Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (08/11/13)

/assets/0/73/6442452101/6442452104/2d48c434-3d9e-4f00-b898-148a76ec79aa.jpgTouching Base:  A Message from the Chief
August 11, 2013

Dear Community Members and Department Personnel:  

Our Community: 

On August 6, several Pasadena Police employees participated in the opening ceremonies for National Night Out.  The kick-off event was held at Kings Villages and was very well attended.  I provided brief comments after remarks from elected officials, community leaders, and other stakeholders.  Many of the Pasadena Police employees then traveled to other National Night Block Parties throughout our community.    

I received several positive remarks commending Pasadena Police Specialists Hilda Jurado for facilitating such a special event.  Community leaders, police officers, and elected officials joined together to celebrate our rich history, collaboration, and partnerships. The Kick-Off event was coordinated by Pasadena Police Sergeant Bobby Lomeli, and Dr. Yolanda Cunegin, DM. VIPs included: Mayor Boggard, Vice Mayor Robinson, City Manager Beck, and Councilmember John Kennedy (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).   

On August 7, several police employees attended the Pasadena Public Safety Committee (PSC) meeting, which was held at the Pasadena Police Range. Commander Russ and Deputy Fire Chief Kosta provided an overview of the 2013 4th of July Fireworks Event at the Rose Bowl.  Corporal Anthony Russo provided police training for the PSC members covering the use of force, which included policies and procedures.   Following the presentations, I updated PSC on AB109 and the potential release of 9600 (additional) formally incarcerated prisoners.  The last presentation of the meeting focused on the Pasadena Police Department’s Internal Affairs process, personnel complaint/investigations, and use of force incidents during the first six months of 2013 (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).  

On August 8, Commander Rosales, Administrator Patterson, and I participated Ramadan celebration at New Horizon School.  The event was very well attended by community leaders, parents and students. VIPs included Mayor Bogaard and Councilman Kennedy.   

On August 8, Commander Rosales, PS Correa, Deborah K. Sanchez, and several police employees attended graduation ceremonies for Pasadena Police Department’s Citizens Police Academy, Class 39, which was held at the First Church of the Nazarene of Pasadena. The event was very well attended and each graduate received a certificate of completion. Several of the class participants commended the program, its instructors, and emphasized the value of their experience.  The graduation was coordinated by Pasadena Police Specialists Kitty Johnson (Photos at PPDChiefSanchez).   

Pasadena’s Finest: 

On July 15, I received a letter from Azusa Police Chief Samuel G. Gonzales commending Pasadena Police Sergeant Chris Kirby and the West San Gabriel Valley Anti-Crime Taskforce for their assistance during a gang search warrant.  Currently, detectives from Pasadena, South Pasadena, Monrovia, Arcadia, Monterey Park, El Monte, and Los Angeles County Probation serve on the taskforce.  The unit is responsible for AB109 compliance checks, property crime investigations, and other major cases as assigned.  Pasadena Police Lieutenant Diego Torres is the commanding officer.   

On July 21, I received a letter from the Pasadena Tournament of Roses commending several Pasadena Police officers who participated in their Annual All Member Family picnic.  Although there were several police officers participating in the event, the letter identified Officer Jack Rappuchi and the Bear-Cat Rescue Vehicle.   

On July 14, Pasadena Police Detective Mary Hooker distributed a wanted poster (flyer) describing a suspect wanted for CA Penal Code Section, 647 (i), loitering and prowling. After seeing the information, Corporal Kim Smith remembered a similar suspect description on a case that she had handled when assigned to the Criminal Investigation Division.  Smith provided Hooker with the data, which subsequently led to the arrest of the wanted suspect.    

On July 27, I received a note from a Pasadena community member commending Pasadena Police Commander John Perez for his role in the recent Cold Case Homicide Summit.  You may recall, Commander Perez served as a panel member and engaged the audience regarding violence, homicide investigation, and cold case follow-ups.   

On August 5, several Pasadena Police employees attended the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Reserve Officer Academy graduation, Class 129.  Pasadena Police graduated three reserves:  Reserve Officers Tavera, MCGaham, and Romberger.  The event, which was held at the Los Angeles Board of Supervisor’s Hearing Room, was very well attended (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).   

From August 4 – 7, the Pasadena Police and Fire Departments and PUSD participated in Active Shooter Training at Washington Middle School. The training was coordinated by Pasadena Police Corporals Jayce Ward and Glenn Thompson and was very comprehensive. Pasadena police officers participated in the training, which included role-players making the environment dynamic and realistic. The local media covered the training: http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/police-school-district-will-conduct-active-shooter-training(Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).   

Critical Incidents: 

On August 2 at about 7:30 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to a report of road rage on Colorado Boulevard.  One of the involved parties reported that the aggressive party displayed a handgun. PPD officers located the suspect vehicle and conducted a traffic stop.  The officers conducted a preliminary field investigation and determined that a handgun was not involved, and that the alleged brandishing was unfounded.   

On August 2 at about 1:30 p.m., the Pasadena Police Department received information about an elderly woman who went missing from East Pasadena. PPD initiated a massive search for the victim and alerted the local media and our community (via a Nixle alert) requesting their assistance in the effort to locate the missing female.  Unfortunately, the collective efforts did not produce the whereabouts of the victim. On August 3, at about 11:21 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to a report of a traffic collision at the bottom of a ravine in the 300 block of Manford Way.  Officers arrived and found the vehicle.  The drive and sole occupant was deceased behind the steering wheel. The victim was identified as the missing elderly woman from the night prior. The Los Angeles County Coroner Office was contacted and assisted with our investigation.  Our preliminary investigation does not suggest foul play   (http://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2013/08/03/missing-elderly-woman-last-seen-in-east-pasadena).    

On August 5 at about 12:30 a.m., two groups of Hispanics were at a nightclub in the 100 block of East Colorado Boulevard. Both groups started to argue inside the location. The nightclub staff intervened and escorted one of the groups outside the club. A Male Hispanic, 25 years old, who was with one of the groups, walked to a nearby light standard.  He was approached by a Male Hispanic, who punched him on the side of the head.  The victim fell unconscious to the pavement, and was transported to a local hospital in grave condition.  PPD officers responded to the hospital and learned the victim was placed on life-support (http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/monday-bar-fight-victim-remains-in-critical-condition).   

The on-duty Pasadena Police Watch Commander, Lieutenant Gourdikian, notified Pasadena Police Detectives, who ultimately responded.  On August 5, at about 2:00 p.m., PPD received information that the victim’s family elected to remove the victim from life-support.  The incident was classified as a homicide. http://sanmarinotribune.com/2013/08/06/man-assaulted-pasadena-restaurant-died. On August 6, (less than 60 hours following the homicide) Pasadena Police detectives arrested several suspects responsible for the assault on the victim.  Lead Detective Pham presented the case to the Office of the Los Angeles County District Attorney, who filed several felony charges including manslaughter. Detective Pham was assisted by Investigators Gordon, Sandeen, Duran, Russo, and Carter.  Lieutenant Rojas and Sergeant Devis supervised the investigation.  Story at: http://abclocal.go.com/kabc/story?section=news/local/los_angeles&id=9198235.   

On August 5 at about 8:47 a.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 200 block of West Washington Boulevard regarding suspicious circumstances. A witness reported seeing a male subject allegedly discharging a firearm at the residence. On arrival, officers saw a subject run into the rear house on the property.   Officers asked the subject to surrender; however, he was nonresponsive.  PPD established a command post and requested additional resources.  Officers conducted a limited number of evacuations to ensure neighbors were a safe distance away from the incident.  PPD officers began talking with the occupants in the front and later, the rear house, requesting they walk out to contact police. All complied with our request.   

Subsequently, all occupants were accounted for without further incident.  Officers then searched the location to determine if a firearm was involved.  One of the subject contacted had a No Bail Warrant for probation violation.  He was arrested without incident.  The story was covered by the local media: http://www.pasadenanow.com/main/police-have-closed-washington-blvd-hunt-possible-gunman.   

On August 6, during the early morning hours, Pasadena Police officers assigned to the department’s Special Enforcement and Special Investigation Teams served two independent search warrants in conjunction with Operation LaJale.  The investigation involved the ATF and several other local, state, and federal law enforcement agencies.  The 13 suspects arrested during the search warrants are associated with the Mexican Mafia International Cartels.  The successful operation was a follow-up to an extensive investigation of organized narcotics traffickers.   

On August 7 at 9:38 p.m., Pasadena Police officers responded to the 1500 block of North Raymond Avenue regarding a serious traffic collision.  On arrival, officers found one victim driver (Male Hispanic Adult) in the driver’s seat bleeding and unresponsive.  The passenger in the victim’s car (Female Hispanic Adult) was located outside the vehicle in serious condition. The driver of the second vehicle (Male Black Adult) was located attempting to mix into the crowd that had gathered around the crash site.  All parties were transported to a local hospital with non-life threating injuries. The Pasadena Police Department’s Traffic Section was notified and responded to the incident.  Our preliminary investigation suggests alcohol may have been involved.   


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



Posted: 8/11/2013 10:10:00 AM
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