The City of South Pasadena was incorporated on March 2, 1888 as a general law city. Currently, the city operates under a City Council/City Manager form of government.

South Pasadena’s government plays a significant role in the city’s continuing development. The five member City Council appoints the City Manager to function as the Chief Administrator of the city. The City Council sets the policy direction for the city, and oversees 11 standing commissions and boards, allowing the local citizens to participate actively in governing the community.

A full-service city, South Pasadena maintains its own police and fire departments, an active parks and recreation program and an award-wining public library. All of these things combine to maintain the small-town atmosphere that makes South Pasadena one of California’s most desirable locations.

graphicThe City of South Pasadena has a thriving business community and encourages new businesses to come enjoy the benefits of locating within its city limits. The city is strongly committed to support existing local businesses and to foster the revitalization of its commercial areas. The community envisions lively pedestrian commercial areas anchored by historic buildings, compatible with its unique small-town feel.

South Pasadena’s bright future is kept safer by the commitment and dedication of professional police and fire personnel.

"The Mission of the South Pasadena Police Department is to provide our community with the safest possible environment using interactive crime prevention methods, public education programs and the equitable and professional application of the law."

The South Pasadena Police Department has one of the fastest response times in the state. In an emergency, the police can respond from one end of the city to the other in about three minutes!

graphicThe police department operates on a neighborhood policing philosophy The department maintains an active D.A.R.E. (Drug Abuse Resistance Education) program for all public elementary schools and has a school resource officer for the middle and high schools.

The South Pasadena Fire Department is dedicated to saving lives and protecting property by utilizing local resources to suppress fires. In addition to traditional firefighting services, the department provides: emergency medical services, a hazardous materials program, "all risk" hazard protection and mitigation.

The department operates from a single, centrally-located station and can be on-scene anywhere in the city within just a few minutes. Through mutual aid agreements, the city offers and receives assistance from surrounding communities when necessary.

Founded in 1895, the South Pasadena Public Library has been serving the community for over 100 years. Open 7 days a week, the library provides a full range of materials and services, including books, magazines, videos and audio books for adults and children. Free Internet access is available as well as literacy tutoring and a wide range of children’s programs.

Few cities in the nation are better recognized for determination to preserve its neighborhoods and small-town atmosphere. The city and citizenry of South Pasadena have been active in maintaining its stance against the 710 Freeway for over three decades. Support for the fight against a major highway project through the city has come from all across the country. South Pasadena has been cited five times on the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s list of "Most Endangered Places."


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