After getting an inside look at Burbank police operations — including demonstrations by the Special Weapons and Tactics team and presentations about gangs, forensics and force — members of the first-ever Armenian and deaf community academy classes have graduated.
“You probably know a lot more now about the police department than when we began,” Burbank Police Officer Joshua Kendrick said Wednesday to the more than 30 Burbank residents who completed the seven-week course.
Tigran Khachikyan, who graduated from the deaf class, said that before taking the course, he had problems with police and struggled to understand their operations.
“I thought they didn’t value me as a citizen,” he said in sign language. “[Now], I feel like I really understand their job, how they’re working so hard for us.”
The academy helps strengthen the department’s community partnerships, especially as the city’s demographics continue to change, said interim Police Chief Scott LaChasse, who drove in from a conference in Palm Springs to attend the graduation.