Chief John Perez and the Pasadena Police Department are dedicated to serving the Community of Pasadena with Excellence, Innovation and Integrity. We are listening and learning during this time of change and have made great strides while continuing to balance the responsibilities of providing excellent, policing services. Recently, there has been a significant discussion about 8 points of change in police agencies (#8CantWait). The Pasadena Police Department has received numerous emails, texts and inquiries regarding these 8 points. Fortunately, the Pasadena Police Department’s policies, training standards, and hiring practices support all 8 points as evident by the 50% reduction in force used by officers over the past two years and recovery of a large number of firearms. Chief Perez has promoted a culture of respect through de-escalation so more can be accomplished, and we are moving in a positive direction.
Your Pasadena Police Department can be reached either online or by telephone (626) 744-4501.
8 Points of Change
- Require De-Escalation
The Pasadena Police Department supports the concept of “De-escalation” which is why it has been a part of the department’s policy for several years. De-escalation is set forth in Policy 300.3.5 and accounts for situations that are rapidly evolving and provides that officers should seek to de-escalate when safe to do so, without compromising law enforcement priorities. It is consistent with Penal Code Section 835a, as amended by Assembly Bill 392. Officers must continually evaluate factors that may require either escalation or de-escalation of force to protect themselves or others, as the preferred outcome is to effectively deal with situations while minimizing the need for force.
- Establish Use of Force Continuum
Officers are trained to only use force necessary to effect an arrest as set forth in Policy 300.3.1. It is recognized that levels of force are used as needed. There is not a “ladder” that must be followed, and officers must have options available to choose from that are reasonable and necessary, under the circumstances.
- Duty to Intervene
The Pasadena Police Department has strict policies regarding an officer’s obligation to intervene. Policy 300.2.1 states officers do have a duty to intercede to prevent the use of unreasonable force and requires any officer to promptly report any excessive force.
- Ban Shooting at Moving Vehicles
Found under Pasadena Police Policy 300.4.1, shooting at a moving vehicle is rarely effective and officers shall make every effort to get out of the path of a moving vehicle before shooting. Although rare and only after all other options have been considered, there are some situations where shooting at a moving vehicle is necessary to protect the lives of innocent people. Such examples include when a vehicle is being used as a weapon against a citizen or police officer, or the vehicle’s occupant(s) are themselves, shooting from the moving vehicle.
- Ban Chokeholds & Strangleholds
Existing department policy does not authorize the use of a “chokehold.” The technique officers are trained on and use to subdue violent or combative individuals is called a Carotid Restraint Control Hold and is outlined in Policy 300.3.4. However, beginning June 7, 2020, the Pasadena Police Department has suspended the use of the Carotid Restraint Control Hold.
- Exhaust All Alternatives Before Shooting
Officers of the Pasadena Police Department as well as all California Law Enforcement officers are required to adhere to the mandates established in Penal Code 835a(a)(2). Officers are trained to only use force which is reasonable to make an arrest. As a rule, the use of deadly force is only justified in certain circumstances, such as the protection of persons from imminent death or serious injury. The Use of Deadly Force policy can be found on the Police Department’s website under Policy 300.4.
- Require Warning Before Shooting
Pasadena Police Department Policy 300.4(c) requires warning prior to use of deadly force, when feasible. However, it is not always possible to warn in every situation. For example, a warning might not be provided when an officer or civilian is being fired upon or threatened at gunpoint.
- Require All Uses of Force are Reported
Policy 300.5 requires any use of force shall be documented promptly, completely and accurately.