While pondering the concepts of “Right” vs. “Wrong” and also “Left” vs. “Right,” I stumbled upon something profound in their anagrams. Within “Right” are the words “I,” “hit” and “it”; within “Wrong” are the words “no,” “go,” “on,” “now” and “won”; and within “Left” are the words “felt,” “let” and “elf.”

If someone is convinced that they are “Right,” they may become violent, proudly boasting to others that, “I hit it!” If the group they hit was “Left,” that could be viewed as an elf that let the hit happen and felt it. It’s down to “Wrong” to save this situation because that group can defend itself by declaring, “No. Go on now … won!”

The pen is in fact mightier than the sword because with it words can be formed to express concepts handy for conflict resolution.




I am writing in response to the Guest Opinion of retired Pasadena Police Lt. Keith Jones. which appeared in your May 24 edition.

I was introduced to the Pasadena Police Department four years ago when I enrolled in their Citizens’ Police Academy, one of several outreach programs conducted by the PD. At that time, it was a 12-week, four hours per week course which introduced about 40 of us to the several sections within the department. We were exposed to the jail, heliport and the gun range. In the classroom, we did role playing as “police officers” to give us an understanding of the potential problems our police face whenever dealing with a citizen interaction. At the range, we each participated in an interactive video exercise with electronic rifles, Tasers and revolvers. The objective was for us to determine the appropriate tool to use when facing a dangerous individual.

As an events photographer for Pasadena PD for the past four years, I have participated in a range of activities which have afforded me the opportunity to get to know our police personnel from the top down, including the Community Services Section.

I have found Pasadena Police Department personnel highly professional, highly educated and extremely courteous, both in the station and on patrol. They have been quite respectful and gracious.

I am disturbed when I hear of incidents involving Christopher Ballew, Reginald Thomas Jr. and Kendrec McDade. They shouldn’t have happened. It also disturbed me when I attended a City Council meeting and a small number of community members voiced their utter disgust for PPD and then-Police Chief Phillip Sanchez.

What (former City Councilman Bill) Paparian and some of the citizenry fail to understand is that when a police officer approaches a citizen for whatever reason, for that moment the officer’s commands must be obeyed.  It is a terrible idea to run away, reach into a waistband, whether for a tooth brush, a cell phone or worse, a gun. When the patrol officer asks you to remain in the car with your hands either outside of the car or on the steering wheel, to do otherwise communicates to the officer that he or she may be witnessing the precursor of bad and dangerous things to come. Remember the credo that all police officers just want to be able to come home at night.

I cannot understand why Mr. Paparian has such a vendetta against the department and former Chief Bernard Melekian, who has been retired for 10 years.  It is easy enough to say bad things about people and an entire Police Department, but what makes it more deplorable is that Mr. Paparian has made these allegations without researching each incident he cites and completely avoids the truth after the results of the investigation of any of these incidents exonerate the department and its officers.

Perhaps Mr. Paparian should enroll in the Community Police Academy where he can get some real insight into the operations of the Pasadena Police Department. It is only four hours per night for eight weeks and includes a light dinner.

Our city can certainly benefit by not throwing insults and accusations at the Police Department, but rather looking into the real facts and lending support to those dedicated police officers whose ultimate goals are to uphold the law and protect the citizenry.