Twenty-four teens sat at attention in the community room at the Glendale Police Department. Some were in uniform, while others would be getting their powered blue shirts and navy slacks and police Explorer badges.
The teenagers were at different stages as Glendale Police Explorers, an after-school youth outreach program that organizers said brings teenagers into the rigors and variety of law enforcement.
"We hope they become cadets and move on," said Anna Diaz, an explorer adviser. "We've had explorers who become sergeants."
The group has a strenuous application process, and Diaz said the explorers are all a cut above their civilian friends who lack regimented discipline, responsibility and honesty that she said are at the core of law enforcement.
"They are going to have access to police information," she said. "I tell parents, we don't take just anyone."
Explorers work police details at city and civic events, and they earn the opportunity to ride along with Glendale police officers on patrol, one of the reasons Nairi Gazandjian said she signed up.