Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (03/03/13)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base:  A Message from the Chief
March 3, 2013

Dear Community Members and Department Personnel:  

For your Information: 

Free Gun Disposal Offered by the Pasadena Police Department:  I would like to remind community members that they may dispose of unwanted firearms through the Pasadena Police Department.  All types of firearms are accepted; pistols, rifles, shotguns, antiques or replicas, regardless of their condition.  There are no costs associated with surrendering your firearm.    

Community members can request a police officer to respond to their home or business in Pasadena, where they can surrender the weapon.  Individuals may also transport the unloaded weapon to the Pasadena Police Department at 207 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena.  If you intend to transport the firearm into the police station, please contact the Pasadena Police Department beforehand at (626) 744-4241.  The police operator will provide instruction on the safe and legal means for transportation.  Gun registration or related paperwork is helpful, although not necessary to voluntarily surrender the firearm.  

The police department also accepts unwanted ammunition; however, military ordinance requires special handling and will be evaluated for safe disposal by law enforcement personnel on a case by case basis.  Removing unwanted firearms by turning them into law enforcement is an important step community members can take to ensure guns never end up in unintended hands and possibly used in a violent crime.   

Save the Date: 

On March 9, from 2:00 – 5:00 p.m., the Pasadena Community will honor former NAACP Pasadena Branch President Joe Brown for his dedicated service to our youth and community.  The Rose Bowl Stadium will be the venue for this special day to honor a community hero. Tickets are $20 (each) and may be purchased at http://thankyoujoe2013.eventbrite.com, or at Robin’s Wood Fire BBQ, 385 North Rosemead Boulevard, Pasadena.  The day will include entertainment, food, field games, and door prizes.  For further details you can contact thankyoujoe2013@gmail.com.  I hope to see you there!  

The 7th Annual Norooz Celebration in Pasadenawill occur on March 14, Scottish Rite Cathedral, 150 North Madison Avenue.  The reception (6:15 to 7:00 p.m.) is followed by the program from 7:00 to 8:00 p.m. Special guests will include Mayor Bogaard and the keynote speaker, Professor Ali Nayeri. Traditional Persian Tea House will serve sweets and authentic appetizers.  Although the event is free and open to the public, reservations are recommended.  Please RSVP at noroozpasadena@yahoo.com or (626) 583-9116 (Source:  Dr. Nazee Rofagha).   

On March 16, Harambee Ministries is celebrating 31 years of serving Northwest Pasadena.  Their Annual Benefit will be held at the Church of Our Savior, 533 West Rose Road, San Gabriel.  The theme for this year’s event is “Shaping Hearts and Developing Minds.” For more information, please contact Harambee Ministries at (626) 798-7431 or www.harambeeministries.org.    

On March 30, El Centro de Accion Social is hosting its Annual Cesar Chavez Commemoration and Peace Walk. The peace walk will start at Villa-Parke Community Center (363 East Villa Street) inside the Auditorium at 10:00 a.m.  Following a rally for peace, participants will march from Villa-Parke to Robinson Park, where a few community leaders will speak on reducing violence and creating peace.  For more information, please contact El Centro de Accion Social Executive Director Randy Ertll, at (626) 792-3148, or randy.ertll@elcentropasadena.org.  For more information on El Centro de Accion Social, please visit www.elcentropasadena.org.   

On April 13, 2013, Delta Sigma Theta Sorority, Inc., Pasadena Alumnae Chapter is hosting the 2013 Young African American Women’s Conference at Pasadena City College, 1570 East Colorado Boulevard.  The conference is from 8:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m., and features diverse workshops, engaging presentations on educational choices, career options, embracing youth’s uniqueness, as well as personal development.  Dr. Rema Reynolds, Assistant Professor from Azusa Pacific University, will be the keynote speaker addressing students, parents, and others attending the conference.  If you have questions, email Pasadena.yaawc@gmail.com.  To register, please visit online at http://yaawc2013.evenbrite.com.   

On May 11, 2013, the Pasadena Youth Center (PYC) is sponsoring the 19th Annual Adelante Mujer Latina (AML) Conference at Pasadena City College from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.  The AML conference is an exciting and inspirational day-long career and educational conference attended by more than 1,500 young Latinas, ages 12 to 21, their mentors, and moms.  The purpose of the AML Conference is to provide middle and high school Latinas with tools for personal and professional growth, challenge them to raise their expectations, promote leadership, encourage them to pursue post-high school education, achieve their goals, and have a positive impact on their lives and the lives of others.  If you are interested in being a workshop presenter and sharing your personal success, please visit www.adelantemujerlatina.org. to learn more, or visit http://pasadenayouthcenter.org/aml_conference/aml_presenters to sign up a as workshop presenter by March 9, 2013.  Special thanks to PYC’s Executive Director, Stella Murga, for her continued and dedicated service to Pasadena’s youth.    

Our Community:  

On February 21, Commander John E. Perez and Flintridge Center’s Director of Development, Scott Vandrick, traveled to the state capital, along with representatives from 22 other California cities, for the 2013-2014 California Gang Reduction, Intervention, and Prevention (Cal-GRIP) program grant orientation.  Pasadena was one of few cities to receive full grant funding in the amount of $492,520; the funds will be used to provide outreach services to hundreds of at-risk youth to improve their lives through mentorship and life skills training.  A portion of the monies will also be used for reintegration and apprenticeship training for young adults.  Pasadena was fortunate to receive funding for a second straight year and we are grateful for the leadership that the Flintridge Center has provided in collaborating with over 20 community partners in obtaining the Cal-GRIP grant.    

On February 23, Commander John Perez participated on a community forum on prison realignment and neighborhood reintegration at the KRST Unity Center of African and Spiritual Science in Los Angeles.  He was joined on the panel by members of the Los Angeles Sheriff’s & Los Angeles City Police Department, as well as other community based organizations such as LA Community Action Team and the Urban Lead.  The Pasadena Police Department presented Pasadena’s reintegration initiative and the efforts of the Flintridge Center and a host of other community partners committed to reducing recidivism and providing opportunities to improve the lives of those recently released from prisons and jails.  We are very grateful to Nyabingi Kuti and the South LA Reintegration Council for the opportunity to participate and represent the Pasadena community.  For more information on Pasadena’s reintegration initiative please visit http://www.flintridge.org/collaborations/reintegration.htm 

On February 25, I received an email from Pasadena Community Gardens Conservancy President and CEO Eileen Read, that it has awarded $7,000 in community grants supporting community-based organizations that expand public and student access to and knowledge of gardening, particularly fruits and vegetables in Pasadena.  The awardees include:  Arlington Garden, La Casita Del Arroyo, The Muir Ranch student community garden at John Muir High School, Pasadena Community Garden, and the Roots & Shoots Children’s’ community garden project at the Los Angeles County Arboretum.  Eileen said, “…Each of these organizations is reaching deeply into the community to bring new people into gardening, especially food gardening, while also inspiring all Pasadenans through innovation and design…” Pasadena Community Gardens Conservancy is a fund of the Pasadena Community Foundation.  For more information of the foundation, please visit www.pasadenacf.org.   

On February 26, Lieutenants John Dewar and Ed Calatayud, Police Specialists Kitty Johnson, and I attended Councilmember Steve Madison’s District Town Hall Meeting.  There were a number of city executives at the meeting including:  Fire Chief Calvin Wells, Public Works Director Siobhan Foster, Planner Robert Montano, and RBOC General Manager, Darryl Dunn.  Councilmember Madison started off the meeting with a few brief remarks.  I used my time to focus on the recent increase in property related crimes, the impacts of the prison early release program (AB 109), and the proposed Gun-Buy-Back-Program (GBBP), which is tentatively scheduled for May 2013 (more on this topic in future editions of Touching Base).  The meeting was well attended and several important issues were discussed.  The event was organized by District 6 Field Representative, Takako Suzuki.   

On March 2, I participated in the Opening Day Ceremonies for the West Pasadena Baseball Little League.  Opening day was held at Jackie Robinson Park and was very well attended by players, families, friends, and community leaders. Pasadena Police Office Supervisor Beverly Bogar serves on the West Pasadena Baseball Little League Board of Directors.  VIPs included City Manager Michael Beck, HS&R Director Mercy Santoro, and HS&R Administrator Horace Wormely. Community Leader and WPBLL Board Member, Greg Mosley, served as emcee.    

On March 2, I joined Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck, Los Angeles County Sherriff’s Department (LASD) Captain John Benedict, and California Highway Patrol Captain Steve Strull to talk with young students participating in the Bright Futures Scholars Mentoring Meeting.  Each speaker provided insight on decision-making, social media, and engagement with law enforcement officials.  Dr. Sandra E. Thomas is the CEO/Dean of Scholars at the Bright Futures Scholars program. Our time with the students was coordinated by Greg Middleton, Bright Futures Scholars Office Manager.   

On March 2, Councilmember Victor Gordo and his Field Representative Vannia de La Cuba coordinated a community meeting to address the recent homicide that occurred in the neighborhood. Victor and I answered questions concerning the homicide and general safety concerns.  Commander John Perez, Lieutenant Jason Clawson, Sergeant Tucker, Officers Cristian Allen, Kim Jones, Daniel Morris, PS Karla Kauhola, City Manager Michael Beck and the City Prosecutor also attended.   

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On February 4, Pasadena Police Officer Tim Bundy received the Thomas Reuters “Everyday Heroes” award for his efforts in the arrest of a high risk offender while assigned to the United States Marshals, Fugitive Apprehension Unit.  Utilizing innovative investigative resources, Tim located a wanted gang member who was hiding out of state. As part of his recognition, the Thomas Reuters Company will provide a monitory donation to a charitable organization to be named by the police department.  Tim and his fellow detectives assigned to the Fugitive Apprehension Unit are exceptional law enforcement officials working hard toward making Pasadena a safer community.    

On February 24, several Pasadena Police employees gathered at the Rose Bowl for the Annual Kyle Ballard Memorial Run.  Pasadena Police Officer Kyle Ballard served this great community and the department for approximately eight years before his sudden death in 2006.  Kyle was well respected, competent, and extremely dedicated to his profession.  Pasadena Police Chaplains Father Bob Gaestel and Chip Rittenhouse were at the run to offer prayers and support. Kyle’s wife, Laurie, and her children were among the many people at the run, which was organized by Pasadena Police Sergeant Roger Roldan.     

On February 26, I received notice from Pasadena Police Commander Lisa Rosales that a community member submitted a “Service Excellence Survey” commending Police Specialist Keem Hendrix for her prompt service.  The survey also indicated Keem was knowledgeable, friendly, and polite.   

On February 26, I received an email from NAMI San Gabriel Valley President Robert Liljenwall commending Pasadena Police Officer Victor Cass and the Pasadena Police Department for their participation at the NAMI Forum on Mental Illness and Gun Violence.  Victor is NAMI’s Vice President and served as emcee for the program.  Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls and I served on a panel and/or lectured about mental illness and gun violence.   

On February 27, I received an email from a community member commending Pasadena Police Officer Alex Torres for his professionalism during a stolen vehicle investigation.  The community member said, “…I am extremely happy with the way that Officer Torres handled this call, he was also very professional.”    

Critical Incidents: 

From August through September 2012, the “Haggler Bandit” committed approximately seven armed robberies in the Pasadena, Monrovia, and the Los Angeles region.  The suspect robbed several businesses, including banks.  Law enforcement officers from the Pasadena Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Los Angeles Police Department, and the Monrovia Police Department worked collaboratively to identify the suspect responsible for the armed robberies.  Once the suspect was identified, Pasadena Police Corporal Robert Mercado presented the case to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, who filed seven counts of robbery against the suspect.  A warrant was subsequently issued.  Pasadena Police Detective David Duran obtained information that the robbery suspect had fled to Memphis, Tennessee. David contacted the United State Marshal’s Southwest Region Fugitive Taskforce who coordinated with Tennessee law enforcement officials and subsequently arrested the suspect.  On February 21, 2013, Pasadena Police Corporal David Llanes traveled to Tennessee, took custody of the robbery suspect, and transported him back to Pasadena where he was booked for the robberies.  On February 22, the suspect was arraigned in Pasadena Superior Court.  This case underscores the collaborative (inter-agency) cooperation between local and federal law enforcement officials.  Pasadena Police employees involved in this investigation include:  Lieutenant Pete Hettema, Corporal David Llanes, Detectives David Duran, and Carol Gordon.   

On February 24 at about 11:25 a.m., Pasadena Police Officer Alex Torres was on routine patrol in the 700 block of East Washington Boulevard when he received an alert notification of a stolen vehicle from his Automated License Plate Reader (ALPR).  As Alex continued his investigation, a female adult entered the stolen vehicle.  Alex and assisting officers detained and later arrested the female suspect without incident.  She was subsequently booked at the Pasadena jail and the vehicle was released to the registered owner.   

On February 24, Pasadena Police officers responded to the report of a residential burglary in the 1400 block of Brixton Road.  On arrival, officers talked with the homeowner who said the suspect(s) stole three firearms during the crime.  The incident was documented on a police report, which will be investigated by detectives.    

On February 24 at about 5:11 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to a report of an apartment unit fully engulfed in flames in the 700 block of Worcester Avenue.  Police officers courageously evacuated residents while Pasadena Fire Department personnel conducted a lifesaving rescue of people on a 2nd story balcony.  Fortunately, there were no serious injuries although three victims were treated for possible smoke inhalation.  Pasadena Police Volunteers assisted with traffic management and residents from the damaged apartment complex were united with the American Red Cross for services.   

On February 26 at about 12:45 p.m., Pasadena Police Officer Alex Torres received information from the West San Gabriel Valley Anti-Crime Taskforce (WSGV-ACT) that a male adult was in possession of a stolen car in the 2100 block of Summit Avenue.  Alex, Sergeant Dennis Beene, and other officers drove to the suspect’s location and found the vehicle.  Officers completed their investigation and verified the vehicle was stolen.  The suspect was located and arrested without incident by Pasadena Police Officer Chuck Reep.  The vehicle was recovered and returned to the registered owner.   

On February 28 at about 11:49 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to a jewelry store in the 200 block of East Colorado Boulevard regarding an armed robbery investigation.  On arrival, officers learned that the suspect walked into the jewelry store and asked to see some diamonds.  As the female clerk was retrieving the diamonds, the suspect produced a handgun and demanded the stones.  Fearing for her safety, the victim surrendered the diamonds and the suspect fled from the store. The suspect is described as a Male Black, 40 years, 5’-7” to 5’-9,” 200 pounds.  He is bald and wearing a dark grey baseball cap, Fed-Ex uniform, and white gloves.  If you have information about this incident, please call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241.  

On February 28 at about 8:45 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 600 block of Mar Vista Avenue regarding shots fired.  On arrival, officers discovered an adult male victim suffering from several gunshot wounds.  Pasadena Fire Department Paramedics responded to the scene; however, the victim died as a result of his injuries.  Police detectives responded to the incident and are actively investigating the homicide.  If you have information about the shooting, please call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241.    


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: 3/3/2013 10:40:00 AM
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