Pasadena Interim Police Chief Cheryl Moody Announces Retirement 

PASADENA, Calif.—Interim Police Chief Cheryl Moody has announced her retirement effective May 23, 2022, after serving the City of Pasadena for nearly 30 years and after five months in her current role.

On Feb. 3, 2020, Moody was promoted to deputy chief with the Pasadena Police Department—the first female in the 130-year history of the department to be promoted to this rank. Chief Moody made history again this past January as the first female to be appointed as the interim chief of the department.

After high school, Chief Moody served three years in the United States Air Force, and then successfully applied to the Pasadena Police Department. Chief Moody obtained her bachelor’s degree in emergency management from California State University, Long Beach; and her master’s degree in organizational leadership from Woodbury University.

Chief 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 Moody 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.

“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,” says 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.”

During her short time as interim police chief, 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. Chief 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.

Commander Jason Clawson will assume the role of interim police chief on Monday, May 2.

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