PASADENA—With more than 100 community members in attendance, the Pasadena Armenian National Committee hosted an informative town hall meeting on August 18th with the city’s new Chief of Police Phillip L. Sanchez. Among those in attendance were representatives of the local chapters of the Armenian Youth Federation, Homenetmen, Hamazkayin, Armenian Relief Society, Armenian Cultural Foundation, Armenian Council on Aging, Saint Sarkis Armenian Apostolic Church, the Pasadena Armenian Police Advisory Council and over a dozen local business leaders. Chief Sanchez was appointed earlier this year to serve as the permanent replacement to former Chief of Police Bernard Melekian, who now serves in a senior post at the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington, DC.
“Having so many Armenian Americans attend our town hall meeting with Chief Sanchez last night was encouraging,” remarked Pasadena ANC leader Donig Donabedian. “It is fresh proof that our community, at all levels, is eager to engage leaders like our new Chief of Police to make our city better and safer for our youth. I believe that Chief Sanchez made a strong impression on those in attendance. His remarks regarding the importance of our youth organizations – like the Armenian Youth Federation and Homenetmen – struck a very powerful note among town hall attendees,” Donabedian added.
During a wide-ranging discussion of public safety issues, Chief Sanchez commended the Pasadena ANC and its affiliated organizations for building an Armenian Center that serves the needs of young Armenian Americans. The Chief also discussed his strong support for community policing and building strong ties between his police force and individual business owners in the City of Pasadena. When asked why he decided to leave his post as Deputy Chief of the Santa Monica Police Department, Sanchez replied that he saw an opportunity to take the Pasadena Police Department to the next level. In this regard, Chief Sanchez shared that he was encouraged to take his new post by his predecessor, former Chief Bernard Melekian.
The Pasadena ANC’s town hall meeting with Chief Sanchez is part of a year-long campaign to connect leaders in the City of Pasadena with the local Armenian American community. The Pasadena ANC will be hosting town hall meetings with other major city leaders in the near future.
Prior to his appointment as Chief of Police for the City of Pasadena, Phillip L. Sanchez served as Deputy Chief at the Santa Monica Police Department. Chief Sanchez has an extensive background in police tactics and community policing. Chief Sanchez earned his bachelor’s degree in management from the University of Redlands and his master’s degree in security studies from the United States Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, where he graduated with honors.
Chief Sanchez is a strong proponent of education. For the past 10 years he has taught at the Orange County Sheriff’s Academy as an adjunct instructor and frequently lectures at local schools, colleges and universities on a variety of topics including civil rights and the law, homeland security and mass casualty response. Chief Sanchez was an Eagle Scout, the highest rank attainable with the Boy Scouts of America. Chief Sanchez is a member of the California Police Chiefs Association.
The Pasadena ANC advocates for the social, economic, cultural, and political rights of the area’s Armenian American community and promotes increased Armenian American civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.