police officer named chief of Pasadena Police Department

Deputy Chief Phillip Sanchez, a 30-year veteran with the Santa Monica Police Department, has been tapped as the next police chief of Pasadena effective July 11th.

“Phil Sanchez has a strong background in police management and a reputation as a leader who is sensitive to community issues,” Pasadena City Manager Michael Beck said. “I am confident he will be well-received in the Pasadena community and the Pasadena Police Department.”

As chief, Sanchez will oversee a department of 262 sworn officers and 144 civilian employees.

Sanchez is one of the founders of Santa Monica’s Chronic Homeless Project, a collaborative program of police, the Community and Cultural Services Department and social service agencies that work to improve care and referral services for homeless persons. He helped develop Santa Monica’s Serial Inebriate Outreach Program, which, as an alternative to incarceration, provides counseling services to homeless persons who have alcohol and drug dependency issues.

Santa Monica police officials note that he was instrumental in developing the Community Forum on Gang Violence, a series of workshops that provided an opportunity for residents and other stakeholders to work collaboratively to reduce youth violence, increase communication and improve relationships between law enforcement and the community.

Sanchez said he intends to begin working right away with Pasadena Police Department personnel while becoming actively involved in the community.

“I have deep respect for the men and women of the Pasadena Police Department, which has a tremendous reputation in the world of law enforcement,” said Sanchez. “I also am a strong proponent of community collaboration and integration. A police department or police chief cannot improve public safety alone; it requires an entire community working together.”

Sanchez has received the Santa Monica Police Department’s Medal of Courage twice for heroic actions during tactical operations, and he served as the incident commander for several critical incidents, including a hostage situation on the Santa Monica Pier in 2004.

He has been honored as Officer of the Year by the Rotary Club of Santa Monica and the Optimist Club of Santa Monica.

Aside from his law enforcement duties, Sanchez serves on the advisory board of the Santa Monica Family YMCA and has served on the boards of Meals on Wheels West and the American Red Cross Santa Monica chapter.