Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (12/09/12)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base: A Message from the Chief
December 9, 2012

Dear Community Members and Department Personnel: 

For your information: 

The Pasadena Salvation Army (PSA) and the Pasadena Fire Department’s Spark of Love Program are in the process of collecting toys for children who might otherwise not have a Christmas.   Assisting 47 Pasadena and Altadena families, PSA is asking people to contribute toys, especially for the older children in the age range of 9 to 12 years old.  PSA is looking for board games, sports equipment, craft sets, and science-oriented presents.  Gifts can be delivered to any Pasadena Fire Station or the Salvation Army-Pasadena Tabernacle at 960 East Walnut Avenue, Pasadena 91106.  I you have any questions please call PSA Director of Social Services, Patrick O Riley at (626) 773-4404.  

Save the Date: 

On December 17 from 9:00 am – 12:00 pm, the Pasadena Armenian Police Advisory Council (PAPAC) is hosting its 17th Annual Christmas Toy Drive at the Pasadena Police Department.  Students from Pasadena High School will sing Christmas carols as new toys are prepared for delivery to community organizations and families throughout Pasadena.  The event is coordinated by PAPAC Board of Directors members Hovannes Sarkissian and Harry Kouladijian, Pasadena Police Sergeant Vasken Gourdikian, and Corporal Ara Bzdigian.   

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 December 2, Lieutenant Rodney Wallace, Corporal Glenn Thompson, Park Safety Officer Michelle White, Deborah K Sanchez, and I attended the Mayor’s Twenty Seventh Annual Christmas Party for Kids, which was held at the Brookside Golf Club Restaurant.  Mayor Bill Bogaard opened the event with a few brief remarks. Vice Mayor Margaret McAustin and Councilman Gene Masuda, City Manager Michael Beck, Fire Chief Calvin Wells, Human Services and Recreation Director Mercy Santoro, and Human Services & Recreation Administrator Horace Wormely also attended the event.  Human Services and Recreation Supervisor, Jarvis Emerson, was busy taking photos of the entire party. The party featured Santa Clause, who arrived in his sleigh which was cleverly disguised as a Pasadena Fire vehicle.  The 2013 Royal Court (Queen Vanessa Manjarrez, Princesses Nicole Nelam, Sonia Shenoi, Madison Teodo, Victoria McGregor, Tracy Cresta and Kate Benuska), and 2012 Pasadena Idol Chelsea J were also featured.  The children who attended the event appeared to have a really good time, especially when the gifts were distributed.  

On December 2, Deborah K.Sanchez and I attended the 4th Annual BCS Selection Sunday Event, which was hosted by Pasadena Magazine and Presented by Coca-Cola Zero. The event was held at the Tournament House and was very well attended.  Mayor Bill Bogaard, Rose Bowl Management Committee Member Libby Wright, Tournament of Roses Executive Director Bill Flinn, and Keith Jackson (former sports announcer), provided an overview of the upcoming Rose Bowl Game, which features University of Wisconsin and Stanford University.  I spent some time at the event talking with Rose Bowl Game Chief Administrative Officer, Kevin Ash, and Rose Bowl Senior Game Manager, Ed Corey.  

On December 3, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Commander John Perez, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle, and I attended the Swearing-In Ceremony for Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacey.  The event was held at the Galen Center (Jackie graduated from USC Law School) and was attended by elected officials, Los Angeles County Police Chiefs, and community leaders.  The Master of Ceremonies was United States Attorney for the Central District of California, Andre Birotte, Jr. Former Los Angeles County District Attorney, Steve Cooley, issued the Oath of Office.  Pasadena Police Officer Kim Jones was selected to serve on the Honor Guard at the Swearing-In Ceremony.  

On December 4, Fire Chief Calvin Wells and I participated in a Public Safety Announcement (PSA) focused on holiday safety tips.  The PSA was coordinated by Stuart Johnson from Pasadena Media and his crew (Mike and Michele). Delancy Street Christmas Tree lot, a local nonprofit here in Pasadena (located at Sierra Madre Boulevard and San Pasqual Avenue), was the backdrop for the PSA.  

On December 5, Deborah K. Sanchez and I attended the Villa Esperanza Annual Holiday Reception, which was held at Mijares Mexican Restaurant.  I visited with Director Kelly White and Former Assemblyman Anthony Portantino.  I was told that City Manager Michael Beck stopped by to visit as well. Villa Esperanza is a local nonprofit serving developmentally disabled clients. For more information about Villa Esperanza, please visit: www.villaesperanzaservices.org. Villa is a valued community partner.  

On December 5, Deborah K. Sanchez and I stopped by the Five Acres Festive Holiday Open House.  We visited with Chief Executive Officer, Chanel W. Boutakidis, and Director of Education, Monique Baca-Geary.  Later in the evening, the program featured Five Acres Students singing holiday songs.  They also presented various arts and crafts they created.  Five Acres is a child and family services agency that strengthens families and prevents child abuse through treatment and education in community-based and residential programs. For more information on Five Acres, please visit: www.fiveacres.org.   

On December 6, the Chamber’s annual President’s Breakfast honored Sally Bixby, President of the 2013 Tournament of Roses and the Tournament of Roses Association.  The event attracted 200 guests to the Sheraton Hotel in Pasadena.  The guest of honor, President Bixby, was accompanied by her husband Harlan.  The Rose Court and Rose Queen Vanessa Manjarrez were also in attendance along with eight past presidents of the Tournament. Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard, City Manager Michael Beck, Assistant City Managers Steve Mermell and Julie Gutierrez, Deborah K. Sanchez, and I were joined by Adam Carter, representing State Senator Carol Liu, and Tournament of Roses CEO, Bill Flinn.  Also in attendance were Pasadena City College President Mark Rocha and Ezat Parnia, president of Pacific Oaks College.  Chamber Board Chair Patty Waggoner was joined by many members of the Board.  Past Chamber Board Chairs, Michael D’Antuono, Ray Serafin, Rich Roche, Bob Hunt, Jeanne Brewer, George Falardeau, and Dennis Buckley were also on hand for the breakfast. The President’s breakfast was sponsored by California Bank and Trust, Corporate Center Pasadena, Kaiser Permanente, Singpoli Capital Corporation, and Wells Fargo.  The program was emceed by Paul Little.  

On December 6, several Pasadena Police employees, city staff, Deborah K. Sanchez, and I attended the Mayor’s Holiday Tree Lighting Ceremony.  The event was very well attended and I visited with Mayor Bill Bogaard and Assemblyman Chris Holden.  Pasadena PIO, William Boyer, served as emcee.  

On December 7, I stopped by Anthony Portantiono’s Holiday Open House and Community Appreciation Event, which was held at the Armory Center.  The annual event is always well attended and this year was no exception.  There were several community leaders and officials attending the open house.  

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On November 19, I received a letter from Los Angeles County Sheriff Lee Baca commending Pasadena Police Officer Jose Urita, for his assistance in a homicide investigation.  On December 17, 2011, a male victim was shot while inside a garage in the 6500 block of Suva Street, in the city of Bell Gardens.  The victim later died from his injury.  Sheriff’s investigators determined the victim was the target of a coordinated robbery effort involving two suspects. Jose, who is currently assigned to a Federal Taskforce, became aware of the incident and utilized the network of resources developing valuable suspect information.  Jose located one of the involved suspects in Las Vegas, Nevada. The suspect was subsequently arrested without incident and extradited to Los Angeles County.  Sheriff’s investigators were able to development further information which led to the arrest of the second suspect responsible for the homicide.  Sheriff Baca wrote, “… On behalf of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Homicide Bureau, I wish to extend my appreciation and thanks to Officer Urita for a job well done…”  

On November 27, I received a letter from Pasadena City College (PCC) Police Chief Stan Perez commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Rudy Lemos, for lecturing to a group of students enrolled in a homeland security course.  Chief Perez wrote, “… It was quite obvious he [Rudy] spent considerable time and effort preparing for the presentation, which I so deeply appreciate…”  

On November 28, I received a note from City Manager Michael Beck commending Pasadena Police Lieutenants Bruce George and Phlunte Riddle for meeting with Riverside Government Officials.  Bruce discussed a number of topics including public safety, major events, and traffic management with the group, while Phlunte assisted with site visits throughout the city.  

On November 28, in the early morning, Pasadena Police officers and Public Works employees collaborated on developing an education and enforcement program to reduce the amount of recyclables stolen from the city. The first operation occurred between 5:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m. within the boundaries of El Molino Avenue, Hill Street, Maple Street, and the northern city limit.  Pasadena Police Officers Matt Widger and Kim Jones balanced their approach with education about the offense, warnings, and citations when appropriate. Public Works employees Norah Jolley and Michael Williams assisted the officers with spotting violators and collecting the recyclables. Fourteen (14) subjects were contacted for PMC 8.60.310 violations (theft of recyclables, or suspicion of theft); resulting in five citations. The Police and Public Works Departments will collaborate on a second education and enforcement program in the near future. By selling recyclables collected through our curbside recycling program, the City of Pasadena offsets the cost of the pickups, supports environmental education, keeps other Public Works Department programs going strong, and supports Pasadena’s goal of creating zero waste by 2040.  Residents can help reduce the theft of recyclables by contacting the Public Works Department at (626)744-4087 to arrange for a locking recyclable container for a nominal fee. Additional information can be found on the City of Pasadena website at Locking Recycling Bins Wards Off Offenders

On October 26, I received a letter from San Gabriel City Manager Steven A. Preston, commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Marie Sell for her participation in Entry-Level Police Officer interviews for the San Gabriel Police Department.  Steven wrote, “… The city is greatly indebted to you for helping us identify candidates for this important position… 

On December 5, I received notice that Pasadena Police Corporal Alonzo Wilkins received his Master of Arts Degree in Education from Ashford University.  Alonzo finished the program with a 3.83 GPA, while maintaining his full-time job as a police officer. He also possesses a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Social and Criminal Justice.  

On December 5, I received an email from Madison Healthy Start Family Center Program Coordinator, Mirsa Serrano commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Bobby Lomeli for participating in the Madison Community Schools Collaborative Meeting.  I understand the meeting was very productive and participants are moving forward with educational programs to benefit Madison Elementary students.  

On December 6, I received information from South Lake Business Association (SLBA) Executive Director, Gina Tleel, commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Art Chute (and other city staff) for their assistance in helping to coordinate the SBLA Annual Holiday Celebration.  

On December 6, I received an email from Pasadena Deputy City Attorney, Javan Rad, commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Teresa Rojas for her assistance in a civil matter.  Javan wrote, “…Sergeant Rojas in Professional Standards was also helpful in getting me documents…”  

On December 7, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Commander Lisa Rosales, and I attended the welcome reception for Pasadena Chief Information Officer Phillip Leclair, and Director of Human Resources, Kristi Recchia. The reception was held at City Hall and City Manager Michael Beck was the emcee. Mayor Bill Bogaard and Councilman Terry Tornek were joined by several City of Pasadena Department Directors, friends and family.  

Critical Incidents:  

On December 1 at about 12:28 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the area of Lincoln Avenue and Wyoming Street regarding a gunshot victim. On arrival, officers located the victim, a Male/Black adult, who was suffering from a single gunshot wound to his lip/mouth. The victim was conscious and alert.  He said he was walking on Lincoln Avenue when the suspect shot him from a passing vehicle.  The victim could not describe the shooter or the vehicle. He was transported to a local hospital for treatment. Pasadena Police Detectives were notified – our investigation is ongoing.  If you or others have information about this incident, please call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241, or the information can be reported anonymously through CRIME STOPPERS (800) 222-8477. 

On November 27, Pasadena Police officers responded to the 1200 block of Sierra Madre Villa regarding a residential burglary. The suspect(s) took several pieces of antique furniture and left the location prior to our arrival.  On December 1, two subjects (male and female) contacted a local antiques dealer, displayed the items stolen from the burglary, and asked the dealer if she wanted to buy the property. Unbeknownst to the subjects, the dealer recognized the items and knew they were stolen.  The antique dealer obtained the subject’s address and was told there were more items at the location.  The information was shared with PPD officers, who obtained a search warrant. When the warrant was served, PPD officers located several other items taken in the Sierra Madre Villa burglary.  The suspects were not at the location when the warrant was served; however, officers know their identity. Involved police personnel included:  Sergeant Marie Sell, Corporals Rich Padilla and Todd McDonald, Officers Joe Reinbold, Alex Torres, Robert Christian, and Anthony McGlade.  

On December 3 at about 3:53 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the area of California Boulevard, between Euclid Street and Bellevue Avenue, regarding a power outage.  A underground transformer failed, which cut power to several signal lights in the area.  PPD officers initially provided traffic control until they were relieved by Pasadena Police Volunteers Art Wetton, David Kilgore, and Vic Balozian.   

On December 4 at about 2:59 p.m., Pasadena Police Officer Darryl Harris observed a traffic violation involving a motorcycle in the area of Lake Avenue and Mountain Street. Darryl attempted to stop the rider; however, the suspect failed to yield.  Darryl initiated a vehicle pursuit, which lasted about 1 minute.  Darryl located the motorcycle; however, the rider was not found. Our investigation is ongoing – Sergeant John Luna supervised the incident.  

On December 5 at about 4:30 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 300 block of West Colorado Boulevard regarding a robbery.  On arrival, the victim said he was walking west on Colorado Boulevard, when two Male Hispanics approached him and demanded is property.  The suspects were holding liquor bottles (as weapons) at the time of the robbery.  The suspect then fled the scene.   

On December 6 at about 6:39 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 30 block of South Sierra Madre Boulevard regarding an attempted Grand Theft.  On arrival, the victims said they were at their residence when they heard a loud noise on the front porch.  The victims looked outside and saw two Males attempting to steal their bicycles. The victims called the police department and officers quickly arrived.  One suspect was arrested without incident, but the second suspect is outstanding.  

On December 6 at about 10:30 a.m., Detectives assigned to the West San Gabriel Valley Anti-Crime Taskforce (WSGVACTF) were monitoring a suspect in the 100 block of North Michigan Avenue.  After developing sufficient probable cause, detectives requested assistance from uniformed Pasadena Police Officers Ralph Ordonez and Elgin Lee. Ralph and Lee stopped the vehicle and contacted the occupants.  The subsequent investigations lead to the recovery of 3.5 pounds of marijuana and U.S. Currency.  The suspects were arrested without incident.  

On December 8, at about 2:30 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the area of Lake Avenue and Washington Boulevard regarding a disturbance.  The first police officer on scene observed what appeared to be a domestic dispute between a female and male inside a parked vehicle. As the officer attempted to investigate, the vehicle quickly pulled away from the curb (at the time it appeared the female was in distress and the officer could hear the female screaming from inside the subject's car). The driver of the vehicle failed to yield to the officers and a vehicle pursuit was initiated. The pursuit terminated on Sierra Madre Villa, just north of Foothill Blvd. At the end of the pursuit, the driver exited the car and was extremely uncooperative.  The suspect failed to comply with the officer's verbal orders to surrender.  At some point in the contact / arrest process, officers were compelled to use less lethal force to subdue the suspect. The female in the vehicle and 2nd male passenger were contacted and detained without incident.  The driver was arrested for Felony Evading and it appeared he was under the influence of a controlled substance.  The female and remaining male was released - they were not injured in the incident.   No PPD officers were injured and the pursuit was well supervised by the field sergeant. The Watch Commander was at the scene as the Incident Commander.   

On December 7 at about 4:30 p.m., Pasadena Police officers assigned to the Department’s Special Enforcement Section (SES) served a search warrant at a residence in the 400 block of North Garfield Avenue.  The SES officers recovered a quantity of methamphetamine and arrested the suspect without incident. 

On December 8 at about 10:52 a.m. Pasadena Police officers responded to a motel located in the 2800 block of East Colorado Blvd regarding a car fire in the parking lot.  On arrival the officers determined the owner of the vehicle was despondent and wanted to commit suicide.  The officer’s investigation revealed the victim placed a five gallon container of gasoline inside his car and ignited it while seated in the vehicle.  The heat became intense quickly and the victim exited the car.  The victim was located at the scene in fair condition; however, he required medical attention and was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.  PFD Arson investigator Wendell Eaton was notified and responded to the scene.   


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


Posted: 12/9/2012 10:50:00 AM
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