Citizen’s Academy Focuses on Volunteer Service to Community

GPD Explorers *Courtesy GPD Facebook page

In addition to the sworn officers and staff of the Glendora Police Department, there are many more who volunteer their time. Last week the Glendora Police Department Citizen’s Academy focused on those individuals who put in many hours each year, simply to serve the community.

Chaplain Karen Davis presenting the American Flag to the parents of Wade Bennett, who was killed serving our Country in Afghanistan.

Chaplain Karen Davis presenting the American Flag to the parents of Wade Bennett, who was killed serving our Country in Afghanistan.

Current Mayor and Department Chaplain Karen Davis, is perhaps one of the busiest people in our city. She not only runs her own ministry and sits on the city council, but Davis is also on call 365 days a year for anyone in need.

Davis has served as Chaplain for 14 years, starting in 2002 and is called upon during traumatic situations for residents and officers, presides at weddings or funerals, invocations at graduations and overall lends herself to be a calming voice to all. She offers support and short term counseling regardless of religious beliefs to any members of the community.

“When I put on that badge, I’m expected to be all things to all people”, Davis said.

The Auxiliary Program that includes 23 volunteers was also discussed. In 2014 alone, these Auxiliary Officers put in over 5,100 hours of service to the community. Most of them are either retired or still work other careers, proving how much they care about the community and enjoy helping.

The Auxiliary Program was started after the floods of 1969, when the city desired a need for trained help that could be called upon during, after or possibly in the face of imminent danger to the community and its residents. From there the program grew to offer help in all areas where manpower and an extra set of eyes or hands may be needed to facilitate city events and offer additional safety.

Auxiliary Officer Eddie Saiza at a preschool bike safety day showing a student the police car

Auxiliary Officer Eddie Saiza at a preschool bike safety day showing a student the police vehicle

Eddie Saiza, is one of the Auxiliary officers who dedicates himself to the city. He has been a member of the auxiliary for 6 years working parades, community events, school outreach programs and disaster preparedness. For Saiza, the most beneficial time he has is interacting with the kids at schools to be a good role model.

“Someone had to do this for me when I was growing up, so now I’m paying it back and forward”, Saiza noted.

Last but not least was the history and information on the Explorer and Cadet Programs. Many of our fine Glendora Officers got their start as an Explorer or or Cadet before the age of 21. Explorers are volunteers between the ages of 14-21 that get to work alongside officers and gain invaluable experience in the real world of law enforcement.

Cadets, typically the final stepping stone to becoming an officer, are paid and between the ages of 18-21. Cadets perform many independent duties and are given responsibilities within the department, some of which mimic low risk officer duties like issuing parking tickets and taking police reports.

These programs allow youth to not only get a foot in the door, but to also put themselves ahead of future Police Officer applicants by being familiar with police protocol, procedures and training.

If you are interested in the Auxiliary, Explorer or Cadet Programs, please apply in person at the Glendora Police Department Lobby. Cadet positions are not always available.

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