Leaders & Legends – John Perez – Securing the Rose Parade/Bowl & Authentic Leadership
Play • 1 hr 22 min


My guest today is Chief John Perez.  John recently retired as the Chief of Police for the Pasadena California Police Department. In his nearly 37 years of service to Pasadena, John served at literally all ranks in the department.  During his career, John worked patrol, narcotics, counter-terrorism, and as a SWAT sergeant, lieutenant, and commander, John helped to form the first generation of Pasadena’s tactical team which had the challenge of deploying as a full-time gang enforcement team and a SWAT team for many years.  John was twice awarded the Chief’s medal of excellence and received several commendations for his service over the years.  


1:00 – His childhood and upbringing

2:35 – How the murder of his 14-year-old cousin drove his desire to be a policeman

4:41 – The beginning of his career and training

6:20 – The crimewaves of the 80s and 90s and police response

10:00 - How the Rampart scandal and war on drugs negatively impacted policing

13:12 – The origins of Pasadena PD SES (SWAT)

15:07 – 9/11 and the profound effects it had on Pasadena PD

19:20 – Securing the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl

22:45 – The impact of 9/11 on the Rose Parade and Rose Bowl

25:55 – Returning to SES as the unit Lieutenant 

29:50 – Promoting out of SES to Commander

34:00 – Synthesizing being a “meat eater” with the politics of command

37:15 – How education changes your understanding and beliefs

39:15 – How losing teaches you more than winning

41:35 – Authentic leadership

45:30 – Responding to Occupy Pasadena

54:35 – Leading from your principles in a conflicted environment

1:02:00 – Balancing the tension between lawful protest & protecting the city

1:04:15 – The need to be a student of the profession

1:06:05 – Self-examination and learning from your critics

1:09:35 – How a near-death experience reshaped his views

1:18:00 – Rapid Fire Questions

Books Recommended

12 Rules for Life: An Antidote for Chaos – Jordan Peterson – ISBN 0345816021
Discover Your True North – Bill George – ISBN 0787987514
Extreme Ownership: How U.S. Navy SEALs Lead and Win - Jocko Willink and Leif Babin - ISBN 1250067057
Man’s Search for Meaning – Viktor Frankl - ISBN 080701429X
Quiet Strength: The Principles, Practices, and Priorities of a Winning Life – Tony Dungy – ISBN 1414318022


Contact Info

Chief John Perez (Ret) 


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