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City Committee to Hear Police Chief Report on Methods to Determine Appropriately-Sized Police Forces, Report on Use of Force Incidents

Published on Monday, August 15, 2016 | 5:46 am
A file photo of the Public Safety Committee in session in July, 2015.

[Editor’s Note: The original version of this article was incorrect. Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez will tonight be presenting a report to facilitate discussions by the Public Safety Committee and the City Council on appropriate police staffing levels.  Chief Sanchez will not be asking for an increase in the size of the Pasadena Police Dept. force.]

The Pasadena City Council’s Public Safety Committee will hear a report by Police Chief Phillip Sanchez and City Manager Steve Mermell which provides information on how cities can determine what constitutes an appropriately-sized police force.

In an Agenda Report prepared for the City Council, through the Public Safety Committee, Pasadena Police Chief Phillip L. Sanchez said the subject of increasing the number of officers was discussed on July 27 when the City Council deliberated on the 2017 operating budget, which provided for 239 officers.

From that time on, the police department undertook an initial assessment of the factors that should affect staffing level decisions. In the Agenda Report, Sanchez said they are prepared to conduct additional analysis that would help the City Council decide.

Sanchez also said the current 239 sworn officer positions at the department is lower than that of fiscal year 2011 which was 251. In 2012, the number of officers was 246, 248 in 2013, and has been at 239 since 2014.

Should City Council authorize a new police staffing study, Sanchez said it would mean costs of between $50,000 and $75,000 which are not appropriated in the operating budget.

At the Public Safety Committee meeting, Sanchez is expected to present extensive data to support the recommended staffing level, including university research and comparative data from other police departments in cities approximating the size and population characteristics of Pasadena.

Also at the meeting, Sanchez is expected to present a 2016 Mid-Year Discipline Overview, which provides data on the number of complaints, internal or external, against Pasadena police officers and explains how these were acted upon.

From January to June 2016, the department conducted administrative probes on 22 cases against police department personnel.
Sanchez will also give an update on the implementation of body-worn cameras among Pasadena’s police officers, and a 2016 mid-year overview on Use of Force incidents.

Use of Force involves the application of physical techniques or tactics, chemical agents or weapons on another person, especially when the subject of a legitimate search or arrest resists police officers.

The Public Safety Committee will meet Monday afternoon in the City Council chamber at City Hall at 4:15 p.m.

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