Police Cadets Take Public Safety Seriously

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Photo courtesy of the GCC Police Department

UNDER ARREST: GCC cadets Artsroun Darbinian (left) and Hovig Tchagaspanian patrolling and keeping the campus safe.

Aimee Yeghiayan Beck, Sports Editor

The GCC Police Department cadet program protects the college and all who attend. From helping direct the flow of traffic to protecting students from any danger, the cadets are prepared for anything.

“The primary purpose of the cadet program is to assist the Glendale College Police Department with public safety for our campus community,” said Chief Gary Montecuollo.

Cadets provide a variety of duties and functions including uniformed patrol, parking enforcement, safety escorts, counter customer service, answering telephones, completing police reports and assisting police officers and dispatchers.

“My favorite aspect of the GCC police department is that it’s a unique department compared to other agencies, because we don’t just work in the Records department,” said Cadet Kevin Salvatierra. “We have our own police units to go out and patrol. We are the eyes and ears for the officers. We assist people throughout the campus.”

Cadet Hovig Tchagaspanian initially joined the program to gain experience in law enforcement.

“I felt the cadet program would be a good way to get an idea of the career field and decide if law enforcement was a suitable career for me,” he said.

Although many end up in law enforcement, cadets span all different majors at GCC.

To get into the program, candidates must be a student at GCC enrolled in at least six semester units with a GPA of 2.0 or better. They also must pass an extensive background check, in addition to an interview and an oral exam.

Once accepted, the cadets go through six to eight weeks of rigorous training with their designated senior cadet, working a variety of different shifts before working solo.

“Cadets do a tremendous amount of work to keep our campus safe,” said Montecuollo. “They are often the eyes and ears for the police officers, reporting suspected or actual criminal activity.  They are always looking for hazardous conditions to report.  They are diligent to report any issue that may be related to public safety.”

Cadet Jose Amparo feels like his training, which includes active shooter scenarios, has prepared him for any situation that may occur.

“I have learned that other police departments do not offer many of the trainings [GCC offers] in their cadet program, which makes this cadet program more desirable to work for,”
he said.

Although a majority of the work is enjoyable, the cadets still have to complete tasks they do not want to do.

“Believe it or not my least favorite task is giving citations to people,” said Cadet Serine Torosian. “I know what it feels like to come back to your car after a long tiring day and seeing a yellow sheet of paper on your windshield. However, for people’s own safety, we are obligated to give tickets and enforce the law.”

Some of the cadets have ambitious goals in the law enforcement field.

“My ultimate goal is to become a K-9 Officer for the Los Angeles Police Department, but before that, I would love to become a full sworn Police Officer for the campus,” said Senior Cadet Nick Allen. “I feel that I would love to continue to keep this campus safe, just in a different uniform.”