Chief of Pasadena Police John Perez, 56, recently announced he will be retiring from the department next year after nearly four decades on the force.
Lisa Derderian, Pasadena public information officer, confirmed the news with Pasadena Independent early Monday morning. The city will make a formal announcement closer to his retirement date.
“The relationship between a city manager and a police chief is a special one,” said Pasadena City Manager Steve Mermell. “I am thankful that John Perez accepted my offer to become chief and I have very much enjoyed working closely with him. He has done a terrific job and has well earned a long and enjoyable retirement, but until then, there’s still much to be done and I know he’ll do it.”
Perez served as the interim chief of police in 2018, after former Chief Phil Sanchez announced his retirement. After an exhaustive search, the city named Perez the permanent chief in December 2018.
Starting his career as a police cadet, Perez worked various assignments throughout the organization which included patrol, community relations, internal affairs, special enforcement section, SWAT, special investigations unit, and the counter terrorism unit. He has served in command of all three Pasadena Police Department divisions: Strategic Services, Field Operations and Criminal Investigations.
When he first assumed the position, Perez pointed out the importance of his “lessons of experience” and the role the department must play in transparency, open and honest community dialogue and staff retention.
Perez has recently come under fire by critics for the shooting of Anthony McClain by a Pasadena officer and for clearing officers involved in the violent stop of Christopher Ballew in 2017, before Perez was chief.
As chief of police, Perez created a Community Advisory Committee, comprised of Pasadena residents, to work with the department on issues important to the community including the use of body cameras, use of force, and neighborhood policing. “Serving in the Pasadena Police Department for the last 37 years alongside tremendous men and women has been the honor of a lifetime,” said Perez. “To have the opportunity to lead our department, to help enhance our relationships with the community and to use innovation and hard work to keep the city safe, is truly an honor.”