Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (04/21/13)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base:  A Message from the Chief
April 21, 2013

Dear Community Members and Department Personnel:  

For your Information: 

The recent terrorist bombing in Boston has prompted public inquiries into security measures for similar events being held in Pasadena. Although there have not been any direct threats toward the City of Pasadena, or any specific venues, the Pasadena Police Department’s Event Planning Section and Counterterrorism Unit continue to work diligently with other city departments to produce a comprehensive action plan for each event.    

The plans include, but are not limited to, crowd control measures, emergency response, and evacuation plans. Additionally, the police department is maintaining direction communication with State and Federal law enforcement partners to ensure we have the most current information available. You can assist in our proactive effort to safeguard our community by reporting suspicious activity to the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241 (See Something, Say Something).  If you require an emergency response, please call 9-1-1.   

Save the Date: 

On May 2, from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m., Mayor Bill Bogaard will host the 40th Annual “Pasadena Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast,” which will be held at the Pasadena Convention Center Ballroom.  The doors open at 6:30 a.m. and the program starts promptly at 7:00 a.m.  This year’s theme is “Do Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with your God,” and features Dr. Jack Scott as the keynote speaker.  For more information please call (626) 486-0691, or email jmillikan@workingfaith.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 8, The First Tee of Pasadena & the Rose Bowl Operating Company will host “Tailgate in the Rose Bowl,” from 5:30 to 8:00 p.m.  The event will feature Famed Sport Broadcaster Keith Jackson, great BBQ, and tons of memories from the guest speaker (Keith).  The event will take place under the stars at the world famous Rose Bowl Stadium.  The evening will benefit the First Tee of Pasadena, whose mission is “To impact the lives of young people by creating opportunities and providing resources to have the exposure to the game of golf and its positive attributes that promote character – development and life-enhancing values.” For more information, please contact Paul Engl at (626) 397-4668, or email at paul.engl@imgworld.com.  For tickets, please visit www.thefirsteepasadena.org.   

On May 11, the Pasadena Police Department will host a Gun-Buy-Back from 11:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Garfield Avenue and Ramona Street.  Pasadena police officers will issue gift certificates (furnished by the Pasadena Area Gun Buyback Committee, Pasadena Area Congregations, and the Flintridge Center) for all firearms.  Gift certificates will be issued in the amounts of $50 for any non-working firearm, $100 for handguns, rifles or shotguns, and $200 for assault weapons. In conjunction with the gun-buy-back program, there will be a Peace-Source Fair featuring resources to address:  conflict resolution, after school programs, mental & public health, parenting, parole reentry, policy, and advocacy issues. For more information on the gun-buy-back program and/or how to safely transport firearms to the event, please call Pasadena Police Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra at (626) 744- 7875, or email at TIbarra@cityofpasadena.net.  For more information on the Peace-Source Fair, you can visit www.pasadenagunbuyback.org. I hope to see you at the event where you can safely surrender your unwanted firearms.   

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 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.   

On May 15 at 6:00 p.m., the Pasadena Police and Fire Departments will honor our fallen officers and firefighters and their families in a solemn ceremony at City Hall.  Traditionally, the month of May is the time of the year when public safety departments across the United States hold services to remember first responders who died in the line of duty.  The ceremony is free of charge and the public is encouraged to attend. For more information, please contact Pasadena Police Corporal Steve Oberon at SOberon@cityofpasadena.net.   

On May 30, from 1:00 to 3:00 p.m., the Pasadena Police Department is hosting its 42nd Annual Police-Citizens Awards Ceremony, at the Ambassador Auditorium (131 South St. John Avenue).  The Ambassador Auditorium is owned and operated by Harvest Rock Church. The event will honor police employees and citizens who demonstrated exceptional service, conspicuous courage, and other noteworthy acts.  I hope to see you at the awards ceremony to celebrate our local heroes.   

Our Community:   

On April 10, Pasadena Police Commander Lisa Rosales and Lieutenant Ed Calatayud attended the Clergy Community Coalition, which was hosted at Fuller Theological Seminary. Lisa provided a brief overview of recent activates in Pasadena and touched on public safety issues.   

On April 11, Zona Rosa Café Owner Michael Moreno hosted an off-site briefing for Pasadena Police Patrol Officers.  PPD Team 4 held their briefing at the café and received the usual information as they prepared for their tour of duty.  Officers are encouraged to arrange off-site briefings, which helps build lasting community relationships.   

On April 13, Lieutenant Jason Clawson and Sergeant Robert Tucker visited the Pasadena Emergency Response Training (PERT) class hosted by Vice Mayor Margaret McAustin, at the William Carey International University campus at 1539 East Howard Street. Dozens of community members were educated by Pasadena Fire Department Personnel in regard to Disaster Preparedness, Fire Prevention, Light Search and Rescue Efforts, and Medical Assistance.   

On April 13, Commander John Perez and Lieutenant Jason Clawson attended the Building Bridges Breakfast with the Neighborhood Church, located at 301 North Orange Grove Boulevard. The Building Bridges Task Force is a grassroots group of Muslims, Unitarian Church members, and local community supporters whose goal is to build friendships between the local Muslim and non-Muslim communities. The host of the breakfast was Reverend Hannah Petrie.  

On April 14, Commander Chris Russ participated in the Madison Elementary Community School Beautification Day, which was organized by Madison Elementary School Principal, Carmen Serrano, and Healthy Start Family Center Coordinator, Mirsa Serrano.  The volunteers cleaned the campus in an effort to enhance the environment for students and faculty.   

On April 16, Pasadena Police Lieutenant Ed Calatayud, Sergeant Bobby Lomeli, and I stopped by Learning Works Charter School to meet with Head Master Dr. Mikala L. Rahn.  Dr. Rahn introduced us to her WASC committee who were busy working on the school’s accreditation.    

On April 17, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Lieutenants Richard Aversano, and Tom Delgado, Office Supervisor Beverly Bogar, Deborah K. Sanchez, and I attended the Distinguished Speaker’s Event, at the Pasadena Civic Auditorium. The keynote speaker was former CIA Director, Dr. Robert Gates.  The event was hosted by University of Phoenix Campus College Chair James Henderson and was very well attended.  Dr. Gates focused his remarks on his international experiences as director. The University of Phoenix is a valued community partner and has a learning center in Pasadena. Pasadena Police Lieutenant (ret.) and current University of Phoenix Instructor, Phlunte Riddle & her husband, Eddie also attended the event.   

On April 18, I attended a press conference at Villa-Parke Boxing and Fitness Center to promote their upcoming gala.  Pasadena Human Services & Recreation (HS&R) Director Mercy Santoro provided opening remarks about the future design of the fitness center.  There were several other speakers, including Community Leader Barbosa Poverini.  HS&R Supervisor Rozanne Adanto was on hand to ensure the program ran smoothly. The gala event, which is scheduled for April 20, starts at 6:00 p.m. with a reception, and is followed by a gourmet dinner, live auction, boxing exhibition, and dance.   

On April 18, Pasadena Police Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra and I stopped by the Leadership Pasadena meeting, which was hosted at the police department.  Pasadena Leadership graduate and police Administrator Gena Persons coordinate our participation. For more information on Leadership Pasadena, please visit: www.leadershippasadena.org.   

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On April 4, I received a letter from California Highway Patrol Commander S. Urrea commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Mark Goodman for his assistance during a facility tour.  Commander Urrea wrote, “… Sergeant Mark Goodman gave an excellent presentation to our Senior Volunteers and demonstrated how effective and critical the Air Operations Section is to the numerous law enforcement agencies…”   

On April 12, Pasadena Police Traffic Sergeant Max Dahlstein and several officers from the Traffic Section conducted a DUI Checkpoint, near Fair Oaks Avenue and Hurlbut Street.  Approximately 1,800 vehicles passed through the checkpoint resulting in 14 DUI checks.  Four drivers were arrested. The DUI team consisted of the following people: Officers De Sylva, Locklin, J. Calderon, Marquez, Kim, Hsu, Watkins, Gaudet, Myles, Blanchard, Schepman, Karg, Klotz, and Corporals Carter and Wilkins.  Also assisting in the check point were PS Munoz, Jurado, and Dispatcher Montanez.  Cadets Anderson and Hernandez also participated in the program. The DUI Check Point Commander was Lieutenant Pete Hettema.   

From April 13 – 14, several Pasadena Police officers, employees, and volunteers participated in the Annual Baker to Vegas Law Enforcement Relay Run.  Runners from local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies braved the heat, cold, and wind to pound the pavement through the California and Nevada high desert.  The run finished inside the Las Vegas Hotel (LVH) Convention Center.  Team Pasadena completed the 120 miles (20 stages) in 15 hours and 53 minutes.  We placed 4th in the 300 Category and 41st Overall out of a total of 267 teams!  Some of the early runners braved 40 MPH headwinds during their legs.  Runners included:  Lemos, J. Rappuchi, M. Jones, Sharma, Montiglio, Arbuckle, E. Sanchez, Bundy, Garcia, Sevesid, Wotherspoon, McGlade, Corralez, Petrella, Dawkins, Crees, Chavarin, Duran, Kayondo, and P. Sanchez.  

Sean Dawkins was the team-captain while the following people supported the runners:  Julie Finney, Bobby & Cathy Uribe, Jake Carey, Sahak Nersesyan, Kim Jones, Jeremiah & Jennifer Weiker, Danny & Erin Morris, Chuck Mispagel and Keni Dawkins, Mike Gligorijevic (co-captain) and Chris Sharma.  Of special note, the runners, alternate runners, and support staff participated in the Baker to Vegas Relay Run on off-time!  Sponsors included:  The Pasadena Police Relief Association, Pasadena Police Officers Association, Pasadena Police Athletic Association, Pepe’s Video, Wokanos, MGM Resorts, Margarita Jones, Run With Us, Toyota of Pasadena, and Thorson GMC.  The race was dedicated to Pasadena Police Specialist, Elaina Quinzon, who recently passed away after losing her battle with cancer.   

On April 13, I received information that Pasadena Police Commander Chris Russ and his mentee were selected as Outstanding Mentor and Mentee for the month of March.  Chris has been a long-term mentor involved in the Youth of Promise program.  As an aside, Chris’ mentee has significantly improved his academic standing in school and aspires to secure a career in law enforcement.   

On April 13, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls helped facilitate a Strategic Planning Board Retreat for the Pasadena Police Foundation.  Past accomplishments, current goals, and future missions were all discussed at the retreat.  You may recall that the Pasadena Police Foundation is active in our community sponsoring youth intervention programs such as the Youth Accountability Board (YAB) and the Junior Public Safety Academy (JPSA).  For more information about the Pasadena Police Foundation, please visit: www.pasadenapolicefoundation.org.   

On April 17, the Pasadena Police Department’s Air Operations Section hosted their Annual Air Ops Training Exercise at the Rose Bowl.  Lieutenant Michael Ingram commands the section and is assisted by Sergeants Mark Goodman and Steve Kress.  Pasadena Police Helicopter Pilot Steve Thurston served as the emcee for the training session and luncheon.  VIPs included City Manager Michael Beck, Assistant City Manager Julie Gutierrez, and several of the San Gabriel Valley’s Chiefs of Police. KPAS Field Reporter Stuart Johnson and his team were at the event and captured all the activities. Special thanks to the Pasadena Police Air Operations crew and the volunteers who assisted with the training.   

On April 19, the Pasadena Police Department hosted a Promotional Ceremony, which was held in the Donald Wright Auditorium at the Main Library.  There was a packed house (standing room only) as Pasadena Police Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra opened the program. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Pastor Kerwin Manning provided the opening prayer.  Witnessed by family, friends, and coworkers, I had the privilege of introducing the promotees, which included: Lieutenant Vasken Gourdikian, Sergeant Ara Bzdigian, and Corporals Brad May, Matt Campeau, Anthony Russo, Steve Oberon, and Anthony Burgess.  VIPs included:  Vice Mayor Margret McAustin, Councilmember (Elect) John Kennedy, City Manager Michael Beck, and Former Pasadena Mayor/Council Member Bill Paparian.  Retired Pasadena Police Lieutenants Phlunte Riddle and Rodney D. Wallace also stopped by the ceremony.    

On April 19, I received a card from the residents at Villa Gardens commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Mark Goodman for his professionalism and safety presentation.  The author wrote, “…thank you for your warm hospitality.  We appreciate the time you spent with our group giving us your very informative presentation…”   

Critical Incidents: 

On April 3, Pasadena Police Chief Pilot Patrick Polimeni and Senior T.F.O Ed Careaga assisted in the arrest of three burglary suspects in Alhambra.  The suspects committed a residential burglary, which was witnessed by several community members. The witnesses notified the Alhambra Police Department and ground units converged on the location.  Meantime, Patrick and Ed were flying nearby, monitored the police radio, and moments later observed the suspects.  Patrick and Ed directed APD units to the suspects who were arrested without incident.   

On April 12, at about 8:47 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the area of Garfield Avenue and Villa Street regarding a street robbery.  On arrival, officers talked with the victim who said she was standing at the bus stop on Garfield Avenue when she was approached by three Black Males (adults).  One suspect produced a handgun and demanded money from the victim as the other two suspects served as look-outs.  The weapon used in the robbery was described as a black semi-automatic handgun.  If you have any information about this incident, please call the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241.  The suspects are described as:  


  1. Male Black, 6,’ 20-25 yrs., Dark Complexion, mustache, Blue Plaid shirt, jeans  
  2. Male Black, 5’7,” 180, Dark Complexion, Dark Baseball cap, dark jeans  
  3. Male Black, 5’7,” 180, Dark Complexion, Dark Baseball cap, dark jeans.  

On April 13, at about 4:42 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 3400 block of Foothill Boulevard regarding an “auto vs. pedestrian” traffic collision.  On arrival, officers learned the victim, a female adult, 50, Temple City resident, was walking towards a commercial electronics store when the driver of a pickup struck the victim, pinning her underneath his truck.  Pasadena Fire Paramedics were summoned and transported the victim to a local hospital in critical condition.  A day later, the victim succumbed to her injuries.  The department’s Major Traffic Investigation Unit is investigating the accident. Pasadena Police Sergeant Dennis Been and Lieutenant Peter Hettema managed the incident.  The incident was covered in the local media: www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_23019150/woman-critical-after-being-hit-by-car-pasadena.   

On April 15, at about 11:59 a.m., Pasadena Police officers received information of a possible residential burglary in progress.  Witnesses reported three males were leaving the residence and were in possession of several items.  Pasadena Police officers saw the suspect vehicle travelling north into the Altadena area near Windsor Avenue and Woodbury Road.  The suspect driver quickly accelerated, attempting to evade the officers and subsequently abandoned their vehicle. One suspect was arrested immediately while other police personnel contained the area.  Police officers from the California Highway Patrol and the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department also assisted in the effort to locate the outstanding suspects. A second suspect was later arrested during the search.  Detectives are actively attempting to identify the third suspect. Pasadena Police Lieutenant Richard Aversano and Sergeant Robert Tucker were the on-scene supervisors. The medial reported on the story: www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_23036176/pasadena-police-nab-two-burglary-suspects-third-still.   

On April 18, at about 5:30 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 700 block of Orange Grove Boulevard regarding a dead body investigation.  On arrival, officers talked with witnesses who said they were driving on Orange Grove Boulevard when they saw someone lying on the sidewalk.  When the witnesses walked up to the person, they discovered he was nonresponsive.  Pasadena Fire Paramedics were notified and pronounced the victim dead. Pasadena uniformed officers contained the area and established a command post.  Detectives were notified and responded.  The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office staff arrived and examined the body.  Based on preliminary information, detectives and the medical officer determined the victim likely suffered a catastrophic medical incident, which resulted in his death.  The victim was a Male Black, in his 50s, and appeared to be homeless. PPD detectives are awaiting the medical report from the Coroner’s Office for a final classification. The incident was managed by Pasadena Police Sergeants Victor Alaniz and Ara Bzdigian. The story was covered in the local media: www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_23047349/body-discovered-pasadena-no-foul-play-suspected.   



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




Posted: 4/21/2013 08:45:00 AM
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