BURBANK—Armenian National Committee of America-Burbank representatives Silva Kechichian and Ara K. Manoogian met with Burbank Police Chief Scott LaChasse on March 26, to discuss a wide range of issues related to the Armenian community of Burbank and to discuss measures the Burbank Police Department could take to address them.
The ANCA-B representatives voiced concerns regarding the recent lawsuits against the BPD, which suggest ethnic discrimination may exist both toward department employees and the community. The Chief of Police explained that the BPD administration implements several different checks and balances to prevent bias policing and racial profiling.
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 relayed plans of making all police-related materials available in Armenian. He also agreed to appear on television with ANCA-B representatives to bridge the gap between the community and the BPD, as well as for presenting recruitment opportunities.
“We in the Burbank Police Department look forward to a results-producing partnership with ANCA-B to promote mutual respect and understanding; foster cooperation to recruit Armenian applicants to the Police Department; to immediately address and resolve concerns, rumors or issues that may surface; to work cooperatively to prevent crime as well as to ensure that all crime is reported; to assist each other in providing training and cultural awareness programs; working collaboratively to identify, investigate and resolve all hate crime incidents,” stated Police Chief, Scott LaChasse.
“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,” said Kechichian.
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.