Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (01/06/13)


Touching Base: A Message from the Chief
January 6, 2013

Dear Community Members and Department Personnel: 

Happy New Year!  Once Again the City of Pasadena and the Tournament of Roses played host to the world’s premier parade and football game.  As you may know, there are a number of sponsors, local governmental officials, and tournament representatives who collaborate to ensure the parade and bowl game are specular events.  This year was no exception.  When Tournament of Roses President Sally Bixby and her husband, Hardin, motored past the grandstands you could feel the excitement as the world focused on Pasadena and the parade. As in years past, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and his wife, Claire participated in the parade.  Their guests this year were Vice Mayor Margaret McAustin and her husband, John.  

The Pasadena Police Department worked closely with the Tournament of Roses and local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies to ensure safety was the highest priority.  In that effort, Lieutenant Bruce George commands exceptional groups of police personnel assigned to the Event Planning and the Counter Terrorism Units, who serve as the police department primary coordinators. Personnel includes:  Sergeants Art Chute and Rudy Lemos, Corporal Julie Finney, Officers David Thomas and Brad May, and Police Specialists Rickey Liu.  This year the Pasadena Police Department arrested a total of 40 people between the parade and the bowl game.  The vast majority of the arrests were alcohol related.   

For Your Information: 

Community members are encouraged to attend one of several community meetings to become familiar with and provide input on the Draft 2013-15 School/City Work Plan.   Feedback is needed to ensure the work of partnering agencies and educators is captured in the Plan’s strategies.  The Work Plan will be presented to the Pasadena Board of Education and City Council at their February 19, 2013 annual Joint Meeting, to be held at 6:30 p.m. in the City Hall Council Chambers.  To view the Draft Work Plan and/or for additional information regarding the Joint Meeting and Outreach efforts, please visit www.cityofpasadena.net/humanservices or contact Lisa Fowler at lfowler@cityofpasadena.net. (Source:  Lisa Fowler, Pasadena Human Services & Recreation). 

Community Involvement:  

On December 24, Pasadena Police Reserve Officers supported Operation Santa.  The officers escorted Santa to several homes in the community as he delivered toys to children of all ages.  As a background, Operation Santa has been sponsored by the Pasadena Junior Chamber of Commerce (Jaycees) since 1934.  Children living in Pasadena and Altadena write letters to Santa at the “North Pole.”  With the assistance of the Jaycees, the letters are sorted and about 200 volunteers assemble on Christmas Eve to deliver toys.  The Pasadena Police Reserve Unit has supported the event for 20 years, providing uniformed officers to escort the Santa Teams.  Additionally, the Altadena Sheriff’s Deputies also assist with the operation.   

On December 27, several Pasadena Police employees, community members, and the public attended the Pasadena Police Activities League – Sneak Peek of the 2013 Rose Parade Floats.  The event was organized by Jill Hawkins and the funds raised benefitted PAL. Special thanks to Phoenix Decorating Company Owner, Chris Lofthouse, and PAL Board Member, Eva Monroy, for hosting such a special event.  

On December 30, the Brotherhood Community Youth Sports League, Flintridge Center, and the Community Clergy Coalition coordinated a “Rally for Peace,” which was held at All Saints Church.  The rally was generated following the tragic murder of Victor McClinton on Christmas Day.  More than 400 community members, leaders, elected and public officials gathered to honor Victor and denounce violence.  Mayor Bill Bogaard, Pastor Jean Burch, Pastor Kerwin Manning, Reverend Ed Bacon, Captain John Benedict, Flintridge Center’s Ricky Pickens, community leaders William Syms and Porfirio Frausto, and I provided brief remarks about violence and our community. Councilmembers Terry Tornek, Margaret McAustin, and Jacque Robinson attended the rally along with numerous community leaders, including PUSD Board President Renatta Cooper.  

On December 31, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Deborah K. Sanchez, and I attended the Pasadena Lions Float Breakfast.  The breakfast is the precursor to viewing the 2013 Rose Parade Floats (although we did not participate in the viewing).  Mayor Bill Bogaard and the Lion’s International President both provided brief remarks.  Lion’s Member Tom Kester was the emcee. 

On January 1, 2013, the majority of Pasadena Police officers and staff were committed to the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl Game.  Normal police services were not intervallic as the usual complement of officers was assigned to patrol our community.  

On January 4, 2013, several Pasadena Police employees, including Lieutenant Rodney Wallace, attended the Opening Ceremony for the Silver Gloves Boxing Tournament, which was held at Villa-Parke.  The tournament was well attended and was organized by Pasadena Human Services & Recreation Supervisor, Rozanne Adanto.   

Pasadena’s Finest:  

On November 14, Pasadena Police Detective Van Kim received information that a male suspect had threatened to kill his wife in front of the DCFS office. Van investigated the threats, interviewing several witnesses including a Los Angeles County Social worker.  When Van completed her case, it was presented to the Office of the Los Angeles District Attorney.  Subsequently, the District Attorney’s Office filed felony threats charges against the suspect.  Van shared the information with other Pasadena Police officers and on January 4, 3013, Corporal Dustin Gomez observed the suspect walking near the police station. Dustin alerted Van and together they arrested the suspect without incident.  

On December 27, I received a letter from Pasadena Firefighter / Paramedic Christopher Ramstead commending Lieutenant Bruce George, Sergeant Art Chute, Corporal Julie Finney, and Officer David Thomas for their outstanding work while assigned to the Event Planning Unit.  Christopher wrote, “…Thank you for having people like this in these assignments.  It has provided a great education and experience for me as the Fire Special Events Inspector…”  

On December 29, I received an email from a community member commending Pasadena Police Officer Sean Porter for his professionalism during a traffic investigation. The author explained that her son was involved in a non-injury traffic accident near Allen and Walnut writing, “...  I am writing to express my sincere gratitude for the compassion and kindness that the first responders, particularly Officer Sean Porter, extended to my son…”  

On January 1, 2013, Pasadena PAL member Peter Delgado rode in the 124th Rose Parade.  Peter was selected to ride on the Honda Float along with several other youths.  Special thanks to PAL Board Member Eva Monroy for making this opportunity available to the PAL Program.  

On January 1, 2013, several Pasadena Police Volunteers assisted with “Parade Watch, ”  which was established as a direct result of the terrorist attack of September 11, 2001 to enhance the overall safety of the Tournament of Roses annual Rose Parade.  The program uses volunteers to contact all recreational vehicle owners staged along the parade route to solicit their assistance in reporting any suspicious activity or persons. Graduates of the Pasadena Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy (CPA) may sign up to participate in this annual event. Parade Watch Volunteers are trained, and then go into the field with active Citizens Assisting Pasadena Police (CAPP) volunteers.  They then contact all recreational vehicle drivers in the area surrounding the Rose Parade to solicit their membership. 

On January 4, 2013,  the Pasadena Police Community Youth Advisors were commended by Corporal Glenn Thompson for their hard over the holiday break.   The advisors assisted the Salvation Army with food deliveries and wrapped toys for our community youth.  They organized delivery of holiday gift baskets for families in the Pasadena / Altadena communities.  Our youth advisors are:   Martine Aniwanou, Frances Diaz, Krystal Gutierrez, Esther Justafort, Efren Bugarin, Korey Green, Megan Mayorga, Alix Marcellus Jr., Negrete Justin, and Ciomara Hernandez.  

On January 3, 2013, I received an email from Pasadena Foothill Magazine that Pasadena Police Administrator Gena Persons had been selected as one of Pasadena’s Top 50 most Inspiring Leaders.  Gena leads the police department’s Forensic Section and is a graduate of the highly regarded “Leadership Pasadena” program. The Pasadena Foothill Magazine will honor all 50 Inspiring Leaders on Tuesday, January 22, at 5 p.m., at the Eden Garden Bar and Grill in Old Pasadena. For event information, please visit www.THEmagazine.biz.  For information about Leadership Pasadena, please visit their website at www.leadershippasadena.org.  

Critical Incidents:  

On December 25, at about 11:00 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the area of Newport Avenue and Wyoming Street regarding calls of gunshots. When police officers arrived, they discovered two victims suffering from gunshot wounds.  The Pasadena Fire Department paramedics responded to the scene and later transported both victims to a local hospital.  Sadly, one of the victims died as a result of his injuries.  The second suspect was treated for serious injuries and released from the hospital a few days later.   

Pasadena Police Detectives have been actively working the investigation since December 25.  Following a comprehensive investigation, Lead Investigators Keith Gomez and Grant Curry and the Homicide/Assault Unit arrested two suspects involved in this senseless crime. On January 2, 2013, Keith presented the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office who filed several felony charges including murder.  The victim’s family and the community were greatly impacted by this tragic crime.  

The criminal filings against the suspects are appropriate given the circumstance of the shooting.  The outcome is the result of many days of hard work by Pasadena Police Detectives and other law enforcement entities, including the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.  Pasadena Police officers involved in the case are:  Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra, Sergeant Ernie Devis, Corporals Jason Van Hecke, Ara Bzdigian, Cuong Pham, and William Broghamer. Also deeply involved in the investigation were: Police Administrator Gena Persons, P.S. VI Alex Padilla, PS VI Kevin Roon, PS VI Cristina Fish, Detectives assigned to the Fugitive Apprehension Unit (FAU), Detectives assigned to the West San Gabriel Valley-Anti Crime Taskforce (WSGV-ACT), and Pasadena Police Officer John Watkins. Sergeant Tory Riley was the on-scene Incident Commander. Our investigation is ongoing.  Anyone with information is asked to contact the Pasadena Police Department at (626)744-4241, or you may report anonymously through CRIME STOPPERS at (800)222-8477 or http://lacrimestoppers.org (insert key word Pasadena).  

On January 5, 2013, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Commander John Perez, Lieutenant Rodney Wallace, Corporals Bobby Jenkins and Paul McKinney, Office Supervisor Beverly Bogar and I attended the celebration of life for Victor James McClinton.  Assumption of the Blessed Virgin Mary Catholic Church was filled to capacity with family, friends, coworkers, and young people who had been coached by Victor.  Councilwoman Jacque Robinson and Danny Bakewell were among the many VIPs.  Danny Bakewell, Jr. and Sheriff Lee Baca gave the eulogies.  Interment followed the church service.  

On December 25, 2012, at about 8:00 p.m., the Pasadena Police Department and the Federal Bureau of Investigation were conducting joint gang enforcement in the city following a homicide that occurred earlier in the day. While patrolling the area of Claremont Street and Marengo Avenue, officers observed a silver Dodge Durango commit a traffic violation.  Officers activated their emergency equipment (red lights and siren) and affected a traffic stop.  As the officers exited their police vehicle and approached the suspect car, which was occupied by four people, the driver quickly drove away attempting to evade the officers. The officers immediately returned to their police car and, using red lights and siren, attempted to stop the vehicle.  Subsequently, a vehicle pursuit ensued as the driver continued to flee.  As the driver approached the intersection of Marengo Avenue and Maple Street, he failed to stop for a red light and drove into the intersection, colliding with a minivan. 

Two victims were killed as a result of the collision.  Three other occupants from the minivan were transported to a local hospital with serious injuries.  Four suspects were arrested at the scene.  As Pasadena Police Traffic officers started their investigation, the department was notified by a community member who witnessed the pursuit that as the suspect vehicle passed; they observed a firearm being thrown.  Pasadena Police officers responded to the area described by the witness and recovered a loaded semiautomatic pistol.  The pistol was recovered and booked as evidence.  On December 28, 2012, the Pasadena Police Department presented the collision investigation to the Office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney.  The District Attorney’s Office filed several charges against the driver (Male Black adult) and a passenger (Female Black adult).  Charges included:  Murder, Gang enhancement, assault with a deadly weapon, and felon in possession of a firearm.   

This tragic incident could have been avoid if the suspect driver would have remained at the scene of the initial traffic stop or later stopped his vehicle as officers were pursuing him.  I believe the persons responsible for this tragic incident have been appropriately charged by the District Attorney’s Office.  It is my hope that the criminal filing might bring some comfort to the victims and their extended family. As a reminder, when a law enforcement officer activates the emergency equipment (red lights and/or siren) on their police car, motorists are expected to yield the right of way and stop.    

On January 2, 2013 at about 11:00 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the Colorado Street Bridge regarding a suicidal subject. Officer Darryl Harris, Corporal Deanne Nestlerode, and HOPE Team member, Clinician Rocio, started talking with the despondent subject.    The incident lasted more than eight hours as officers continued to negotiate with the subject.  The Pasadena Fire Department was on standby. Fortunately, their services were not necessary, as the trio of officers were able to convince the subject to surrender.  The suicidal subject was transported to a local hospital for evaluation.  


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


Posted: 1/6/2013 08:20:00 AM
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