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

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base:  A Message from the Chief
May 13, 2012


Dear Community Members and Department Personnel:  

Happy Mother’s Day!  

The majority of countries that celebrate Mother’s Day do so on the second Sunday of May.  On this day, it is common for Mothers to be lavished with presents, special attention from their families, friends, and loved ones.  The highly traditional practice of honoring of Motherhood is rooted in antiquity, and past rites typically had strong symbolic and spiritual overtones; societies tended to celebrate Goddesses and symbols rather than actual Mothers.  Only in the past few centuries did celebrations of Motherhood develop a decidedly human focus.  Regardless of how you celebrate Mother’s Day, please take time to honor your mother (Source: Mother Day Central).  

Save the Date:  

The Pasadena Police and Fire Departments are hosting their first annual Police and Fire Memorial Service, to honor the brave Pasadena men and women who have made the ultimate sacrifice in the performance of their duties.  The event will be held on May 15, from 6:00 p.m. – 7:30 p.m. in front of City Hall (Garfield Avenue side) and the public is welcome.  The month of May is the time of year when public safety departments remember their fallen first responders.  To date, six Pasadena police officers and seven Pasadena firefighters have lost their lives protecting our community.  The solemn ceremony will include the presentation of colors, the national anthem, a 21-gun salute, ringing of the bell, taps, and a fly-over.  Please consider attending this special commemorative ceremony so that together, as a community, we can honor Pasadena’s Finest.  For more information, please contact Pasadena Police Sergeant Michael Bugh at MBugh@cityofpasadena.net or 626-744-3871 (Source:  Sergeant Michael Bugh).   

The 2012 NOBLE Region VI Conference is scheduled for May 16 – 18 at the Pasadena Convention Center.  Please consider attending this fun and educational training experience, which will bring together law enforcement professionals from across the Western United States.  Cutting edge ideas for reducing crime and ensuring fairness and equity in the judicial system will be the highlight of the event.  For more information, please contact MHP Events co-owner Jill Hawkins at (626) 791-1225 (Source: SGV NOBLE).   

The Pasadena Police Foundation invites you to an all-day fundraiser at El Portal Restaurant on May 23.  You can enjoy wonderful Yucatan / Mexican cuisine in this landmark Pasadena restaurant while supporting the Pasadena Police Foundation (PPF).  Fifteen percent (15%) of all sales will be donated to PPF.  El Portal Restaurant is located at 695 East Green Street.  For more information, please contact PPF Board Member Sandra Greenstein at Greenstein@charter.net or landline at 626-577-5842 (Source: Sandra Greenstein).  

The Pasadena Police Department, Air Operations Section will host its annual Open House on June 2, from 10:30 a.m. – 2:30 p.m. The event will take place at Benedict Heliport and will feature the Pasadena Police helicopters and a motorcycle skills demonstration. The event is free to the public and food and beverages will be served.  For more information, please contact Lieutenant Michael Ingram at MIngram@cityofpasadena.net.  (Source:  Lieutenant Michael Ingram).   

The Pasadena Police Classic Car Show is scheduled for June 17, 10:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., at the Paseo Colorado, 300 East Green Street.  The event is supported by the Pasadena Lions Club and will include awards in several categories, including: Police Chief’s Favorite, Paseo’s Favorite, People’s choice, Best in show, and many others.  For more information about the Pasadena Police Classic Car Show, please contact Pasadena Police Sergeant Michael Bugh at MBugh@cityofpasadena.net or 626 744-3871 (Source:  Sergeant Michael Bugh).  

Our Community:   

On May 3, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Commanders John Perez, Lisa Rosales, and Chris Russ, Lieutenants Randell Taylor, Phlunte Riddle and Rodney Wallace, Administrator Gene Persons, Office Supervisor Beverly Bogar and I attended the 2012 Pasadena Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.  Preston Howard was the Master of Ceremonies and Mayor Bogaard provided opening remarks.  Pasadena Health Director, Dr. Eric Walsh, was the keynote speaker.  His topic was “The Prescription for a Healthy City.”  In addition to the City’s Executive Staff, there were a number of local, state, and federal elected officials and/or their representatives attending the event.   

On May 5, Pasadena Police Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle, Deborah K. Sanchez, and I attended the 9th Annual “A Kentucky Derby” Awards Dinner at the Blinn House, Women City Club.  The Dr. Robert Winter Award was presented to John Merritt and Dr. Robert P. Kneisel, for their efforts to preserving many of Pasadena’s wonderful historical homes.  A special thanks to WCC President Maria Schweitzer, for including the Pasadena Police Department in this exceptional community event, which was also attended by Mayor Bill Bogaard.  

On May 5, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle, Deborah K. Sanchez, and I attended a fund raiser for Hamilton Elementary School, which was also attended by PUSD Superintendent Jon Gundry.  Special thanks to Hamilton Elementary School Event Coordinator Kayleen Maya-Aviles for including the Pasadena Police Department.   

On May 7, Sergeant John Luna participated in a fund raiser at California Pizza Kitchen, Pasadena.  The funds raised supported Neighbors Acting Together Helping All (NATHA).  John serves as a NATHA Board Member.  

On May 8, Commander Lisa Rosales attended the clergy Community Coalition monthly meeting, which was held at Fuller Theological Seminary.  Lisa provided a public safety overview and co-presented (with Human Services and Recreation Director Mercy Santoro) information on the exciting new summer program, Parks after Dark.   

On May 9, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls and Lieutenants Pete Hettema and Phlunte Riddle attended a Welcome Ceremony for Tournament of Roses Executive Director, William Flinn. Elected officials and city staff included: Vice-Mayor Margaret McAustin, Council Member Victor Gordo, City Manager Michael Beck, Assistant City Manager Steve Mermell, and Transportation Director Fred Dock.  Also in attendance were John McAustin and Clair Bogaard.  

On May 11,  I attended the Mental Health Day, which was held at the Senior Center.  Councilmember Chris Holden opened the event with a few brief remarks and presented the coordinator with a City Council Proclamation.  Pasadena Police Officer Victor Cass was recognized for his long-time service assisting mental ill people in our community.     

On May 11, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle, Deborah K. Sanchez, and I attended the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority’s 24th Annual Scholarship Luncheon, which was held at the Glendale Hilton.  This year the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority honored Pasadena Community Leader Lena Kenney with the 2012 Mother of the Year Award.  I have come to know Lena sine my arrival in Pasadena and she is a valued community partner and leader.     

On May 11, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle, Office Supervisor Beverly Bogar and I attended the Women at Work “Afternoon High Tea” and Fashion Show.  The event was held at Noor-Sofia Ballroom and was very well attended.  Women at Work Board of Directors President Marsha Rood opened the event with a few remarks.  Women at Work Executive Director Robin McCarthy remarked on value of women in the work force.  The fashion show was presented by TRUU-Designs.   

Pasadena’s Finest:  

On April24, I received a letter from Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca commending the Pasadena Police Department for assisting with a barricaded suspect incident on Lake Avenue, in Altadena.  The letter states, “Your officers were a vital part of the operations and assisted Altadena Sheriff’s personnel in providing a tactical containment of the area until our Special Enforcement Bureau arrived.”  Sheriff Baca concluded the letter by saying he was grateful for the partnership between the Pasadena Police Department and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.   

On May 2, Pasadena Police Detectives William Broghamer, Keith Gomez, Ara Bzdigian, Jason Van Heck, Carolyn Gordon, David Duran, Sergeant Ernesto Devis, and Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra apprehended a suspect involved in an attempted murder that occurred on March 27th in the 1600 block of Fair Oaks Avenue. The arrest occurred after a comprehensive investigation and service of a search warrant.   

On May 3, the Pasadena Police Department Detective Section conducted a training class for the Alhambra Police Department on the implementation of a volunteer financial crimes investigations unit.  Detective Joe Allard, Detective Paul Granados, and Pasadena Police Volunteers Liz Diotta and Larry John, lectured on investigative techniques and other necessary material.  Identify theft is still considered the “fastest-growing crime in America.”   

On May 5, Members from Pasadena Police Department’s Explorer Post participated in the 1st Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department Competition.  The event was hosted by the Sheriff’s Department North County Region and was attended by 13 explore teams.  The Pasadena Police Explorers performed very well securing 1st and 3rd Place awards.  The following Explorer Advisors helped prepare the Explorer Cadets for the competition:  Corporal Dustin Gomez, PSS Michelle White, Officers Anthony Riley, Sheri Schwab, and Anthony Russo.   

On May 8, I received a letter from Dr. I. Juliana Christy, from the California Institute of Technology, commending Pasadena Police Officer Darin Craddolph for his professionalism while assisting with a non-emergency incident at the college.  Dr. Christy said Darin’s deportment and communication skills were outstanding.  

On May 8, Pasadena Police Park Safety Specialists Nick Ortiz, Tony Ambroze, Maria Huerta, Police Specialists Laura Morris, and Volunteer Lou Oronoz, conducted a Park Watch in the area of the Lower Arroyo/Casting Ponds.  The group handed out literature to approximately 400 joggers, walkers, and horse-back riders.  The Pasadena Police Reserve Equestrian Unit also assisted in the effort to education our community about appropriate use of our open spaces.   

On May 9, I learned that Pasadena Police Officer Domino Scott received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Psychology.  She completed the 2 year program in about 18 months.  Her course work included a professional thesis project, 24 hours of personal psychotherapy, and 150 clinical hours.  The course work was completed on her personal time. Domino is currently assigned to the Field Operations Division.   

On May 9, I learned that Pasadena Police Officer Edgar Sanchez received his B.A. Degree in Sociology:  Law and Society.  Edgar maintained a 3.46 GPA while working full time as a Pasadena Police officer.  Additionally, Edgar was accepted into a Master’s Program at California State University, Northridge (CSUN).  He is currently assigned to the department’s Special Enforcement Section (SES).   

Critical Incidents:   

On April 24, a female adult walked into the Pasadena Police Department and reported that she had been sexually assaulted.  The victim said she met the suspect on April 22 while walking her dog.  The suspect befriended the victim, securing her personal contact information. At a later date, the suspect met the victim at her residence and assaulted her.  The case was assigned to Corporal Monica Cuellar, who immediately initiated a comprehensive investigation. Monica eventually secured several felony filings from the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, charging the suspect with residential burglary and sexual battery. The suspect was arrested and on March 1st, pled guilty to the charges.    

On May 1 at about 2:45 p.m. the Pasadena Police Department received a call regarding an 88 year old female who had walked away from her residence.  According to family members, the female victim suffers from Alzheimer’s Disease.  Several PPD officers were dispatched to look for the victim.  Additionally, the Pasadena Police Department notified adjacent police agencies and local area hospitals.   Council Member Steve Madison was driving home at about 5:00 p.m., and observed a woman matching the description of the missing adult walking on San Rafael Avenue.  Steve called the Pasadena Police Department and stopped to assist the victim.  He remained with the victim and talked with her (the victim is Spanish speaking; however, Steve managed to effectively communicate with her) until the police arrived.  Steve noted that although the victim had been walking for several hours, she did not appear to be distressed.   

On May 5, from 8:00 p.m. to 2:00 a.m. Pasadena Police Department’s Traffic Section conducted a DUI Saturation program throughout the city.  Fifty-nine (59) vehicles were stopped for suspected DUI driving, which resulted in thirteen (13) Field Sobriety Test and five (5) DUI arrests. The following personnel were involved in the DUI enforcement effort:  Lieutenant Randell Taylor, Sergeant Vasken Gourdikian, Officers Hsu, Watkins, Blanchard, Blumenthal, Karg, Bozarth, and Marquez.   

On May 7 at about 2:06 a.m. Pasadena Police Officers Robert Christian and Brian Petrella were conducting an investigation at a hotel in the 2800 block of East Colorado Boulevard.  Robert and Brian developed sufficient probable cause and contacted several people who were staying in one of the hotel rooms. The officers determined that one of the occupants was on active parole, which led to a search.  Robert and Brian subsequently found a stolen handgun, methamphetamine, various burglary tools, numerous credit cards, a credit card reader, and a credit embossing machine.  Several suspects were arrested and booked at the Pasadena jail.   

On May 7, at about 5:49 p.m. Pasadena Police officers were conducting an investigation at the Pasadena Residential Care Center (1400 block of North Garfield Avenue) when they were advised of a patient not breathing.  The officers quickly responded to the patient’s room and called the paramedics. Despite the medical efforts of the paramedics, the patient could not be revived.  While investigating the cause of death, another patient approached the officers and admitted to killing the victim.  Pasadena Detectives responded to the scene and the suspect was arrested.  The suspect was transported to the Pasadena jail and booked for murder.  On May 10, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office filed murder charges against the suspect, who remains in custody on $1,000,000 bail. The local media reported the incident:   http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/ppd-report-death-at-assisted-living-facility.   

On May 9, California Parole Agent Gory contacted the Pasadena Police Fugitive Apprehension Unit (FAU) regarding three registered sex offenders who were out of compliance. Upon receiving the suspect information, FAU task force officers immediately began their investigation.  Subsequently, FAU officers located and arrested the suspects without incident at three different locations.   

On May 9, the Pasadena Police officers, in conjunction with the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), the United States Secret Service, and the California Department of Alcohol Beverage Control (ABC), served search warrants in the cities of Pasadena, Burbank, and Glendale, following a comprehensive welfare fraud investigation. The joint investigation had been on-going since 2011, after Pasadena Police received complaints about possible welfare fraud at Sunshine Liquor, 3360 East Colorado Boulevard, in Pasadena). Three suspects were arrested without incident and booked at the Pasadena jail for Conspiracy to Commit Welfare Fraud.  The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Welfare Fraud Unit field charges against the suspects. The arrest was covered by the local media: http://www.pasadenasun.com/the626now/tn-pas-0509-welfare-fraud,0,1743238.story.   

Until Next Week,  

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






Posted: 5/13/2012 09:30:00 AM
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