Pasadena Police Use of Force in Arrests Less than 1% in 2017, Chief Reports

Vice Mayor Kennedy calls report ‘Very positive’

Published : Thursday, October 19, 2017 | 5:34 AM

Fewer than 1% of calls from the public for a police response which resulted in arrests required any use of force by officers during the first six months of 2017, according to a presentation by Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez to the Public Safety Committee Wednesday evening.

According to the Chief’s report, there were 2,767 arrests made in the first six months of 2017. Twenty-two of those arrests required some type of force, resulting in a percentage of arrests using force of 0.795%.

Chief Sanchez noted that except for a small number of arrests that were accidentally not recorded, the remainder of all arrests this year were captured on body-worn cameras.

But the Chief was hesitant to attribute the presence of the body cameras as a factor contributing to the low use of force number, saying, “I’m not really ready to say that those were a factor yet … We will wait and see how the rest of the year goes.”

Compared to the total number of uses of force in previous years, there were 36 in all of 2015, and 45 in all of 2016.

“We think these numbers are encouraging, and we think our officers have been using force very prudently,” said Sanchez.

Chief Sanchez also noted that have been 243 firearms were either seized or surrendered this year. Committee Chair Vice Mayor John Kennedy called the report “very positive.”

Reporting on the department’s administrative investigations, Chief Sanchez reported that from January to June of 2017, there were seven internal complaints regarding officers, seven automobile collisions and four external complaints, for a total of 19 investigations. This compares to 25 total investigations in 2015, and 22 total investigations in 2016.

Of those investigations and complaints, the chief’s report indicated that of 47 total investigations in 2016, 42 investigations are completed, and five are pending. In 2017, there were so far 19 investigations with seven investigations completed, and 12 still active.

Of the 12 active cases in 2017, three have been sustained, and two have been judged “unfounded,” meaning that the acts in question either did not occur or did not involve department personnel. Two of the complaints have been classified as “informal” complaints.

Two department employees received written warnings, and one was suspended.

All of the 2017 police collisions were classified as “preventable.”