Pasadena Police Department (California)

Pasadena Police Department
Abbreviation PPD

Patch of the Pasadena Police Department
Agency overview
Formed 1886
Legal personality Governmental: Government agency
Jurisdictional structure
Operations jurisdiction* City of Pasadena in the state of California, USA
Size 23.2 square miles (60 km2)
Population 133,936
General nature
Operational structure
Police Officers 254
Civilians 126
Agency executive Police Chief, Phillip L. Sanchez
* Divisional agency: Division of the country, over which the agency has usual operational jurisdiction.

The Pasadena Police Department is the police department serving Pasadena, California. The headquarters of the Pasadena Police Department is located at 207 North Garfield Avenue in Pasadena, just a block from the Pasadena City Hall and Paseo Colorado. The department employs 241 sworn officers, 13 reserve officers, and 126 civilian employees. The police chief is Phillip L. Sanchez, who has held the position since 2010 and previously served as deputy chief of the Santa Monica Police Department.


The Pasadena Police Department was founded in 1886. The department was one of the first police departments to have female police officers. In 2006, Commander Marilyn Diaz left PPD to become the police chief for Sierra Madre, California, becoming Los Angeles County's first female municipal police chief.

In 2004, the Pasadena Unified School District dismantled the Pasadena Unified School District Police Department, amidst budget cuts. As a result the Pasadena Police Department took over police services for the Pasadena Unified School District and PPD's division on PUSD schools is known as the Safe Schools Team, which is made of eight sworn members—one sergeant and seven officers.

Currently the department patrols some notable events, such as the Rose Bowl and the Tournament of Roses Parade, which works jointly with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

The department usually steps up patrols by adding officers in areas of recent homicides.[1] This is known as Operation Safe City.[2]

The department utilizes primarily the Orange County Sheriff's Academy in Tustin for academy training. PPD also utilizes the Rio Hondo Regional Police Academy in Whittier.

Since the establishment of the Pasadena Police Department, three officers have died in the line of duty.[3]


PPD has been using Tasers since mid-June 2004.[4]

Three years after the deployment of Tasers, 36-year-old Richard Baisner of Arcadia died after being Tasered once by a Pasadena Police Officer. Baisner was Tasered after resisting arrest against PPD officers. After using "soft restraints" on him while on a gurney, Baisner stopped breathing. An autopsy for the exact cause of death is pending.[5]

Air support

Pasadena Police Department building, designed by architect Robert A. M. Stern and opened in 1990

The department began air operations in 1969 and was one of the first members of the Airborne Law Enforcement Association.

In 1999, the department expanded its operations by creating the Foothill Air Support Team (FAST), working with nine nearby city police departments by providing air support to cities that could not afford it. Besides Pasadena, cities participating in FAST are Alhambra, Arcadia, Azusa, Covina, Monrovia, Glendora, San Marino, South Pasadena, and West Covina. Each of the nine cities provides an officer, whose duties include observing, monitoring radio frequency for all participating cities, navigating, and coordinating ground units.

The department maintains five helicopters, based at an area near Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the Rose Bowl.

Using a strategy developed by Sergeant Mike Ingram, PPD Air Support and the San Gabriel Valley Mosquito and Vector Control District use PPD helicopters to check swimming pools in 23 cities to ensure cleanliness and to prevent the West Nile Virus.[6]

On 17 November 2012, a police helicopter struck another on the ground at the department's heliport, injuring five people. Both aircraft suffered considerable damage.[7][8]


Other departments

Some nearby departments rely on the Pasadena Police Department if any department lacks resources.

See also


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