Burbank police welcomed its first all-female class of recruits Thursday at a graduation ceremony in Los Angeles — a select group that distinguished itself with academic and physical prowess, officials said.
In a class of about 70 in which 52 police and sheriff’s recruits averaged 92% or higher on the academic portion of their academy training, Burbank police recruit Julie Oates, 24, received the top academic honor with an overall score of 96.87%.
Oates was honored before hundreds of law enforcement personnel, family and friends at the Dorothy Chandler Pavilion in downtown Los Angeles.
It marks the third consecutive year Burbank has had a recruit take home the top academic award for their work during the 18-week academy, held at L.A. County Sheriff’s Dept. headquarters in Whittier, Lt. John Dilibert said at the graduation ceremony.
Oates, who hails from Santa Clarita, is joined by Sarah Brady, 29, of Glendora, and Kiyomi Scott, 27, of San Bernardino.
“They are fine additions to our department,” Dilibert said, adding that recruits are watched throughout the entire process and gauged on how they grow through the academy and ”equip themselves to go out into the street and really learn.”
The women join a department of 96 women and 171 men, according to city officials.
Out of 1,200 applicants, roughly 800 people took the written exam, Dilibert said.
“It’s very inspiring that they chose all of us,” Scott said after the ceremony. “Each and every one of us brings in a different quality that will definitely bring a new perspective to Burbank.”
Brady, who Burbank police said holds the top honor for physical fitness at the academy, said she was excited to be part of group that was “bumping up the female numbers at Burbank.”
“I’m just super pumped, I’ll be real honest,” she said.
The department now has the top recruit for physical fitness and the top academic recruit, police Det. Chris Racina said, adding that through the course of the academy, more than 40 college-level tests are administered.
“It takes a very unique individual to want to actually become a police officer, knowing what you deal with on a daily basis,” Racina said. “Our record has shown we look for the best.”
In the last class, the top recruit for physical fitness, academics and marksmanship joined the department, Racina said. Before that, Burbank had the top academic recruit.
Police Chief Scott LaChasse said the new officers were here because they were on the top of the list and performed very well.
“They are three females, but the real story is the fact that we have three meritorious individuals who rose to the top of the list who just happen to be females,” LaChasse said. “They were on the top of the list and did exceedingly well in their class. It’s a tribute to them and the selection process.”