Pasadena Police Unveil New Recruitment Video

Published : Friday, October 12, 2018 | 4:29 PM

The Pasadena Police Department has produced and published a new recruitment video that stresses the importance of law enforcement maintaining close ties with the local community and partner organizations that support the department’s work.

The video was actually created for a conference of the International Association of Chiefs of Police (IACP) that occurred last week in Orlando, Florida, said Pasadena Police Lt. Jason Clawson.

An outside production company produced the video for the department.

“It highlights some of the great efforts ongoing in Pasadena,” Clawson said. “It will play at future IACP trainings over the next year and hopefully bring positive attention to further market us, and recruit the best employees, as we continue to police with compassion as well as with the best intentions.”

In the video, now available on Youtube, Pasadena Police Chief John Perez stressed how the Department has been collaborating with the Pasadena community in the effort to build safer neighborhoods and to encourage community members to help in solving problems.

“At the same time, we have very positive crime prevention programs, violence reduction efforts as well as very unique innovations in gang outreach programs, such as in-home visits where our gang officers visit youth who may be involved in gangs at their home and persuade them and their parents to stay out of gangs and out of trouble,” Perez said.

Darin Randall, a community member, talks about his experience with the Community Police Academy, an informative, eight-week classroom series for ordinary residents that provides participants an inside look at Pasadena Police operations and promotes greater awareness and better understanding of local law enforcement’s continuously changing role in the community.

“It was a great experience,” Randall says in the video. “I got to see the daily ins and outs and the different workings of the police department. It’s a great tool that they have to build community relations. They had different detectives, lieutenants… some of the command staff came in and spoke with us who were able to see their Special Victims department, Homicide, their version of SWAT which is SES (Special Enforcement Section), so it was a great experience.”

The video also provides a brief look into the community programs the police department has been participating in as part of their effort to strengthen contacts with the community.

The department partners with the Flintridge Center in implementing a Parole Reintegration Program that helps former law offenders and the formerly incarcerated get back to being responsible and productive community members.

Jeff Bellisimo, Program Specialist at the Flintridge Center, says the Center, along with the police department and other partners, in 2017 received a $2.5 million grant over the course of three years under Prop 47 to provide reintegration services to the community members of Pasadena and surrounding areas.

“As a matter of fact, the Pasadena Police Department was the only lead law enforcement agency to receive a grant award, which to me suggests the commitment that they have to the type of work that we’re doing,” Bellisimo said. “So we’re really fortunate to have a partner such as the passing the police department in our work. They’ve been very supportive of everything that we do at the Flintridge Center in terms of providing services to parolees and probationers. I know that without their support we wouldn’t be able to be as effective as we are in this work.”

Also in the video Officer Ed Bondarczuk, director of the Police Activities League (PAL) at the police department, and Barbara Baptiste, President of PAL, talk about the PAL program as a great opportunity for Pasadena area children to learn more about law enforcement work early.

The program also encourages college-age students to do volunteer work with the police department and become mentors for younger children.

“They go out to the various school sites, pick up kids, bring them to our PAL center. They assist the kids with homework, they mentor them, provide programs and assist them with any activities, any situations that they’re dealing with at home, almost like a big-brother, big-sister type situation,” Bondarczuk says.

“The importance of our board and the police department, what it is, is combined with what we do, it helps the children in the future,” Baptiste says. “For instance, we had one of the members here who started as a PAL member, later became an instructor and then later became a policewoman. And I think that just shows a lot how much of this is so important to the community.”

Later on in the video, Julianna Serrano, Senior Associate for Peace & Justice and Office for Creative Connections at All Saints Church and a member of the Pasadena Chief’s Community Advisory Committee, a group of community members that dialogues regularly with the Chief of Police and other officers as a mechanism for better communication with the police department talks about that process.

Serrano says with Pasadena’s large diverse community, an effective communication effort is of vital importance so that the police department and the community could have a shared understanding about what is happening in terms of law enforcement and keeping the community safe.

Chief Perez concludes by stressing the importance of ensuring that both law enforcement officers and community members take part proactively in neighborhood problem solving, building positive relationships, and ensuring accessibility and opportunity for everyone.

“Our alliance with nonprofit organization is very critical in our efforts. This has helped to fund our youth and adult mentorship programs, expand our K9 team, as well as support many other outreach strategies here in the city of Pasadena,” Perez says.



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