Pasadena Police Chief Talks About Las Vegas Shooting Tragedy, Disaster Readiness, Other Public Safety Hot Topics

Pasadena Police Foundation Chief’s breakfast Pasadena Police Foundation Chief’s breakfast Pasadena Police Foundation Chief’s breakfast

By BRANDON VILLALOVOS

5:35 am | October 6, 2017


Residents, civic and business and faith leaders, Police Department personnel, and government officials gathered early Thursday morning at the First Church of Nazarene in East Pasadena for the annual Pasadena Police Foundation Chief’s breakfast to meet with Pasadena’s Police Chief and hear about the current goals and accomplishments of the Pasadena Police Department.

Chief Phillip L. Sanchez kicked off the early morning event by addressing the department’s readiness for large-scale disasters, the importance of community support, and public safety issues that the city faces in 2017.

“We’re an imperfect community in an imperfect world, but the truth is, from my perspective, we do it better than most and we do it better than most because of the public support,” said Chief Sanchez.

The Foundation also presented the Myron Yanish Officer of the Year award and the Bernard K. Melekian Outstanding Youth Award to dedicated Pasadena Police personnel.

The Chief’s Breakfast highlighted areas of strengths and future plans for the department. The Pasadena Police Foundation was founded in 1993 to foster involvement of the Pasadena community with its Police Department with a purpose to promote and fund programs that further the goals of the Police Department that are not fully paid for by the city’s general fund, according to a press release.

Chief Sanchez took to the stage with positive insight after reflecting on the Las Vegas mass shooting tragedy that took place last weekend.

“We don’t need to wait for a disaster to occur to come together as a community,” said Chief Sanchez. “We need to do that in advance to be proactive.”

He reiterated the topic of disaster preparation on a large scale and described a few measures the police department would deploy in the event of a disaster either natural or caused by human intervention.

Some safety tips Chief Sanchez urged the audience to adhere to in large settings and events included the “see something, say something” initiative and noting where exits are in case of an emergency.

“You become more of the solution instead of part of the problem in these kinds of horrific incidents,” said Chief Sanchez. “I’m asking you to be more engaged at these major venues so that you can help us prepare.”

Some measures the department has implemented in recent years are bomb detection canines and specific weapon systems such as urban police rifles.

“It’s a tragedy that we have to do those things, but the truth is they are necessary to ensure the safety of my officers and moreover the people that visit these large venues,” Chief Sanchez explained.

He reminded the audience that the department is a proactive police force.

“We are authorized to use force, but in light of what happens nationally, we have to ask ourselves how and when and why force is used,” said Chief Sanchez.

According to the Chief, the Pasadena Police Department has used force 0.762 percent of the time during arrests.

Chief Sanchez mentioned that the issue of homelessness in Pasadena continues to be a challenge for the department.

“The men and women of the Pasadena Police Department are committed, but they have limits within their own authority,” he said.

Two deserving Pasadena Police personnel received awards following the Chief’s remarks.

The Bernard K. Melekian Outstanding Youth Award was given to John Muir High School student and Pasadena Police Cadet Jennifer Mendez.

The Myron Yanish Officer of the Year Award was awarded to Officer Darin Craddolph whose career spans over 30 years with the Pasadena Police Department.

The Pasadena Police Foundation plays an integral role in helping to fund areas of the department that rely on an increase in resources. In recent years, the Foundation has raised funds for a new mobile utility vehicle for the department and this year aims to purchase a UTM portable training facility which will provide the department with a multi-purpose training structure.

The portable training facility provides a versatile training environment with unlimited building and structural layouts, including hallways, doorways, windows, tunnels, and more. It can be used to teach tactics, firearm related skills, force-on-force training, live-fire training, as well as low-light and scenario-based training, according to a press release.

The Pasadena Police Foundation adopted the theme of “Helping Cops Give Kids Hope” to focus the Foundation’s ultimate mission of providing funds for youth-based programs and activities.

“The youth programs that are supported and funded by the Pasadena Police Department and the Pasadena Police Foundation are extremely important in that effort to level the playing field for our children, to create a future for them as they strive to carve out a place for themselves in this chaotic world,” said Sanchez.

Funds were raised at the the breakfast through an auction that featured a Pasadena police helicopter ride-along for two, a patrol car ride-along, lunch with a K-9 Officer and dog, an opportunity to use the Portable Training Structure with Pasadena Police training staff, and a catered jailhouse dinner and tour with Chief Sanchez and his wife.

“Moving forward together, I believe that we can make a difference. I believe we are making a difference here in Pasadena,” said Chief Sanchez.

For more information about the Pasadena Police Foundation, visit http://www.pasadenapolicefoundation.org/