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California Briefing / Pasadena

Pasadena police chief to join Dept. of Justice

October 07, 2009|Richard Winton

Police Chief Bernard Melekian, who has overseen Pasadena's Police Department for 13 years, is retiring and will take a job with the U.S. Department of Justice handling its Community Oriented Policing Services program. Melekian, who also has served as interim city manager in Pasadena, is considered one of California's top law enforcement leaders and in March became president of the California Police Chief's Assn. He served on the National Board of Directors for the Police Executive Research Forum from 2002 to 2006.

He also is a senior advisor for the Police Assessment Resource Center in Los Angeles and was on the panel that examined the Los Angeles Police Department's SWAT operation in the wake of a hostage situation that led to a child's death.

Melekian, a former Santa Monica commander, took the helm in the mid-1990s in the wake of a triple homicide on Halloween that made the city rethink its approach to gang crime, which had plagued it for decades. During Melekian's reign, the number of homicides recorded each year decreased significantly.

-- Richard Winton

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