Growing up, John Kaefer always admired police officers.
“I had friends who became police officers, I wanted to be a part of that,” he said.
Kaefer eventually became the first in his family to pursue a law enforcement career. Now, after six years with the Burbank Police Department, he’s been named the 2012 Police Officer of the Year.
After about four years as a patrol officer, Kaefer was moved to the gang-enforcement detail, and on Thursday he was promoted to detective.
He liked “the investigative side of it,” he said. “That’s very gratifying to start at the beginning of a case and take it to the very end.”
As part of the gang-enforcement team, he largely responded to reports of graffiti in Burbank.
Kaefer was involved in the arrest of an independent contractor suspected of planting more than 100 graffiti tags citywide and then billing the city to remove them.