Pasadena Gets a New Police Chief

City Manager Steve Mermell names Interim Police Chief John Perez to fill the position

Published : Tuesday, December 18, 2018 | 1:42 PM

Interim Police Chief John Perez was named today as the City's new permanent Chief of Police. Perez (above right) see earlier this year at a local crime scene. Photo by James Carbone

John Eduardo Perez, a thirty-three year veteran of the City of Pasadena Police Department, has been appointed the City’s new Chief of Police by City Manager Steve Mermell. Perez had been serving as the Interim Chief of Police since April 2018, after former Chief Phillip Sanchez announced his retirement.

“After conducting a five-month-long national search which attracted almost seventy applicants from a range of agencies,” Mermell said,” it became clear to me that Chief Perez is what Pasadena needs at this time. His knowledge of the City—and of its people—is certainly germane, but it is his leadership, his innovation and his willingness to work with the community that he serves which ultimately led to his selection. Chief Perez is supremely qualified to lead us forward and we congratulate him on this well-deserved promotion.”

Perez will oversee a Department with 325 employees and an annual budget of $82 million.

While Interim Chief of Police, Perez created a Community Advisory Committee comprised of Pasadena residents to work with the PPD on issues important to the community, including the use of body cameras, use of force and neighborhood policing. Prior to assuming the Interim Chief of Police position, Perez served as the Deputy Chief of Police from 2012-2016. Since joining the force in 1985 as a cadet, Perez has worked in all facets of the organization including Patrol, Community Relations, Internal Affairs, Special Enforcement Section, S.W.A.T., Special Investigations Unit and the Counter Terrorism Team. He has served in command of all three PPD divisions: Strategic Services, Field Operations and Criminal Investigations.

“Serving in the Pasadena Police Department for the last thirty years alongside tremendous men and women has been the honor of a lifetime,” said Perez. “To have the opportunity to lead our Department, to help enhance our relationships with the community and to use innovation and hard work to keep the City safe, is truly an honor. We will conduct ourselves with the utmost of integrity and professionalism and we will be a safety net for every member of the Pasadena community whom we serve.”

The City retained the executive search form of Teri Black & Company LLC, which facilitated the search process and sought broad public input. Three community forums took place in September and hundreds of resident’s submitted concerns, thoughts and nominations via email or the City’s website. Ultimately, 67 applications were received, and the most qualified eight were selected by the search firm, based on the established qualification requirements. From those eight, the City Manager and the consultant selected the top four applicants for interviews. One applicant subsequently withdrew, and the final three candidates were interviewed by a diverse community panel of knowledgeable Pasadena residents in early December, by two internal panels of Pasadena staff members and then by the City Manager.

“I want to thank the hundreds of Pasadena residents who provided input in the process,” added Mermell, “as well as the community interview panel which interviewed the three finalists and provided me with candid and much-appreciated feedback. I am excited as we enter a new chapter in the long and distinguished history of the Pasadena Police Department.”

Perez holds a Ph.D. in Public Administration from North Central University, a Masters’ degree in Behavior Science from California State Dominguez Hills and a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice from Mountain State University. He serves on the executive board of the Patron’s Saints Foundation.

Perez, 52, is married to Norma Perez and have two children, Josh and Jake.

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