Field of Police Chief Candidates Shrinks to 3, Community Panel Completes Interviews

Published : Thursday, December 6, 2018 | 8:30 PM

Interim Chief of Police John Perez and Pasadena Police Commander Cheryl Moody confirmed they are finalists. The third finalist for the job of Pasadena's next Police Chief has not been identified by City officials.

The number of finalists applying to be Pasadena’s next Police Chief has now shrunk to three and each was interviewed Wednesday before a community panel enlisted by Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell, city officials said.

In late November a City Hall spokesperson said the field of finalists had been narrowed to four candidates. Thursday, Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian said one candidate voluntarily has dropped out.

Pasadena Interim Police Chief John Perez and Pasadena Police Commander Cheryl have both acknowledged they are among the finalists. The third candidate’s name has not been released.

Under the City’s Charter, Pasadena’s City Manager has the ultimate authority to select the new Chief. But Mermell formed a group of residents to advise him as “an important part” of the selection process.

“The panel represents valuable and independent perspectives based on long years of service to our community and, for some, through the particular positions they hold or have held,” Mermell said when he announced the panel earlier this month. “I look forward to receiving their candid and honest feedback.”

The committee met Wednesday an undisclosed location.

“There were panels throughout the day,” Derderian said. “The questions covered a wide range of topics.”

One community panel member told Pasadena Now that members of the panel were given latitude to ask questions of their own.

“I think it was a very good process that allowed members of the community to learn more about each of the finalist candidates,” the panel member said. “The City Manager seemed very interested in our assessment of each of the candidates and genuinely wanted to get our input. Overall, I thought it was a very good process.”

The Community Panel included:

Danny Donabedian – Chair, Armenian National Committee of America – Pasadena Chapter & former Recreation and Parks Commissioner
Ralph Frammolino – President of PivotHound Communications & Northwest Commissioner
Mayra Macedo-Nolan – Community Outreach Pastor, Lake Avenue Church
Steven Olivas – Planning Commissioner
Danny Parker – Chair, Robinson Park Recreation Center Renovation Project Steering Committee
Sheryl Turner – CEO, Friends of the Miracle Mile & former Northwest Commissioner
Brian Williams -Executive Director, Los Angeles County Sheriff Civilian Oversight Commission

Each person on the committee served as a private citizen, not as a representative of any group or agency, an official said.

Derderian said “the top candidate(s) will meet with the City Manager in the next few weeks and we hope to announce the Chief by the beginning of the new year.

Former Chief Phillip Sanchez retired last April. Deputy Chief John Perez was named Interim Chief and has commanded the Department since that time as the nation-wide search to find a permanent Chief has moved forward.