Scholarships awarded in memory of slain sheriff’s deputy

Los Angeles Daily News
25 Oct. 2004

Scholarships awarded in memory of slain sheriff’s deputy

Kuredjian inspiration for students in law enforcement

By Susan Abram, Staff Writer

GLENDALE — Five students received scholarships Sunday in memory of
slain sheriff’s Deputy Hogop “Jake” Kuredjian, whose name will live on
as more Armenian youth pursue careers in law enforcement.
Sheriff Lee Baca, Glendale Police Chief Randy Adams and several others
also were honored by the Armenian National Peace Officers Association
during the group’s first-ever scholarship ceremony.

The association formed last year with the intention of encouraging more
Armenian youths to consider careers in law enforcement.

Kuredjian “lived a life of pride, a life of wisdom,” Baca said. “His
name will always be at the forefront of what it is to be

Some of the money used for the scholarships was raised by 14-year-old
Austin Losorelli, a Stevenson Ranch resident who collected donations in
memory of Kuredjian. Losorelli set up a table and a sign at the corner
of Stevenson Ranch Parkway a day after Kuredjian was killed in 2001.

“My dad is an LAPD officer. I just felt bad for (Kuredjian’s) family,”
Losorelli said.

With help from his brother Ian, he raised $8,000, and the association
also honored him on Sunday with a plaque presented by Kuredjian’s
brother, Garo, who told the boy, “This is long overdue.”

The slain deputy, a 17-year veteran of the Los Angeles Country
Sheriff’s Department, was helping serve a search warrant Aug. 31, 2001,
in Stevenson Ranch when a man opened fire from an upstairs window,
hitting the deputy once in the head.

Last month, the deputy’s memory was honored with a dedication ceremony
at a new park, named Jake Kuredjian Park, next to Pico Canyon
Elementary School in Santa Clarita.

Steve Shenian, a California Highway Patrol officer and the co-founder
of the Armenian National Peace Officers Association, said the group has
about 90 members in seven states.

The association’s goal is to encourage young Armenian-Americans to
consider law enforcement as a professional career. Glendale’s Armenian
community, the largest outside of Armenia, has been slowly embracing
the profession, officials said, but more work needs to be done.

“We need to get in and break barriers,” Shenian said. “We need to go
into local schools and visit groups. When the children see an Armenian
officer in uniform, it’s powerful.”

The Glendale Police Department has tried with limited success to
attract more Armenian youths to its ranks.

“Law enforcement is extremely important to the Armenian community,”
said Glendale Mayor Bob Yousefian. “I’m not one to say our community
doesn’t have issues. We need help to deal with these issues.”

Seventeen Glendale Police Department officers are Armenian-American —
only two more than there were in 1995.

“A lot of Armenians think law enforcement is not an honorable career,
because from where they came from, law enforcement had a bad image, and
they are afraid,” said 20-year-old Diana Arzrounian, a California State
University, Northridge, student and winner of one of the Kuredjian
scholarships. “We need more programs, such as this one, to talk about
… what law enforcement really is. It’s not just about arresting

Ross Simonian, Sabina Simonian, Sara Vardapetyan, and Mourad Kabanjian
also received $500 each in memorial scholarships.