Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (12/02/12)

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


Dear Community Members and Department Personnel:  

For your Information:  

On December 1, the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) published their preliminary report regarding the Pasadena Police Helicopter accident, which occurred on November 17.  You can read the preliminary report at:     

www.ntsb.gov/aviationquery/AccList.aspx?month=11&year=2012.  The NTSB, which is the lead agency in this investigation, will publish a factual report in about a year. The final report (Probable Cause) will be ready in about three years.     

Save the Date:  

On December 7, from 6:30 – 8:30 p.m. Anthony Portantino is hosting a Holiday Open House & Community Appreciation event at the Armory Center for the Arts, 145 North Raymond Avenue. The event is features a book drive to benefit local public school libraries and nonprofit organizations.  Attendees are encouraged to donate a new, unwrapped book, appropriate for kindergarten through 6th grade readers.   

On December 8 from 4:00 – 5:00 p.m. the Salvation Army is hosting its Second Red Kettle Ring-Off at the Paseo Colorado.  Mayor Bill Bogaard, City Manager Michael Beck, Fire Chief Calvin Wells and I will attempt to raise the most money during this friendly competition.  All the donated funds will go toward serving Pasadena families in need.  Salvation Army Major Darren Norton will be on hand at the Red Kettle Ring-Off to help direct your favorite city official.   

On December 9, from 3:00 – 4:30 p.m. Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) officials and Urban Homestead City Farm, A Pasadena model for sustainable living, will join Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard for the United Nations Association’s and City of Pasadena’s Human Rights Day event.  The event will celebrate the 64th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and as a kick-off for 2013 as the United Nations’ Year of Water Cooperation.  The event will be held at the Pasadena Central Library, 285 East Walnut Street, Donald Wright Auditorium. Admission is free. For more information visit www.unapassadena.or or call Rhonda Stone, Field Representative to the Mayor, at (626) 744-7147. 

On December 27 from 3:00 – 7:00 p.m., The Pasadena Police Activities League (PAL) is hosting a Sneak Peek Preview of the 2013 Rose Parade floats before they head down Colorado Boulevard.  The preview will be held at Phoenix Decorating Company, 835 South Raymond Avenue. Admission is $25 for adults, $10 for kids (under 15). Food/drinks will be available.  For more information, or to RSVP, please contact Jill Hawkins at jill@mhpevents.com, or (626) 791-1225.  

Our Community: 

On November 14, the California Board of State and Community Corrections informed the Pasadena Police Department of the award approval in the amount $492,520 for the 2013-2014 California Gang Reduction, Intervention and Prevention (Cal-GRIP).  The Pasadena Police Department and the Flintridge Center partnered in submitting an evidenced-based grant to fund community programs to reduce gang violence, youth participation in gangs, and providing reintegration programs for those recently released from incarceration.  The Pasadena Police Department would like to thank the Flintridge Center’s Executive Director, Jaylene Moseley, Sarah Orth, and Commander John Perez for their leadership in the successful award of the CalGRIP grant for a second consecutive year.      

On November 18, I met with Judges Dorothy Nelson, Raymond Fisher, and Richard Paez to discuss public safety, use of force, and the law.  All serve on the United States 9th Circuit Court of Appeals and have experience dealing with police litigation.  The judges provided informative insight about the use of force and police conduct within the context of the law.  

On November 26, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Officer Anthony Russo, Brian Biery (Flintridge Center), and I attended a meeting hosted by Senator Carol Lui to discuss the impact of parole reentry.  There were several other law enforcement representatives at the meeting to share their perspectives, concerns, and opinions.  California is in the second year of the Parole Reentry Program (early release from state prisoners), which was mandated by the United States Supreme Court in 2010 to reduce the prison population. The Pasadena Police Department developed the Pasadena Reintegration and Enforcement Program (PREP), which is facilitated by Officer Anthony Russo. Compliance checks are routinely conducted by detectives assigned to the West San Gabriel Valley-Anti Crime Taskforce (WSGV-ACT_, uniform patrol officers, other units within the department. As part of a comprehensive approach to ensure early release prisoners have every opportunity to succeed, the Pasadena Police Department collaborates with about 324 nonprofit organizations through the Pasadena / Altadena Reintegration Council (PARC).  PARC has served approximately 460 formally incarcerated  people since June 2011.   


On November 27, I attended the Swearing-in Ceremony for Sierra Madre Chief of Police, Larry A. Giannnone.  There were several Los Angeles County Chiefs at the ceremony, numerous community members, and public safety personnel.  Larry served as the Interim chief for the past year prior to his appointment.  

On November 27, Pasadena Police Sergeant Marie Sell, Sergeant Vasken Gourdikian, Corporal Robin Stinson, and Officer Lynda Mercado attended the Historical Highlands community meeting. The meeting was well attended and Marie, Robin, and Lynda talked about public safety issues, prevention measures, and property crimes.  

On November 28, Pasadena Police Department hosted a Community Training Day (for Spanish speaking community members) at the range.  The course was facilitated by Police Specialists Arlene Ramos, Communications Operator Diana Parra, Officer Veronica Burris, Corporal Alonzo Wilkins, Sergeant Bobby Lomeli, and Communications Center Supervisor Melissa Trujillo.  Lieutenant Rodney Wallace provided opening remarks. The class consisted of approximately 20 Spanish-speaking adults (all Pasadena residents) and the topics included: public safety, use of force, and communications.  

On November 28, Forensic Specialist Ralph Chapman and I stopped by the Jackie Robinson Center (JRC) to talk with community members attending the hot meal program.  Ralph and I spent some time talking with Pastor Burrell and community members.    

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On November 20, Commander John Perez and Flintridge Center’s Director of Prevention and Intervention, Ricky Pickens, met with representatives from the Institute for Economics & Peace (IEP), a non-profit research organization based in New York and Washington D.C.  The meeting was held at the Pasadena Police Department and the group discussed the 2012 global peace index and neighborhood peace strategies to enhance the quality of community life for all people.  The peace index measures various social characteristics such as homicide rates, frequency of violent crime, incarceration levels, and the economic impact of violence in society.  We look forward to working with IEP in the future and developing peace strategies for our community.   The Institute for Economics and Peace research publications can be accessed at http://economicsandpeace.org/publications 

On November 20, I received an email from a Private Investigator commending Pasadena Police Officer Doug Hamblin.  The author was pleased with Doug’s overall response to a very delicate and potentially dangerous situation.  He wrote, “… I am personally grateful to Officer Hamblin for his professionalism and help, and on behalf of my client I wish to extend their gratitude as we…..”   

On November 20, I received an email from Pasadena Police Corporal Glenn Thompson commending six Pasadena youths on their achievements while attending the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Explorer Academy.  The Pasadena Explorers recruits completed their class run and earned their patches (which is a very big deal).  Our recruits are:  Viridian Flores, Wendy Realegno, Jose Orsorto, Bryant Huerta, Deanna Quiros, and Janet Hernandez. If you are interested in learning more about the Pasadena Police Explorer Program, please contact Glenn at Gthompson@cityofpasadena.net, or visit the department website at cityofpasadena.net/Police/.   

On November 20, Pasadena Police Sergeant Mario Ortiz and Motor Officer Derek Locklin attended a Motivational Media Assembly at AGBU Vatche and Tamar Manoukian High School.  The drug prevention and highway safety assembly was presented by Motivational Speaker Dave Cornett.  The program includes popular music videos, movies, and television clips to educate young people about making informed choices.  There were about 100 students participating in the program. Pasadena Police Sergeant Vasken Gourdikian helped to coordinate the program at the school.   

On November 27, the Pasadena Youth Center’s (PYC) Board of Directors held their quarterly meeting at the Pasadena Police Department to discuss the outcome of the 2012 Adelante Young Men’s Conference.  The session also established the goals for the 2013 Adelante Mujer Latina Conference.   PYC is led by Executive Directive Stella Murga and board members include Ana Olgaz, Diane Medina, Kristi Lopez, Gerda Govine, Jack Ochoa, and John Perez.  The Pasadena Youth Center continues to be a community leader in developing our youth to realize their vocational and leadership abilities.  If you are interested in learning more, volunteering, or being a sponsor, please visit their website at http://pasadenayouthcenter.org/home.   

On November 28, The Armenian Relief Society of Western United States, and Pacific Clinics held a Community Forum at Saint Mary’s Church, located at 500 South Central Avenue in Glendale. This was one of five workshop series which will be held between November 28th and January 9th. Pasadena Police Sergeant Greg Afsharian served on a panel of experts speaking about the issues surrounding substance abuse and addiction.  Additional panelists were Garo Ghazarian, Esq; Angelique Shirvanian, Action Parent & Teen Support Programs; Kevin Babayan, MA, CDAC; and Glendale Police Officer Matt Zakarian.  Suzanne Douzmanian, Chairperson, Armenian Advisory Board, Pacific Clinics/PUSD-Armenian Liaison Specialist, served as the moderator. The focus and objective for the evening was drug addiction and prevention for young people.   

On November 29, several Pasadena Police employees attended the City of Pasadena 25 Year Club Luncheon to honor employees for their service to the community.  Each honored member had a minimum of 25 years of service to the City. There were employees from the following departments:  City Clerk, City Manager, DoIT, Fire, Libraries, Planning, Police, Public Works, Transportation, and Water & Power.  The police honorees included:  Andrea DeLeon, Thomas Gonzales, Christopher Gutierrez, John Luna, Robert Mercado, Alex Padilla, David Reavis, Lisa Rosales, and Robert Tucker.   

On November 29, several Pasadena employees joined with coworkers from other city departments to wish farewell to Deputy Planning and Development Director, Stephanie Wolfe.  Stephanie served the community for more than 18 years and was recently selected as Planning Director for the City of West Hollywood.  Pasadena Councilman Terry Tornek spoke on behalf of the city council and presented Stephanie with a proclamation highlighting her service. City Manager Michael Beck, Assistant City Managers Steve Mermell and Julie Gutierrez, and Planning Director Vince Bertoni all spoke about Stephanie’s dedication and talents.    

On November 29, several Pasadena Police employees, family members, friends, and Pasadena Police Foundation Representatives attended the Youth Accountability Board (YAB) Graduation, which was held at the police department.  The graduation was facilitated by Pasadena Program Coordinator, Olivia Siciliano, and Pasadena Police Officer, Bryan Marin. Maria and Angel Benavides (parents of one of the graduates) talked with parents about their YAB experience with their daughter. The YAB is funded in part by the Pasadena Police Foundation (PPF).  PPF Board member Myron Yanish was in the audience. The following Pasadena Police employees attended the graduation to support our youth:  Darryl Qualls, John Perez, Cheryl Moody, Tory Riley, Marcia Taglioretti, Jessie Carrillo, Monica Cuellar, Schuyler Sandeen, Van Kim, Alex Padilla, Rodney Wallace, Anh Ly, and Josh Jones.  Explorers from Post 19 and Pasadena Volunteers also participated in the graduation.   

Critical Incidents: 

Prior to September 2011, a White Male adult committed several bank robberies throughout Los Angeles County.  Two of the bank robberies were committed in Pasadena.  The two Pasadena cases were assigned to Pasadena Police Detective Robert Mercado, who solicited the assistance of the Pacific Southwest Regional Fugitive Taskforce (PSWRFTF) to identify and apprehend the suspect.  In September 2012, Pasadena Police detectives assigned to PSWRFTF received information from a reliable source implicating the responsible person for the bank robberies. Robert developed the information which subsequently identified the suspect.  The investigation determined the suspect was possibly in Memphis, Tennessee.  On November 29, the suspect information was shared with the United States Marshal’s Service in Tennessee.  The US Marshals later located and arrested the suspect without incident.   

On October 11, Pasadena Police officers investigated a residential burglary in the 1100 block of Paladora Avenue.  The suspect stole jewelry, an iPod, and digital cameras. Pasadena Forensic Technician Allen Brogdon processed the scene and recovered some physical evidence.  The case was assigned to Detective Deanne Nestlerode.  On November 18, Deanne received notification from Forensic Technician Danielle Biglin that a suspect had been identified by the evidence collected at the scene.   


Deanne contacted detectives assigned to the West San Gabriel Valley Anti-Crime Taskforce (WSGV-ACT) and told them about the burglary suspect.  WSGV-ACT detectives developed the information and determined the suspect was likely living with his girlfriend in Pasadena.  The detectives observed the suspect exiting his girlfriend’s house and detained him.  Deanne was notified and applied for a search warrant.  Once the search warrant was approved, WSGV-ACT detectives, Detective Andrea DeLeon, and Deanna searched the location where they discovered much of the property stolen from the Paladora address.  The suspect was arrested without incident and the case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, where felony charges were subsequently filed.    

On November 20 at about 10:00 a.m., police detectives assigned to the West San Gabriel Valley Anti–Crime Taskforce (WSGV-ACT) conducted a parole compliance search at the home of a local gang member in the 100 block of Penn Street.  During the search, ACT detectives recovered a firearm.  The gang member was on active parole and was arrested for possession of a firearm.  The WSGV-ACT has seized four guns in the past few weeks. All the recovered firearms will be run through NIBIN system.   The task force is supervised by Pasadena Police Sergeant Vasken Gourdikian.   

On November 23 at about 4:15 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 300 block of South Mentor Avenue regarding an armed robbery that just occurred.  On arrival, officers talked with the victim who said he and a female friend had just finished shopping when they were approached by the suspect (Male Hispanic).  The suspect pointed a gun at the victims and demanded their property (cell phone, purse, and a camera).  Fearing for their safety, the victims complied with the suspect’s demands. The suspect then ran to a nearby car driven by a Female Hispanic adult.  The two suspects fled the location in their car, but not before the victim obtained a license plate number and vehicle description.   

Officers Sean Porter, Jack Rappuchi, and Sergeant Tory Riley began their investigation and determined the vehicle used as the get-a-way car was registered to an address in Pomona.  Sean contacted Pomona Police Department and requested their officers check the address of the registered owner.  Several house later, Pomona Police officers stopped the vehicle.  Sean, Jack and Tory responded to Pomona and interviewed the suspects.  The suspects subsequently made a statement regarding the robbery.  Stolen property taken in the robbery was found in the suspect’s vehicle along with the weapon (BB gun).  The suspects were arrested and transported to the Pasadena Police Department jail where they were booked.    

On November 24 at about 7:30 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to La Tierra Street and Vinedo Avenue regarding a solo vehicle traffic collision.  The driver and only occupant, was seriously injured when his car impacted a tree.  The victim was transported to a local hospital. Alcohol was believed to be involved.  Pasadena Police Lieutenant Randell Taylor and officers assigned to the department’s Traffic Section investigated the collision.   

On November 25 at about 4:30 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 700 block of Elmira Street regarding a suicide investigation.  On arrival, officers talked with relatives who said they discovered the victim lying on the floor, apparently deceased.  Evidence at the scene suggested the victim closed and sealed the doors and windows and started a BBQ grill. The relatives indicated the victim had been depressed over the past few years.  The Los Angeles Corner’s Office responded to take custody of the victim’s body.   

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



Posted: 12/2/2012 01:30:00 PM
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