Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (05/19/13)

Pasadena Police Department MottoTouching Base:  A Message from the Chief
May 19, 2013 


Dear Community Members and Department Personnel:  

Welcome new readers!  Touching Base helps to keep you informed about your Pasadena Police Department.  The items listed represent a “snap shot” our involvement and are selected at random. Touching Base is also posted on the Pasadena Police Department’s Website (PDF Format) at: cityofpasadena.net/Police. The police website is an exceptional resource where you can find relevant information, crime statistics, media information and other valuable data.  I hope you will take the time to visit PPD’s Website often.   

Save the Date:  

On May 25, Bright Futures is hosting their 2013 Bright Futures Scholars Graduation and Awards Celebration, which will be held at the Pasadena Convention Center.   The program is scheduled from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., and will highlight the achievements of our local youth leaders. For more information about Bright Futures, please visit www.qualityoflifecenterinc.com.  To participate at the graduation, please call Bright Future Office Manager Greg Middleton.  The CEO and Director of Students is Dr. Sandra E. Thomas.   

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.   

On June 15, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m., the Pasadena Police Department is hosting the “Kids Safety Academy,” which teaches Emergency Preparedness and Stranger Danger.  The 7-week program is for youth ages 6 to 12 and their parents or guardians.  The syllabus is taught by the Pasadena Police Department, the Pasadena Fire Department, and other City Departments.  The program is sponsored by the Pasadena Police Foundation.  The Pasadena Police Department is now accepting applications for the summer academy program.  Space is limited and classes will fill-up quickly, so early registration is recommended.  Enrollment is free and includes snacks and beverages.  For more information or to register, please contact Pasadena Police Specialist Karla Kauhola at kkauhola@cityofpasadena.net, or call (626) 744-7657. Media link: www.pasadenanow.com/main/pasadena-police-department-is-hosting-the-pasadena-kid-s-safety-academy-june-15-2013.   

Our Community: 

On May 11, Commander Lisa Rosales attended a historic United States reception at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills for His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad Khalifatul Masih V, the world’s leading Muslim figure promoting peace.  His Holiness is the worldwide spiritual and administrative leader of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community, an international religious organization with tens of millions of members spread across 200 countries.    His Holiness Mirza Masroor Ahmad’s keynote address was very well done and received.  His Holiness spoke of advocating for the worship of God Almighty, service to humanity, universal human rights, and a just society working towards world peace.   Welcoming remarks were done by the Honorable Brad Sherman, U.S. Congressman, CA 30th District.   Attendees included representatives from 19 countries, 32 cities, and 17 universities.  Officials who spoke and welcomed His Holiness to Los Angeles were Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, Sheriff of Los Angeles County Lee Baca, Los Angeles City Councilman Dennis Zine, Los Angeles Mayoral Candidate Eric Garceti, U.S. Congresswoman, CA 37th District Karen Bass, and U.S. Congresswoman, CA 27th District Judy Chu.    

On May 12, I received an email from a community member commending Pasadena Police Lieutenant Vasken Gourdikian for his professionalism and community service. Vasken was walking a foot beat (yep, that’s right a lieutenant on foot beat!) in the Playhouse District talking with community members.  The author was so pleased that he emailed to thank the PPD.  As an aside, Pasadena Police officers, non-sworn employees, and our volunteers conduct foot beat patrols as time and resources provide.   

On May 13, Pasadena Police Commander John Perez and I met with Flintridge Center’s Director of Prevention and Intervention, Ricky Pickens, regarding a relatively new concept to provide wrap-around-services to community members.  The concept is being developed, and if implemented appropriately, will include nonprofits, community groups, and local government.  I will report more on this topic as the concept is developed.   

On May 13, I met with Rose Bowl Game Manager Ed Cory to discuss a number of public safety topics, including the 2014 BSC Championship Football Game, which is currently slated for January 6, 2014. Although this iconic game is still several months away, it is vital that we engage in advanced planning.   

On May 14, I attended a student leadership forum at John Muir High School.  The program, “Non-Traditional Leaders,” is designed to discuss community and campus issues from the student’s perspective.  Students are randomly selected to participate in the forum while former program students act as facilitators. I was very impressed with the whole process.  Students raised and discussed several complex topics and possible solutions.  My participation was coordinated by Jock Bolton.   

On May 15, Pasadena Police Sergeant Art Chute, Tournament of Roses COO Jeff Allen, Rose Bowl Game Chief Administrative Officer Kevin Ash, and I met with five members of a Group Study Exchange team from Calcutta, India.  The meeting and site visit was focused on the inter-workings of the Tournament of Roses Parade and Rose Bowl Game.  The group was very engaging. The visit was coordinated by former Serra Madre Chief of Police Marilyn Diaz.  Marilyn currently serves as the Sierra Madre Rotary President.   

On May 15, I met with Schoene Mahmood and Emily (of Western Justice Center) to discuss restorative justice programs and concepts.  Schoene and Emily are subject matter experts (SMG) on restorative justice and we spent time talking about future collaborative programs. You may recall, the Pasadena Police Department currently maintains the Youth Accountability Board (YAB), which is a restorative justice program designed to divert young people who commit minion crimes away from the judicial system.  YAB is supported by the Pasadena Police Foundation.  You can learn more about YAB on the Pasadena Police Web Site.   

On May 16, Commander John Perez, PS Sara Pena, PPD Officer Jacob Carey, and I attended the 2013 Pasadena Bike to Work Day, which was held at City Hall.  The event was very well attended and participants received free give-a-ways, food, and bicycle safety tips.  Jacob was busy issuing bicycle licenses to some of the riders.   

On May 16, Pasadena Police Commander John Perez, Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra, and Office Supervisor Beverly Bogar attended the Kiwanis Club of Pasadena Student Award Luncheon, which was held at the University Club.  Tracey provided keynote remarks, which focused on the importance of education.  I was told Tracey’s remarks were received very well. ,  

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On May 13, Pasadena Police Sergeant Rudy Lemos was announced as the Pasadena City Council Sergeant-At-Arms.  Rudy comes from a civil service family.  His father, brother, and sisters are all police officials.  Rudy has served the Pasadena community for more than 20 years and has worked a variety of assignments in his career. He holds a Bachelors of Arts Degree in Criminal Justice from California State University, Fullerton.  Of all his professional and personal accomplishments, Rudy is most proud of his attendance record at PPD only calling in sick two times in over 20 years!  

On May 15, the Pasadena Police Department and the Pasadena Fire Department joined for the Second Annual Police & Fire Memorial Service, which was held at City Hall. Traditionally, the month of May is the time of the year when public safety departments across the country hold a service to remember first responders who died in the line of duty.  Pasadena Police Department’s fallen warriors included:   

• Motorcycle Patrolman
John T. Slade
End of Watch:  1909

• Patrolman
Clarence E. Peck
End of Watch:  1911

• Juvenile Officer
Dennis P. Lamar
End of Watch: 1961

• Sergeant
Robert W. Speight
End of Watch:  1964

• Agent
Richard F. Morris
End of Watch:  1969

• Police Officer
Kyle R. Ballard
End of Watch:  2006

Family members from the Morris (EOW 1969) and Ballard (EOW 2006) Families attended the memorial.  Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson, Councilman Terry Tornek, Councilman Gene Medusa, and Pastor Kerwin Manning, were among the local leaders attending the memorial service. Several department executives also participated.  The memorial was coordinated by Pasadena Police Corporal Steve Oberon and the following personnel assisted:  Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Lieutenant Ed Calatayud, Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra, Sergeants Mike Bugh, Bobby Crees, Max Dahlstein, Mario Ortiz, Bobby Lomeli PhD, Roger Roldan, Corporals Julie Finney, Glenn Thompson, Officers Sean Dawkins, Joaquin Gurrola, Kim Baecker, Eddie Bondarczuk, Traffic Unit, Special Enforcement Section, Community Services Section, and our Volunteers.  Police Chaplin Father Bob Gaestel provided the opening prayer.   

On May 15, I received information that Pasadena Police Officer Christopher Burchett recently graduated from California Baptist University with his Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice, Leadership, and Administration.  Chris maintained a very high GPA graduating with honors – Cum Laude.    

On May 15, the Pasadena Police Department welcomed its newest Police Officer, Jonathan Buchholz, back its ranks.  Jon left the department in 2006 when he transferred to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, where he achieved the rank of Senior Investigator.  Although Jon was enjoying a successful career with the district attorney’s office, his heart was in Pasadena.  Jon successfully completed all the usual requirements and was sworn-in by City Clerk Mark Jomsky.  The ceremony was well attended by PPD personnel volunteers, family members, and friends. Jon holds a BA in History from UCLA.  

On May 16, I received information that Pasadena Police Officer Alfredo Magallon, Jr. will be recognized at the 5th Annual Peace over Violence Leadership Award Ceremony.  Alfredo will receive a Leadership Award in the Inspire Category. The ceremony is scheduled for May 30, in Los Angeles. Peace over Violence is a multicultural, community based and volunteer centered organization dedicated to building healthy relationships, families, and communities free from sexual, domestic, and interpersonal violence. Peace over Violence incorporates a multifaceted approach by delivering the services of Emergency, Intervention, Prevention, Education, and Advocacy.  For more about Peace over Violence, visit: http://peaceoverviolence.org.   

On May 16, Pasadena Police Lieutenant Diego Torres attended the Glendale Police Department’s 18th Annual Police Awards Luncheon.  The Glendale Police Department presented a Distinguished Service Award to the Pasadena Police detectives assigned to the Fugitive Apprehension Unit (FAU).  PPD Awardees included:  Sergeant Victor Alaniz, Corporal David Llanes, and Officer Tim Bundy.  FAU was recognized for their efforts in tracking, identifying, and assisting Glendale detectives in the arrest of two murder suspects.   

Critical Incidents:  

Since November 2012, there have been twenty-one arson incidents in the City of South-Pasadena, and four in Pasadena. The arsons started as small vegetation fires and escalated to sires set to fence structures, parked vehicles, and one involving the exterior door of a commercial business.  South Pasadena and Pasadena Fire Investigators joined forces to investigate the arsons.  The WSGVACTF also assisted with the investigation.  The lead investigators developed several leads, which included physical evidence.  On April 21, investigators conducted surveillance and a suspect was observed constructing an incendiary device.  The suspect was subsequently arrested and the case was presented to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office.  18 felony counts were filed against the suspect, who is currently being held at men’s central jail with a two million dollar bail.  Pasadena Fire Arson Investigator Wendell Eaton was one of the lead investigators in this case.   

On May 10 at about 6:30 p.m., Pasadena Police Officers Shannon Reece and Jaime Robinson responded to the 17 block of South Grand Avenue regarding a residential burglary investigation.  On arrival, the officers talked with the victim who said he arrived home and discovered a male white adult burglarizing his residence. The victim confronted the suspect briefly and photographed him and his associate.  On May 11 Shannon, Jamie, and Sergeant Kate Favara continue their investigation, which led them to Burbank.  The trio located the suspect’s vehicle, which contained items taken from the Pasadena burglary.  The suspect was arrested without incident and booked at the Pasadena jail.   

On May 12 at about 1:05 a.m., the Pasadena Police Department was contacted by representative from the Los Angeles Police Department regarding a Pasadena Residential Burglary. Pasadena Police Lieutenant Vasken Gourdikian talked with LAPD officers who indicated they had arrested four burglary suspects wanted in conjunction with a Pasadena burglary.   The distraction burglary occurred in our community on May 2 in the 300 block of Castano Avenue. Pasadena Police Detective Richard Padilla was assigned the case and developed information leading to the identification of the suspect’s vehicle. Once Richard developed solid investigative leads, the information was shared with other law enforcement agencies, which lead to the arrest by LAPD Southwest Officers.  WSGVACTF Detectives Joaquin Gurrola (Pasadena PD) and Detective Durkhalter, responded to conduct their follow up investigation.  Subsequently, all four suspects were transported to the Pasadena jail and booked for residential burglary.   

On May 13 at about 4:30 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 1800 block of North Fair Oaks Avenue regarding a child endangerment investigation.  On arrival, officers talked with witnesses who said the suspects (male and female adults) left their children in their car with the windows rolled up for approximately 45 minutes while they went to a doctor’s appointment.  Fearing for the children’s safety, PPD was notified. The officers removed the children from the vehicle and contacted their mother and her boyfriend.  The adults were arrested and the children were transported to a local hospital for medical evaluation.  The children were later released to DCFS in good condition.   

On May 13 at about 12:00 a.m., a male adult walked into the Pasadena Police lobby area and said he wanted to confess to molesting a minor.  PPD officers interviewed the suspect who said he had been molesting a minor child for more than a year.  The incident apparently occurred in Delano, CA.  The officers verified several points and contacted Delano Law Enforcement officials. Subsequently, the suspect was arrested (he resides in Pomona) and was held in the Pasadena jail.  Delano Police detectives drove to Pasadena to take custody of the suspect.  The minor child is 10 years old.   

On May 14 at about 4:55 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 600 block of East Orange Grove Boulevard regarding a male adult threatening his mother with a knife. On arrival, PPD officers contacted the suspect, who was armed with a tire iron and a shovel.  Officers were able to convince the suspect to surrender his weapons.  He was subsequently arrested without incident and booked at the Pasadena jail.   

On May 15 at about 10:34 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the area of Walnut Street and Allen Avenue regarding a call of possible shots fired.  Despite a comprehensive search of the area, PPD officers did not locate any evidence of the alleged shooting.  Officers notified all the local hospitals of the possible shooting, and within 30 minutes, a victim arrived at a nearby hospital.  PPD officers responded to the hospital and interviewed the victim, who said he was shot by a relative following a domestic violence incident.  Our investigation is ongoing.    

On May 16 around 10:00 a.m., the Pasadena Police Department received information that several schools and community campuses were on lock-down due to direct threats of a shooting.  The campuses included Santa Monica Community College and East Los Angeles College.  Pasadena Police Lieutenant Randell Taylor and Sergeant Rudy Lemos immediately contacted the JRIC and confirmed the threat was specifically focused on the Santa Monica and ELA campuses. The suspect was arrested a few hours later without incident.  There were never any direct threats to our schools or colleges. The Los Angeles Joint Regional Intelligence Center (LA JRIC) is one of more than 70 Fusion Centers strategically position throughout the United States.   

On May 17 at about 10:00 p.m. Pasadena Police officers responded to a vehicle vs. pedestrian collision on Colorado Blvd near the intersection of Berkley Avenue.  On arrival offices located the pedestrian (victim) who was in critical condition.  Unfortunately, shortly after the officers arrived the victim died as a result of his injuries.  PPD officers talked with several witnesses who said that the victim, White Male Adult, crossed Colorado Blvd at Berkley Avenue against the red signal light when he was hit by a motorist traveling on Colorado Blvd.  There was no evidence the driver was intoxicated and he cooperated with PPD officers.  Pasadena Police Lieutenant Vasken Gourdikian was the Incident Commander.  The Los Angeles County Coroner’s Investigator responded and took custody of the victim’s body.  Motor Officers assigned to the department’s Traffic Section will conduct the fatal traffic investigation.   

On May 18 at about 1:00 a.m. Pasadena Police officers responded to the 100 block of North Catalina Avenue regarding a sexual assault investigation.  On arrival officers talked with the victim who said she become acquainted with the suspect on an on-line dating site and exchanged messages with one another for the past several weeks.  The victim agreed to meet the suspect in person on a casual date.  The suspect convince the victim to allow him to see the inside of her residence. The suspect subsequently sexually assaulted the victim. The victim notified the Pasadena Police Department the following day.  The victim was taken to a local area hospital for where she was medically examined.   


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






Posted: 5/19/2013 10:35:00 AM
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