BURBANK—The Armenian National Committee of America- Burbank Chapter Chairperson Silva Kechichian and Armenian Cultural Foundation (ACF-B) liaison Antranik Jarchafjian on February 11 held a meeting with Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse, to voice a wide range of concerns of the Armenian community of Burbank, prevent hate crime-vandalism and to discuss ways of advancing the collaborative efforts and partnerships with the Burbank Police Department (BPD).
Particularly, the ANCA-B representatives voiced concerns regarding the hate crime-vandalism on the school campuses occurred in January 29 and how the police department can control similar situations and prevent it. The Chief of Police discussed and advised representatives to take some preventing action inside the center and work with BPD if any similar situation occurs.
“The Burbank Police Department is committed to equally protecting and serving every segment of Burbank’s diverse communities. In respect to the targeting of Burbank’s Armenian population, the Burbank Police Department understands that certain iconic venues may be subject to unusual attention,” said Police Chief LaChasse.
“Consequentially, the Department proactively patrols these areas. If anyone ever sees an emergency involving crimes against a person or property, please immediately call 9-1-1. Routine matters may be directed to 818.238.3130 (the watch commander). If a neighborhood or community needs special attention, please contact the Burbank Police Chief’s Office at 818.238.3200,” added LaChasse.
The parties also discussed ways to increase the number of Armenian-Americans in the police force, to better reflect the community which it serves. Agreements were reached on boosting the recruitment efforts in the Armenian-American community. The Chief of Police agreed to collaborate with the ANCA-B chapter and educate the community about BPD programs and representatives to bridge the gap between the community and the BPD, as well as for presenting recruitment opportunities.
Armenians representation in the Burbank Police Department was also discussed. Police Chief indicated that due to budget issues hiring freeze was in effect until the passage of Measure P pass, and added that the process of hiring qualified Police officers takes longer than filling a regular public or private position. The chief also informed us about cultural awareness programs in addition to other training that the BPD provides the officers, as well as other programs for adult volunteers and explorers program for teenagers. We explored various ways of expanding community participation in all the programs mentioned by the chief.
The Burbank ANCA also informed the Police Chief about ANCA Burbank’s participation in the upcoming Armenian Genocide vigil on April 16 at Burbank City Hall and the wider commemoration events on April 24th.
“We agreed that both the Burbank Armenian community and the BPD would greatly benefit from close cooperation in establishing mutual trust and crime prevention. I look forward to working with the BPD in the near future,” Kechichian, the ANCA-B chair commented, “
The Armenian National Committee of America – Burbank advances the social, economic, cultural and political rights of the area’s Armenian American community and promotes increased Armenian American civic participation at the grassroots and public policy levels.