Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (05/05/13)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base:  A Message from the Chief
May 5, 2013 


Dear Community Members and Department Personnel:  

Happy Cinco de Mayo!  This date is celebrated in the United States and regionally in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla.  If your plan to celebrate this great day, please be responsible. If you consume alcoholic beverages as part of your celebration, use a designated driver and/or taxi service so that you arrive safely at your destination. Pasadena Police officers will be patrolling our roadways and DUIs will be arrested.   

Save the Date:  

On May 10, Hamilton Elementary School is hosting their Annual Fundraiser.  This year’s theme is “Hollywood under the Start.”  The funds raised from the event will benefit Hamilton Elementary students.  Flintridge Center and Hamilton alumni, Brian Biery, will be honored for his community leadership and service.  For sponsorship information, purchase tickets, and to review silent auctions items, please visit: www.biddingforgood.com/HamiltonAnnualFund.   

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 19, from 12:00 to 5:00 p.m., the Education Committee of Masjid Al-Taqwa of Altadena and Pasadena will host its 6th Annual Invited Guest Series, which will feature Joshua Salaam of Native Deen.  The event will be held at 568 East Mt. Curve Avenue, Altadena, and tickets are $25.00 in advance, $30.00 the day of the concert.  For more information, you can email masjidaltaqwa@ymail.com, or call Sister Darrina Abdus-Samad at (626) 529-6204, or Sister Saleemah Mohammad at (626) 840-4740.   

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, home of HRock Church (131 South St. John Avenue).  The event will honor police employees and citizens who demonstrated exceptional service, conspicuous courage, and other noteworthy acts.  The event is free and community members are welcomed! I hope to see you at the awards ceremony to celebrate our local heroes.   

Our Community:  

On April 25, Pasadena Police Specialists Katherine Johnson attended the “first ever” San Rafael Neighborhood meeting.  More than 50 neighbors attended the meeting.  Katherine focused her remarks on safety tips, crime, and other public safety topics.  The meeting was coordinated by Joanne Fletcher.   

On April 25, Commander John Perez facilitated a gathering of Latino Pastors to discuss community issues, neighborhood safety, and upcoming city events.  Pastor Ricky Pickens served as the guest speaker and talked about his role in the community as well as his work with the Flintridge Center.    

On April 28, Commander John Perez and Lieutenant Jason Clawson attended the Harambee Ministries Health and Kids Fair, in collaboration with USC Medical Brigades & the City of Pasadena.  The Harambee Center was started in 1982 at the intersection of Howard Street & Navarro Avenue by Dr. John Perkins and his wife Vera Mae. “Harambee” means “Let’s get together and push” in Swahili. At the time, Dr. Perkins believed the only legitimate way to become change-agents in the community was to become a part of it. For over 25 years, the center has worked with African American and Latino families as they seek to nurture and equip leadership with the purpose of achieving the rebuilding of urban neighborhoods.   

On April 30, I met with Councilmember (Elect) John J. Kennedy at the police department.  We spent a lot of time on community issues, concerns, and public safety topics.  We talked about the future of the Pasadena Police Department and our current mission.  The meeting was very valuable and insightful.   

On April 30, I met with Community Leader Danny Bakewell Sr. Our discussion focused on the community, public safety concerns, and future opportunities. I thought the discussion with Danny was informative and valuable.    

On May 1, Pasadena Police Officer Ralph Ordonez, Police Specialists Kitty Johnson, and I attended the WPRA Annual Meeting, which was held at the Rose Bowl.  The meeting was well attended and VIPs included Mayor Bill Bogaard, Council Steve Madison, City Manager Michael Beck, and Dr. Eric Walsh, Director of Pasadena Health Department.   

On May 1, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Commanders John Perez and Lisa Rosales, Lieutenants Randell Taylor, Cheryl Moody, Vasken Gourdikian, and I attended the City of Pasadena Human Relations Commission Annual Awards Ceremony and Reception, which was held at the Pasadena Central Library, Donald Wright Auditorium.  Human Relations Commission Chairman Nat Nehdar opened the ceremony with a few brief remarks.  This year’s honorees included:  Robin Salzer, Randy Ertll, Chris Khatchik, and Kimberly Knudson.  The commission also honored local high school students Reid Isaac Sun, Bennett Pearson, and Jose A. Lopez for their essays. VIPs included Councilman (Elect) John J. Kennedy, Pasadena District 4 Representative Noreen Sullivan, and Senator Liu’s Field Representative, Adam Carter.   Human Relations Commission members include: Nat Nehdar (Chair), Terrie Allen (Vice Chair), Vahe Atchabahian, Zavon L. Brown, Tamerlin Godley, Laura Craft Hogensen, Felipe O. Infante, Soji Kashiwagi, and Jonathan Paek.   

On May 2, several Pasadena Police officers, employees, and volunteers attended the 40th Annual Pasadena Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast, which was held at the Pasadena Convention Center.  This year’s theme, “Do Justly, Love Mercy, and Walk Humbly with your God,” was underscored by the Keynote Speaker, Dr. Jack Scott.  There were musical tributes by the Tabernacle Children’s Choir and Ms. Barbara Allen.  Pasadena Police Office Supervisor Beverly Bogar skillfully read a few scriptures early in the program, which I believe caused much reflection on a National Day of Prayer.  VIPs included local, state, and federal elected officials and/or their field representatives. One of the event highlights occurred when Clair and Mayor Bogaard presented a community involvement award to Mrs. Dolores Hickabottom for her longstanding service to Pasadena.  Dolores is a veteran of the United States Army and she was one of the original committee members helping to start-up the “Mayor’s Prayer Breakfast.” Following the award presentation, Dolores received a well-deserved standing ovation.   

On May 2, several Pasadena Police officers, employees, and volunteers attended the Police Activities League’s (PAL) Golden Badge Event Fundraiser, which was held at the Pasadena Convention Center.  The event was well attended and the funds generated will benefit the PAL children.  This year’s honorees included: Pasadena Armenian Police Advisory Council (PAPAC); Pasadena Councilman Steve Madison, and Janet Branson. The event included a live and silent auction and PAPAC President, Hovannes Sarkissian, was the lucky winner of the grand prize. Clair and Mayor Bogaard attended the event this year and our sponsors included:  American Golf Corporation, Councilman Steven Madison, Parsons Corporation, Tom Sawyer Camps – Catalina Island Camps, A Car Auto, Lucas, Horsfall, Murphy & Pindroh, LLP Phoenix Decorating Co., Inc. Tony & Mabell Paine, Chief Margret York (ret.), and the Honorable Lance Ito.  Special thanks to PAL Board President, Geoff Johansing, and the entire Board of Directors for their leadership and commitment to the PAL children.    

On May 2, Deborah K. Sanchez and I attended the Boy Scouts of America, San Gabriel Valley Council’s 53rd Eagle Scout Banquet, which was held at San Gabriel Country Club.  The banquet hall was packed with Eagle Scouts and their sponsors.  Eagle Scout Tom Hartman served as emcee and David Muhs and Michael Mares introduced the current and past Eagle Scouts in the room.  The oldest Eagle Scout earned his award in 1948 and proudly stood as all the scouts reaffirmed the scout pledge. Three special young men were recognized for their academic achievements and received scholarships from the SGV Council. Eagle Scout and well esteemed surgeon, Dr. Robert Beart, provided the keynote remarks. It was a special night indeed, and by all indicators the room was full of future leaders.  Following the keynote speech, I received the San Gabriel Valley Council Outstanding Eagle Award, which is the first in the history of the Council.  It was a great honor.   

Pasadena’s Finest:  

On April 5, I received a letter from Los Angeles Police Chief Charlie Beck acknowledging Pasadena Police Motor Officer Philip Klotz for successfully completing the Intermediate Collision Investigation Course. Chief Beck wrote, “…the instructors who taught the course found Officer Klotz to be an excellent student and a pleasure to have in the class.”  Philip’s final score was 90.84% out of a possible 100 points.    

On April 22, I received a letter from Monrovia Police Chief Jim Hunt commending the Pasadena Police Air Operations Section for their assistance during a major brush fire in the Monrovia Foothills.  The air crew provided an aerial view of the fire to command post personnel, which assisted in the effort to combat the fire. Chief Hunt wrote, “…the airship responded quickly, giving us an excellent view of the fire from overhead and a perspective of what homes or structures would be in the path of the fire…”    

On April 25, I received an email from a Pasadena community member commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Max Dahlstein, Officers Derek Locklin, Raymond Hsu, and Anthony Karg for their Impact Teen Driver Presentation at Pasadena High School. The author wrote, “…I wanted to let you know that they were all very professional, passionate, and made a huge impact on the senior class who were in the assembly…”    

On April 28, I received an email from a Los Angeles County resident commending Pasadena Police Officer Thomas Corralez. I thought the commendation was so exceptional I am reproducing the narrative for your review (I removed the author’s name and place of employment to ensure privacy):  

Dear Chief Phillip Sanchez,  

My name is _______, I am 51 years old.   I am African American. I understand that most police departments get a bad rap from the black community. However; I have a much different experience to tell you about. I am a former drug user who lived in Highland Park, and would come to Pasadena to support my habit by stealing out of stores. This one time I was finally caught. Store loss prevention called Pasadena Police Dept. to take me into custody.  I was arrested.  Officer Thomas Corralez was the officer handling the call. This Officer saw something in me I didn't even know I had. He spoke to the DA and asked them to give me a drug program which was Impact in Pasadena. They agreed to give me this one chance to get my life together. Most Officers have the hook and book and oh well attitude. This Officer has made a difference in my life as well as my family's life and well-being.  

I am a former Police Officer, Probation Officer and Parole Officer from Dallas Texas.  I was raised in a middle class family.  My mother taught school for 50 years and my father retired from the Probation dept.  My behavior had no reflection of my upbringing.  I was raised a good kid. I graduated from Texas A&M University in 1982.  Drugs had basically tore my life apart. I was put on probation here in LA County. I completed probation successfully and now I am working on my Master’s Degree from Grand Canyon University and I am employed by_________,  in Los Angeles as a Substance Abuse Counselor.  

If it had not been for Officer Corralez I would have been sent to prison due to the prior criminal activity I had been involved in. I was given a chance to get my life together and I did through hard work. I want to show appreciation to Officer Corralez. Officers get such a bad rap I just want to take this time out to say thank you for the training you provide for your officers.  Officers are a reflection of their Chief. Whatever this is worth: THANK YOU so very much.  

On April 30, I received a phone call from a Pasadena resident commending Pasadena Police Lieutenant Jason Clawson, Sergeants Mike Villalovos and Javier Aguilar, and Officer Jacob Carey for assisting with a drug problem in their neighborhood.  The resident said Jason, Mike, Javier, and Jacob were very professional and their efforts helped mitigate the neighbor’s concerns.   

On April 30, I received a copy of an email from Pasadena Police Sergeant Art Chute commending Pasadena Police Specialist Susana Castro for her assistance with a special project.  Art wrote, “…She has also been a go to person for us in the event planning unit when preparing power point and agenda reports for city council…” On a personal note, Susana is an exceptional employee.  She if bright, efficient, and collaborative    

On April 30, a Pasadena community member commended Records Police Specialists Sara Presley and Natalie Sanchez for their customer service professionalism at the Records counter of the police department.  The remarks on the commendation card were, “PS Presley and Sanchez were fantastic as they called five different tow agencies to see where my car had been towed [impounded].” Working the front counter at the police department can get very busy.  Nevertheless, Sara and Natalie continue to serve the public with a positive attitude.   

On May 1, several Pasadena Police officers, employees, and volunteers attended Pasadena Police Supervisor, Terry Dunnaway’ s retirement event, which was held at the police department. Corporal Glenn Thompson served as the emcee for the event and there were several speakers who outlined Terry’s career.  She served the Pasadena community for more than 26 years working in a number of assignments throughout the department. Terry was passionate about her duties and was well respected throughout the department.  Terry was assigned to the Records Section prior to her retirement.   

Critical Incidents:  

On April 27 at about 6:10 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 1900 block of Summit Avenue regarding shots fired.  Officers arrived quickly and detained four Latino subjects.  Following their preliminary investigation, the officers arrested two suspects.  Physical evidence of the shooting was recovered at the scene.  Fortunately, no one was injured in the shooting.  The suspects were transported to the Pasadena jail and booked (attempted murder and felony malicious mischief).  The story was covered by the local media: www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_23134599/pasadena-police-prepare-case-against-teen-shooting-vandalism.   

On April 28, Pasadena Police Officer Daniel Morris was on routine patrol when he saw a wanted suspect (Assault with a Deadly Weapon) near Los Robles Street and Walnut Avenue.  Daniel quickly detained the suspect and called for assistance.  Officer Kim Jones contacted the victim and conducted a field show-up.  The victim positively identified the suspect and he was arrested without incident. The suspect was booked at the Pasadena jail.   

On April 28, shortly before 9:00 a.m., Pasadena Police Dispatchers received a 9-1-1 transfer call from the California Highway Patrol.  The woman on the phone was distraught and uttered that she was in Pasadena and had been burned and tied up by a male.  The call was then disconnected. Pasadena Police officers connected the caller’s phone number to a residence in the 700 block of North Pasadena Avenue.  Upon arrival, officers discovered a damaged door with a small amount of substance resembling blood.  No one was located at the residence, but officers obtained the name of the possible resident.  Later that day, Los Angeles Police Department notified the Pasadena Police Department that a Hispanic female, 21, was found with severe chemical burns at a Los Angeles hospital.  Pasadena patrol officers responded and determined she was the original caller. The investigation revealed that the victim had been intentionally burned by a suspect, who she met in Los Angeles, and agreed to follow him to his home in Pasadena.  At the residence, the suspect convinced her to pose for a picture wearing a motorcycle helmet.  After placing the helmet on her head, the victim felt a burning sensation against her skin. When she attempted to remove the helmet, the suspect held the helmet in place until she lost consciousness. She later awoke to find the suspect sexually assaulting her.  The suspect was identified as Piotr Lgor Dudkiewicz, male white, 39, and a Pasadena resident. On April 29, at about 8:00 a.m., the La Verne Police Department contacted the Pasadena Police Department advising that they had the suspect (Dudkiewicz) detained.  Pasadena Police detectives subsequently booked Dudkiewicz for torture, mayhem, and various sex-related crimes. On May 1, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office filed 10 felony charges against Dudkiewicz. He remains in custody on $1.4 million dollars bail.  The victim remains hospitalized in serious, but stable condition with second and third degree burns. Pasadena Police Detectives Carolyn Gordon and Keith Gomes are the lead investigators.  The investigation was supervised by Pasadena Police Sergeant Ernie Devis and Lieutenant Teresa Rojas.   

Pasadena Police detectives are seeking information from other individuals who may have had contact with suspect Piotr Igor Dudkiewicz, and ask that anyone with information contact Detective Carolyn Gordon at (626) 744-4241.  You may also report anonymously through CRIMESTOPPERS at (800) 222-TIPS (8477), or http://lacrimestopper.org (insert keyword PASADENA. The incident was reported by local media: www.pasadenastarnews.com/news/ci_23160909/suspect-charged-pasadena-sex-torture-case.   

On April 30, a wanted flyer was distributed for a suspect who used a credit card, which was taken during a strong arm robbery on April 28 in Old Pasadena.  The initial robbery involved two male suspects who stole a woman’s purse as she was walking near the School House Parking Structure, 33 East Green Street.  Pasadena Police Detective Sal Vidales recognized the suspect from a previous police contact and shared his knowledge with his coworkers.  On May 1, Detectives Dustin Gomez, Anthony Russo, and Sal went to the person’s place of employment in Pasadena.  The three detectives found the suspect and arrested him without incident.  He is a Pasadena resident and was booked at the city jail.   

Sometime prior to April 30, US Marshals Fugitive Taskforce received a wanted flyer from Pasadena Police Lieutenant Jason Clawson.  The fugitive was wanted for an out of state financial crime warrant. On April 30, the US Marshals Fugitive Taskforce developed information that the suspect was in the Pasadena area, near Lake Avenue and Mountain Street.  While driving to the suspect’s location, Pasadena Police Corporal David Llanes (assigned to the taskforce) and Officer Toby Green requested assistance.  Pasadena Police Sergeant Mike Villalobos responded to the area of Lake Avenue and Mountain Street and, based on the description provided by David and Toby, saw the suspect’s vehicle.  Pasadena Police Officers Linda Mercado and Mike Herrera conducted a traffic stop and arrested the suspect without incident.    

On May 3 at about 1:11 p.m., the Pasadena Police Department received a call of a pedestrian walking on the freeway onramp.  Pasadena Police Motor Officers Craig Blumenthal and John Watkins responded and located the suspect. Craig and John attempted to assist the pedestrian (homeless female) when she attacked them.  The officers radioed for assistance and she was subsequently arrested without further incident.  The suspect was taken to a local hospital for further mental health 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: 5/5/2013 10:25:00 AM
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