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Interim Police Chief Moody Announces Retirement as Cmdr. Jason Clawson Prepares to Rotate Into Chief Position

Published on Thursday, April 28, 2022 | 10:02 am

Interim Police Chief Cheryl Moody announced this week she will retire effective May 23.

“My goal has been to strengthen the relationship between the men and women of the Pasadena Police Department and the community we serve in this great city,” said Chief Moody. “I hope that through my tenacity, hard work, diligence and willingness to push forward that I served as a role model for females—particularly women of color—who desire to reach the pinnacle of their careers. For centuries, women have learned that things don’t always come as easy for them as they do their male counterparts. But as we continue to shatter glass ceiling after glass ceiling, we can see the sky and visualize that there are no limits—even through adversity, unequal treatment and injustice. We must not forget the courageous women who paved the way, and on whose shoulders we stand.”

Moody is a founding member of the San Gabriel Valley Chapter of the National Organization of Black Law Enforcement Executives (NOBLE), which started in 2003. She also served on the NOBLE executive board and is the former vice president for Region 6, which covers six western states. This year, Chief Moody completed a two-year term as the president of Women Leaders in Law Enforcement of Los Angeles County. 

During her career with Pasadena Police Department, Chief worked several assignments, including Patrol; Neighborhood Crime Task Force; Research & Development; Police Activities League (PAL); Detectives Unit; Employment Services; Internal Affairs; and Special Enforcement Section, where she was the first female sergeant to complete SWAT school. Prior to her promotion to police commander, Chief Moody served as the department’s SWAT commander.

During her time as interim police chief, Moody has made promotions at all levels of the department with diversity, inclusion and fairness in mind; and the police department’s vacancy rate is the lowest it’s been in many years. Additionally, candidates for both civilian and sworn positions were vetted thoroughly, and every effort was made to hire locally and/or those with ties to the community. Moody also brought back a former department employee who currently serves as a liaison to help strengthen relationships with the community. 

“I would like to thank Chief Moody for accepting the interim chief position. She has shown true leadership and has been responsive to community needs. It has been a pleasure to work with her. I know I speak for everyone at City Hall in wishing her well in her retirement,” says Interim City Manager Cynthia Kurtz.

Los Angeles County Supervisor Kathryn Barger issued a statement Thursday praising Moody.

“It has been a pleasure to work with Chief Moody,” Barger said.

“Her commitment to both the rank-and-file police officers she has led and the community she has tirelessly served is admirable and reflects her commitment to public service. Chief Moody has also been a strong role model for women. Having achieved the rank of chief in one of the largest cities in Los Angeles County is no small feat. I thank Chief Moody for her service and wish her well in her retirement.”

Moody’s retirement comes as Pasadena Police Commander Jason Clawson will take the reigns of the police department when he rotates into the police chief position on Monday.

Clawson will remain in the top spot until a new chief is hired by the city.

The position became vacant earlier this year, when Chief John Perez retired after more than 30 years with the department. 

At that time, City Manager Cynthia Kurtz announced that Moody and Clawson would each rotate into the position. The move brought criticism from some members of the community.

Clawson recently served as the department’s press information officer where he directed and coordinated the activities within the Office of the Police Chief; audits and inspections; and the on-going review of policy and procedures.

Clawson is a veteran of the U.S. Navy and has 30 years of experience in municipal law enforcement operations.

He has worked many ranks across various divisions to include Patrol Operations and Investigations. Clawson also led a Safe Streets Task Force while assigned as a Task Force Supervisor with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, focusing on the transnational gang problem. Clawson has coordinated jurisdictional Mutual Aid, Critical Incident Response Team operations, and focused on problem locations through community policing efforts in high crime zones.

He served as the Project Director of a $2.5 million dollar grant from the Bureau of State and Community Corrections focusing on reintegration efforts of previously incarcerated community members returning to society. Clawson has participated in the development of goals, objectives, and key performance indicators for assigned divisional functions as well developing and administering divisional budgets, to include homeless and mental health initiatives, procurement of technology, and investigations. 

Clawson enters the position as the department undertakes an administrative review of the fatal officer-involved shooting of Anthony McClain.

A Pasadena police officer fatally shot McClain after he fled during a traffic stop in Aug. 2020. 

Police later found a gun at the scene which had McClain’s DNA on it. 

Earlier this month, District Attorney George Gascon cleared the officers of any wrongdoing. 

The administrative review will only probe the officers adherence to police policy.

The new chief will be hired by the next city manager. The City Council is scheduled to hold in-person interviews with candidates for that job in June. 

Clawson and Moody can apply for the permanent position.

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One thought on “Interim Police Chief Moody Announces Retirement as Cmdr. Jason Clawson Prepares to Rotate Into Chief Position

  • The best thing that the city of Pasadena can do for the people of this city, is to hire a new Chief from outside of the department. This department under this leadership and the rank and file has allowed the clear abuse of the residents and vistors. The police department does not hold officers accountable for misconduct and abuse. It is an old boy type school with in the ranks. Officers protecting Officers, and they turn a blind eye to abuse.