Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (10/27/13)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base: A Message from the Chief
October 27, 2013


 Dear Community Members and Department Personnel: 

Pasadena’s Finest:

On October 14, I received an email from a community member (the aunt of murder victim) commend Pasadena Police Detective K. Gomez. The author wrote, “…I am impressed with the detailed work that has gotten us to this day and will hopefully lead to a conviction.  My hat is off to both Detective Gomez and [Fire] Captain Eaton. [I am] grateful for their professionalism…” 

On October 14, I received a letter from William K. Henley of HANH & HAHN LLP commending Pasadena P.S. H. Jurado for her professionalism and engagement during a recent tour of the police facility. Mr. Henley wrote, “…The tour of the Police Department was led by Hilda Jurado and I wanted to write to tell what a wonderful job she did.  All of the students, me, and other adults on the tour appreciate how well the tour went and we all want to compliment Hilda as she was most pleasant…”  

On October 16, several Pasadena Police officers participated in ESCAR (Electronic Suspected Child Abuse Report) Training, which was held at the police department.  The ESCAR system is designed to enhance child abuse reporting.  You may know police officers are mandatory reporters and have the additional responsibility to investigate abuse cases.  Pasadena P.S.  Nanning coordinated the training.  

On Saturday, October 19, Commander Lisa Rosales, Lieutenant Jason Clawson, Officer Christian Allen, Police Specialists Hilda Jurado, and Park Safety Specialists Tony Ambrozevicius and Nick Ortiz attended the Grand Opening and Ribbon Cutting of Central Park Playground.  Councilman Steve Madison, Mayor Bill Bogaard, and Public Works Director Siobhan Foster provided acknowledgments and remarks.  City Manager Michael Beck, Assistant City Manager Julie Gutierrez, and Public Works City Engineer Dan Rix also attended the opening.  Later in the program, I had the opportunity to stop by the grand opening, along with Deborah K.  

On October 15, I received a letter from Dublin (California) Chief of Police Tom McCarthy commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Sharma for assisting two Dublin police officers who were attempting to detain a violent suspect. Chief McCarthy wrote, “…Just after midnight on September 16, 2013, Dublin Police units were detailed to the Holiday Inn for a suspicious person in the hallway of the hotel.  Upon their arrival, the suspect was found on all fours wearing nothing but the bed skirt.  When officers attempted to make contact with the suspect, he quickly jumped to his feet and charged the officers.  Sergeant Chris Sharma, who was attending the POST Supervision Course, and was staying at the Holiday Inn, heard the commotion outside his hotel room and responded to the scene.  Sergeant Sharma identified himself and asked the Dublin Police units if they needed assistance.  Without hesitation, Sergeant Sharma took action and assisted in getting the extremely violent suspect into handcuffs.  Had Sergeant Sharma not responded in the manner in which he did, this incident could have had a significantly different outcome.”  

Community Involvement: 

On October 19, several Pasadena Police officers helped facilitate the Lamp Mentor Program, which was held at the department’s Heliport.  The program is hosted by Gamma Zeta Boule’ and about 20 young men (all part of the program) attended the workshop to learn more about the Pasadena Police Department.  The program was organized by Retired Police Lieutenant Rodney D. Wallace, Retired Los Angeles Police Department Captain Harlan Ward, and Raymond.  Most of the Pasadena Police officers were on their personal time, which made their engagement extra special.  Personnel included:  Deputy Chief Qualls, Lieutenant Ingram, Sergeants Goodman and Kress, Officers Adesina, Harris, Riley, and Saunders (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).  

On October 19, several members of the Pasadena Police Department attended the Grand Opening of the Central Park Playground.  The event was well attended and VIPs included Mayor Bogaard, Councilman Madison, City Manager Beck, Assistant City Manager Gutierrez, Public Works Director Foster, and Engineer Rix (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez). 

On October 19, several members of the Pasadena Police Department attended the Latino Day Parade and Jamaica.  The parade started on Los Robles Avenue and ended at La Pintoresca Park. Community leaders, family, friends, elected officials, and parade watchers all came out to participate in this very special event.  VIPs included:  California State Senator Liu, Mayor Bogaard, Vice Mayor Robinson, City Manager Beck, and former California Assemblyman Portantino.  PPD personnel walking in the parade included:  Deputy Chief Qualls, Commander Perez, and Lieutenant Ibarra.  City Attorney Bagneris, PUSD Superintendent Gundry, Human Services & Recreation Director Santoro, and Deborah K. Sanchez also walked in the parade.  The event has been coordinated for the past 15 years by Roberta Martinez (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).  

On October 19, Pasadena Police Officer C. Allen, P.S. Jurado, and Volunteers Jackson and Gezalian attended a workshop at New Revelations Church to raise awareness about bullying.  I understand the event was well attended and McGruff (Volunteer Jackson) also made an appearance (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).  

On October 21, Deputy Chief Qualls, Commanders Russ and Perez, Office Supervisor B. Bogar, Administrator Persons, Deborah K, and I attended the 11th Annual YWCA Women’s Racial Justice Breakfast, which was held at the Pasadena Hilton.  The room was pack with community leaders, elected officials, and community members interested in racial justice for all.  KTLA’s Co-Anchor Cher Calvin emceed the event.  Two powerful speakers were found in Dr. Jacqueline Jacobs, Ph.D., and Dr. Annalisa Enrile, Ph.D.  

Congresswoman Judy Chu, YWCA Interim Director Phlunte Riddle, and YWCA Board President Lupe Perez rounded out the speakers during the event.  From my perspective, the essence of the event was captured by middle school student, Jaylin Miller, who provided an inspirational speech. Her words and subsequent serenade captured the full attention of the audience.  Allisonne Crawford closed by leading the audience in the song, “Let There Be Peace.” Elected officials included:  Mayor Bogaard, Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson, and PUSD Board President, Renatta Cooper.  City Manager Beck and department directors also attended.  

On October 22, I met with California State Senator Liu’s Field Representative, Adam Carter, regarding youth outreach strategies in Pasadena.  During the meeting, we discussed current efforts from nonprofits, religious leaders, schools, and local government.  While we did not develop an outcome, the discussion touched on several key points.  Future meetings are planned.  

On October 24, several Pasadena Police officers, community leaders, families, and friends attended the Tournament of Roses Coronation, which was held at the First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena.  Ana Marie Acosta was crowned as the Rose Queen for the 125th Tournament of Roses. Tournament of Roses President Scott Jenkins placed the crown on Queen Ana’s head following her announcement (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez). 

On October 24, Pasadena Police Sergeant M. Sell and I attended the “Speaker’s Series,” at Case de las Amigas in Pasadena.  More than 50 community members, clients, and supporters were in the room as I talked about contemporary policing in Pasadena and my law enforcement journey. Following my remarks, the audience asked several comprehensive questions about public safety and related topics.  Shell Woods, Jacqueline Fox, and David Ripley coordinated my participation. Casa de las Amigas, is Pasadena’s oldest women’s treatment center for addiction.  For more about the services provided by Casa de las Amigas, please visit www.casadelasamigas.org (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez). 

Critical Incident: 

On September 30, 2011, Pasadena Police officers and fire personnel responded to the 50 block of Meridith Avenue regarding an apartment fire.  During the initial response, officials discovered a deceased female, burned beyond recognition, lying in the hallway near the bedroom. Pasadena Police Detectives were assigned to investigate.  The case was assigned to Pasadena Police Detective K. Gomez, who was assisted by Detective G. Curry and Pasadena Fire Captain Eaton.  During the follow up investigation, Detective K. Gomez determined the victim was actually murdered on her birthday (September 27th), three days prior to the fire, which was suspicious in nature. Based on the physical evidence, Detective K. Gomez determined the victim experienced a violent death (blunt force trauma).  The suspect was later identified as Cory Green (a known gang member from Los Angeles), who had fled the location after murdering the victim. Following a comprehensive investigation, Suspect Green was subsequently arrested without incident.  The case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office for filing. On October 22, 2013, a jury found Corey Green guilty of murder, arson, and burglary.  He is facing 35+ to life in prison. 

This case was complex. The guilty finding by the jury underscores the investigative talents of Detective Keith Gomez, Detective Grant Curry, and Fire Captain Wendell Eaton.  Moreover, the case went through jury trial without any fanfare, drama, or allegations of misconduct.  This was accomplished primarily because the investigators in the case have established creditability with the courts, the District Attorney’s Office, and defense counsel. As an aside, I received an email from the victim’s relative commending Detective Gomez for his efforts to bring a predator to justice.    

On October 19, at about 1:58 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to Hammond Street and Raymond Avenue regarding an attempted murder investigation. Officers talked with the victim (female Black adult) who said she was with her child and a male friend at Robinson Park earlier in the day.  The father of her child (also the suspect) saw the victim in the park and they exchanged words.  Later in the afternoon, the victim left Robinson Park with a male companion. They were later parked on Hammond Street near Raymond in her vehicle. The suspect was seen driving by when he stopped, exited his car, and pointed a handgun at the victim. The victim rapidly drove away and heard what she described as several gunshots. When the victim arrived home, she discovered her vehicle had been hit by gunfire, but fortunately, no one was injured.  The suspect is known to the Pasadena Police Department and officers are actively investigating the incident.  

On October 20 at about 6:30 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the area of Colorado Boulevard and Annandale Road regarding a traffic collision.  Alert witnesses told police dispatchers they observed a Male Hispanic and female running away from the incident. Officers M. Gligorijevic and M. Jones arrived quickly and observed the suspects. They were detained without incident and subsequently arrested. The vehicle, as it turns out, was stolen.  The officers also recovered narcotics and other items in the car.   

On October 24 at about 2:45 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to a bear sighting in the 500 block of West Washington Boulevard. Several witnesses and concerned community members called to report the bear was wandering the neighborhoods.  The Pasadena Police Communication Center put out a Reverse 911 alert to neighbors in the area and alerted Cleveland Elementary School and John Muir High School.  As a precaution, school officials elected to have students “shelter in place” after learning the bear was in close proximity to the campuses.  PPD alerted the California Department of Fish and Game and a field ranger ultimately arrived at the incident.  However, officers were able to encourage the bear to return to the forest with the use of police sirens.  PUSD students were released at the conclusion of the event.  The event was covered by the broadcast news. Media report: http://pasadena-ca.patch.com/groups/police-and-fire/p/officials-trying-to-capture-bear-wandering-near-cleveland-elementary-in-pasadena.  

On October 24 at about 9:51 a.m., an alert community member called the Pasadena Police Department to report a person attempting to start a fire on the hillside at the N/E corner of New York Drive and Sierra Madre Villa, across from the Eaton Canyon Golf Course. The Pasadena Police helicopter was overhead within seconds and managed the incident.  The flight crew confirmed a fire had been set and observed the suspect.  The flight crew then directed ground officers to the suspect’s location. Officer J. Reinbold arrived on scene and apprehended the suspect (Male white adult) without incident. The suspect was later booked at the Pasadena jail.   Media report. www.pasadenastarnews.com/general-news/20131024/police-nab-suspect-in-pasadena-brush-fire.  


Phillip L. Sanchez, Chief of Police
Pasadena Police Department
207 N. Garfield Ave., Pasadena, CA 91101
Office: (626) 744-4545 | Email: psanchez@cityofpasadena.net
Mission First, People Always 


Posted: 10/27/2013 08:50:00 AM
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