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Chief Harris Says Pending No-Bail Policing Will Not Change Department’s Commitment

Published on Thursday, September 21, 2023 | 4:00 pm

In an update on a coming no-bail policy scheduled to be implemented next month, Pasadena Police Chief Gene Harris said the change will not impact arrests by local police officers.

“With our commitment to the community, we will continue to arrest where necessary and let the aftermath take care of itself,” Harris said in the video update. “But our service to you, our commitment is to make sure we are removing criminals from the street and making sure that we’re providing that quality of life and the ability for people to enjoy their visits and businesses while here in the city of Pasadena.”

On July 18, the Los Angeles County Superior Court approved the new zero-bail policy.

The zero bail schedule will apply to misdemeanors and certain non-violent felonies. It is due to go into effect on Oct. 1 across the county.

Officers will now take one of three possible actions regarding a suspect’s release:
• Cite and Release, where the suspect is released at the location of the arrest.
• Book and Release, the arrestee is booked in jail and then released on their own recognizance
• Magistrate Review, select cases referred to an on-call judge.

Nearly all theft offenses, vehicle code violations, other property crimes like vandalism, and some serious crimes that are deemed non-violent will be either cited or booked and released or referred to an on-call judge.

The magistrate will have the discretion to determine release terms and conditions. Capital offenses are not eligible for zero bail release.

“A person’s ability to pay a large sum of money should not be the determining factor in deciding whether that person, who is presumed innocent, stays in jail before trial or is released,”

Presiding Judge Samantha P. Jessner said in July when the new protocol was established. “A low-risk arrestee should not be held in jail simply because they cannot post the necessary funds to be released pending arraignment.”

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