The following was written by Chief Phillip Sanchez, guest columnist
The recent high-profile shootings involving law enforcement officers in Baton Rouge and St. Paul have generated a wide range of emotions across America. The incidents are being investigated by local authorities and the Department of Justice. At some point, the investigative material may be available depending on the laws, protocol and practices in Louisiana and Minneapolis. The subsequent ambush on July 7 of 12 Dallas police officers was allegedly motivated by the shootings in Baton Rouge and St. Paul. The suspect(s) did not claim any connection to domestic or international terror groups; however, the details behind the shootings are still being investigated. Five Dallas police officers have died as a result of their gunshot wounds and other officers are in critical condition.
While these national incidents do not necessarily have a direct nexus to our department or community, I increased police staffing [last weekend]. The primary focus of the modified deployment is to ensure officer safety (to the best of my ability) and equally important, to increase community outreach through extra service in our neighborhoods, parks, open spaces and businesses. To be clear, the Pasadena Police Department was not on tactical alert; however, out of an abundance of caution, I believe the modified deployment is in the best interest of our first responders and our community. The police department is frequently communicating with county, state and federal officials to ensure that we are as informed as possible regarding any potential threats. I do not intend to limit or restrict police services. We will continue to respond to calls in our normal fashion and engage our community, which is the hallmark of the Pasadena Police Department.
Our community also plays an important role during this emotional period. Suspicious activity should be reported to the Pasadena Police Department without delay. In-progress crime should be reported to 911. Non-emergency incidents should be reported to (626) 744-4241. While we cannot be paranoid, we should remain vigilant about our surroundings and go about our normal routines. Everyone deserves to return home after their activities, regardless of their profession. We cannot let the actions of a few erode the quality of life in Pasadena or the good order of our society. Do not take the law into your own hands. If you see or suspect unusual activities, call the Pasadena Police Department and allow my officers to investigate.
The Pasadena Police officers, employees and volunteers are committed to delivering exceptional police services, especially during times of adversity. We are fortunate to have experienced, courageous and diverse employees who serve our community, and we will not retreat from those who intend to harm our first responders or those who live in, work in or visit Pasadena.
On behalf of the Pasadena Police Department, I would like to extend our deepest condolences to the men and women of the Dallas Police Department, their families and other victims involved in this cowardly act. Our uniformed personnel will wear black bands across their badges to honor those Dallas police officers who were murdered.
Please pray for the Dallas police officers, their families, our first responders and America.