"We're hoping to increase our selection pool, so we can move them
into police officer positions," he said.
The department recruits year-round for police officers, he said,
but prefers to hire candidates who have been cadets.
"When we work through our general open list, out of every 100
applicants, we have generally two who are suitable for hire," Distaso
said. Out of the two people who are suitable for hire, the department
may hire only one for a sworn officer position -- a costly process
for such a low success rate, he said.
"Out of cadets, its more like 20 out of 100 [candidates],"
Distaso said. "By increasing the number of cadets, it increases our
hiring pools. It takes less time to process them because they've
already been through a lot of the processing, and we end up with a
more diversified selection pool."
The department, which generally recruits cadets from Southern
California-area colleges, is looking specifically to the community to
fill the four just-added cadet positions, Glendale Police Officer
Mario Yagoda said.
"We want the cadet program to reflect the community we serve," he
said. "We are trying desperately to do that -- we have a nice mix of
cadets, but we always have room for more."
For those interested, candidates should be 18 or older, be a U.S.
citizen or a legal resident, have a driver's license and be enrolled
in at least nine units of college work. The department is
particularly interested in those who are bilingual, computer literate
and enrolled in criminal justice courses, Yagoda said.
During the school year, cadets work part-time, but in the summer,
they will work Monday through Friday, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Cadets
make $8.90 to $11.82 an hour, Yagoda said.
Diana Arzrounian began working as a cadet with the department in
January. She learned about the opportunity from a family friend,
Glendale Police administrative analyst Jack Altounian, when he came
to speak at a career day at her private school in Hollywood.
She has spent seven months at the front desk, taking reports from
people who walk in to the station and over the phone, helping her
supervisors. Arzrounian also got a chance to help the detectives
handle the perimeter around a building during a May 14 standoff
between an armed man and police.
"I've never been in a crime scene before," she said. "I was the
one giving people information about what was happening. When I was
not working at the department, I was always the one looking to see
what was going on. Now, I'm the one giving the information."