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Glendale police veteran promoted to captain; department welcomes 2 new bilingual officers

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Glendale police welcomed two new police officers and recognized the promotion of a police captain during a swearing-in ceremony held Thursday.

Newly-appointed Glendale Police Capt. Stewart Brackin, a 24-year veteran of the agency, will oversee the field services division, which includes the newly-formed community impact bureau.

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“It’s his responsibility to carry out the vision I had for addressing the increase in property crimes and burglaries,” said Glendale Police Chief Robert Castro, adding that Brackin will supervise the agency’s K-9 unit, the crime impact teams and the special enforcement detail.

Since joining the force in 1992, Brackin, a Glendale native, has risen through the ranks, with experience in assignments such as the gang detail, internal affairs division and Special Weapons and Tactics team.

Brackin said he was inspired by other members of the force, many of whom encouraged him to pursue the position.

“I figured if I had the confidence of those who I would command, that would bring me probably some of the best benefits in terms of getting to accomplish what I need to accomplish,” he said.

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The department also welcomed two bilingual police officers — Diana Valencia, who graduated in February from the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Academy, and Sahak Nersesyan, who transferred from the Pasadena force.

“You bring experience, you bring language skills, you bring a cultural understanding that is necessary to police in modern times in a community such as Glendale,” Castro told them.

Nersesyan grew up in Glendale after emigrating from Armenia as a child in 1987.

“I can’t think of a better place to finish my career,” Nersesyan said. “My heart has always been in Glendale.”

Raised by a single mother, Valencia grew up in east Los Angeles, where at 15 years old, she was inspired by a Los Angeles police officer who responded to an emergency at her home.

“He was the light that I needed,” she said. “I want to be that light for somebody.”

She’s hit the ground running — literally.

Valencia joined Glendale’s team in this year’s Baker to Vegas relay race, a popular 120-mile competition among hundreds of law enforcement agencies nationwide.

“We found out she runs faster than, I think, anybody in this room,” said Glendale Police Sgt. Eric Webber, who serves as vice president of the Glendale Police Officers’ Assn. “You’re off to a good start.”

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Alene Tchekmedyian, alene.tchekmedyian@latimes.com

Twitter: @atchek

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