By Joyce Rudolph
Employees of the Burbank Police Department were recognized for outstanding conduct by the Magnolia Park Optimist Club as part of its Respect for Law program on Thursday night at the Burbank Elks Lodge.
Optimist Club President Gary Oseransky welcomed members and guests and Interim Police Chief Scott LaChasse served as master of ceremonies for the presentations.
Officer John Kaefer received Officer of the Year. He joined the department in 2006 and was selected as a member of the Crime Impact Team in 2010. He recently was assigned to the Gang Enforcement Unit where he has conducted follow-up investigations that have resulted in the seizure of several firearms and substantial quantities of narcotics and the arrests and convictions of numerous members of criminal street gangs and tagging crews.
“I love being a police officer here,” Kaefer said. “I love serving your community. Thank you for allowing me to do that.”
Reserve Capt. DeWayne “Doc” Wolfer was named Reserve Officer of the Year. In addition to being a dentist, he has given 28 years or more than 27,500 hours of service as a reserve officer, which equates to 14 years of full-time service to the city of Burbank without pay.
As Reserve Captain he coordinates Reserve Officer operations and is a member of the SWAT team, not only as a specialist in the long rifle, but as the instructor in tactical maneuvers and equipment deployment. He was appointed Senior Range Master in July and overhauled the training curriculum and developed an extensive database and records retention system to document officers’ training.
Records Supervisor Tania Cooper was presented the Civilian Employee of the Year. She joined the department as a Police Records Technician in 2005 and was promoted to Records Technician Supervisor in 2009. She is known for having a cooperative spirit that inspires personnel and her ability for problem solving.
“I just love going to work every day,” she said.
Kaye Norris received the Volunteer of the Year. It was noted that her energy and enthusiasm are contagious. She always has a big smile on her face greeting visitors and handling multiple phone calls in the Main Lobby and Traffic Bureau each Monday and Tuesday. She consistently earns the Silver Presidential Service Award for giving close to 500 hours a year.
“I’ve enjoyed volunteering at the police department,” she said. “The people are so special.”
For more information on the club, go to www.optimist.org.