4, Lieutenants Tom Delgado, Jason Clawson, Sergeant
Denis Beene, Officers Brian Murphy, Domino Scott, PSS Nick Ortiz, and Tony Ambroze, PS Kitty Johnson and
Karla Kauhola attended the Upper Hastings Ranch Association Pancake
Breakfast, which was held at Sierra Madre Methodist Church. I understand
that District 4 Field Representative Noreen Sullivan also attended the
On May 4, Lieutenants Tom Delgado and Jason Clawson attended the Monte Vista Grove
Annual Spring Event. Tom indicated there were about 200 residents
participating in the event and Councilman Gene Masuda also attended. Ms.
Meagan McClellan helped coordinate PPD’s participation.
On May 7, several Pasadena Police employees joined other city staff personnel, community
leaders, family, friends, and the general public to witness the Oath of Office
for Council Members Terry Tornek, Victor Gordo, and John J. Kennedy. The
city council chamber was packed as MBC Pastor Billie Keller provided the
opening prayer. City Clerk Mark Jomsky administered the oath
of office as Mayor Bogaard and others looked on.
On May 7, the Pasadena
Mobile Command Post (MCP) “Safe Schools” Coffee & Chat occurred at
Madison Elementary school. I understand some 200 students, parents,
teachers, and community members toured the MCP and talked with officers in
the spirit of Community partnership. Madison Elementary School
Principal Carmen Serrano participated in the event and had very positive
remarks about the value of the Safe Schools Team officers.
On May 8, Pasadena Police Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra and I attended the Monthly Clergy Community
Coalition meeting, which was held at Agape Christian Church (679 East
Washington Boulevard). The meeting was well attended and Pastor Derwin
L. Manning facilitated the agenda. City Manager Michael Beck provided
an update on the city. Later in the program, I talked about the police
department, safety concerns, and other related topics.
On May 8, Commanders John Perez and Lisa Rosales, and I attended the
unveiling of the Pasadena Sister Cities Monument at the Pasadena Convention
Center. Several local officials and/or their representatives attended the
event. VIPs included Mayor Bogaard and Mrs. Clair Bogaard. Mayor Bogaard’s
Representative, Rhonda Stone coordinated the event, which featured the
On May 11, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Commanders John
Perez, Russ, Lisa Rosales, and I
attended the 2013 NOBLE Scholarship Breakfast, which was held at
Brookside Clubhouse. The Keynote Speaker was Vice Mayor Jacque
Robinson. The highlight of the program was watching the awardees
received scholarship funds to further their educational goals. Darryl helped
coordinate the breakfast and worked behind the scenes to ensure a successful
outcome. NOBLE San Gabriel Valley Chapter President and Pasadena
Tournament of Roses Executive Board Member Gerald Freeny served as the
emcee and Rev. Kenneth Baker gave the invocation. Other PPD
employees attending the breakfast included: Pasadena Lieutenants
Cheryl Moody, Jason Clawson, Vasken Gourdikian, Corporal Carolyn Gordon,
Officers Nicole Bazzo, Domino Scott, and PS Michele White.
On May 11, the Pasadena Police Department hosted a Gun-Buy-Back Program (GBBP). The
program was coordinated by Pasadena Police Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra and
involved several officers, employees, and volunteers. The GBBP was right
next door to the Peace Fair, which focused on violence prevention.
Special thanks to Community Leader Jill Shook and her committee for raising
more than $15,000 to pay for the gift certificates issued at the GBBP.
Some of the VIPs I talked with at the GBBP and/or the Peace Fair
included: Mayor Bill Bogaard, Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson,
Councilman Steve Madison, City Manager Michael Beck, and Assistant City Manager
Steve Mermell. Lieutenant Ibarra said other Pasadena council
members attended as well. The police department accepted approximately 135 guns
during the GBBP.
On May 11, Commander John Perez and I attended the Adelante Mujer Latina
Conference, which was held at Pasadena City College. More than 1,000
local Latina attended the conference receiving information on careers,
education, and other valuable material. The conference was organized by Pasadena
Youth Center Executive Director, Stella Murga, and her committee. You
can learn more about AML at www.adelantemujerlatina.org, or on Facebook at Adelante Mujer Latina.
Please visit the Pasadena Youth Center’s Webpage.
On April 28, the
Pasadena Police Department received a 9-1-1 call from a female reporting she
bad been drugged, tied up and burned. She did not know her location, only
saying she was on Orange Grove in Pasadena. Pasadena Police Dispatcher
Christina Bergstrom and the call taker worked every aspect of the
call. Christina conducted several online searches for any information
that would help identify the victim’s location. She called air radio to
notify hospitals in case they received a patient with injuries similar to the
ones described by the victim. The victim was finally located at a hospital in
Northridge, suffering from a chemical burn. Christina is commended for
her dedication and perseverance in the effort to locate the victim.
On April 29, I received
a letter from Monterey Park Chief of Police, Jim Smith, commending
Pasadena Police Lieutenant Mike Ingram and Officer Edward Careaga.
Mike and Ed are assigned to the department’s Air Operations Section and helped
manage a vehicle pursuit of a stolen vehicle, which was initiated by Monterey
Park Police officers. Chief Smith wrote, “… I wish to commend your
personnel that responded for their professionalism and assistance. Please
thank them for their excellent support during this incident…”
On May 6, I received a
letter from a community member commending Pasadena Police Officers Veronica
Burris and Brian Petrella for their professionalism during a
traffic enforcement stop. The author wrote, “… the two officers who
handled this ticket are a credit to your police force. They were polite,
courteous, and professional. They are excellent representatives of the
department. No one likes to get a ticket especially not one for such a
foolish act, but the officer treated me very nicely…”
On May 6, I received
an email from a Pasadena community member commending the Pasadena Police
Department for their proactive efforts to investigate and prepare for a
possible threat at Pasadena High School. The author wrote, “… Dear Chief
Sanchez, I just wanted to send you, and the wonderful members of the Pasadena
Police Department, a note of thanks for looking after the students at Pasadena
High School during the situation where a threat to the safety and security of
the students was found last week. Your department took the threat
seriously, and did a fantastic job of ensuring that the campus was safe and
secure. As the father of an 11th grade student, I am
very grateful for the job that the Pasadena PD officers did. Please pass
along my gratitude, praise, and thanks to the officers who were present on
campus…” The following officers and units were involved in the effort to
safeguard the campus: Lieutenants Ed Calatayud and Cheryl
Moody, Sergeant Bobby Lomeli, PhD, and Bobby Crees, Corporal Steve
Oberon, Ed Bondarczuk, Roxanne Haines, Louis Luevano, Sahak
Nersesyan, Salvador Ramos, and Richard Vindiola. PPD officers assigned to
the Special Enforcement Section also assisted with campus security along with
Uniform Patrol officers. I would also like to acknowledge the
leadership of PUSD Superintendent Jon Gundry, PHS Principal Gilbert
Barazza, and the entire PHS Staff. This incident is a good reminder for our
community members to remain aware, engaged, and report suspicious circumstances
(See Something – Say Something) to the Pasadena Police Department.
On May 7, the State
of California Department of Justice conducted a routine audit of the
Pasadena Police Department’s Records Section. PPD Administrator
Alicia Patterson was on hand to assist the auditors with questions and produce
data/reports as requested. The department passed the audit with flying
colors! The State of California Department of Justice routinely
conducts records audits to ensure local municipalities, like the Pasadena
Police Department, are compliant with law, rules, and regulations.
On May 8, I received
an email from a Pasadena community member praising Pasadena Police
Specialists Ricky Liu and CSTI Kevin Roon for their
professionalism during an auto burglary investigation. The author wrote, “… My
car was broken into overnight. Officer Ricky Liu responded and took my
report. A little later Kevin Roon arrived to dust for
fingerprints. Both men were professional, friendly, and very helpful. You
can be proud to have them serving und you…”
On April 29 at about 5:45 p.m., Pasadena Police officers assigned to the Fugitive Apprehension Unit were
conducting surveillance in the 1900 block of Rosemount Avenue for a
parolee-at-large. Around 6:00 p.m., the suspect and a female driver left
the location in a 2004 Dodge Stratus. The surveillance unites activated the
emergency lights and sirens on the vehicles attempting to stop the suspect
vehicle. The driver failed to yield to the officers and attempted to
flee. At one point in the pursuit, the suspect driver deliberately rammed
a police vehicle. Fortunately, the officer was not injured despite the assault
with a deadly weapon (the car). The suspect vehicle finally stopped
near Barthe Avenue and Manzanita Street and the suspects were arrested.
The officers recovered a replica handgun and 4 additional stolen license plates
from the car. The suspects were later booked at the Pasadena jail.
On April 30 at about 2:20 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the area of Summit Avenue and Washington
Boulevard regarding a carjacking investigation. On arrival, officers talked
with the victim who said he met a woman at a market in Monrovia earlier in the
evening. The female asked for a ride to Pasadena and provided directions
to the destination. When the victim arrived at the location, the female asked
him to help her unload her bags. When the victim returned to his car, he
was approached by three male adult suspects who displayed a pistol and
assaulted him. The suspects demanded the victim’s car and fled the area. If you
have any information about his incident, please call the Pasadena Police
Department at (626) 744-4241.
On May 2, officers
assigned to the Pasadena Police Department’s Special Enforcement Section
(SES) and agents from the DOJ conducted a gun enforcement effort throughout
Pasadena. The detail was focused on subjects who were prohibited from
owning, possessing, and/or purchasing firearms. There were a total of
eleven locations searched, including six locations in Pasadena, two in the
unincorporated area of Pasadena, and two in South Pasadena. Officers
and agents recovered six guns (1 shotgun, five handguns and large amount of
ammunition, all from Pasadena residences). Additionally, PPD officers
and agents recovered 11 ounces of marijuana, which was packaged for sales (a
felony). Pasadena Police Lieutenant Cheryl Moody commands the Special
Enforcement Section, which is also responsible for Special Weapons and Tactics
On May 10 at about 11:00 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 600 block of Summit Avenue regarding a
subject who wanted to kill himself and had fired several shots. The
first officers on scene attempted to contact the suspect; he then fired several
shots at them. The officers, although justified to use lethal force,
secured tactical positions and called for assistance while monitoring the
suspect, who was next to his family’s resident. Several additional
officers arrived, including SWAT personnel. A command post was
established, the area was contained, and evacuations were implemented.
When officers contained the area, they attempted to negotiate with the suspect,
who was still armed. He failed to comply with SWAT officers, which led to
the use of a diversionary device. Following the use of the diversionary device,
the suspect immediately discarded his firearm; however, he remained
uncooperative and in close proximity to his pistol. SWAT officers
deployed a second diversionary device and the suspect surrendered without
further incident. The suspect was later transported to a local hospital for
medical evaluation. No other persons were injured.
Pasadena Police Detectives responded to the scene and notified the Los Angeles
County District Attorney’s Office – Crimes Against Police Officers (CAPO). Representatives
from CAPO responded to the scene and will assist with the investigation, given
the nature of the incident (attempted murder of a police officer). The
victim officers demonstrated tremendous courage and restraint given the
circumstances of this incident. SWAT officers underscore the value of
superior tactics, weapons, and team work, which frankly, offered the suspect
few options. The incident concluded within two hours.
Philllip L. Sanchez
Chief of Police
Pasadena Police Department