Pasadena Police Dept. disbands Gang Task Force

Complaint from the head of the Latino Police Officer’s Association gets Gang Task Force disbanded.

The Pasadena Police Department disbanded the Gang Task Force Wednesday (Sept. 28) after Pasadena Police Chief Michael W. Thaler approved the move.

“It was part of a restructuring within the department,” Pasadena police spokesman Vance Mitchell said. “The division commander (Lt. John Dombrowa, who also heads the narcotics division) made a recommendation that unit be resolved and Chief Thaler approved it. After (Dombrowa) reviewed all of his personnel he made the suggestion that they do away with that Spotlight Unit (and) the decision was supported by the chief and it was done today.”

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Pasadena councilmember Don Harrison said the Gang Task Force has been doing a great service to the city.

“We feel more secure. We know that we have individuals out there controlling the gangs that we know are prevalent in the city,” Harrison told The Citizen. “I’m disappointed and I think it is a disservice to the citizens of Pasadena to disband it.”

According the Pasadena Police Department website the Gang Task Force was formed in 1993 to investigate gang-related activity and develop an aggressive program combining suppression and intervention tactics. The unit was designed to identify, interview and document gang members in order to serve as an intelligence tool for criminal investigations.

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