Touching Base: A Message from the Chief (03/23/14)

Pasadena Police Department MottoTouching Base: A Message from the Chief
March 23, 2014


Dear Community Members & Department Personnel: 

For your Information:  

Pasadena Police Department’s Mobile Command Post, Curbside Coffee & Chat is on the move in 2014.  The police department has received several requests for the Mobile Command Post from Neighborhood Watch groups and other local stakeholders. The Mobile Command Post is being utilized as a highly visible platform to engage our community members. If you would like the Mobile Command Post Curbside Coffee & Chat to visit your neighborhood, please call Officer Ralph Ordonez at (626) 744-7651, or email ralphordonez@cityofpasadena.net.  

Pasadena Police Department offers internet tips for the entire family. For more information, please visit the police department’s webpage at http://www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/Police.  

On April 26, from 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., (in front of the Pasadena Police Department, 207 North Garfield Avenue) the Pasadena Police Department will join the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in the 8th DEA National Take Back Initiative (NTBI VIII) Event.  The goal of the program is to allow Southern Californians to deliver all of their unused, unwanted, or expired medications to law enforcement officials who can, in turn, dispose of these controlled substances in a secure and non-hazardous manner, potentially saving lives and protecting the ecosystem.   

Community Involvement:  

On March 15, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls, Commanders Chris Russ and Lisa Rosales, Lieutenants Pete Hettema, Diego Torres, Mike Ingram, Jason Clawson, Administrator Gena Persons, and Officer Christian Allen attended the Pasadena Lions Pancake Breakfast, which was held at the Salvation Army.  Current Lion’s President Tom Kester emailed a note of thanks saying, “…We were delighted by this turn-out thank your department for their ongoing support of Pasadena Lions and our services to Pasadena since 1920.  Proceeds from the breakfast event will help support Pasadena Lions ongoing service to the community in promoting sight preservation and restoration…” (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).  

On March 15, I had the opportunity to lecture to a group women prisoners incarcerated at the California Institute for Women (CIW), Chino.  Shirlee Smith (Talk About Parenting, www.talkaboutparenting.org) hosts a 10 week parenting course for incarcerated women. Several local leaders, including PUSD Board President Renatta Cooper, have also lectured as part of Shirlee’s program. The women in the audience were bright, engaged, and articulate; clearly looking for assistance – not making excuses for their current status.   

On March 15, Police Administrator Gena Persons, Lieutenant Cheryl Moody, and Officer Domino Scott attended the Southern California Chapter of NOBLE’s 13th Annual Achievers’ Award Banquet which was held at the University of Southern California.  Officers from several law enforcement agencies including, Glendora, Long Beach, Los Angeles Police, Los Angeles County Sheriffs, and the District Attorney’s office were recognized for their unwavering commitment to law enforcement and to the communities they so proudly serve.  Danny Bakewell Sr. was honored for his steadfast work in the community.  The keynote speaker was Paula Williams Madison, LAPD Police Commissioner, Businesswoman, Visionary, and Pioneer. She spoke on the importance of building and sustaining strong relationships between law enforcement and the community. The event was well attended and enjoyed by all.   

On March 16, I had the opportunity to participate on a panel in support of Polytechnic School’s Partnership for Success.  More than 250 students, parents, and staff poured into the auditorium at Polytechnic School to hear 10 panelists speak about “success.” The program (formerly known as Skills Enrichment) was hosted by Poly Instructor/Executive Director, Partnership for Success, Gillian Bush.  There were several questions from the audience and the responses from the panelists were exceptional.  Panel members included: former students, current college students, judicial officers, teachers, nonprofit directors, and law enforcement representatives (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez). 

On March 20, Pasadena Police Community Outreach officers hosted a Curbside Coffee & Chat at the University Club, 175 North Oakland Avenue.  I understand the event was well attended.  Community members enjoyed talking with some of Pasadena’s Finest through the event. Also visit us at www.ci.pasadena.ca.us/Police/CurbsideCoffee (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).  

Pasadena’s Finest:  

On March 12, I received a letter from Upland Police Chief Jeff Mendenhall commending Pasadena Police Officers Ken Florendo and Mike Gligorijevic for their assistance during a sexual assault case.  Upland Police Department’ Detectives documented a rape incident on March 8, 2014.  The evidence led to a suspect living in Pasadena.  When Upland detectives did not locate the suspect they asked Ken and Mike for assistance.  On March 9, Ken and Mike located the suspect and arrested him without incident.  The case was submitted to the San Bernardino County District Attorney’s Office, who filed charges against the suspect.  

On March 12, I received a letter from a community member commending the Pasadena Police Department for their involvement when the author suffered the loss of her husband.  The author wrote, “… my then husband committed suicide in Pasadena and two among your ranks were assigned to task of informing me and sons.  As I recall, they both described it as the worst part of the job. I want you and them to know that I appreciate their kindness and professionalism….”  

On March 12, several Pasadena Police officers, employees and volunteers gathered to honor Pasadena Police CAPPs Volunteer John Kendall.  John has served the Pasadena community for more than 7 years.  During his service, he has donated more than 7,360 hours assisting at crime scenes, driver’s training, the PPD front desk, and the department’s holiday basket give-away program.  John inspired several of his family members to also serve as volunteers (Shar Stafford, Laura Kendall, and Kristin Stafford). In addition to John’s community service, the Kendall Family has also volunteered 4, 767 hours! (Photos @PPDChiefSanchez).  

On March 12, I received an email from La Verne Assistant to the City Manager Jeannette Vagnozzi (through Police Chief Scott Pickwith) commending Pasadena Police Lieutenant Randell Taylor for his assistance regarding local policies and code sections.  Jeannette wrote, “… that was the perfect connection!  He was so helpful and provided both code sections and their procedures.  I couldn’t have found better advice anywhere.  Next time you see the Pasadena Chief, pass along my gratitude for the help provided by Lt. Taylor…”   

On March 14, Pasadena Police Lieutenants John Dewar and Jason Clawson, Officers Jeffrey Disney, David Duran, Jason Cordova, and FBI Agent James Manizi were honored by the Office of the Attorney General for their work on the Safe Streets Task Force (SSTF).  The event was held in Los Angeles and several law enforcement officials, officers, and agents were recognized for their courage and dedication.   

On March 20, Pasadena Police Officer Gilbert Ortiz retired after 34 years of honorable service to the department and community. He started his law enforcement career with the Monrovia Police Department in 1980.  On December 12, 1982, he was hired by the Pasadena Police Department and never looked back. Gil is a traffic subject-matter expert, spending a great part of his career in the department’s Traffic Section. He plans to take up umpiring in this retirement, which is one of his true passions. Gil will be missed!  

Critical Incidents:  

On March 13, Pasadena Police Officers Doug Hamblin and Mathew Morgan initiated a traffic enforcement stop and arrested the driver for DUI.  During the investigation, an associate of the driver (the DUI suspect) was observed walking away from the traffic stop. Officers contacted the subject and determined he was likely involved in narcotics activity.  Officer Hamblin contacted the department’s Special Investigation Unit (SIU), who assisted with the investigation.  Subsequently, SIU detectives developed additional probable cause and applied for a search warrant of the subject’s residence. The warrant was authorized by a judge and during the search, detectives recovered two firearms, 13.5 ounces of marijuana, about 565 Ecstasy Pills, about 500 Xanax Pills, 18 grams of mushrooms, about 117 Oxy codon Pills, and a small about of cocaine.  

On March 14, the Pasadena Police Traffic Section conducted a DUI Check Point in the area of Fair Oaks Avenue and Holly Street.  Approximately 1,874 vehicles passed through the check point resulting in 13 drivers who were checked for suspicion of DUI. Subsequently, seven drivers were arrested for DUI, nine drivers were arrested for operating a motor vehicle without a license, and six vehicles were impounded. The traffic section is commanded by Pasadena Police Lieutenant Pete Hettema. Sergeants Max Dahlstein and Mario Ortiz supervised the checkpoint.  

On March 16, Pasadena Police officers responded to a local hospital regarding a stabbing victim (non-lethal).  On arrival, officers learned that the victim (Male Black, 43 years old, Altadena Residence) lied about his name and said he had been stabbed in the 30 block of West Colorado Boulevard. Officers responded to the location and determined a disturbance inside or outside the establishment had never occurred. Our investigation is ongoing; however, it is hampered in part because the victim is uncooperative.   


Take good care,  

Phillip L. Sanchez
Chief of Police

Posted: 3/23/2014 08:55:00 AM
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