Since the 2012 Kendrec McDade shooting at the hands of two Pasadena Police Department officers, the community in Northwest hasn't had much trust in the PPD. Since that incident, Reginald Thomas also died during a confrontation with PPD officers.
There has been a lot of outrage in the city, and PPD Chief Sanchez resigned a couple of months ago under a cloud of corruption in the department with two officers being investigated for selling illegal guns, and two other officers were suspended for the beating of Altadena resident Chris Ballew.
The Pasadena Black Pages were contacted by other members of the community and were asked to be a part of a committee called Bridge 2018 to help mend the gap between the police and teenagers in the community.
Community members from all walks of life joined and came up with a plan to communicate through a mixer and roundtable discussion, where the teens could ask the officers, who were members of the Pasadena Gang Task Force, any questions they wanted and the officers answered all that the teens asked. It was a day of honest communication.
Pasadena Police officer Darin Craddolph played a major role in making the event happen. Born and raised in Pasadena, Officer Craddolph felt like it was his duty to try to bridge the gap between officers and the community before he retires from the force.
Church members, educators, businessmen, community servants and the PPD all came together and had meetings to discuss the best way to start the PPD's transition from unknowing to knowing, meaning we want the police to know the members of the community, especially young Black boys.
Most of the teens came from the MYPD program at John Muir, and we would like to thank Mr. Tecumseh Shackleford for allowing the young men to participate, but the program is open to any teen in the community, and the mixers will be every month, as we want to introduce as many officers to as many teens as possible.
With the goal of de-escalating hostile situations. With the goal of fewer arrests and more mentoring. With the goal of more respect being given to each other by all.
If you would like your teenage son or daughter to be a part of Bridge 2018, please contact Officer Craddolph at firstname.lastname@example.org.