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Police Oversight Commission Wants to Extend Independent Police Auditor Richard Rosenthal’s Contract

Rosenthal announced he plans to retire later this year

Published on Friday, June 7, 2024 | 5:04 am

The Community Police Oversight Commission voted Thursday to recommend to the City Council that Independent Police Auditor Richard Rosenthal’s contract be extended for another six months.

Rosenthal’s current contract ends in July. If the City Council approves the proposed contract extension, this will be Rosenthal’s final term as Pasadena’s Independent Police Auditor.

At Thursday’s Oversight Commission meeting, Rosenthal announced that he plans to retire after six months.

“I have advised the City Attorney that I’m happy to extend my contract for another six months but after that I intended to go into full retirement mode writing books instead of doing day-to-day work and oversight,” said Rosenthal.

Rosenthal expressed hope that the Oversight Commission will be able to find a local IPA and vowed to help the next IPA ensure a smooth transition and avoid disruptions.

“I will work with that person through the end of the year to ensure seamless transition and the work that I’ve been doing in Community Police Oversight Commission is carried out with minimal disruptions possible,” Rosenthal said.

The Commission members unanimously decided that Rosenthal should be determined for another six months and that they should begin searching for a new IPA.

“We would put out an RFP (request for proposal) probably very soon after there is a formal approval of Richard’s contract for six months,” Principal Administrative Analyst Amanda Fowler said. “With a six-month period, it does give us time to have that overlap. It’s definitely feasible within that time period as long as we start soon.”

Meanwhile, members of the Commission lauded Rosenthal for his work as IPA.

Commissioner Noemi Emeric-Ford said Rosenthal has been a tremendous help not only for the Commission’s members but also in bridging the gap between the Community Police Oversight Commission and the community.

“Thanks for the work that you’ve done and really grateful to see this work advancing,” said Commissioner Juliana Serrano.

Some Commissioners remarked that Rosenthal is going to be missed and is hard to replace.

“I want to express my gratitude and my thanks for your patience and your grace with our community, with our city employees and just the way that you’ve been able to do your job well. We’re definitely going to miss you,” said Commissioner Raúl Ibáñez.” This feels like a loss and that is an indicator of how well I feel you do your job and how much we’ve gained from being one of your colleagues.”

“I think all of us feel a tremendous sense of gratitude for your work that you’ve done with us. I think it’s hard for me to imagine now replacing you,” said Commissioner Paula Verrette.

Rosenthal, who replaced former IPA Brian Maxey, began serving the Community Police Oversight Commission in 2022.

During his first year in office, Rosenthal reviewed the use of force cases closed between June 2021-November 2022. His report on the Categorical Use of Force investigations by Pasadena Police Department (PPD) recommends 10 changes to current PPD policy.

Just recently, Rosenthal provided the police department with a draft policy language regarding processes for handling civil complaints alleging police misconduct, a draft policy language regarding Early Warning/ Personnel Assessment System and a proposal related to Community-Police mediation program. The proposed policies are currently pending before PPD.

Rosenthal is also helping the Community Police Oversight Commission with a comprehensive review of the Pasadena Police Department’s pretext search policy. He is currently finalizing the online survey, which will solicit feedback from the public and Police Department members on pretext stops.

Rosenthal’s contract was last extended by the Community Police Oversight Commission in July 2023.

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