GCC Cadets Patrol and Protect the Campus

Jennifer Carno
El Vaquero Staff Writer

They can be seen patrolling the campus in light blue shirts and dark blue jackets. And while they are not full-fledged police offers, the police cadets serve as the eyes and ears for the GCC campus police.
“I don’t carry a gun or answer calls that involve weapons,” said Cadet Carli Pereda. “I take reports.” If a situation is violent they will alert the school police who will in turn, arrive on the scene. The cadets serve a key role in maintaining safety on campus.

To assure that the best-qualified applicants are placed, Police Specialist Nidal Kobaissi said we “do a thorough background check” of every cadet hired. “They must not have any felonies, be at least 18 years of age and be enrolled in at least six units,” he said. “They also need a minimum 2.0 GPA. If they like it, as most do, they go on to become police officers. After their involvement in the internship they can go on to work almost anywhere.” The cadets take a series of classes toward earning an Administration of Justice certificate. “Many of them transfer to universities and [obtain] higher degrees,” Kobaissi said.

“Before I got hired I had to take a [written] test, go through a one-on-one, and then a one-on-three interview, [which consisted of] a series of questions about me and how I would handle certain situations,” said Pereda. She has been a cadet since April.

Aside from reporting problems and incidents on campus, the cadets also provide personal assistance. Journalism student Emma Quinn left her tape recorder in a classroom and when she came back the room had been locked. “I was embarrassed to go into the police office, because I thought they were going to hassle me,” said Quinn. “But, they quickly got a cadet to unlock the room and open the door for me.”
Christine Goebel, the communications supervisor for the Glendale Police Department said, “cadets who want to be sworn police officers must be 20´ years old and serve an additional five months in the police academy.”

Cadets also have the opportunity to become 911 operators, parking enforcement officers, and detention officers. “We have a forensics lab for cadets who have experience.”

Some former GCC cadets who have gone on to careers in law enforcement include: Arman Belderian, who started work with the Los Angeles Police Department in 1998; Jeffrey Dorch, who went to work for the Seattle Police Department; Joshua Kuzmicz, who joined the California Department of Corrections in 2000; and Harout Bouzikian, who is working for the Glendale Police Department.
Applications can be obtained in the police office in SM 153.