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Police department adds three officers

The new hires join Glendale P.D. amid tough budgetary times.

May 29, 2012|By Veronica Rocha, veronica.rocha@latimes.com
  • Artin Melik-Kasumyan, from left, Travis Bateman and Eric Voskanian are sworn in during a ceremony at Glendale Police Department.
Artin Melik-Kasumyan, from left, Travis Bateman and… (Cheryl A. Guerrero…)

More than six months ago, 25-year-old Artin Melik-Kasumyan was treating and transporting patients in an ambulance as an emergency medical technician.

But after months of hard work and training to become a police officer, Melik-Kasumyan was sworn in Tuesday with the Glendale Police Department.

As an officer, he said he hopes to “make it a safe and better place for kids to be raised.”

Melik-Kasumyan is one of three of the department's newest officers, along with Eric Voskanian and Travis Bateman. Bateman is a second class petty officer with the Navy Reserves, where he specializes in expeditionary warfare intelligence. His father is a motor officer in the department.

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FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this article incorrectly stated that Travis Bateman is with the Army Reserves.

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The latest round of hires is expected to strengthen the department's staffing, but they won't fill all the Police Department's vacancies this fiscal year, Police Sgt. Tom Lorenz said.

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While city officials are trying to close a multimillion-budget gap through early retirements, they have excluded any cuts in public safety in effort to maintain operational levels within the police and fire departments.

The recession had forced the city to freeze its hiring, prompting a loss of 18 sworn positions in the Police Department. Three years later, the department began hiring again, but focused on adding officers with diverse language skills.

“This is exciting for us to get back on the track of growing the agency and continuing to put the right people in place to meet the demands of the community,” Police Chief Ron De Pompa said.

Recent hires include six Armenian officers, one Latino, one Korean, and two representing other ethnicities.

Some of the hires grew up in the community — a trait that the Police Department looks for.

Voskanian, one of the newly minted officers, was born and raised in the city.

One the graduating class' top shooters, Voskanian wants to become a member of the department's Special Weapons and Tactics Team and a Financial Crimes detective, where he hopes to use some of his knowledge of the banking industry.

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