Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (01/12/14)

 Touching Base: A Message from the Chief
January 12, 2014


Dear Community Members and Department Personnel 

I hope you enjoyed a Blessed Christmas, a wonderful holiday, and a Happy New Year. Much has happened in our community since the last Touching Base Message in November 2013.  The pace and tempo of the police department remained extremely busy as we ushered in 2014.  I am sure the New Year will present new opportunities and challenges. However, the Pasadena Police Department is privileged to serve a community that is rich in history, diversity, and resources.  I remain hopeful that government, community, nonprofits, and business will increase our collaborative efforts in the new year. 

Community Involvement: 

On January 1, the Tournament of Roses and City of Pasadena hosted the 125th Rose Parade and the 100th Rose Bowl Game, which featured Michigan State and Stanford University. The Rose Parade was extra special this year. Thousands of people lined Orange Grove Boulevard and Colorado Avenue for the annual event to watch the many floats, marching bands, and equestrian units.  Following the Rose Parade, the “Grand Daddy of them All” (aka: Rose Bowl Game) was played under glorious skies in Pasadena.  At the end of the game, the Spartans emerged victorious. The game was speculator and the crowds very well behaved.  Attendance at the Rose Bowl topped 93,000 people.

A few days later, on January 6, the Rose Bowl hosted the BSC National Championship Game, which featured Florida State University and Auburn. You could not have asked for a better game!  In the end, more than 93,000 fans watch as FSU pulled off a last minute victory. The weather was perfect and the crowds enthusiastic  The entire week showcased Pasadena and we (Tournament of Roses, Bowl Game Management, local government, & community members delivered).  Because of the hundreds of hours preparing and planning  in advance of the Rose Parade, Rose Bowl and BSC the outcomes were successful.  The police department’s efforts were led by the Event Planning Team, which includes:  Lieutenant Randell Taylor, Sergeant Art Chute, Corporal Julie Finny, Officer Sean Dawkins.  Counter-Terrorism Unit includes: Sergeant Rudy Lemos and Corporal William Broghamer.  Photos @PPDChiefSanchez)!

On January 8, I attended the Clergy Community Coalition (CCC) monthly meeting.  Fuller Theological Seminary hosted the meeting, which was packed with religious leaders, community members, and government leaders.  The CCC monthly meetings are always enriching and a great opportunity to share information with local leaders (Photos@PPDChiefSanchez).

 On January 9, Commander John Perez, Lieutenant Vasken Gourdikian, Sergeant Greg Afsharian, Officer Sahak Nersesian, and I attended the Armenian National Committee Annual Holiday Reception.  VIPs included Mayor Bill Bogaard, Councilwoman Margaret McAustin, Councilman Terry Tornek, Councilman Gene Masuda, Former Pasadena Mayor Bill Paparian, and City Manager Michael Beck.  Marshall High School Jazz Band entertained the people attending the event (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).

On January 10, Deborah Sanchez, Anthony Sanchez, and I attended the Silver Gloves Boxing Tournament, which was held at Victory Park.  Armature boxers from the Western States competed in the three-day tournament.  Pasadena HR&R Supervisor Rozanne Adanto, HR&R Administrator Horace Wormely, and their staff managed the tournament (Photos at @PPDChiefSanchez).

Pasadena’s Finest:  

There were many exceptional acts of courage, compassion, and giving involving Pasadena Police officers, employees, and volunteers over the past two months; however, there a few that stood out above the rest. As Christmas Day approached, several Pasadena families turned to the Pasadena Police Department for help.  As a result of the generosity (in the form of cash donations) of the officers, employees, and volunteers the families most in need received Christmas trees, gifts, and food baskets delivered by the police department. The Pasadena Armenian Police Advisory Council also provided toys, gifts and other items to ensure as many families as possible were assisted over the holiday season.

Pasadena Air Operations hosted their annual Polar Wind, a fly-in at Huntington Memorial Hospital, where gifts were distributed to young people and their families. Air Ops also provided gifts for families at Peace over Violence and Roosevelt School. 

Pasadena Police Dispatchers went to the local US Post Office and asked for “letters for Santa.”  The dispatchers opened the letters and, to the best of their ability, fulfilled the Christmas requests outlined in the letters.  The dispatchers also cooked meals for families and provided gift baskets. 

 Pasadena Police Team 5 (coordinated by Officers Kevin Okamoto and Johnny Calderon) adopted the Hernandez Family after their 4-year old son was shot and paralyzed in 2013.  Team 5 provided Christmas gifts, food baskets, and gift cards for the entire family.  There were many more acts of kindness and generosity displayed by Pasadena Police personnel over the holidays; however, these three gestures highlight the commitment, dedication, and compassion of the Pasadena Police Department. 


Critical Incidents: 

On January 7, Pasadena Police officers responded to the area of Fair Oaks Avenue & Villa Street regarding an Assault with a Deadly Weapon investigation. On arrival, officers talked with the victim who said he was walking in the area of Fair Oaks when he saw a person who he knew as “Jeff.”  The victim talked with Jeff and later walked away.  Jeff followed the victim to the area of Garfield Avenue and Villa Street. Without warning, Jeff approached the victim and struck him on the back of the head with a blunt side of a hatchet. Jeff then fled north on Garfield Avenue out of sight of the victim. The victim did not report the incident for several days; nevertheless, our investigation is ongoing.  

On January 10, Pasadena Police officers assigned to the department's Special Enforcement Section (SES) and PFD Captain/Arson Investigator Wendell Eaton served a search warrant in the 800 block of North Oakland Avenue.  The search warrant followed the arrest of two arson suspects who allegedly used a pipe bomb to start a fire on or near Jan 1.  Because of the potential for additional explosives, officers used a robot to search the suspect's home.  Los Angeles County Bomb Squad personnel also assisted in the investigation. Officers did not locate any additional explosives and no evacuations were necessary. This case highlights the extraordinary collaboration between PPD & PFD.  Equally impressive is the police work completed by Captain Eaton and the involved Pasadena Police officers.  SES Police Lieutenant Cheryl Moody was the incident commander and PFD-PIO Lisa Derderian was on hand to answer questions from the media. 


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

Posted: 1/12/2014 02:05:00 PM
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