Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (06/30/13)

Touching Base:  A Message from the Chief
June 30, 2013


Dear Community Members and Department Personnel:  

For your information:   

In order to increase information sharing with our community, the Pasadena Police Department and I went live with Tweeter Accounts (shameless, I know) about a eight weeks ago. Many of you have already signed up to “follow” our tweets, thank you. I am hopeful this form of social media will help the Pasadena Police Department further connect with stakeholders by providing timely information. Our tweets will focus on alerts, special information, community events, and will typically redirect the recipient to the department’s webpage (http://cityofpasadena.net/Police/) for additional information.  The department will continue to use Nixle to publicize data (sign up for Nixle at: http://www.nixle.com/). The Pasadena Police Department’s Tweeter Handle is @PasPD_News and you can follow me at: @PPDChiefSanchez.  

The Pasadena Police Department is looking for a few good men and women who are interested in a career in law enforcement. Interested candidates can get more information by contacting Pasadena Police Sergeant Chris Gutierrez at: (626) 744-4574, or email at cgutierrez@cityofpasadena.net. It is anticipated the application process will open sometime in mid-July 2013.   

Our Community:   

On June 23, Deborah K. Sanchez and I attended religious services at the First African Methodist Episcopal (FAME) Church.  Rev. Allen L. Williams led the services, which featured the Men’s Choir.  The service and music were exceptional and celebrated the role of men in the church.  Pasadena Community Leader and FAME member Cameron Turner coordinated our participation.   

On June 26, several Pasadena police employees attended the Pasadena Police Officers’ Association (PPOA) Scholarship Awards Presentation, which was held in the police assembly room. The PPOA awarded several academic scholarships to graduating high school seniors.  Mrs. Kirby and her son, Pasadena Police Sergeant Christopher Kirby, established a scholarship award in the memory of Detective L. Kirby, who passed away in June 2010 after an extraordinary career. The Pasadena Police Officers’ Association has awarded more than $65,000 in scholarship funds over the past several years.   

On June 27, Pasadena Police Lieutenant Ed Calatayud, Sergeant Bobby Lomeli, and Officer Cristian Allen attended the Healthy & Safe San Gabriel Valley Collaborative meeting, which focused on the effort to reduce violence in the SGV.  The meeting was held at the Flintridge Retreat Center and was well attended.   

On June 27, several Pasadena police employees attended the Youth Accountability Board (YAB) graduation, which was held at the Wright Auditorium, Pasadena Main Library. More than 20 young people graduated from the program, which is built on a restorative justice philosophy.  The program diverts young offenders away from the judicial system while still holding them accountable for their errors.  The Pasadena Police Foundation supports and funds the YAB program. Pasadena Police Program Coordinator Olivia Siciliano, Detective Nicole Bazzo, and Sergeant Jesse Carrillo facilitate the program and organized the graduation.   

On June 27, Pasadena Police Sergeant Chris Gutierrez attended a Job Fair at Jackie Robinson Center.  The job fair was hosted by DPSS Offices and organizations from throughout the San Gabriel Valley.  I understand the job fair was well attended by people seeking employment and future opportunities. Chris answered questions about a career in law enforcement and how applicants go about applying to work for the Pasadena Police Department.   

Pasadena’s Finest:   

On June 24, I received a letter from Sierra Madre Police Chief Larry Giannone commending Pasadena Police Commander Chris Russ for assisting with their promotional process.  Larry wrote, “… It is through the experience and expertise of persons such as Commander Russ that we are able to identify and hire those candidates most qualified…”   

On June 25, Pasadena Police Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra and Sergeant Rudy Lemos participated in a Table Top Exercise (mission focus was domestic terrorism), which was hosted by the Long Beach Police Department.  Tracey said the exercise was very involved and several departments participated in the mock response. Table Top Exercises serve as valuable tools to promote collaboration and teamwork among first responders.    

On June 25, Pasadena Police Lieutenant Ed Calatayud, Corporal Glenn Thompson, and Explorers James Hunter and Jennifer Chavez attended the Footprinters Explorer and Cadet Night Sponsorship Dinner in Los Angeles.  The event featured some of the great work completed by Police Explorer Posts throughout the region.  Pasadena Police Explorer Post 19 received a grant award from Housing Financial Corporation, Waleed Delawari, and Nice Muccillo. The funds will be used to support explorer activities. As an aside, Pasadena Police Lieutenant George Wiley (ret.) helped coordinate our participation.   

On June 25, I received an email from a community member commending Sergeant Robert Tucker, Officer Brian Petrella, and Detective Deana Nestlerode for their assistance in a fraud investigation.  The community member wrote, “… we appreciate the support that the Pasadena Police Department has shown our organization during this challenging situation…”   

On June 29, several Pasadena Police employees and the general public stopped by the Pasadena Air Operations’ Open House, which was held at our heliport (Altadena).  Attendees observed tactical demonstrations from police helicopters, SWAT, K9s, and Motor Officers. The event is always popular with the public and this year was no exception.  Pasadena Police Lieutenant Michael Ingram commands the Air Ops Section.   

Critical Incidents:   

On June 25 at about 10:03 p.m., Pasadena police officers responded to Victory Park to investigate a suspected reckless driver.  On arrival, officers located the suspect’s vehicle, which was parked atop the curb on Paloma Street. The officers made contact with the driver, who appeared highly intoxicated.  While conducting their field investigation, PPD officers saw a loaded pistol on the front floorboard and immediately arrested the suspect.  The suspect told officers he belonged to a Los Angeles based street gang.  He was subsequently booked at the Pasadena jail.    

On June 26 at about 8:07 p.m., Pasadena police officers responded to the Colorado Street Bridge regarding a possible suicide in progress.  A witness called police when he saw a male adult standing on the other side of the safe railing.  On arrival, officers discovered the victim’s body below.  It was obvious he had jumped to his death moments before our arrival.  Pasadena Fire Department responded and pronounced the victim dead at the scene.  A Los Angeles County Coroner’s Officer responded and secured the victim’s body.   Pasadena Police Lieutenant John Dewar supervised the investigation.   

On June 26 at about 12:06 a.m., Pasadena Police responded to the 200 block of South Marengo Avenue regarding a Peeping-Tom.  On arrival, officers talked with the victims who said they heard a sound just outside their condominium window.  The victims looked outside and saw the suspect attempting to remove the window screen.  The suspect appeared startled and attempted to explain his actions.  Following the witness interview, PPD officers walked to the suspect’s condo and contacted him. The suspect was subsequently arrested without incident and booked at the Pasadena jail.   

On June 28, at about 3:55 p.m., Pasadena Police Department received a report of a hit-and-run collision that occurred in the 800 block of Sunset Avenue. The suspect vehicle, a blue Pontiac with two different license plates, struck another car then drove away. PPD officers did not locate the hit and run vehicle during their initial search of the traffic scene.  A short time later, PPD Traffic Motor Officers located the suspect vehicle in the area of Pasadena Avenue and Walnut Street and attempted to make enforcement stop.  When the officers activated their emergency equipment, the driver of the vehicle failed to yield.  Simultaneously, PPD Officers received confirmation that the vehicle was stolen out of Altadena.  A vehicle pursuit was initiated traveling north on city streets.  The Motor Officers transitioned out of the pursuit as marked patrol units assumed responsibility of the chase.  Traveling at a moderate speed, the suspect vehicle eventually crashed in the area of Pepper Street and Sunset Avenue.  The occupants fled on foot; however, three were quickly detained.  Our preliminary information indicates that neither PPD officers nor the suspects were injured at the termination of the pursuit.  PPD Lt. Gourdikian and Sergeant Sharma supervised our investigation.   

On June 28 at about 8:55 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 900 block of Avenue 64 to investigate a missing 11-year-old child.  The child walked away from Hillsides Home, where he is a resident.  PPD officers set up a command post and began searching for the child.  Other police resources, including the police helicopter and K9s, were used in the search.  His parents were contacted and advised that they had not seen him nor had they heard from him.  Pasadena Police officers searched through the night and located the child the following morning at a relative’s home in Huntington Park. The child was uninjured.   

On June 29 at 6:00 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 300 block of Arroyo Boulevard (Casting Ponds) regarding a robbery investigation.  On arrival, officers talked with the victim who said he was charging his cell phone at the power outlet outside the Casting Ponds.  He then walked away from his phone.  The suspect walked over to the phone and removed it from the power cord.  The victim confronted the suspect about the theft and the suspect produced a pistol and displayed it in a threating manner.  The suspect then fled the location; however, he was found by responding police units.  The suspect was contacted and arrested without incident.  The pistol turned out to be a BB gun that looked just like a real firearm. The suspect was booked at the Pasadena jail.   


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

Posted: 6/30/2013 04:10:00 PM
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