Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (03/24/13)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base:  A Message from the Chief
March 24, 2013


Dear Community Members and Department Personnel:  

For your Information: 

Recently I was asked how community members could use the Pasadena Police Department’s webpage to research information listed in Touching Base under Critical Incidents.  For those of you interested, you are welcome to use the following steps:  


  1. Visit the Pasadena Police Department’s Website: cityofpasadena.net/Police.   
  2. Visit the department’s Calls for Service: cityofpasadena.net/police/callsforservice.aspx.   
  3. Review the Crime Mapping: www.crimemapping.com/map/ca/pasadena.   
  4. Compare the CFS Log and Crime Mapping Data to the information contained in Touching Base.  

The Pasadena Police Department is a very robust tool for your use.  It is a great way to stay connected with your police department and check police activity in your neighborhood.  Additionally, there is information on numerous youth programs, including:  PAL, Explorers, and the Junior Public Safety Academy.   

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 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 2, the Pasadena Police Activities League (PAL) will host its Eleventh Annual Golden Badge Awards Dinner at the Pasadena Convention Center.  The dinner starts at 6:00 p.m., followed by the awards program.  This year, PAL is thrilled to recognize Councilman Steve Madison & Pasadena Armenian Police Advisory Council (PAPAC) as “Golden Badge Honorees” and PAL Service Award recipient, Janet Branson. Sponsorship information and tickets are available at www.pasadenapal.com.  All proceeds from the evening are dedicated to the various PAL programs for 2013.   We hope that you will join us in making the Eleventh Annual Golden Badge Awards Dinner an overwhelming success.  For more information contact Jill Hawkins – MHPevents at 626-791-1225 x 1 or jill@mhpevents.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 March 15, Pasadena Police Traffic Officers Tom Blanchard and Philip Klotz attended a meeting concerning the Rose Bowl Peloton.  Tom and Philip talked to the group of riders about safety, courtesy, and the rules of the road.  Several local riders gather Tuesday and Thursday nights to ride around the Rose Bowl.  The cyclists join hundreds of other users (pedestrians, runners, walkers, etc.) as they take advantage of the route around this historical facility.   

On March 16, about 60 young people from Pasadena Child Development Associates, Inc. visited the Pasadena Police Department and were provided a tour of the facility.  Sergeant Bobby Lomeli coordinated the tour and Pasadena Police Officer Kim Baecker, PS Karla Kauhola, and several Pasadena Police Volunteers served as tour guides.  I understand the young were well behaved and asked several great questions.   

On March 16, Commander Chris Russ and Lieutenant Ed Calatayud attended a District 5 community meeting to discuss public safety issues and crime in the district.  Councilmember Victor Gordo and his Field Representative, Vannia De La Cuba, attended the meeting and provided brief remarks.  The neighborhood public safety meeting was held near Orange Grove Boulevard and Mar Vista Avenue, which is the approximate area of last week’s deputy-involved shooting and search.  City Attorney Michele Bagneris, Pasadena Police Sergeant Robert Tucker, and Volunteers Kristin Stafford, Lou Ordonez, Sergio Fajardo Acosta, and Oscar Ruiz also attended the meeting. The Pasadena Police Mobile Sub-Station provided the backdrop for the curbside meeting with about 40 community members in attendance.   

On March 16, Deborah K Sanchez and I joined Retired Police Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle and her husband Ed at a fundraiser for Maranatha High School.  The keynote speaker was former First Lady of the United States, Laura Bush.  Her speech was exceptional as she highlighted the value of education for our youth.  The event was very well attended and was held at the Pasadena Convention Center.   

On March 16, Pasadena Police Lieutenant Cheryl Moody and Retired Pasadena Police Lieutenant Rodney D. Wallace attended the Southern California NOBLE 12th Annual Achievers’ Award Banquet.  The event was held at the USC Town & Gown in Los Angeles and was well attended.  Los Angeles County District Attorney Jackie Lacy was the keynote speaker and local, state, and federal law enforcement officials were honored.   

On March 16, Councilmember Jacque Robinson and Commander John E. Perez attended the Five Acres’ 125 years of service celebration and fundraiser. The celebratory event honored new board members as well as recognizing the efforts of many others.  The awardees included volunteer of the year, Ryan Dietz, Special Recognition award to the Angell Foundation, Special Services to Children Award to the Pasadena Jaycees, the Commitment to Service Award to Angela Martinez and Raquel Torres.  Five Acres also honored Cathy Clement with the Dorothy Cook Lifetime Achievement Award, and recognized the tireless effort of Wayne Little with the Special Friend of the Year Award.  The communities of Pasadena and Altadena are fortunate and grateful to Chief Executive Officer, Chanel Boutakidis, and her talented staff and amazing volunteers. Please visit www.Fiveacres.org to learn how you can make a difference in our community by getting involved in Five Acres.   

On March 18, I meet with Ricky Pickens (Flintridge Center) on the subject of neighborhood safety and efforts to connect our community partners.  The concept is based on developing partnerships among nonprofits, government, and other community resource groups.  I’ll provide more information on this topic during the upcoming months.  

On March 18, I provided a few brief remarks about public safety to the City Council.  Commanders John Perez and Lisa Rosales also attended the meeting. I recapped many of the events starting from Wednesday, March 13, through Sunday, March 17.  The Pasadena Police Department received more than 1,100 calls for service during the time period, which included at least two shootings and three major traffic collisions.  One of the traffic collisions resulted in a fatality in the 600 block of Hill Avenue.   

On March 19, I attended the Vision 20/20 meeting, which was held at the Flintridge Center.  I presented the Pasadena Police Department’s Use of Force, Arrests, and Personnel Investigation data.  There were about 25 community leaders, nonprofit representatives, and government officials in the audience.  District 1 Field Representative Tina Williams and District 5 Field Representative Vannia De La Cuba also attended the meeting. My power point presentation is posted on the police department webpage at: cityofpasadena.net/Police.  Flintridge Center’s Executive Director is Jaylene Mosley.   

On March 19, several Pasadena Police employees stopped by the Pilgrim Towers Appreciation Luncheon.  Each year, the Pilgrim Tower’s tenants prepare lunch for Pasadena’s first responders. The tenants are warm, friendly, and engaged.    

On March 20,Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Lieutenant Cheryl Moody and I attended the PACT meeting, which was held in the 500 block of East Villa Street.  The program is supported by several nonprofit organizations, including the Flintridge Center and the Pasadena Police Department.  The meetings are used to connect formally incarcerated people with community resources.   

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On February 13, I received a letter from Jim Hunt, Monrovia’s Chief of Police, commending detectives assigned to the West San Gabriel Valley-Anti Crime Team (WSGV-ACT). Monrovia Police Department (MPD) detectives were investigating an Elder Abuse and Burglary case.  Once MPD detectives identified the suspect, they requested the assistance of WSGV-ACT.  You may recall, the WSGV-ACT was created from the Pasadena Police Department’s Burglary Taskforce in 2012.  Six local SGV police agencies currently participate in the WSGV-ACT.  Detectives included:  Sergeant Vasken Gourdikian, Detectives Kenneth Florendo, William Burkhalter, Luis Juarez, Eduardo Acosta, and Alex Torres.   

On February 26, I received a letter from a community member commending Pasadena Police Corporal Glenn Thompson for his professionalism and dedication.  The author indicated she was having a hard time getting her child to attend school.  The parent reached out to Glenn, who agreed to meet with the child.  According to the parent, Glenn talked with the child and helped her understand the value of education.  Following Glenn’s talk, the child started attending school again.  The parent wrote, “…I just wanted to let you know how pleased and thankful I am with Corporal Thompson.  He did such a great job that I don’t know how to thank him…”   

On February 27, I received an email from a community member commending Pasadena Police Officer Sammy De Sylva.  The author said she had the pleasure of meeting Sammy during a traffic enforcement stop.  She wrote, “… I have yet to meet such a professional and respectful officer…”   

On February 27, I received notice that Pasadena Police Forensic Specialists Ralph Chapman was certified by the International Association of Identification as a Certified Crime Scene Analyst.  As part of the certification process, Ralph had to pass a comprehensive test, complete a minimum of 96 hours of Crime Scene Certification Board approved instruction in crime related courses, and have a minimum of three years in crime scene related activities as part of the process.  Ralph’s accomplishment is signification and underscores his skills as a crime scene investigator.  Administrator Gena Persons commands the Forensic Unit.   

On February 28, Pasadena Police Sergeant Bobby Lomeli commended Officer Josh Jones for his technical and technology skills.  Josh’s acknowledgment came after he provided technology training to the Community Services Section on the accessibility of the Crime View program.  Additionally, Josh continuously offers his services whenever there is a need.    

On February 28, Pasadena Police Canine Bono was retired.  Bono began his career on Friday, July 11, 2003, with his handler, Officer Donovan Jones.  Throughout Bono’s 9 ½ years of service, he was deployed 1,482 times. Bono directly apprehended 7 suspects and caused 29 suspects to surrender.  He located 34 firearms during searches and participated in 166 search warrants.  Bono was also involved in community relations functions, attending 161 public demonstrations over his career.  He assisted other agencies 74 times and was crossed trained in narcotics detection.  In his capacity as a “dope dog,” Bono alerted on and recovered approximately $1,130,467.  He was also involved in the location and recovery of 64 Ecstasy pills, 1.5 kilos of Heroin, 17.5 kilos of Cocaine, 67.5 kilos of Methamphetamine, and 54.4 kilos of Marijuana.  Bono was a tremendous resource to the Pasadena Police Department and greatly enhanced the quality of service delivered by the department.   

On March 1, around 10:04 a.m., Pasadena Police Department received a telephone call from a PUSD High School concerning a parent who alleged a student was attempting to sell a gun on campus.  The concerned parent was monitoring her son’s Face Book page when she learned of the possible transaction. School officials immediately called PPD and School Safe Team (SST) officers responded.  SST officers made contact with the “would-be” seller, who is a student at the concerned school. The contact was made without incident. The concerned student admitted he was attempting to sell a BB gun to another student; however, the weapon was not on campus.  Locker and storage area searches verified the student’s assertion that the weapon was not on campus.  SST officers responded to the student’s residence and talked with his mother.  The student’s mother knew her son owned a BB gun; however, the gun was not in the residence.  SST officers provided safety tips to the family and they were responsive to their interaction with the police. School officials were advised of the outcome and will handle the incident internally.  If this had been a real firearm, PPD Safe Schools Team officers would have been right on top of the incident.   

On March 5, I received a letter from a community member commending Pasadena Police Detective Deanne Nestlerode and Police Officer Lynda Mercado for their assistance during a property crime investigation.  The author wrote, “…We want to thank you for all your help and effort.  Meeting and talking to you turned into a very pleasant experience.”   

On March 5, I received a card from a community member commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Kathryn Jorge and Officers Elgin Lee, Philip Klotz, William Shipman, and Darin Craddolph for their professionalism and dedication during a field investigation. The author wrote, “… your men were persistent and saved my fife.  I know now that I had probably one day left due to the severity of pneumonia…”   

On March 7, I received a letter from a community member commending Pasadena Police Department Range Master Don Amerman.  The community member, a former Pasadena Police Lieutenant, wrote, “… Mr. Amerman demonstrated a high degree of professionalism in his role as Range Master and was extremely knowledgeable and patient while assisting me in achieving my goal of qualifying…”   

On March 8, the Pasadena Police Department hosed a regional training course focused on terrorism and domestic relevance. The class was put on by the Los Angeles Joint Regional Intelligence Center (LA JRIC) and was very well attended.  Law enforcement personnel from the Pasadena Police Department, Los Angeles Police Department, Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department, the San Diego Police Department, the Long Beach Police Department, the United States Army, the United States Air Force, the Orange County Fire Department, the Los Angeles County Fire Department, the Simi Valley Police Department, and the DHS attended the training. Pasadena Police Officer Anthony Burgess helped coordinate the training.  Pasadena Police Officers Josh Jones, Joe Longoria, Lynda Mercado, Jeremy Weiker, Sean Porter, and Sergeants Paul Carpenter, Greg Afsharian, and Rudy Lemos also attended the training.   

On March 9, I received an email from a community member commending Pasadena Police Dispatcher Rachel Johnson.  The author of the email had high praise for Rachel writing: “…She was not only informative, but she took the time to answer many of my questions…”  The Pasadena Police Communication employees are exceptional employees and handle a large volume of calls daily.  In 2012, the Communication Center processed approximately 367,000 calls.   

On March 12, I received an email from a community member commending Pasadena Police Officers Alfredo Magallon and William Shipman for their professionalism and effectiveness during a field investigation.  The author wrote, “… the officers demonstrated an amazing amount of sensitivity to this difficult case, and in the end, helped to support the client’s and the family’s needs…”   

On March 13, I received an email from Youth of Promise Program Executive, Rickey Pickens, commending Pasadena Police Lieutenant Tom Delgado as “February’s Mentor of the Month.”  Tom and his mentee (a teenage Latino Male) were both commended for their proactive steps to improve the young man’s academic achievements.  Tom’s mentee received failing grades prior to his intervention.  Now the young man is maintaining a 2.8 GPA.  Tom spends a great deal of his off-duty time working with his mentee and the improved grades are proof that mentoring has a positive impact on young people.   

On March 13, I received an email from a local community member commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Tory Riley for her professionalism and dedication. Tory was involved in an effort to retrieve some stolen property for the victim, who emailed me to commend her.   

On March 15, Pasadena Police Corporal Todd McDonald, Officers Doug Hamblin, Anthony Burgess, and Scott Vandergrift graduated from the Deputy Leadership Institute (DLI), held in Santa Clarita. DLI is a six month training continuum designed specifically to challenge future law enforcement leaders through values-based self-analysis, critical team thinking, and scenario-driven decision making. Class 13 included officers and professional staff from law enforcement agencies from throughout the state of California.  Of specific note, Officer Doug Hamblin was selected as the class speaker by his classmates and did an outstanding job. Pasadena Police Lieutenant Rick Aversano attended the graduation.   

Critical Incidents: 


On January 19, 2011, a Male Black Adult was shot and killed while sitting on the front steps of his residence, which was located in the 1700 block of Summit Avenue.  A suspect was arrested shortly after the murder.  The case was assigned to Pasadena Police Detective Grant Curry, who was assisted by the Homicide Unit.  During the course of the investigation, Grant and his partners followed several leads.  Pasadena Police Officer Ken Florendo also assisted in the investigation.  On April 5, 2011, Pasadena Police Detectives assigned to Criminal Investigations, the Special Enforcement Section, the Special Investigation Unit, and the Fugitive Apprehension Unit served several search warrants, recovering numerous handguns and additional evidence associated with the homicide. On March 12, 2013, the suspects were convicted of first degree murder, along with several enhancements.  Both suspects are facing 75 years to life.  The Homicide Unit at the time consisted of Sergeant Ernesto Devis, Corporals Grant Curry, Keith Gomez, Ara Bzdigian, Jason Van Hecke, Cuong Pham, and William Broghamer. The investigation was well supervised by Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra and Sergeant Ernesto Devis.   

On March 5, Special Investigation (SIU) Detectives conducted an undercover narcotics operation involving a large quantity of cocaine. Later, SIU detectives conducted an enforcement stop involving a Male Hispanic Adult.  During the stop, the detectives discovered the suspect was in possession of approximately a half ounce of cocaine.  SIU detectives later applied for a search warrant and served it at the suspect’s residence, with the assistance of the West San Gabriel Valley Anti-Crime Taskforce (WSGVACTF). The detectives recovered approximately $1,287.00 during a vehicle stop near the search warrant location, and an additional $9,496.00 was recovered at the suspect’s residence.  In total, SIU detectives recovered approximately 1.1 pounds of cocaine and more than $10,000 in U.S. Currency.   

On March 12 at about 12:00 p.m., three Male Blacks drove to John Muir High School in a late model SUV.  One of the passengers exited the vehicle and climbed a rear fence at John Muir High School (Canada/Casitas area).  The suspect was on the school property when he removed a revolver from his waistband and pointed it at a group of students.  While doing so, he yelled gang slogans. The students ran from the location while the suspect retreated to the SUV.  The suspect vehicle then left the school. A short time later, the same group of suspects walked to the front of the school and was confronted by a security guard. The suspects asked for a baseball schedule; however, they were told to leave the campus. The suspects walked back to their vehicle and drove away south on Lincoln Avenue. Pasadena Police officers checked the area for the vehicle, but could not locate it; however, the officers did locate a few witnesses (Muir students).  One of the students was extremely uncooperative and did not provide much information about the incident. PPD officers notified the Altadena Sheriff’s Department, CHP, and the department’s Special Enforcement Section.  Safe School Team Corporal Steve Oberon supervised the preliminary investigation.    

On March 13 at about 8:23 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 1800 block of Summit Avenue regarding shots fired.  On arrival, officers were told that the victim (Male Hispanic Juvenile) was walking with friends south on Summit when he was confronted by a group of gang members.  A suspect removed a handgun from his waistband and fired 5 shots at the victim, who was hit once in the torso.  The suspect and his confederates fled the location prior to the arrival of the police.  The victim was extremely uncooperative and refused to provide officers with any substantive information about the shooting. The victim was transported to a local hospital for medical treatment.  The crime scene was contained and police detectives are actively investigating the attempted murder.   

On March 13, Pasadena Police officers investigated a residential takeover armed robbery in the 1900 block of North Arroyo Boulevard. The investigation was a factor in a deputy-involved shooting, which occurred on March 14 at around noon. Pasadena Police officers, FBI agents, and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department conducted a massive yard-to-yard search and arrested one suspect without incident.  Subsequently, the robbery investigation led detectives to a nearby jurisdiction, where a second suspect was arrested without incident.  Officers recovered a loaded revolver during the search of the residence where the second suspect was arrested.  Both the suspects were booked at the Pasadena Police jail and on March 18, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed multiple felony counts against the suspects including:  Armed Robbery, Elder Abuse (the robbery victim was 89 years old), and felon in possession of a firearm.  In total, approximately 9 felony counts were filed, including gang enhancements.  This investigation is a great example of the comprehensive work produced by the Pasadena Police Robbery Detectives and their supervisors.  Personnel involved in this case include:  Corporal Carolyn Gordon, Officer David Duran, Officer Dustin Gomes, and Sergeant Michael Bugh.    

On March 16 at 11:50 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the City of Alhambra regarding a Mutual Aid Request.  The officers were told that Alhambra Police Department received a robbery silent alarm at a convenience store. A witness saw the suspect running out of the store with a cash box, and followed him.  APD officers arrived and chased the suspect.  Subsequently, the suspect and officers shot at one another; however, it is unknown if anyone was hit by gunfire. The suspect was last seen running on to the San Marino High School campus. The area was quickly contained.  Pasadena Police officers assigned to the Special Enforcement Section (SES) were responsible for containment duties. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department also assisted with the search and subsequently arrested the suspect without further incident.  

Have a great 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: 3/24/2013 09:45:00 AM
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