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Extra eyes, boots on street

Reserve officers help patrol the streets, some aspiring to find full-time work.

June 04, 2010|By Veronica Rocha
(Courtesy of Glendale…)

GLENDALE — Putting in extra duties as a reserve officer after a long workday at City Hall will just be one more way Steven Koszis helps out the community.

For $1 a year, Koszis will carry a gun, wear a uniform and patrol the streets of Glendale with fellow full-time police officers as a second job to his role as an administrative analyst for the Neighborhood Service Division, where he has worked for eight years.

The 36-year-old father of one recently decided to take a leap and enroll with the Police Department to become a reserve officer.

"As a reserve officer, I will have the opportunity to make a positive change in people's lives," Koszis said.

He and five other everyday citizens — Elisa Lozano, Nicholas Anderson, Daniel Boghossian, Vahe Abramyan and Andre Kazangian — were sworn in Tuesday as reserve officers, joining seven other reservists at the Police Department.

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Abramyan and Lozano work as police dispatchers, and hope to become full-time officers with the department. Kazangian, whose uncle is already a reserve officer, also wants to be a full-time police officer.

Boghossian, a Pasadena resident, is a registered nurse at Kaiser Permanente's Los Angeles Medical Center. And Anderson hopes to one day follow the footsteps of his father, a sergeant with the department.

Reserve officers have improved chances of becoming full time because they have already undergone intense training, Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

But they'll have to wait for the strict citywide hiring freeze to thaw before those odds even come into play. Until then, the Police Department is relying on reserve officers to be extra eyes and boots on the ground, Lorenz said.

The reserve officers underwent a stringent application process, including a background check, medical exam and interview.

Koszis appreciated the rigid background check because he said it shows the department takes the role of reserve officers as serious as a full-time sworn officer.

The group of candidates endured 22 weeks of intense training, including navigating a patrol car during an emergency call, knowledge of patrol operations and how to use their weapons.

The reserve officers mostly trained with Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department.

And while Koszis and the others have been become official members of the department, that doesn't mean training is finished. They will endure another 22 weeks of training starting in September.

As reserve officers, Koszis and the others must dedicate 32 hours a month to the department.

But Koszis doesn't mind giving up his free time to the Police Department.

"I don't see anything wrong with committing time to serve the community where I work."

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