Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (05/12/13)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching 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 masjidaltaqwa@ymail.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. Thomas.   

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 kkauhola@cityofpasadena.net, 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.   


Our Community: 

On April 25, 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 event.   

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 monument.   

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.   

Pasadena’ Finest: 

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…”   

Critical Incidents:  

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 duties.   

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



Posted: 5/12/2013 02:10:00 PM
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