Pasadena police chief considers changes to how officer reviews are conducted

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In a recent city council meeting, Pasadena police chief Phillip Sanchez updated the public safety committee on a number of changes to the department.

Sanchez updated the four committee members on new ways of tracking officer behavior, proposed changes to officer internal reviews and proposed changes to how complaints from the public are handled.

Officer internal reviews

Sanchez said he is in the process of modifying the review process for officer use of force situations. For example, he wants to give the officer’s supervisor a chance to make a verbal presentation to the review panel about what happened.

The police chief, the deputy chief and department commanders sit on that panel.

"Right now, there’s no interaction," Sanchez said. "There’s no dialogue necessarily, it’s all written communication."

Sanchez said after the verbal presentation, the panel would make a decision about whether the use of force by officers was within policy. If it was, then training issues would be addressed. If it wasn't, then the case would be handed over to internal investigations.

Tracking officers

Within two months, the behavior of Pasadena police officers and civilian employees will be tracked on a commercial computer system called IAPro. Sanchez said it would allow him to create customized alerts on a certain officer or type of complaint filed.

"It shouldn’t suggest that if we are using that, that the department is rogue or that our employees are out of control,” Sanchez says. “It is simply a method to help us ... be aware of how our employees are performing.”

Over the last few months, several citizen complaints have been filed alleging officer misconduct.

Sanchez said there wasn’t a particular incident that compelled him to switch to the new tracking system, but he said he preferred the IAPro system because it comes with periodic upgrades and technical support. He is also familiar with using it from when he worked at the Santa Monica Police Department.

Handling public complaints

Finally, Sanchez is considering changing the way online complaint receipts are given.

Previously, if someone made a citizen complaint online, there was no way to get a copy of the complaint without printing it.

Sanchez said he’d like to find a way to send an e-mail to the person immediately after the complaint is filed electronically.

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