PASADENA—Members of the Pasadena Armenian National Committee earlier this month met with the Interim Police Chief for the Pasadena Police force, Christopher Vicino and General Plan Manager, Jason Mikaelian.
Both meeting were held on November 19 at the new Pasadena Armenian Center and aimed at becoming acquainted with projects and activities of the two city departments.
The City of Pasadena has embarked on a search for a new Police Chief to take the place of longtime chief Bernard Melekian who recently accepted a position with the U.S. Department of Justice as the director of Community Oriented Policing Services in Washington.
The Pasadena ANC has been participating in a series of community meetings being held to secure community input on the selection of the new Police Chief. Last week, Pasadena ANC activist Donig Donabedian spoke at City Hall before City Manager Michael Beck on the qualities the Armenian American community would like to see in the next Chief of Police. This week, Pasadena ANC activist Vatche Derderian spoke at a community town hall meeting held at the Jackie Robinson Center reiterating the Pasadena ANC’s goal of finding the best candidate for the top law enforcement post in Pasadena.
“The selection of the next Chief of Police for the City of Pasadena is an important issue for our community,” remarked Ishkhan Boghossian, the Executive Director to the Pasadena ANC. “We believe that the next Chief of Police must be committed to fielding a first class force of officers. Second, we believe the next chief must be committed to reaching out to all communities in Pasadena. And third, we firmly believe the next chief should be committed to community policing, which empowers local citizens to make their streets safe for children, for seniors and for all residents” added Boghossian.
Interim Chief of Police Christopher Vicino has spent his entire career with the Pasadena Police Department, working his way up the ranks in a variety of assignments. In 2008, he was the Acting Chief of Police for approximately 10 months. Vicino was born in Los Angeles and grew up in the San Gabriel Valley. He attended Claremont Men’s College, earning a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Economics and Political Science. He graduated from the POST Command College in November 2002 and was the recipient of the Hank E. Koehn award as the most inspirational student of his class. In 2004, he received a scholarship from the Department of Homeland Security to attend the Naval Postgraduate School, graduating in March of 2006 with a Master of Arts degree in Homeland Security and Defense. He is 47 years old and a 24-year veteran of law enforcement.
The Pasadena ANC was joined by representatives other community organizations, such as the Armenian Youth Federation at the meeting with Mikaelian, Pasadena’s General Plan Manager.
The meeting was designed to inform community leaders on the current effort to craft a new General Plan, which will be a blueprint for Pasadena for decades to come.
“The Pasadena ANC believes that the General Plan will fundamentally impact the future of our city,” remarked Ishkhan Boghossian, Executive Director of the Pasadena ANC. “Our meeting with General Plan Manager Jason Mikaelian gave our organization the opportunity to better understand the plan and ask a variety of questions on how the plan may impact our community,” added Boghossian.
“Over the past six months, we have been reaching out to the community, talking to residents, business people, the youth, non-profits and others,” remarked General Plan Manager Jason Mikaelian after the meeting with Pasadena ANC leaders. “We want to know the qualities that make Pasadena special and the challenges that face our city,” he added Mikaelian.
The Pasadena General Plan lays out specific strategies for land use, mobility, housing, open space, conservation, noise and safety. The General Plan reflects the community’s values and directs all of the city’s day-to-day decisions, plans and priorities. As times change, about every five years the General Plan is revised to become more meaningful and relevant based on the current state of the city, with an eye toward the future. Every General Plan is unique. To gauge local needs, Pasadena is proud to have a long history of involving thousands of Pasadena residence in shaping its General Plan. The Pasadena of today is a result of that history. In 1994, for example, more than 3,000 people took part in the General Plan update, many urging the city to steer development away from single-family neighborhoods and closer to downtown, near transportation lines. The Pasadena ANC encourages all community members to learn more about the general plan by visiting the city’s website at: www.cityofpasadena.net.
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.