Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (10/05/13)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base: A Message from the Chief
October 5, 2013


Dear Community Members and Department Personnel: 

For your Information:  

The Pasadena Police Foundation is hosting its Annual Breakfast with the Chief” at Brookside Clubhouse (1133 Rosemont Avenue) on October 10 from 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.  This year the breakfast features the Pasadena Police Department’s Canine Program.  Participants will meet Canine Officer Steve Arcand and his K9 Partner, Figo.  Steve and his partner will conduct brief demonstrations designed to underscore the value of the canine program.  Breakfast will be served promptly at 7:30 a.m.  The cost is $50.00 per person ($34.00 is tax deductible). Shuttle service is available to take guests from the parking lot at Brookside to the clubhouse. Reservations are limited. For information, please visit: www.pasadenapolicefoundation.org.  You are also welcome to contact Pasadena Police Lieutenant Tracy Ibarra (TIbarra@cityofpasadena.net) for information.  I hope to see you at the 2013 Chief’s Breakfast!  

On October 26, the Pasadena Police Department will partner with the DEA for the 7th National Take Back Initiative Event. The goal of the program is to allow Southern Californians to deliver all of their unused, unwanted, or expired medications to law enforcement officials who can, in turn, dispose of these controlled substances in a secure and non-hazardous manner.  The effort will potentially save lives and protect the ecosystem.  The Pasadena Police Department will host the event at the police station, 207 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101, from 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.  For more information please visit: cityofpasadena.net/Police. Media coverage at: www.pasadenanow.com/main/pasadena-police-department-to-partner-with-the-dea-for-the-7th-national-take-back-initiative-event-on-saturday-october-26-2013.  

 Pasadena’s Finest: 

On September 24, I received a letter from a local community member commending Pasadena Police Officer T. Brown.  The author wrote, “…I wish to express my gratitude and thanks to Officer T. Brown for handling my accident in the evening of August 27, with concern, efficiency, accuracy, friendliness, and helpfulness….”  

On September 26, I received a card from Pasadena Senior Center Executive Director Akila Gibbs commending the Pasadena Police Department for its assessment at the center.  Ms. Gibbs wrote, ‘… I will follow up on our discussion about enhancing our safety by utilizing the assistance of Park Safety…” 

On September 27, Pasadena Police Corporal C. Gordon attended the swearing-in ceremony for Judge Beverly O’Connell as United States District Judge, which was held at the United States Courthouse. The ceremony was well attended by local community leaders, law enforcement officials, friends, and family. 

On September 29, Pasadena Police K9 Officers Widger and Arcand participated in the 2013 Wiggle Waggle Walk, which was held at the iconic Rose Bowl.  People traveled to Pasadena from throughout the southland to participate in this one-day event.  I was told hundreds of canine companions attended (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez). 

On September 30, I received a letter from Villa Gardens Executive Director D. Estrin commending Pasadena Police Sergeant M. Goodman and Air Operations Section members for their professionalism and friendly deportment during a site-visit to the heliport by Villa-Gardens residents.  One resident said,”… I enjoyed seeing the pilots in action and have a greater understanding and appreciation for Pasadena Police Department!”  

On October 2, several Pasadena Police officers and employees, in collaboration with Pasadena Public works employees, removed abandoned material along the freeway embankments and other locations within the city.  Discarded items included: Shopping carts, cushions, trash, and buckets. The effort also included an enforcement component.  PPD officers arrested or cited 27 people for a variety of violations.  Two subjects arrested were booked on felony charges. The effort was generated by community concerns over the past several weeks.  Personnel included: Lieutenant V. Gourdikian, Sergeant Favara, Officers Burchett, Adesina, Reece, Seversind, Wotherspoon, Lee, Scott, and PSs White, Herrera, and Ambrose.  

Our Community:  

On September 27, Pasadena Police Office Supervisor B. Bogar, Lieutenant P. Riddle (ret), Deborah K. Sanchez, and I attended the 2013 ALMA Awards, which was held at the Pasadena Convention Center.  The awards focus on Latino Entertainers and their professional accomplishments.  The event was very well attended (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez). 

On September 27, Deborah K. Sanchez and I attended the “Bach to Broadway” Concert for Restoration, which was held at Saint Andrew Catholic Church.  The program featured young opera singers and choir and was very well attended.  VIPs included: Mayor and Mrs. Bogaard and Mr. and Mrs. J. Van de Kamp.  

On September 28, Pasadena Police Commander J. Perez and I attended the Pasadena Mexican American History Association’s (PMAHA) 2013 Honoree Reception, which was held at the Brookside Golf Club.  The event was very well attended by local community leaders, family, friends, and city staff.  PMAHA Chair Sandra Mejia served as our emcee and this year’s awardees were:  Ms. Mary Ann Chavez-Montanez and Ms. Kathy Rodarte.  Both Mary and Kathy were outstanding selections for this exceptional award. Pasadena Assistant City Manager J. Gutierrez presented Mary and Kathy with City of Pasadena Certificates.  The honorees also received certificates from Los Angeles County Supervisor M. Antonovich’s Field Representative, R. Hadjimanoukian (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez). 

On September 30, Pasadena Police Officer J. Riehl coordinated a Curb-Side-Chat at the Rose Bowl to raise awareness about auto-burglaries and thefts.  Employees assigned to the department’s Community Relations Section parked the mobile command post in Parking Lot K and talked to people about loss-prevention safety tips. PS Herrera, PS White, PS Johnson, PPD Volunteers J. Kendall and R. Avesian, and Officer Ordonez assisted with the project. If you are interested in hosting a Curb-Side-Chat, please contact Community Relations at (626) 744-4551, or check out our Webpage at: cityofpasadena.net/police (Photos@PPDChiefSanchez). 

On October 1, Pasadena Police Lieutenants Ibarra and Calatayud and I attended the Front Line – First Responders program, which was hosted by the American Legion Post 13.  I provided some brief remarks on officer safety and the impact of stress in lethal environments. American Legion Post 13’s Lucienne Marie coordinated our participation (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez). 

On October 2, Lieutenant Ibarra and I attended the 4th Annual State of the Kids event, which was held at the Rose Bowl Press Box Pavilion.  The event was very well attended by community leaders, young people, and elected officials including Pasadena Vice-Mayor Robinson and PUSD Board President R. Cooper. Pasadena Health Director Dr. E. Walsh facilitated a discussion on our youth and Professor Cheryl Greer-Jarman provided the keynote address. Human Services & Recreation Director M. Santoro was also present (Photos@PPDChiefSanchez). 

On October 2, several Pasadena Police employees attended the Pasadena PAL (Police Activities League) Friend raiser Event, which was held at Noor’s Restaurant. The event was coordinated by Pasadena Police Lieutenant Calatayud and MHP Events.  PAL is a youth program sponsored by the police department and community donations to benefit our local youth.  The program provides academic assistance, sports, art, and other activities toward the development of our young people.  You can learn more about PAL at cityofpasadena.net/Police (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez). On October 2, Several Pasadena police employees hosted a Curb Side Coffee & Chat at Central Park and in the Play House District. The program was well attended by local community members who engaged police personnel about community issues, concerns or observations.  The program is designed to further the department’s community policing efforts and is a strategic goal to reduce crime.  If you are interested in hosting a Curb Side Coffee & Chat, please contact the police department’s Community Relations Section.  Personnel included:  Lieutenant V. Gourdikian, PS Kauhola, CAPPS Volunteer Tibbet, and Officer R. Ordonez. Please visit the police department’s webpage for more information: cityofpasadena.net/Police.  On October 5, Mrs. Terri Qualls and Deputy Chief Qualls attend the Pasadena Community Foundation event, which was held at the Langham Hotel in Pasadena.  The event was attended by over 500 community members.  Several groups were recognized for their great work in our community.  Elected officials at the event included Pasadena Mayor Bogaard, Councilmen Tornek, and John Kennedy.  City Staff included City Manager Michael Beck, Head Librarian Jan Sanders, Director of Housing Services William Huang and Director of  Human Services & Recreation Mercy Santoro.  Retired Pasadena Police Lieutenant P. Riddle also attended.   

Critical Incidents:

On September 25, Pasadena Police officers responded to the 50 block of West Claremont Street regarding a robbery investigation.  On arrival, officers talked with the victim, who said she was walking on Claremont when the suspect (Male Black Juvenile – Pasadena resident) walked up behind her and ripped off her gold chain necklace.  The suspect fled the location; however, he was observed a short time later by Pasadena Police Officer Calcanas and detained without incident.  The victim positively identified the suspect and her gold chains were recovered.  

On September 27, the Pasadena Police Department’s Traffic Section conducted a DUI Checkpoint.  Approximately 2,428 vehicles passed through the checkpoint resulting in 4 arrests for DUI.  Several drivers were issued citations and two people were arrested for outstanding warrants.  On September 30, Pasadena Police officers responded to the 700 block of East California Boulevard regarding an attempted sexual assault. On arrival, officers talked with the victim who indicated she was attacked by the suspect (White or Middle Eastern, 35 – 40 years old, approximately 6’-0, full beard, with hair pulled back in a ponytail) while walking in the neighborhood.  The on-duty watch commander requested a canine to assist with the investigation. Detectives were notified and our investigation is ongoing. More information about the incident at: http://cityofpasadena.net/Police. Media coverage at: http://altadena.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/pasadena-police-search-for-sexual-assault-suspect.  

On October 2, I received information from Pasadena Police Detective R. Padilla that a wanted commercial burglary and robbery suspect had been arrested without incident.  After completing a comprehensive investigation, Detective M. Hooker distributed a wanted flyer for the crimes that occurred last week at the Old Navy Store.  The wanted flyer was also distributed to local municipalities.  Sometime in the morning, the suspect was observed by South Pasadena Police Officers in their city and arrested without incident.  Detective Hooker was contacted and the suspect was booked at the Pasadena jail.  While at the jail, the suspect was interviewed by Detective Stinson and admitted that he committed the crimes.  

On October 2 at about 6:40 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 500 block of North Marengo Avenue regarding an armed robbery investigation.  On arrival, officers talked with the victims (Males Hispanics, 14 and 15 years old, Pasadena Residents) who said they were walking on Marengo when the suspects (Males Hispanics 16 and 19 years old, Pasadena Residents) approached them, displayed a knife, and demanded U.S. Currency, a cell phone, and a book bag. In fear for their safety, the victims complied with the demands.  Pasadena Police Officer Magallon located a witness who provided additional information about the suspects.  The suspect description was shared with other police officers patrolling the area and Officer Torres located the suspects, who were subsequently arrested without incident.  The witnesses positively identified the suspects.  On October 3 at about 9:48 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the Pasadena Health Department regarding a bomb threat investigation. Health Department employees evacuated briefly.  The suspect identified himself and police officers followed up quickly to determine his location. Our investigation is ongoing.   On October 5 at about 2:36 p.m. Pasadena Police officers responded to the 300 block of North Chester Avenue regarding a woman armed with a knife.  On arrival officers located a 59 year old White female armed with a knife and threatening to commit suicide.  Officers contained the area and immediately began talking with the subject. Despite the officer’s attempt to negotiate with the subject it was clear she was becoming increasingly more agitated.  The subject refused to comply with the officer’s demands to drop the knife and surrender. The officers could clearly see lacerations on the subject’s arms and she admitted she was a “cutter.”  

In order to safety take the subject into custody and avoid her harming herself further officers deployed a Taser device.  The subject dropped the knife and was taken into custody without further incident.  She was then transported to a local area hospital for medical assistance. The subject’s roommate told police officers the “victim” was trying to kill herself prior to the arrival of the police. Sergeant Sharma was the on-scene supervisor.  This case is another example of the professional maturity and appropriate decision-making by Pasadena Police officers.  The entire incident was well supervised and managed resulting in the rescue of a subject who clearly wanted to take her own life.   The officers in this incident are commended for the tactics, maturity and decision-making. Their efforts clearly  averted a lethal outcome.     


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


Posted: 10/6/2013 02:25:00 PM
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