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Vicino named Pasadena's interim police chief

October 15, 2009 |  6:21 pm
Chris Vicino Pasadena Deputy Police Chief Christopher Vicino will serve as the interim police chief for the department beginning next month, City Manager Michael Beck announced today.

Vicino will take over for departing Police Chief Bernard Melekian Nov. 9. In his 24-year career, Vicino has worked his way up through the ranks in a variety of assignments, including a stint on the investigations team. As a detective, Vicino gained a reputation for being dedicated and tenacious, said Ann Erdman, a city spokeswoman.

“He has never been one to back away from a challenge,” said Erdman, who has known Vicino for 20 years.

Melekian appointed Vicino as the deputy chief in 2006. Vicino served as acting police chief from January to October 2008, when Melekian served as Pasadena’s interim city manager.

Vicino has also acted as police chief when Melekian has traveled to Sacramento to serve as president of the California Police Chiefs Assn.
Melekian, who oversaw the Police Department for 13 years, recently accepted a position with the U.S. Department of Justice as the director of Community Oriented Policing Services in Washington, D.C. His last day with the city of Pasadena will be Nov. 5, Erdman said.
During Melekian’s tenure, the number of homicides each year decreased significantly.

When Vicino was acting police chief in 2008, violent crime was reduced by 22%. He also collaborated with local school and college officials to create an internship program for local students.

The nationwide search for the position will start in the near future, Erdman said.

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

Photo: Christopher Vicino Credit: City of Pasadena