Officers from other agencies join force

Jackson Bell

Juan Chavez Jr.'s swearing in Tuesday at the Glendale police station

was a homecoming of sorts.

Chavez returned after an eight-year stint as a deputy with the Los

Angeles County Sheriff's Department to serve Glendale, the city he

grew up in. He came home to help keep the high quality of life for

others that he experienced during his formative years.

"I want to help people growing up in the same way a police officer

helped me when I was in school," the 31-year-old said. "I feel like I

can wear a gun and badge, and still play kickball with the kids and

have a positive attitude."

Chavez was one of seven officers who were officially welcomed

Tuesday by Glendale Police Chief Randy Adams. The ceremony was one of

the largest swearing-in ceremonies for officers transferring from

other law enforcement agencies in the department's history.

Officers Matthew Ruzgerian, Lynette Martinez, Nelson Aguillon,

Paul Fletcher, Ryan Smith and Mark Oliver were also sworn in.

For so many officers to transfer to Glendale demonstrates the

Police Department's "outstanding reputation" in law enforcement

circles, Adams said.

"This speaks well not only of the department, but of the community

as a whole," he said.

After serving three years with the Los Angeles Airport Police,

Oliver wanted to switch to more traditional police work.

"People in airports are coming and going," the 31-year-old said.

"I could never see the fruits of my work."

After taking a ride-along and talking with friends on the force,

Oliver said he was impressed by the professionalism and decided to

apply. Smith, formerly of the La Verne Police Department, echoed that

sentiment, adding that Glendale residents stand by their police


"The city really, truly believes in the Police Department, and the

people back it, which is nice because that's not always true in other

parts of L.A. County," Smith, 31, said. "And that is very important

for police officers."

Officer Carlos Dominguez, who transferred from La Verne to

Glendale about two years ago, encouraged Smith to transfer. Smith,

who has been with La Verne for 10 years, had fewer promotional

opportunities with the 48-member force, Dominguez said. Besides, he

said, Glendale is a more police-friendly city.

"Instead of driving down the street and having people give you bad

gestures, everyone here waves," he said.

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