Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (05/26/13)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base:  A Message from the Chief
May 26, 2013


Dear Community Members and Department Personnel:  

Happy Memorial Day!  I hope you take time to relax with family, friends and community members.  Moreover, Memorial Day is great time to thank our Military Veterans for protecting American from those who would do us harm.  Please take a moment to say a prayer for those warriors who made the ultimate sacrifice in the defense of democracy and freedom.  God Bless America.   

Welcome new readers!  Touching Base helps to keep you informed about your Pasadena Police Department.  The items listed represent a “snap shot” of 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 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.   

On June 16, the Pasadena Police Department will sponsor its 12th Annual Classic Car Show.  All proceeds benefit the Pasadena Police Activities League, Pasadena Police Explorers, and Haven House.  The car show is in conjunction with the Pasadena Chalk Festival.  Vehicles will line Green Street at the Paseo Colorado, between Marengo Avenue and Euclid Avenue.  There will be prizes, food, live entertainment, raffles and much more.  To register, download at:
http://staging.cityofpasadena.net/EkContent.aspx?theme=Navy&id=6442470066&bid=0&style=news&bid=0.  Send entries to: Officer Cristian Allen, Pasadena Police Department, 207 North Garfield Avenue, Pasadena, CA 91101. For more information go to www.cityofpasadena.net/police, email callen@cityofpasadena.net, or call (626)744-7656. Entries will not be accepted without complete information, payment, and signature.   

Our Community: 

On May 4, Communications Center Supervisor Kathy Russ and Commander Chris Russ attended A Taste of Harambee, held at the Harambee Ministries and Preparatory School. The event was in recognition of Cinco de Mayo and provided an opportunity for community members to support Harmabee. Harambee Ministries Executive Director Harlan Redmond andBoard of Directors Chairperson Ericka Stephens welcomed guests to the fundraiser.   

On May 11, Commander Chris Russ attended the culmination ceremony for the Los Angeles Metro Fire Academy for Youth.  Commander Russ’ mentee, Rogelio Campos, graduated from the program. Students attending high school in the Los Angeles area are eligible to enroll in the fire academy. Young participants commit to attending training each Saturday for 7 weeks at the Los Angeles Metro Fire Department at the Frank Hotchkins Memorial Training Center in Los Angeles. For more information about the youth fire academy call Battalion Chief Antoine McKnight at (951)903-8461, or email at chiefmck@gmail.com.  Rogelio Campos is one of many community youth who have been paired with mentors from the police department through the Flintridge Center Youth of Promise Mentoring Program.  For more information about the Youth of Promise Mentoring Program, contact Ricky Pickens, Director of Prevention and Intervention Services, Flintridge Center at (626)449-0839.   

On May 16, Officer Cristian Allen represented the Pasadena Police Department at the Seventh Annual Battle of the Badges Recognition Luncheon.  The elegant event and luncheon highlighted police and fire personnel who participated in the annual campaign to recruit first responders to donate blood. This is an opportunity for all badge carrying personnel, including friends and family, to positively impact our community by competing in a friendly competition to donate the most blood and ultimately save the most lives. Police personnel can have a substantial impact on the availability of blood for accident victims, cancer patients, premature babies, and burn patients.  Historically, December 16th through January 6th is a period where the blood supply drops to critically low levels.  

On May 18, Pasadena Special Enforcement Section (SES) Bike Team Members Officers Jacob Carey and Carlo Montiglio rode with several cyclists and their children during Mayor Bill Bogaard's annual bike ride to support “Bike to Work Week.” This year's ride catered to the children of Pasadena, as they were encouraged to wear a costume and were taught bicycle safety throughout the ride. The officers also provided traffic control and moral support for the riders.   

On May 18, Deborah K. Sanchez participated in the Pasadena-Altadena Community Endowment Fund (PACEF) Hat-ti-tude III & Pearls Luncheon.  I understand the event was well attended and supporters helped raise funds for PACEF’s Scholarship Fund.  The event featured lunch, a fashion show (by MACY’s), and scholarship award presentations.   

On May 18, Deborah K. Sanchez and I participated in the Hamilton Cub Scouts Pack 49 Graduation Ceremony, which was held in Brookside Park.  This is the third year in a row I was invited to hand out awards and ranks to the young cub scouts.  The event was very well attended by family, friends, and of course, the cubs.  The cubs were very excited to receive their awards and were polite and well behaved. Pack 48 Leader, Kayleen Maya-Aviles, coordinated the event and our participation.   

On May 18, Commander John Perez, Norma Perez, Deborah K. Sanchez, and I attended the Five Acres 125th Anniversary Gala.  This year’s theme was, “005-The Spy Who Loved Five Acres.” Most of the supporters were dressed as a “spy” giving their all to match the famed 007 from the silver screen!  KTLA Morning News Lead Reporter Wendy Burch served as the emcee. Honorees were Wells Fargo’s David DiCristofaro and Jonathan Weedman. James William Clue Ciccolo served as the auctioneer to raise funds for the Five Acres Children. The gala was held at the Ambassador Campus, which was a perfect backdrop for the evening.  Five Acres Executive Director Chanel Boutakidis was on hand to welcome everyone and encourage support to actively bid on the wonderful gift opportunities. To learn more about Five Acres and their mission, please visit: www.5acres.org.   

On May 19, Deborah K. Sanchez and I attended the Woman against Gun Violence (WAGV) Leadership Awards Program.  The event was held in the Taglyan Cultural Complex in Los Angeles. WAGV was founded by Ann Lanes and has served victims of violent crimes for more than 19 years.  We spent some time visiting with Judge Ito and Chief Peggy York (ret.) and other people attending the luncheon.    

On May 19, Commander John Perez, Deborah K. Sanchez, and I attended the 2013 Latino Recognition Ceremony, which was held at the Creveling Lounge – Pasadena City College. There was standing room only in the room as family, friends, teachers, and supporters witnessed scholarship awards issued to young PUSD Latino students. The keynote speech was delivered by Author, Writer in Residence, Reyna Grade.  Roberta H. Martinez served as the emcee. There were several scholarship awards handed out to outstanding young Latino students from throughout the PUSD and the event was supported by many Latino organizations, including the Pasadena Latino Coalition.   

On May 19, Lieutenant Jason Clawson attended the Harambee Ministries Community Garden Day.  Started in 1982, the Harambee Center has worked for over 30 years to nurture and equip future leaders to achieve the rebuilding of urban neighborhoods.  Harambee Community Gardens is looking for potential participants to lease out small plots of land to grow vegetation. If you are interested in leasing a plot of the Community Garden, please call the Garden Team, Harlan Redmond, at (323) 806-1044, or (626) 798-7431, or download an application at http://www.harambeeministries.org/?page_id=327 and return it to Harambee Ministries, 1609 Navarro Avenue, Pasadena, CA. 91103.   

On May 19, Pasadena Police Lieutenant Jason Clawson, Deborah Kay Sanchez, and I attended the Pasadena Sister Cities’ (PSC) Walkathon to Benefit the Children of Vanadzor.  The event was held at the Pasadena High School Track and several people attended. Additional information about PSC is available at www.pasadenasistercities.org.   

On May 19, Pasadena Police Lieutenants Jason Clawson and Vasken Gourdikian, Deborah Kay Sanchez, and I joined community leaders, elected officials, religious leaders, and District 3 Constituents to witness the Oath of Office for Councilman John J. Kennedy.  There were too many VIPs to list them all; however, Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson, Councilman Steve Madison, Councilman Gene Masuda, City Manager Michael Beck, and several Pasadena Department Executives attended.  Our emcee for the evening was Teena Hostovich. The United States Marines served as the Color Guard to present the American Flag and the oath was issued by United States Congresswoman Judy Chu. The opening prayer was delivered by Reverend Dr. Mark K. Smutny and the 23rd Psalm was read by Dr. Anthony McFarland, Senior Pastor of the Abundant Harvest Christian Center.    

On May 22, several Pasadena Police employees stopped by the American Red Cross’ (ARC) effort to support the Oklahoma Tornado Disaster victims by collecting donations.  The event was held at the Rose Bowl parking lot and was coordinated by ACR Chief Communications Officer, Terri Corigliano.   

On May 22, a neighborhood meeting was hosted in the 500 block of North Mar Vista Avenue by resident Sam AndressCouncilmember Victor Gordo and his Field Representative, Vannia De La Cuba, provided information about City resources. Commander Chris Russ, Sergeant Ara Bzdigian, Sergeant Bobby Lomeli, Officer Cristian Allen, and Police Specialist Karla Kauhola attend and had an opportunity to talk with residents.     

On May 22, Pasadena Police Commander John Perez, Lieutenant Vasken Gourdikian, and I attended the St. Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church event to honor the Armenian Graduates of the Pasadena Unified School District.  The event has held at the Armenian Center and it was well attended.  Graduating seniors from Blair, Marshall, and Pasadena High School were honored at the event. Mayor Bill Bogaard, Vice Mayor Jacque Robinson, and Superintendent Jon Gundry also attended the ceremony.    

On May 23, several Pasadena Police officers, employees, and volunteers attended the Grand Opening of the Madison Elementary School Healthy Center, which is located on the Madison Elementary School campus.  Mayor Bill Bogaard, PUSD Board President Renatta Cooper, PUSD Superintendent Jon Gundry, and Madison Elementary School Principal Carmen Serrano spoke about the extraordinary relationship between local government and the school. The Madison Healthy Center will provide much needed resources to the Madison students and families.   

On May 23, I attended the Villa Esperanza Leadership Reception, which was held at a private residence in Pasadena. The meeting focused on fund raising efforts and provided attendees with an update on their progress. Villa Esperanza Executive Director Kelly White served as the emcee for the brief program. Villa Esperanza helps change the lives of children and adults with autism, Down syndrome, and other intellectual and developmental disabilities. For more information on Villa Esperanza Services, please visit: www.villaesperanzaservices.org.   

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On May 10, Pasadena Police Chaplains Robert J. Gaestel and Chip Ritterhouse attended the Mutual Area C Chaplin meeting.  The meeting focused on the Boston Bombing incident and chaplain interaction in mass casualty events. Chaplains from Pasadena, Glendale, and San Gabriel attended the meeting.   

On May 7, I received a letter from Monrovia Police Chief Jim Hunt commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Chris Kirby and members of the West San Gabriel Valley – Anti Crime Task Force (WSGV-ACT) for assistance during a commercial burglary investigation.  Within a week following the crime, the task force members identified the suspects responsible for the burglary.  Detectives secured a search warrant and, due to the threat level presented by the suspect, it became necessary to include Special Weapons and Tactics (SWAT) personnel from Pasadena and Glendale Police Departments. The warrant was served and several stolen items were recovered. The West San Gabriel Valley – Anti Crime Task Force is a regional enforcement unit comprised of several police agencies including:  Arcadia, Monterey Park, Monrovia, Pasadena, South Pasadena, and Los Angeles County Probation.    

On May 22, Pasadena Fire Department Emergency Management Coordinator, Lisa Derderian, provided Incident Command System (ICS) Training to several Pasadena Police Volunteers.  The training was hosted at the Police Department and pizza was provided!  ICS is a critical component to the command / control element during a disaster.  Pasadena Police Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra and Volunteer Coordinator Kim Baecker assisted with the training.    

On May 24, I received information that Pasadena Police Corporal Anthony Burgess presented a safety overview for the Parsons Security team.  Anthony discussed safety and security issues with about 20 people.  Topics included home security, and personal and workplace safety. Parsons Security Director, Matthew Jordan, helped coordinate the training.   

Critical Incidents: 

On May 17, Pasadena Police Helicopter Pilot Patrick Polimeni and Sergeant Mark Goodman were flying routine patrol when they observed a suspect vehicle wanted for domestic violence.  Patrick and Mark alerted Pasadena Police ground units and directed Sergeant Chris Sharma, Officers Bart Horn and Michael Orosco to the suspect’s location.  Chris, Bart, and Michael initiated a traffic stop, contacted the suspect, and arrested him without incident.    

On May 21 at about 9:00 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 500 block of East Washington Boulevard regarding an infant in distress.   On arrival, officers were directed to the 2 month old child who was unresponsive.  The officers immediately began CPR on the child.  The Pasadena Fire Department arrived and paramedics transported the child to a local hospital.  Despite the heroic efforts of our first responders, the child did not survive the ordeal. Situations like this one are always tragic for the family, first responders, and hospital staff.  Please keep all in your positive thoughts and prayers.   

On May 22 at about 4:42 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 400 block of Westgate Street regarding a disturbance call.  On arrival, officers met a witness outside the home.  The witness told the officers that her son was enraged and “high on meth.” PPD officers could hear the suspect yelling and breaking items from inside the residence. Officers entered the home and saw the suspect enter a bathroom.  The officers attempted to negotiate with the suspect; however, he remained delusional and disorderly. Officers were ultimately able to gain a tactical position and subdue the suspect.  He was taken into custody without further incident and transported to a local hospital for a mental health evaluation.   

On May 25 at about 4:45 a.m., the Pasadena Police Department received an emergency call from a homeowner in the 200 block of North El Molino Avenue.  The caller said he was awakened by a suspect inside his home.  Pasadena Police Officer Gus Martinez arrived quickly and observed a male white adult running from a residence. Gus chased the suspect and was subsequently detained without further incident.  During his preliminary investigation, Gus found several credit cards in the victim’s name.  The suspect was arrested and Gus executed a search warrant at the suspect’s home.  Several suspected stolen items were found and PPD detectives were notified.  Based on the evidence, it is believed that the suspect is responsible for several burglaries in Pasadena.  The suspect was booked at the Pasadena jail and has at least one prior arrest for burglary.    


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



Posted: 5/26/2013 08:45:00 AM
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