HIGH NUMBER OF Pasadena Police Officers Earn Over $200K.


PASADENA, Calif. — At least 27 Pasadena police officers earned in excess of $200,000 in 2017 and 94 earned more than $150,000, according to records from Transparent California and Government Compensation in California (GCC), a website operated by the California State Controller’s Office.

Records also reveal that at least four officers earned more than $100,000 in overtime, including one who earned more than $120,000. A total of 32 officers earned more than $50,000 in overtime, roughly equal to that of Glendale and Pomona combined.

Irvine has nearly twice the population of Pasadena, yet half the number of officers who earn more than $200,000 and less than 20 percent of the officers who earn more than $50,000 in overtime. Irvine also has the lowest rate of violent crime per capita of any city in the nation with a population of 250,000 or more.

With approximately 144,000 residents, Pasadena is California’s 33rd most populous city. According to the Pasadena Human Resources Department, the city employs 242 officers — a ratio of roughly 17 officers per 10,000 residents.

According to 2016 FBI Uniform Crime Reporting records for cities with populations between 100,000-200,000, an average of 16 officers served every 10,000 citizens. Pasadena’s police count is one percent higher than this national number.

However, according to nonpartisan media platform GOVERNING, some police departments have abnormally high numbers of officers, anomalies that ultimately skew the overall number. Therefore, GOVERNING advises that a median number of 14.3 officers per 10,000 citizens might be considered more “useful.”

Pasadena employs more police officers than Pomona, Glendale and Irvine, the latter two cities having significantly larger populations. Pomona

Hundred Eighty Degrees asked Pasadena Human Resources Department Director Jennifer Curtis and Public Information Officer Lisa Derderian for information regarding, among other things:

  • A current list of officers by rank/role, years of service and base rate of pay.

  • How Pasadena classifies “Other Pay,” whether incentive pay, unused vacation and sick time payout, bonus pay, etc.

  • If there is a specific allocation for overtime pay for the entire department or for individual officers and the amount thereof.

Curtis and Derderian have not yet provided such data. A FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request will be submitted. Hundred Eighty Degrees will also attempt to reveal the cause for considerable overtime pay — whether it is related to activity at the Rose Bowl, special investigations or another function.

In 2010, the Los Angeles Times uncovered widespread corruption in the city of Bell, including a chief administrative officer who was paid just south of $800,000 and a police chief who made $457,000. The state controller’s office subsequently took efforts to improve fiscal transparency, including a mandate that municipalities provide payroll data with annual reports. That data is made public through the GCC website.

However, none of that publicized payroll data lists corresponding names of employees.

Transparent California is operated by the nonprofit Nevada Public Research Institute, a conservative “free-market think tank” that scrutinizes government spending and publicly admonishes overreach/regulation.

By filing public records requests per the California Public Records Act, Transparent California is able to aggregate government employee names with corresponding compensation. The organization lists such names in order to make “government accountable and transparent to the very people it is designed to serve.”


For more on FBI data go here.

*Numbers in a range depict the difference between Transparent California and GCC.

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