Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (03/09/14)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base: A Message from the Chief
March 9, 2014


Dear Community Members & Department Personnel: 


For your Information:  

The Pasadena Police Department opened the police officer application process on February 13, 2104.  Interested people should use the following link (http://agency.governmentjobs.com/pasadena/default.cfm?action=openjobrequest) to access the City of Pasadena Human Resources Department “Job Interest Cards” webpage and check the law enforcement and public safety boxes.  Interested people will receive an email from the city announcing the next steps.

Pasadena Police Department’s Mobile Command Post, Curbside Coffee & Chat, is on the move in 2014.  The police department has received several requests for the Mobile Command Post from Neighborhood Watch groups and other local stakeholders. The Mobile Command Post is being utilized as a highly visible platform to engage our community members. If you would like the Mobile Command Post Curbside Coffee & Chat to visit your neighborhood, please call Officer Ralph Ordonez at (626) 744-7651, or email rordonez@cityofpasadnea.net.

The Pasadena Police Department offers home & vehicle burglary crime prevention tips.  Burglary victims often feel vulnerable and violated when their personal space has been invaded. Records show that home burglaries often occur during the day while residents are away from their dwelling. While residential burglaries seem random, predators usually choose their targets.  Unoccupied homes with easy or concealed access and quick escape routes are usually targeted. If you See Something, Say Something. Reporting suspicious activity when you first learn of it gives police officers a greater chance of disrupting criminal activity.  Together we can impact crime and make it a safer place for all who live in, work, or visit Pasadena.  For more information, please visit the police department’s webpage at http://www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/Police.

Our Community:  

On February 24, Pasadena Police Officer Cristian Allen, PS Kitty Johnson, and the American Red Cross hosted a blood drive at the Salvation Army.  The event was attended by many city employees who all donated the life-giving material.  The Pasadena Police Department routinely partners with the American Red Cross for blood drives.

On February 25, I met with Men Educating Men About Health (MEMAH) Director Jimmy Morris and Carrie Carol regarding their upcoming event.  MEMAH will be held later this year returning to Pasadena City College (PCC).  We discussed several topics relating to this year’s event.  Keep your eyes open for future information about MEMAH’s affair.

On February 25, I had the opportunity to talk with a group of Latino Mothers and their children at the Family Life Education Program, which is held at John Muir High School.  About 30 people attended the program, which is intended to keep community members informed about resources, assistance, and local programs. The program is supported by PACTL (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).

On February 26, I met with First Tee Executive Director, Bob Baderian regarding program resources and opportunities for our local youth.  The First Tee program is an effective youth mentoring program using golf as a platform to enrich local youth with life skills and the joy of organized sports.

On February 26, Deputy Chief Qualls, Officer Allen, PS White, PS Herrera, and I stopped by the Community Peace Walk at Robinson Park, which was coordinated by Lake Avenue Church.  Pastor Johnson opened the march with a few brief remarks. The group then peacefully walked in the neighborhood promoting harmony and respect. District 1 Field Representative Williams and District 3 Field Representative Cruz were among the people who walked.

On February 27, several Pasadena Police officers, employees and volunteers attended the 15th Annual NOBLE Black History Celebration, which was held at the Salvation Army.  VIPs included Mrs. Cory Harris (Pasadena Community Icon, 103 years old), Mrs. Delano Robinson, Mrs. Hickambottom, Mayor Bogaard, Vice Mayor Robinson, Councilman Tornek, and Councilwoman McAustin, City Manager Beck, & City Attorney Bagneris.   Pastor Kenny Baker provided the invocation, Deputy Chief Qualls severed as our emcee and Dr. Wilbert Smith provided the keynote address. Retired Police Lieutenants Riddle, Wallace, and Faulkner also attended the breakfast. The event chairwoman was Pasadena Police Officer Scott and breakfast was supported by the following organizations:  The Pasadena Police Department, Pasadena Firefighter’s Association (local 809), Pasadena Black Municipal Employee’s Association, and the San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).

On February 28, Mayor Bogaard chaired the City of Pasadena Disaster Emergency Services Council, which was held at the Pasadena Marine Facility.  In addition to the normal reports, USMC Col. Wright provided an overview of emergency capacity and logistics offered by the Marines in the event of a local emergency.  The meeting was very informative and council members were given a tour of the facility (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).

On February 28, I had the opportunity to participate in “Read Across America.”  I read a few books to Roosevelt School 3rd Graders.  The students were very respectful and listened to every word.  Following the reading, the students asked some great questions about public safety and the Pasadena Police Department.  Several Pasadena Police officers and employees will participate in Read Across America in our local schools (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).

On March 1, 2014, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls participated as a guest judge at the Arcadia Host Lions Club, Zone Level Speech Contest. The theme for the competition was "Community Service-What Does It Mean and Why Does It Matter."  Three student speakers from South Pasadena High School, Baldwin Park High School, and Sacred Heart High School in Lincoln Heights participated for a chance to move on to the next round of competition and earn college scholarships.  All three speakers were extraordinary with the winner coming from South Pasadena High School.  Congratulations to all of the participants.    

Pasadena’s Finest:  

On February 24, I received a letter from a local community member commending Pasadena Police Specialists Ricky Liu and Brandon Anderson for their assistance during a theft investigation. The victim thought she had been victimized and notified the Pasadena Police Department.  Later, the victim found the missing items and called her case detective, Corporal Richard Padilla, to report the misunderstanding.  The author wrote, “… I want to tell you what nice people these three police officers were to me when I was so fearful and distraught.  And also how non-judgmental and kind the detective was when I called to tell him that I had found the documents.  I appreciate all that the Pasadena Police Department does to assist all of us when we are in need of help…”

On February 24, I received a letter from Western University Eye Care Center, Chief of Vision Rehabilitation Services, Linda Pang commending Pasadena Police Detectives Sal Vidales and Mark Lang.  Linda lost her car keys while exercising near the Rose Bowl.  The keys were later found and turned over to Mark.  Linda was subsequently called and notified about her property.  She wrote, “… I applaud their efforts in upholding dignity for the citizens of Pasadena by serving and protecting their needs. In previous cities where I have been disappointed with the law enforcement, the Pasadena police force has reinstated my trust and respect…”

On February 25, Pasadena Police Chaplain Chip Rittenhouse responded to assist the family on a suicide in the 900 block of Topeka Street.  Chip prayed with the family and talked about local resources that are available to the family following this tragic incident.  The Pasadena Police Department has a very robust Chaplin Program and its members frequently respond to critical incidents providing intervention and prayer to those in need. The chaplains volunteer their time and are part of the Pasadena Police Department’s Volunteer Core, which is coordinated by Officer Kim Baecker.  Please visit the police department’s webpage at: /www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/Police to learn more about the Volunteer Program.

On February 26, Pasadena Police Officer Cristian Allen, Police Specialist Hilda Jurado, and Officer Edgar Sanchez participated in a Pasadena Police Department Stranger Danger and SWAT presentation to elementary students at Celerity Exa Charter School in Altadena.  The event was coordinated by Officer Cristian Allen and Celerity Exa Charter School Principal Sara Garcia.  Two 3rd grade classes participated in the event where the following topics were covered: gun awareness and reporting, contacts with strangers, knowing important contact information, becoming a police officer, SWAT equipment, and a number of other basic safety tips (Photos at @PPDChiefSanchez).  

On February 27, I received an email from Platt College Professor Rafael Sanchez commending Pasadena Police Officer Allen and Police Specialist Hilda Jurado for the building tour they provided to a group of criminal justice students.  Rafael wrote, “… Thank you for the tour of your facility.  I was especially thankful that you spoke about the importance of report writing, a clean social media account, and appearance…”  (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).

On March 1, Pasadena Police & SWAT Officer Tai Wotherspoon participated in the friendly (but competitive) Victor Gordo Soccer Tournament, which was held at Villa Park.  Proceeds raised through the tournament are used to help sponsor local youth who cannot afford equipment, league fees, or other essentials of the game. There are approximately 2200 local youth playing in the Pasadena Soccer League throughout our community. Tai was “recruited” by District 5 Field Representative Vannia De La Cuba, and has an extensive soccer experience, currently playing in at least one adult league (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).

Critical Incidents:  

Pasadena Police Capture Brazen Home Burglar: In the early morning of February 19, a residential burglary occurred in the 1300 block of North Catalina Avenue. The suspect entered the house as the elderly residents slept. Once inside, the suspect removed items including a wallet, a cellular telephone, and jewelry. A surveillance camera within in the residence captured the suspect’s image and actions.

Pasadena Police immediately initiated an investigation, identifying a possible suspect. On February 23, video footage of the burglary was broadcast on a local news channel. As a result, the Pasadena Police Department received anonymous tips through “Crime Stoppers” that confirmed the suspect as Angel Luis Tapia, a 23-year-old Male Hispanic from Pasadena.

On February 27, just after midnight, Pasadena Police tracked suspect Tapia to a motel room in the 2800 block of East Colorado Boulevard in Pasadena. Angel Tapia was arrested without incident for residential burglary and is being held at the Los Angeles County Jail without bail (Tapia was on parole for burglary). Pasadena Police Detectives continue their investigation seeking the recovery of stolen items. Anyone with information is asked to contact Lieutenant Diego Torres at (626) 744-4507, the On-duty Watch Commander at (626) 744-4620, or the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241. You may report anonymously through Crime Stoppers at (800) 222-TIPS (8477) or http://lacrimestoppers.org (insert key word Pasadena).

The Pasadena Police Department reminds you to always lock your doors and windows utilizing good quality deadbolts and tamper resistant window locks, day and night. If you "See Something, Say Something.” Reporting suspicious activity when you first learn of it gives law enforcement a greater chance of disrupting criminal activity. Together we can impact crime and make a safer place for all of us to live, play, and work.

On March 1, at about 11:38 p.m., Pasadena Police Officers Gligorijevic and Jones were on routine patrol in a marked police car near Woodbury and Raymond when they observed a suspicious vehicle.  The officers developed sufficient probable cause and initiated a traffic stop. 

The driver failed to yield and fled the immediate area.  Officers initiated a vehicle pursuit (approximately 2 minutes) and the suspect stopped his car near in the 1400 block of Garfield Avenue.

The passenger suspect (Male Black, 17 - Altadena Resident: Known local gang member, armed with a loaded firearm) was immediately taken into custody at the conclusion of the pursuit without further incident. The driver suspect (Male Black, 30s - Altadena Resident: Known local gang member) fled on foot and initially evaded capture. He was seen in the 1500 block of North Los Robles Avenue. Pasadena Police officers quickly contained the area with the assistance of the airship (PD1).

The driver suspect was subsequently taken into custody without further incident.  The officers later determined the driver suspect was on active parole for vehicular manslaughter. The suspects were transported and booked for felony charges at the Pasadena Jail.  No Pasadena Police officers, citizens, or suspects were injured in this incident, which lasted approximately 60 minutes.  The incident was managed by Sergeant Kate Favara and Lieutenant Gourdikian.  As an aside, Pasadena Police officers continue to encounter a greater number of armed suspects in our community.   

 On March 3 at about 8:12 p.m., Pasadena Police officers assigned to the Special Enforcement Section (SES) were conducting extra service patrols in the 1400 block of El Sereno Avenue.  The officers saw a suspicious male (Hispanic, 19 years, known gang member) loitering near a gang location. SES officers developed sufficient probable cause and approached the suspect.  The officers observed the subject throw something toward a parked vehicle.  The subject was detained without incident and when the officers searched the area where he had discarded the item, they located a loaded .25 caliber handgun under the car.  The suspect was arrested for possession of a handgun and booked at the Pasadena Jail. 

 On March 5 at about 11:22 p.m., Pasadena Police Officers Hamblin and Morgan were on routine patrol in the area of Glen and Tremont when they observed a subject (Male Black, 25, Altadena Resident, known gang member) riding a bicycle and observed him make a traffic violation.  Before the officers could contact the subject, he rode his bicycle to a residence in the 100 block of West Tremont Street. When the subject observed the officers, he immediately left the residence and rode away from the officers.  Officers Hamblin and Morgan checked the area where the subject had been and observed a firearm (.32 caliber handgun) lying on the driveway.  The handgun was recovered and the subject was detained a short distance away without incident.  Officers transported the subject to the Pasadena Jail.

 On March 7, members of the SGVSSTF, with the assistance of SWAT teams from the FBI, Monterey Park PD, and Glendale PD, executed nine search warrants.  Two gang members (both of whom have ties to Altadena and Pasadena) were arrested for various charges.  Five (5) firearms were seized including three (3) rifles and two (2) handguns.   A moderate amount of drugs and drug paraphernalia and gang affiliation paraphernalia were also located and seized. The Pasadena Police Department continues its efforts to safeguard the community through the combined and continuous efforts of all involved to thwart gang violence.


Take good care,

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





Posted: 3/9/2014 02:10:00 PM
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