Interim Pasadena Police Chief John Perez on Monday said he plans to apply for the permanent position when the process gets under way next month.
“My decision to submit for the position of chief of police is based on the work we have achieved in our community over the past few months, as well as the work that needs to be done,” Perez told the Pasadena Weekly. “It’s the unfinished work that I am committed to.”
City officials have begun working out the process to choose a replacement for former Chief Philip Sanchez, according to a city spokesperson.
“It’s in the initial stages,” city Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian said of the selection process.
In the past, the city has used a recruiting company to help identify qualified candidates, followed by a citizens’ committee to interview semifinalists.
Locals have called on City Manager Steve Mermell to implement a similar process that will allow for community participation in the selection process.
Perez was named interim chief in April after Sanchez announced his resignation.
With the department since 1988, the 52-year-old married father of two pursued a higher education, earning a master’s degree in behavioral science and later a doctorate in public administration.
Since taking over, he has made several moves that have been lauded by the community.
Under Perez’s leadership the department could also redesign the body-worn camera policy that would allow the release of footage of critical incidents no more than 45 days following an incident.
Late last month, Perez named a community advisory committee which includes some of the department’s staunchest critics.
That committee will re-evaluate changes to the body-worn camera policy.
So far this year there have been 14 use-of-force incidents, compared to 26 at this time in 2017.
Along with fewer force-related encounters, the number of citizen complaints about police use of force has also dropped, from 19 at this time last year to six this year.
Perez told the Weekly several weeks ago he is considering restoring the department’s gun waiver program which allows officers to request gun store owners sell them weapons without the 10-day waiting period.
Last year, it was discovered that then-Lt. Vasken Gourdikian, who served as the department’s spokesperson, received several waivers during a period he is accused of illegally selling weapons. Sanchez suspended the program after the discovery was made, and it has been in limbo ever since. Gourdikian was later indicted on charges that he illegally sold weapons and lied to federal authorities. His trial begins next month.