Monthly Archives: July 2024
Jul 11 2024
Pasadena State of Enforcement and ZERO Tolerance of Fireworks July 4, 2024, Fireworks in Stands at Rose Bowl
Pasadena State of Enforcement and ZERO Tolerance of Fireworks July 4, 2024
Fireworks in Stands at Rose Bowl
The calls for service data from the Pasadena Police Dept for the period prior, during and after the 4th show hundreds of calls related to fireworks use.
Why is it that fireworks get a different treatment than guns?   Fireworks should be considered dangerous and with Pasadena’s ZERO tolerance, the use of fireworks should subject to arrest.
Here’s some videos of what took place inside and outside of the Rose Bowl on the 4th of July 2024.

Pasadena can do MUCH better when it comes to fireworks use enforcement.
Here are some emails that have been sent back and forth from various parties including Rose Bowl executives in particular the CEO.
customerservice@rosebowlstadium.com
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Most recent email to Jens Weiden CEO/GM of the Rose Bowl :  There has been no response to this email:
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But the issues was not addressed and I requested that you be the person that should have called me. This is not a media communications issue it is a security operations and executive management issue.
The severity of what occurred is much worse than anyone seems to comprehend or admit.
It certainly should serve as a wake up call for what can happen.
1. Explosives being brought into a stadium with 70k people.
2. Explosives being ignited unchecked
3. Impairing visibility and causing respiratory issues with smoke bombs.
This is inside the stadium, what was taking place around the stadium was as bad if not worse.
The inaction of enforcement of a zero tolerance for fireworks not to mention the clearly stated terms of what is allowed in the stadium all clearly violated and NOT ENFORCED.
My questions remain.
What happened and why did we not see these activities stopped immediately and the culprits arrested.
How did explosives get through security?
Was there any calls for other agencies to assist?
I am a reasonable person but this was clearly a dereliction and failure on so many levels.
And to top it all off the awful fireworks show with lights blazing into the stadium stands impairing the viewing o the fireworks.
The Rose Bowl needs to reimagine what happens on the 4th because what I and many others experienced was unacceptable.  Fireworks are dangerous on so many levels.  Set a better example and do a drone show or laser show or nothing but no fireworks, be responsible stewards and don’t participate in polluting our air with more toxic chemicals.
Please include my comments and emails to RBOC members and provide me with the details to address and submit my concerns directly to the board.
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This email also received no response as of today.
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Thank you Chief Augustin,

Please understand that my concerns are founded on personal firsthand experience of the 4th and days prior and afterwards. With fireworks still being set off in the city limits yesterday evening in my neighborhood.
My questions were not answered as follows in the follow-up email:
When there are illegal fireworks going off inside the Rose Bowl, and nothing is being done… This went on for 45minutes at least.   Was anyone cited or arrested?
How could fireworks be allowed to be brought into the stadium and be ignited and go on for so long?   What protocol was in effect and are these being revisited based on what transpired. I would be very concerned if there was a terrorist attack with explosives or chemical agents; thousands could be killed.  The amount and type of fireworks that was ALLOWED to be brought into the stadium is appalling.
This is of grave concern, and because I witnessed firsthand the lax security I cannot in good conscious support or attend an event at the Rose Bowl. and question that any event in the city is safe.
Outside the Rose Bowl, again illegal fireworks going off in front of officers, was anyone cited or arrested?
Brenner Park, again fireworks being set off in front of police presence with police vehicles lights on.   Was anyone cited or arrested?
With all this taken into consideration, my objective is to help to bring awareness of the severity of the issue, and to have the city manager and council be 100% behind efforts of PFD and PPD, to eradicate the use of fireworks in the city.   But the foundation has to be set that if there is little to no enforcement of the ZERO tolerance then having drones or other tools are worthless. We need officers who are empowered and motivated to meet the objective of ZERO tolerance.
Respectfully,
Victor Caballero
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These are the response so far:
Pasadena Police Chief Eugene Harris
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As a PD follow up please accept the following…

 

 

Enforcement Period 7/1/2024 through 7/7/2024

Calls for service:                218

Citations:                             10

 

Enforcement Period: 6/17/2024 through 6/30/2024

Calls for service:               55

Citations:                             1

 

Total lbs. of confiscation 7/4:         30 lbs.

Total lbs. overall: 6/1-7/3                50 lbs.

 

Fires:     1

Palm tree at Glen and Washington

 

Injuries related to Fireworks:     0

 

On the calls for service it is exceedingly difficult to catch violators in the act. The law requires we see the violation in order to arrest or cite, or there has to be a willing complainant willing to prosecute. Unless we have these components the elements for probable cause are not met. We do , however document all contacts for follow up. All of our calls for service were either anonymous or the R/P was unwilling to make a private persons arrest.

 

Regarding number 3…

Our reserve police officers do have the authority to cite as any regular officer does. They have been factored in yo our enforcement efforts.

 

Regarding numbers 4 & 5…

There may be some traction to  rewards for info leading to arrest and conviction but this will typically only work in felony cases.  We would be cautioned not to create a bounty for arrests that require private persons to make the arrest as in misdemeanor cases. Which leads to the inability for resident/witness issued citations as there is no allowance in the law for that, outside private persons arrest procedures

 

We will continue to strive for improvement in our education, engineering, and enforcement endeavors.  One of those high on our list is the use of drones with real time crime capabilities. We hope to move to operational technology by next year.

 

Please contact me with any other questions or concerns.

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These are the response so far:
Pasadena Fire Chief Chad Augustin
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Thank you for the email, but before I address it, I want to express my team’s gratitude for the wonderful email you sent last week complimenting them on the decreased frequency of illegal fireworks this year as opposed to previous years. 

Well, as Murphy’s Law would have it, just five minutes before you sent your email from a resident complaining about how poorly we did, I received a very nice email from a resident in Bungalow Heaven complimenting us for our incredible work and that he was pleasantly surprised that there were so few fireworks this year.   In my professional opinion, this year was by far the best in my four years as your Fire Chief.  This is due to the deliberate work by your PPD and PFD.  Leading up to the fourth, there was very little fireworks until after July 1st.  

 

Yesterday was very busy for both PPD and PFD, demonstrating the fact that there will always be work to do.  I think it is extremely important to remind everyone that in addition to working normal assigned job duties on July 4th, many of our employees were force hired to work in order to ensure there was adequate staffing at the Rose Bowl for a safe and fun event.  Our employees know that this is just part of the job when you work for PPD or PFD.  Regardless, the work that PPD and PFD did yesterday at a major soccer event was impressive to say the least.

 

I would like to address your recommendations to the best of my ability.

 

  1. Both PPD and PFD have been exploring adding an unmanned aircraft system (UAS).  The benefits are far more than just for illegal fireworks.  From the Fire side, having this program can provide incredible intel for both structure and brush fires.  There would be significant startup costs for this program, as well as a need to hire additional staff for PFD to add this additional level of service.
  1. I cannot speak for Code Enforcement, but I can address Fire Inspectors.  As you are aware, we have Arson Task Force personnel working nightly leading up to the fourth.  Yesterday, we had nearly double the amount of personnel on duty from a normal day.  That included every Fire Inspector.  The primary responsibility of the over 40 extra PFD personnel was ensuring a safe event at the Rose Bowl.  I cannot confirm the exact number of additional law enforcement personnel, but it was probably double or triple that amount.  In addition to the 60,000 in attendance, there were thousands of additional fans tailgating in the area.  It is important to highlight that our crews worked incredibly hard to ensure that everyone had a good time and left safely.  

After the soccer game concluded, my entire Executive team and members of Command staff transitioned to patrolling the streets of Pasadena to assist with additional call demand and enforcement of illegal fireworks. 

  1. Citations were challenging again last night.  As we have previously discussed, in order to hand out a citation, we either have to witness the illegal activity or have someone willing to confirm that they witnessed it.  Frequently, we arrive in the area and nobody is in the area any longer.  When we question the neighbors, they tell us they didn’t see anything.
  1. Chief Harris and his team will be able to speak on number four, as they have been researching innovative ideas that other cities have tried.
  1. We would be greatly appreciative of residents assisting us.  The best things they could do is call when they see something and confirm what they witnessed when we arrive.  Unfortunately, most residents want to remain anonymous.

 

I hope that this information is helpful.  My team and I are committed to continuing to make Pasadena safer and eradicate illegal fireworks.

 

Respectfully,

 

 

Chad Augustin

Fire Chief

Pasadena Fire Department

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Jul 2 2024
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