Crime & Justice

Pasadena police chief leaves for Justice Department

Pasadena Police Chief Bernard Melekian
Pasadena Police Chief Bernard Melekian
Courtesy Pasadena Public Affairs Office

Attorney General Eric Holder announced today that Pasadena Police Chief Bernard Melekian will be leaving the Pasadena Police to head up the Community Oriented Police Services Office (the COPS program) at the Justice Department.

Holder said that one of Melekian's most important responsibilities will be to innovate in law enforcement operations. "We can no longer afford to view technology and data-driven approaches with suspicion, or to stick with established procedures simply because 'that's how it's always been done,'" said Holder.

Melekian has served as Pasadena police chief since 1996. Before that, he served with the Santa Monica Police Department for 23 years. While there, he was awarded the Medal of Valor in 1978 and the Medal of Courage in 1980.

Holder said that new approaches will add to the ability to prevent crime before it occurs. He cited as an example the use of computer models to map where crime is most likely to occur.