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Local Policeman Honored by Pasadena Police Foundation

For Glenn Thompson, it’s all about the youth.
A 26-year veteran of the force who has been extremely active in the Police Explorer program and other department youth programs over the years, Thompson was honored as the Pasadena Police Department’s Officer of the Year at the 11th annual Pasadena Police Foundation Chief’s Breakfast at the First Church of the Nazarene on Thursday.
Thompson said he knows his kind of police work — mainly working with those in the community — is really paying off for a lot of people.
“It’s things like this that let me know what I’m doing is making a big difference,” he said. “I’m a kid at heart. If I could change one kid I’ve done my job.”
He added that it has been Pasadena’s youth who really make his job rewarding.
“My heart has been with the young people,” Thompson said. “My thing is making sure our young people get the direction they need.”
Pasadena Police Chief Phillip Sanchez had plenty of kind words to say about Thompson.
“Glenn is an extraordinary guy,” Sanchez said. “He was promoted just last year to sergeant from corporal. He has just touched thousands and thousands of lives. We’ve had young people who have come through many of the programs offered by the police foundation, whether it’s been Kids Safety Academy or Junior Safety Academy or Leadership Academy.”
Sanchez added he is just amazed at how many local youth have wanted to follow in Thompson’s path and pursue careers in law enforcement.
“His footprint in (Police Athletic League) and Explorers has been renowned,” Sanchez said. “We’ve had kids who have come through PAL and Explorers who are now police officers. Imagine how proud Glenn is of that and how proud we are of Glenn.”
Sanchez also said he was delighted to honor Thompson because the sergeant is such a likeable guy.
“He’s a unique officer,” Sanchez said. “His personality consumes a room. He’s just one of those kinds of guys. You can’t help but smile around Glenn.”
Because the breakfast was also a fundraiser for the department, Susan Kinney, foundation president, said she was hoping it would bring in between $20,000 and $30,000 to help the department buy things that are not in the budget, like extra K-9 units, or this year’s goal, which is the purchase of a portable training facility.
Kinney added the foundation’s work is extremely important as it has come through with big ticket items in the past that the department needs.
“The foundation got the first K-9 unit,” she said. “They’re up to four K-9 units now. It’s that stuff (the police chief) kind of needs that he has no other way to get. The city doesn’t fund it. So, the chief takes a look and decides what he needs, and our board votes and decides if that’s what they want to raise money for.”
Sanchez said it’s not easy for any city or county to purchase many of the items on the department’s wish list, adding Pasadena would have to go without if it weren’t for the foundation.
“The better we can get our officers trained for issues that might come their way, the better we’re going to be and the police foundation plays a critical role in that,” said Sanchez, who has been chief for seven years. “We’d have to find money in the budget to buy these extra things, like K-9 cars and all-terrain vehicles, and that’s a burden on the taxpayer.”
And purchasing the K-9s has been a great boost to the city, as both a community relations tactic and also in the realm of crime fighting, Sanchez said.
“It’s as much as the equipment and resources they provide as it is goodwill they generate in our community,” he said. “The K-9s … are huge. They’re critical not only for homeland security, but also for events at the Rose Bowl. They help with stuff at the Rose Parade, and also for regular calls for service. [The dog is] able to get out there and mitigate a suspicious package. They work 24/7, 365.”
As for the portable training facility, Sanchez said it will help officers train for whatever response becomes necessary.
“It’s so we can replicate live emergency situations for our officers,” he said.

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