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
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).
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.
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