Touching Base: A Message from the Chief
January 8, 2012
Dear Community Members and
Happy New Year! There is no
doubt that 2012 will present some interesting opportunities and challenges;
however, the Pasadena Police Department is well prepared to meet the future
while maintaining the highest levels of public service and safeguarding our
community. Based on preliminary data the Pasadena Police Department
closed the year with a 12% reduction in crime (as compared to 2010 data).
While no one organization can claim exclusive credit for the reductions, I do
believe the Pasadena Police Department is maximizing its resources to help keep
our community safe. For example, contemporary community policing
strategies, investing in our youth (Police Athletics League (PAL), Explorers,
Youth Accountability Board, Junior Police Academy), ensuring open
communication, improving community relationships that are built on trust and
respect, rapid response by uniform patrol, the relentless pursuit of
criminals by detectives and specialized units, and taking full advantage of the
department’s Air Support resources are effective and on-going strategies to
help mitigate crime while preparing the community youth for the future. The
reduction in crime could not have been possible without the community’s
involvement. Your willingness to notify the police when you see crime or
other suspicious activities are critical factors in the police department’s
ability to maintain public order for all who live in, visit or work in
On December 16, 2011, Deputy Chief Darryl Qualls participated in the
Pasadena/Altadena Reintegration Council Resource Fair, which focused on
assisting parolees attempting to re-enter the community after being released
from prison. During the December meeting PARC members handed out toys and
other gifts to the parolees to ensure their families would have something to
celebrate during the holiday season. Darryl is a member of the
Pasadena/Altadena Reintegration Council along with is counterpart Brian
Biery from the Flintridge Center.
On December 17, 2011, Commander John Perez and Lieutenant Diego
Torres attended the Villa-Parke Holiday Christmas Event. The
celebration is designed to provide gifts to local families who otherwise would
not be able to celebrate the honored tradition of gift giving. John and
Diego said the event was very well attended.
On December 17, 2011, Lieutenant Phlunte Riddle and I attended the
Gamma Zeta Boule Foundation Mentor Session hosted at the Boy Scouts
Headquarters on Sierra Madre Boulevard. The young men enrolled in the
program are, for the most part, from Pasadena. The program is designed to
help young men become leaders in our community. Special thanks to Ray
Eely for coordinating our participation.
On December 22, 2011, along with several Pasadena Police employees, I
attended the Pasadena Armenian Police Advisory Council (PAPAC) 16th
Annual Christmas Toy Drive at the Pasadena Police Department. Students
from Pasadena High School sang Christmas carols and new toys were delivered to
non-profit organizations for distribution in our community. Special thanks to
PAPAC Board of Directors members Hovannes Sarkissian and Harry
Kouladjian, Pasadena Police Sergeant Vasken Gourdikian and Corporal Ara
Bzdigian for coordinating this special and well attended event.
On December 18, 2011, Commander John Perez, Lieutenant Phlunte
Riddle, Pasadena Public Health Director Dr. Eric Walsh, City
Councilman Chris Holden, Flintridge Center Director of Community
Organizing Brian Biery and I attended the Licensing and Ordination
Service and Ceremony for Ricky Pickens. The ceremony was held at
Community Bible Church and Pastor Jean Burch Officiated.
On December 23, 2011, several Pasadena Police employees and I delivered
holiday gift and food baskets to families in our community. Prior to our
deliveries we met at police headquarters to coordinate our mission.
Officer Veronica Burris organized the delivery routes and we were on our
way. Dressed in a Santa suit – white beard and all – Pasadena Police
Volunteer John Kendall helped to deliver the gift baskets. All in all it
was a special day to see the children smiling when they saw Santa walking up
the driveway. Parents were just as pleased. The following Pasadena
Police officers, employees, volunteers and explorers participated in the
holiday basket delivery: Rodney D. Wallace, Bobby Lomeli, Glenn C.
Thompson, Rodney Saunders, Kim Baecker, Mike Herrera, Steve Oberon Laura Morris,
John Perez, Chris Russ, Phlunte Riddle, Kate Favara, Paul McKinney, Deanna
Nestlerode, Ryan Smith, Carlo Montiglio, Jacob Carey, Sahak Nersesyan, Leticia
Garcia, Beverly Bogar, Anthony Atallah, James Hunter, Gabriella Nolasco, Becky
Gray, Jeniffer Chavez, Alexis Pelaez, Deborah K. Sanchez, John Kendall, Kristin
Stafford, Socorro Rocha and Mirsa Serrano.
On January 2, Pasadena once again hosted the 2012 Rose Parade and
Rose Bowl Game. The parade was spectacular and the weather could have not
been more perfect. An estimated 700,000 people lined the parade route and
were well behaved. In fact, only about 13 people were arrested in the early
morning hours leading up to the start of the parade. 91,000 people attended the
Rose Bowl Game between the University of Oregon Ducks and the University of
Wisconsin Badgers. In the end the Oregon Ducks prevailed. The fans were
treated to one of the most exciting football games of the BCS series. The crowd
at the Rose Bowl was very well behaved and as a result the Pasadena Police
Department arrested less than 30 people. As you might suspect, there are
a lot of people who help plan and coordinate the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl
Game. This year was no exception. I would like to commend the
Tournament of Roses President Richard W. Jackson and the Executive
Board, Interim Executive Director William Flinn, the Street Committee
members, the City of Pasadena and others involved in facilitating this iconic
family event. Hosting the Rose Parade and the Rose Bowl Game for a city
the size of Pasadena is truly a monumental achievement.
On January 7, Lieutenant Rodney D. Wallace and I attended
the 11th Annual Rekindling the Light of Peace Celebration to honor
the memory of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Councilwoman Jacque Robinson,
Assembly Member Anthony Portantino and Congressman Adam Schiff’s Field
Representative Teresa Lamb-Simpson also participated in the celebration.
The event is sponsored by the Pasadena Human Relations Commission and supported
by the Martin Luther King Community Coalition, Interdenominational Ministerial
Alliance, Ecumenical Council of Pasadena Area Congregations, YWCA
Pasadena-Foothill Valley, Pasadena Unified School District, Altadena NAACP,
Pasadena NAACP, Aspires West Pasadena, Pasadena Journal and Pasadena Weekly.
On January 7, I stopped by the El Centro de Accion Social Three
Kings Day, which was hosted at the center on Del Mar Blvd. The event is
used to distribute special gifts to community children and their
families. During the festivities parents teach their children the
traditions and meaning of the “Three King’s Day” by directly participating in
the event. In these tough economic times - it is important to provide
some joy and happiness for children who may not have received gifts on Christmas.
Mayor Bill Bogaard, Human Services and Recreation Supervisor Jarvis
Emerson, President of the Pasadena Mexican American History Association Manny
Contreras and PCC President Mark Rocha served as the kings this year.
The event was coordinated by El Centro de Accion Social Executive Director Randy
On December 2, 2011, I received a letter from East Area Special Enforcement
Team Leader Sergeant Michael Grant commending Pasadena Sergeant Bobby
Crees and Officers Jeff Disney, Jason Cordova, Michael Gligorijevic
and Brandon Largent for providing tactical training for the EASET
Team. There are a number of special weapons and tactics teams throughout
the San Gabriel Valley that routinely train with the Pasadena SWAT Team.
On December 17, 2011, I received an email commending Sergeant Chris Kirby
for his efforts to assist a disabled person who had been stopped by a Pasadena
Police officer and wanted to speak to a supervisor. The disabled person
described Chris as patient, understanding and fair.
On December 20, 2011, I received a letter from All Saints Church commending
Officer Victor Cass for participating in their First Annual Homeless
Memorial Service. Victor and others were responsible for reading the
names of homeless people who had died over the past 11 months. I attended
the solemn service as well and was concerned about the number of deaths
attributed to living on the streets. Homelessness is a complex dynamic
often complicated by mental illness, limited housing and substance abuse.
On December 22, 2011, I received a letter from PMW Associates commending
Lieutenant Mike Ingram for his leadership and integrity. Mike is
participating in a leadership development course facilitated by PMW. Paul
Whisenand is the lead instructor and commended Mike for his
On December 23, 2011, I received a letter from several students attending
Pasadena High School commending Lieutenant Randell Taylor and Sergeant Vasken
Gourdikian for their motor vehicle safety lecture at the school. The
program was facilitated by Randall and Vasken and obviously well received by
On January 3, I received an email from Tournament of Roses Member Janet
Whaley commending Officer David Garcia for assisting her on the
parade route. Janet was stationed at the end of the parade and observed a
female drill team member experiencing a medical emergency. As a result,
the drill team member had to withdraw from the parade. Janet flagged down
David and explained that the distressed female needed a ride to the Post-Parade
area, where she received minor medical attention. David provide
transportation and the young lady was attended to by the appropriate personnel.
On January 4, I received an email from a citizen commending
Pasadena Police Officer Roberto Calcanas. The author’s daughter
was involved in a traffic collision and Roberto responded to investigate.
The author indicated that Roberto was professional, supportive, understanding
and wise. Roberto was sensitive to the victim’s distress and reassured
On January 5, I received information that Pasadena Explorer Corporal
Ariel Jones was selected to participate in the Pasadena Rotary Youth
Leadership Awards Program. The RYLA is an intensive leadership training
program conducted and underwritten by the Rotary Club. Numerous
candidates from across the city participated in an extremely comprehensive
selection process and Ariel was one of only seven young people chosen.
On September 30, 2011, the Pasadena Fire Department responded to 59 S.
Meredith Ave. regarding a structure fire. While extinguishing the fire,
PFD personnel discovered a deceased body in one of the apartments. The
decedent was identified as a 27-year-old female Pasadena resident. The Pasadena
Police Homicide Detectives and the Pasadena Fire Department Arson Investigator
responded to the scene. Through their collective investigation and
diligence the detectives identified the victim’s 28-year-old boyfriend as the
suspect responsible for the murder and he was arrested. The Los Angeles
District Attorney’s Office filed murder charges, arson and first-degree
residential burglary. The suspect bail’s is over $1 million. The lead
investigator in this case was Corporal Keith Gomez. The suspect’s
preliminary hearing is scheduled for some time in 2012.
On December 25, 2011, Pasadena Police officers assigned to the Special
Enforcement Section (SES) served a search warrant in the 200 block of
Altadena Drive. The warrant directed the officers to search for stolen
property and vehicles. One suspect was arrested and booked for felony
charges at the Pasadena jail.
On December 27, 2011 at
about 5:40 a.m., Pasadena Police officers
responded to the area of Marengo Avenue and Dearborn Street regarding
gunshots. Uniformed officers conducted an extensive search and located a
deceased Hispanic adult in the 100 block of Dearborn Street. Pasadena
Police detectives are investigating the incident as a homicide.
Detectives are asking for anyone with information pertaining to this incident
to contact the Pasadena Police Department at (626) 744-4241 or http://lacrimestoppers.org and click on “Give a Tip.”
On December 28, 2011, Pasadena Police officers assigned to the Special
Enforcement Section (SES) conducted a parole compliance check in the 1100
block of Lincoln Avenue. During the search the officers located an SKS
assault rifle, a Tec-9 machine pistol and a .22 caliber rifle. The SES
officers arrested one suspect for possession of the weapons.
On December 29, 2011 at
about 2:45 p.m., Pasadena Police
officers received a call of a robbery near Maple Street and Euclid Avenue. Our
investigation revealed that the victim, a 13-year old male, was attacked by the
suspects without provocation. The suspects stole the victim’s cell phone and
fled the scene. The Pasadena Helicopter Crew (Pilot Lieutenant Mike
Ingram and TFO Brad May) monitored the call and were over the scene
immediately. Mike and Brad observed the suspects walking into the courtyard of
an apartment building in the 200 block of Parke Street. Mike and Brad
directed ground units to the suspect’s location and they were arrested without
further incident. The arresting officer was Corporal Dustin Gomes.
On December 30, 2011 at
about 2:40 p.m., a suspect was
arrested by the Pasadena Burglary Task Force for possession of stolen
property. The suspect was uncooperative during the booking process and
for safety reasons was placed into a temporary detention cell. Jail
personnel observed the subject tying a piece of clothing to the ceiling of the
cell and called for assistance. Officers Raque Hammerstrom, Vito
Gaxiola, Alfredo Magallon, Darryl Harris, Roberto Calcanas
and Sergeant Kathryn Jorge responded to the jail. When they
arrived they observed the subject standing on a bench in the cell with his
shirt tied around his neck and to the ceiling. As the officers approached
the suspect he stepped off the bench. The officers grabbed the suspect
and supported his weight until the shirt could be cut from the ceiling.
The officers’ actions clearly negated any injuries to the suspect, who was
transported to a local hospital for medical assistance.
On December 31, 2011 at
about midnight, Pasadena Police
officers responded to the area of Mountain Street near Summit Avenue regarding
an assault with a deadly weapon. The officers conducted a preliminary
investigation and learned that two male adults were walking westbound on
Mountain Street when an older model burgundy Nissan (or similar vehicle) pulled
alongside them. Without provocation the suspects fired several shots at
the victims. Fortunately the victims were not hit by gunfire. The
suspects were described as male blacks wearing grey hooded sweatshirts.
Pasadena Police detectives are investigating the case. If you have any
information about this incident, please call the Pasadena Police Department at
(626) 744-4241 and ask to speak with Lieutenant Tracey Ibarra or go to http://lacrimestoppers.org and click on “Give a tip.”
Phillip L. Sanchez
Chief of Police
Pasadena Police Department
207 N. Garfield Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91101
Mission First, People Always