Faced with a recent spate of departures by police brass and the
looming retirements of other high-ranking officers, the Burbank
Police Department will loosen up certain job specifications for the
positions of sergeant, lieutenant and captain.
The City Council this week approved changes to the minimum
qualifications for each classification, a change police officials
hope will make it easier for lateral transfers to be promoted.
Traditionally, officers seeking to become sergeants, lieutenants or
captains had to have five, seven and 10 years, respectively, of paid
full-time experience with the department.
With the changes to become a sergeant, an applicant must have five
years of full-time experience as a sworn officer, but only three
years as a full-time sworn officer in Burbank. Applicants for
lieutenant have to serve five of their seven years as an officer in
Burbank. To become a captain, eight of the 10 years of full-time
experience required have to come with the Burbank department.
Earlier this month, the Civil Service Board approved the
revisions, and on Tuesday the City Council voted 4-0 to adopt them.
Councilman Todd Campbell did not attend the meeting.
Police officials stress that the move will not lessen the skills
needed to rise through the ranks. What it will do, they say, is make
it less restrictive for a growing generation of officers transferring
from other police departments to be promoted.
“Now that we have so many laterals, it has become necessary to get
them in the process earlier and give them credit for the time served
elsewhere,” Burbank Police Capt. Larry Koch said.
Capt. Gordon Bowers said the revisions might even enhance the
experience at each of the positions. One former Los Angeles Police
officer who now works for Burbank’s police department brought 20
years of experience with him. Because of the revisions, that kind of
experience could help an officer be considered sooner for a
promotion, Bowers said.
The revisions also help prepare the department for impending
departures of longtime brass.
Both Bowers and Koch are on track to retire within the next two
years, and Capt. Ed Skvarna recently retired.